H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Nursing home outbreaks, hospitalization & death rates, antiviral therapy, vaccine news

Jan 28, 2010

Pandemic hasn't spared nursing homes
Though older people appear to have some immunity to the pandemic virus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention learned of several outbreaks at nursing homes, detailing three in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). They occurred during the fall before the vaccine was widely available, and infections in healthcare workers were documented at two of the facilities. Infection control steps and antiviral prophylaxis seemed to slow flu spread.
Jan 29 MMWR report

New Mexico lists hospitalization, death rates
The New Mexico Department of Health says the state's H1N1 hospitalization rate is highest in children under 5 and the death rate is highest in people aged 50 to 64. The overall H1N1 hospitalization rate is 50.3 per 100,000, but the rate for children under 5 is 135.5, twice the national estimate. The overall state death rate is 2.6 per 100,000, but the rate is 5.3 for 50- to 64-year-olds and 3.1 for those 65 and older. Children under 5 and adults 25 to 49 had a death rate of 2 per 100,000.
Jan 27 New Mexico statement

Some on antiviral therapy still test positive
In a study by French researchers in Emerging Infectious Diseases, of 16 H1N1-flu-confirmed patients treated with the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu), only 9 (56%) tested negative for H1N1 flu within 3 day of treatment, while 3 (19%) still tested positive more than 5 days after treatment. The authors conclude, "These data raise questions about potential virus transmission during antiviral treatment and the possible resistance of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 to oseltamivir."
Feb Emerg Infect Dis study

Canada to give 5 million vaccine doses to WHO
Canada announced today it will give 5 million doses of H1N1 vaccine and $6 million to the World Health Organization to combat the pandemic in developing countries. The doses amount to 10% of Canada's total vaccine order, a donation in line with those from other developed countries, the government said. Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said Canada can donate vaccine because it has met its own immediate needs.
Jan 28 Public Health Agency of Canada release

Hong Kong hangs on to its vaccine
Hong Kong has no plans to sell or donate its remaining doses of H1N1 vaccine, Secretary for Food and Health Dr York Chow said today, according to the country's news.gov.hk site. Noting that Hong Kong's stockpiled vaccines will expire in October, Chow encouraged people in five high-risk groups to get vaccinated.

Shoppers bag free flu shots
Aiming to put flu vaccine in the paths of shoppers, the Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota teamed up with Kohl's stores today to offer free pandemic and seasonal flu vaccines to adults and children outside two Twin Cities malls. A grant from Kohl's is covering the administration cost. Federal officials have urged providers to make it easy for people to get vaccinated.
Jan 28 Children's Hospitals statement

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