USDA says pigs in Minnesota may have had H1N1
The US Department of Agriculture said today it is testing to confirm suspected novel H1N1 flu in three pigs that were sampled at the Minnesota State Fair in August. Positive results would mark the first detection of the virus in pigs in the United States. The pigs, which appeared healthy, were tested in a research project by the University of Minnesota and University of Iowa. Some children who stayed in a dorm at the fair contracted H1N1, but no link has been made to the pigs, the USDA said.
Oct 16 USDA statement
Quebec poll finds 25% of workers would go to work with flu
A poll of workers in Quebec found that 25% would go to work if they were sick with pandemic H1N1 flu, the Canadian Press reported today. About 45% of the respondents said their employer had not formed a plan to address flu outbreaks, and 53% reported they had not changed their personal hygiene habits. The phone survey of 1,000 adults, conducted between Sep 17 and 27, was done by a human resources association in Quebec.
CDC offers answers on vaccine allocation and distribution
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted a new question-and-answer report on H1N1 vaccine allocation and distribution. It notes that the number of sites to which vaccine can be shipped has been increased to 150,000 nationwide, from the original 90,000, with each state being allocated a quota of sites. The CDC also posted new materials yesterday about several other H1N1 topics, including issues for inflammatory arthritis patients and infection control guidance.
CDC Q & A about vaccine allocation and distribution
WHO: H3N2 responsible for half of flu in China
Nearly half of all flu viruses in China are the seasonal H3N2 strain, which appeared before the pandemic virus and is cocirculating with it, the World Health Organization said today. Pandemic flu activity is well above baseline rates in the United States and is increasing in parts of Canada and Mexico, and cases are rising in Western Europe, northern Asia, and some Caribbean countries. At least 4,735 deaths have been reported. Temperate areas of the Southern Hemisphere now have few cases.
Oct 16 WHO pandemic update
FDA: Be wary of H1N1 remedies sold online
The US Food and Drug Administration warned yesterday that there's a good potential for fraud when buying products sold online as preventives or remedies for H1N1 influenza. The agency recently bought several products sold online as oseltamivir (Tamiflu). One of them turned out to contain only talc and acetaminophen; several others contained various levels of Tamiflu but were not approved for use in the United States. The agency urged consumers to buy only approved products from US pharmacies.
Oct 15 FDA press release
Judge suspends New York's flu-shot requirement for health workers
A New York judge today temporarily blocked a state requirement that all healthcare workers who have direct patient contact receive H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines, the <i>New York Times</i> reported. Thomas J. McNamara, an acting justice of the New York State Supreme Court, set a hearing on the case for Oct 30. McNamara consolidated three suits filed by Albany nurses and state employees' and teachers' unions. Another suit, filed by a nurse from Poughkeepsie, is still proceeding separately.
Oct 16 <i>New York Times</i> report
Group in New York sues to stop nationwide vaccination program
A group of New York medical workers sued yesterday to try to block the nationwide H1N1 vaccination program, arguing that the vaccines have not been adequately tested, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported yesterday. The suit was filed in a federal court in Washington, DC. Attorney Jim Turner said the suit was brought by a group of doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel.
Oct 15 AFP report