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Expert Opinion
No Substantial Link Between Swine Flu Vaccine and Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Experts Confirm PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 02 August 2011 05:05
Adjuvanted vaccines used during the 2009 swine flu pandemic did not increase the risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome substantially, if at all, finds a large Europe-wide study published online in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). An adjuvant is a substance added to a vaccine to stimulate the immune system to respond to the vaccine.

The study provides reassurance about potential risks of adjuvanted pandemic influenza vaccines. It also exemplifies the use of a newly available infrastructure in Europe, which may help to provide reliable risk assessments related to future concerns.

Computers Reveal Flu Viruses With Close Ties To Pandemic Of 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 June 2011 06:56

Scientists using new mathematical and computational techniques have identified six influenza A viruses that have particularly close genetic relationships to the H1N1 "swine" flu virus that swept through the United States beginning in the spring of 2009. That virus eventually killed almost 18,000 people worldwide.

Biological studies focused on these strains of influenza virus could shed light on how the 2009 pandemic strain of influenza emerged, aiding in efforts to forestall another pandemic, the researchers say.

More Pregnant Women Received Flu Shots During H1N1 Epidemic, CDC Says PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 December 2010 06:00

Although flu vaccination rates among pregnant women nearly doubled during the last flu season and H1N1 swine flu epidemic, about half of pregnant women still did not obtain the immunizations, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Reuters reports (Fox, Reuters, 12/2). For the study, which was published on Friday in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, researchers analyzed data from 10 states gathered through the Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring System (UPI, 12/2).

The Fate Of Pandemic H1N1 Flu Virus Considered By NIH Scientists PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 30 September 2010 04:08

Whither pandemic H1N1 virus? In a new commentary, scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, review the fates of previous pandemic influenza viruses in the years following a pandemic and speculate on possible future courses for the 2009 pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) virus during the upcoming flu season and beyond.

Infectious Diseases Experts Call for Mandatory Flu Vaccine for All Health-Care Personnel PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 04 September 2010 06:05
Influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel is a professional and ethical responsibility and non-compliance with healthcare facility policies regarding vaccination should not be tolerated, according to a position paper released by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).
Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, Responds To BMJ Editors Regarding Conflicts Of Interest In Flu Pandemic Recommendation PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 11 June 2010 16:17

In response to an article published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) which criticized the lack of openness by the World Health Organization (WHO) for not revealing that some key scientists behind its pandemic recommendation had financial links with companies that stood to benefit financially, Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General, WHO, sent a letter to the editors of the BMJ. Below is a copy of the letter:

Study Finds H1N1 Associated With Serious Health Risks For Pregnant Women PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 28 May 2010 16:44

Pregnant women who contract the H1N1 flu strain are at risk for obstetrical complications including fetal distress, premature delivery, emergency cesarean delivery and fetal death, according to a report in the May 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Pandemic Flu Containment Measures Bought Valuable Time, Vietnam Study Suggests PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 May 2010 01:07
Containment measures introduced in Vietnam to prevent the spread of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza did not succeed in halting the virus, but may have bought health services and clinical researchers valuable time, according to research carried out at the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
WHO Discusses Shortcomings Of Its H1N1 Response PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 18:30

Keiji Fukuda, the WHO's top influenza expert, on Monday said the organization did not effectively communicate the uncertainties of the H1N1 (swine flu) virus, which led to confusion worldwide, Reuters reports. "The reality is there is a huge amount of uncertainty (in a pandemic)," Fukuda said during an address to 29 external experts tapped to review the WHO's response to H1N1. "I think we did not convey the uncertainty. That was interpreted by many as a non-transparent process," Fukuda said (Nebehay, 4/12).

Today's Opinions And Editorials: GOP History, Bridging The Gap Between Dems And Republicans, Lessons From Swine Flu Vaccine PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 April 2010 17:15

Before Health Care Reform, Republicans Weren't Always The Party of 'No' The Christian Science Monitor
The Grand Old Party once allowed members to think for themselves. The nation would benefit substantially from a restoration of Republicans' lost freedom of thought and action (Robert McElvaine, 4/7).

