Flu Scan for Dec 15, 2014

H5N2 hits 2 more farms in BC
H5 in Vietnam birds
Quadrivalent flu vaccine approved

British Columbia farms with H5N2 now number 10, 1 in Metro Vancouver

Chickens on two more farms in British Columbia have been infected with H5N2 avian influenza, bringing the total to 10 and the number of birds dead or scheduled for culling to nearly 234,000 since the outbreak's start just 2 weeks ago, say news sources and official reports.

The ninth outbreak farm, in Fraser Valley, which was home to the first eight farms with H5N2, had "about 7,000 chickens," said a Dec 12 Canadian Press (CP) story. That farm was included in the World Organization for Animal Health's (OIE's) latest update Dec 12, which also included three farms reported by CIDRAP News last week. OIE's report says the farm had 5,840 susceptible chicken broiler-breeders but gives no further details.

The tenth outbreak, reported today in a CTV News story, was confirmed yesterday by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) on an egg-laying farm in Langley. It represents the first outbreak farm in the metro Vancouver region, notes the story. More than 53,000 birds are infected, bringing the total dead or set to be euthanized to 233,800, the story says, attributing those numbers to the CFIA.
Dec 15 CTV News story
Dec 12 OIE report
Dec 12 CP story
Latest (Dec 11) CIDRAP News scan on outbreak

H5 outbreaks sicken nearly 1,000 birds in Vietnam villages

Three outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza affecting nearly 1,000 birds were reported by the Department of Animal Health in Vietnam to the OIE on Dec 12.

The first outbreak, which began in late November in Vinh Long province, saw 160 birds die from H5 in Tra On village. The remaining 120 birds were destroyed.

A second outbreak, which began early in December in the village of Cau Ke in Tra Vinh province, killed 100 of 177 susceptible birds. The remaining 77 were destroyed.

The third, which also began early this month, this one in Cau Ngang in Tra Vinh, caused 500 fatal cases among 750 susceptible birds. The remaining 250 were destroyed.

The total cases numbered 987, with 760 deaths, among 1,207 susceptible birds, for an apparent morbidity rate of 81.77%, an apparent mortality rate of 62.97%, and an apparent case-fatality rate of 77.00%.

Control measures have included stamping out and disinfection of the affected premises.
Dec 12 OIE report

FDA approves Sanofi's quadrivalent, intradermal flu vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Sanofi Pasteur's quadrivalent vaccine Fluzone for adults ages 18 to 64, according to a Dec 12 press release.

Fluzone has been available in trivalent form for 3 years, and the newly approved quadrivalent vaccine contains two influenza A strains and two influenza B strains. The B strains are derived from both Victoria and Yamagata influenza B lineages, giving the vaccine greater accuracy in matching circulating strains.

In half of the past 13 flu seasons, the B strain used in trivalent vaccines has not matched the circulating strain. Because influenza B constitute 20% to 25% of circulating strains, a quadrivalent vaccine containing both strain lineages may offer greater protection against contracting influenza B.

Fluzone uses a microinjection system to deliver vaccine into the skin. Its 1.5-mm needle is 90% smaller than that needed for an intramuscular injection.

The FDA approved Fluzone's supplemental biologics license application following Sanofi Pasteur's Phase 3 study involving 3,355 adults. Safety and effectiveness trials found that use of Fluzone had a similar safety profile compared to trivalent intradermal vaccines and that its use could improve vaccine effectiveness.

Fluzone will be available in the United States for the 2015-16 flu season.
Dec 12 Sanofi Pasteur press release

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