China reports fatal H5N6 infection
Health officials from China's Hunan province today said a 47-year-old woman who worked as a farmer in Shaoyang City has died from an H5N6 avian flu infection, Xinhua, China's state news agency, reported today. The woman's illness marks the 16th infection from H5N6, 10 of which were fatal.
According to the report, she had contact with dead poultry before she got sick and was admitted to the hospital in critical condition on Nov 18, where she died yesterday. Her infection was also reported in a notification to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The virus is a novel reassortant between H5N1 and H6N6 that was first detected in a Chinese poultry market in 2014, with the country reporting its first human case a few months later. H5N6 has been detected in other locations, such as Vietnam, Laos, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan. But so far human cases have been comfirmed only in China, which reported its most recent such illness in May.
Nov 21 Xinhua story
Nov 21 FAO page with link to H5N6 case report
FluTrackers H5N6 case list
FDA approves expanded indication for GSK flu vaccine
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced it has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an expanded indication for its FluLaval Quadrivalent flu vaccine to allow its use in children 6 months of age and older. The vaccine had previously been approved for use in those 3 years and older.
In a Nov 18 statement announcing the FDA approval, GSK said that, before the expanded age indication for FluLaval Quadrivalent, providers who preferred using prefilled syringes had to order and stock two separate flu vaccines to immunize all patients. The FDA's action allows providers to use the same dose of FluLaval to vaccinate all people age 6 months and older who are recommended to be vaccinated.
GSK said its application for the expanded indication was based on a pivotal phase 3 study and three supportive clinical studies in children ages 6 through 35 months old.
Nov 18 GSK press release