News Scan for Nov 10, 2015

More dengue cases in Hawaii
New CSL flu vaccine division

Hawaii reports 4 more dengue cases, 27 total

The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) yesterday confirmed that the number of locally acquired cases of dengue fever has increased by 4 since Nov 6, to 27, with potential exposure areas all across the big island of Hawaii.

Nineteen of the patients are Hawaiians, while 8 visitors have also been infected, the HDOH said in an update. All but 2 patients are adults, and all are recovering. Illness-onset dates range from Sep 15 to Nov 2. An HDOH map shows that cases reported eight potential exposure areas all across the island.

The agency said in the update, "HDOH continues to routinely monitor for cases of imported dengue infection on ALL islands and will continue to have Vector Control perform mosquito site assessments and abatement as needed. 

"Since the beginning of our current investigation on Hawaii island, one imported dengue fever case has been confirmed (on Oahu). This case is not associated with the Hawaii island investigation."

State Epidemiologist Sarah Park, MD, said, "Unfortunately, sometimes we have a situation where we're sort of behind the eight ball, frankly, which happened here," according to a story yesterday from Hawaii News Now.
Nov 9 HDOH update
Nov 9 Hawaii News Now story
Nov 9 CIDRAP News scan on previous update


CSL: Flu vaccine unit created by Novartis merger now called Seqirus

Australia-based drug manufacturer CSL Limited announced yesterday that its flu vaccines business is now called Seqirus, following the merger of Novartis's influenza unit—acquired on Jul 31—with CSL's vaccines and pharmaceutical business, bioCSL.

Seqirus ranks number two worldwide in flu vaccine sales, at $4 billion, with operations in more than 20 countries, the company said in a press release. Based in Maidenhead, United Kingdom, Seqirus provides pandemic and pre-pandemic vaccines and operates flu vaccine manufacturing in North America, Europe, and Australia.

Seqirus is derived from the phrase "securing health for all of us," the company said. In Canada, Spain, Germany, and Argentina, the flu vaccines division of Novartis will continue to be operated by Novartis until CSL can obtain local regulatory approvals, if required.
Nov 9 CSL press release

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