Risk Factors Of H1N1 Pandemic Flu - A Global Analysis PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 08 July 2011 09:07

Risk factors linked to severe H1N1 pandemic flu infection are similar to those for seasonal flu, with some distrinct differences, such as younger age groups and overweight/obesity, scientists reported in the journal PLoS Medicine.

This research study assessed the frequency and distribution of already established and newly found potential risk factors of severe influenza pandemics - a total of 70,000 H1N1 hospitalized patients were enrolled across 19 countries from April 2009 to January 2010.

Marinomed's Iota-Carrageenan Effective Against H1N1. Study Published In PLoS ONE PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 18 December 2010 00:16

Carrageenan, is a polymer derived from red seaweed which helps to create a protective physical barrier in the nasal cavity and has proven to be an effective antiviral in the treatment of the common cold. The present study assessed the efficacy of Carrageenan against influenza viruses, including the pandemic H1N1 influenza strain. Results showed that the polymer directly binds to influenza viruses, effectively blocking the virus from attaching to cells and spreading further. In animal experiments, Carrageenan demonstrated equivalent efficacy when compared to the drug Tamiflu.

Swine Flu Variant Linked To Fatal Cases Might Have Disabled The Clearing Mechanism Of Lungs, Study Suggests PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 23 October 2010 04:40

A variant of last year's pandemic influenza linked to fatal cases carried a mutation that enabled it to infect a different subset of cells lining the airway, according to new research. The study, due to be published next week in the Journal of Virology, suggests that the mutant virus could have impaired the lungs' ability to clear out germs. The researchers behind the study, from Imperial College London, the Medical Research Council National Institute for Medical Research and the University of Marburg said the findings highlight the potential for deadlier strains of flu to emerge and spread.

NIH Study Models H1N1 Flu Spread PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 23 September 2010 07:24

As the United States prepares for the upcoming flu season, a group of researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health continues to model how H1N1 may spread.

The work is part of an effort, called the Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS), to develop computational models for conducting virtual experiments of how emerging pathogens could spread with and without interventions.

Six Of 15 WHO Experts Who Advised On Flu Pandemic Had Ties With Pharmaceutical Industry PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 13 August 2010 23:26

The WHO (World Health Organization) used the recommendations of 15 experts when deciding to class the H1N1 (swine flu) outbreak as a pandemic - 6 of them had declared potential conflicts of interest; they had close ties with drug and vaccine manufacturers. WHO released the names of the experts.

Concern About Pandemic Flu Has Positive Impact on Personal Hygiene Behaviors PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 31 May 2010 16:15
Fear of the H1N1 virus appears to be the driving factor behind the adoption of preventive behaviors, according to a study published in the June issue of AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, (APIC).
H1N1 Associated With Serious Health Risks for Pregnant Women, Study Finds PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 16:30
Pregnant women who contract the H1N1 flu strain are at risk for obstetrical complications including fetal distress, premature delivery, emergency cesarean delivery and fetal death, according to a report in the May 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Vaccination Of Children Vital In Upcoming Flu Season, Study Author Says PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 05 May 2010 19:28

Children hospitalized with pandemic H1N1 influenza in 2009 were older and more likely to have underlying medical conditions than children hospitalized with seasonal influenza during prior flu seasons, according to a study presented Tuesday, May 4 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Opinions: Preparing For Next Flu Outbreak; Elections In Zimbabwe; U.S. Response To Haiti PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 12 April 2010 17:26

Better Preparation Required For Next Flu Outbreak, Despite Mildness Of Swine Flu

Now that concerns about swine flu have eased, "[o]ur fear is that the public and officials will get blase about the next flu outbreak," according to a New York Times editorial. "Efforts to rush vaccine into production did not go well.

Flu Expert: Southeast Should Be On Guard Because Of Continued H1N1 Flu Spread This Spring PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 April 2010 17:10

The continued spread of H1N1 influenza virus this spring is cause to pay heed to upper-respiratory maladies such as congestion, runny nose and cough, says David Kimberlin, M.D., a preeminent influenza specialist who co-directs the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

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