Friday, December 28, 2012

Seasonal Flu: 16 Total Pediatric Flu Deaths So Far This Year

Dec 28, 2012 (CIDRAP News) – US influenza activity continued its ascent last week, judging from the high volumes of patients seeking care for the disease at doctors' offices, while flu indicators in Europe showed a clear spike, according to the latest surveillance reports.
Outpatient clinic visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) in the United States rose to 4.2% of all visits, well above the national baseline of 2.2%, according to the weekly report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
High levels of ILI activity were reported in 16 states and New York City, an increase from 12 states the previous week, the CDC said. The only area that wasn't over its baseline for this flu marker was the western region, which includes Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, and Nevada.
The US flu season started early this year, and health officials have said they expect a bad year, because the dominant flu strain is H3N2, which tends to cause more severe illnesses. In some hard-hit areas, such as parts of North Carolina, hospitals are limiting visitors to curb the spread of flu to high-risk patients.
Eight pediatric flu deaths were reported last week, pushing the season's total to 16. Three were linked to influenza B viruses, three were associated with H3N2, and the influenza A subtype wasn't determined for the other two. The percentage of deaths from pneumonia and flu remained below the epidemic threshold, but this indicator usually lags other flu markers.
The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for flu stayed high at 29.6%, up from 28.3% reported the week before, according to the CDC.
Labs that monitor the circulating flu strains report that H3N2 is still the dominant strain, followed by influenza B.
Few 2009 H1N1 viruses have been detected in the United States, but the virologic picture in Europe is different, with the virus accounting for close to a third of influenza A viruses that have been subtyped. 

Flu death of two Michigan childen

Friday, December 28, 2012 8:13 a.m. EST

Within the past week, two influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported in Michigan.

One death was in a 6-month-old from southwest Michigan and the second death was in a 13-year-old from the central region of the state.

In addition to the two flu-associated pediatric deaths in Michigan, there have been 149 positive influenza cases confirmed at the MDCH Bureau of Laboratories (BOL). This number does not represent all the influenza cases diagnosed and reported in Michigan, as additional cases have been confirmed at laboratories throughout the state. 

Full Article:  

Flu spreading through Washington, already blamed for three deaths

December 27, 2012 · 11:22 AM Flu activity is picking up across our state and the nation. Influenza can be serious and tragically, a Pierce County child is the first reported person in the state whose death has been linked to the flu this season. The flu-related deaths of two King County adults were also reported within the past two weeks.

The Pierce County child was a boy under 12 years old. In King County, a man in his 80s and a woman in her 70s were lab-confirmed as flu deaths earlier this month.

N.C. has worst flu season in decade; 14 dead so far

Fri Dec 28, 2012 By Venita Jenkins Staff writer North Carolina is seeing its highest number of flu cases in a decade, including 14 deaths so far this season, state health officials say. Eleven of the deaths were people older than 65, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. "It is very unusual for us to see this many deaths so early in the flu season," state Health Director Laura Gerald said in a statement. "This year's vaccine is well-matched to the strains of flu we are seeing in North Carolina, so we strongly recommend that anyone over 6 months old be vaccinated." Continued:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Vietnam: Epidemic killed more than 700,000 cattle and poultry


On 26/12, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said in 2012 in the whole country, the dangerous diseases on livestock and poultry as bird flu, foot and mouth disease, blue ear pig damage heavy livestock.

According to statistics, there were over 3,000 animals with foot and mouth disease; over 650,000 geese, chickens and ducks with avian flu and nearly 91,000 blue-ear pig disease. Which has more than 700,000 cattle and poultry were killed and destroyed.

According to Pham Van Dong, Deputy Director Department of Animal Health, the country has successfully controlled 3 dangerous diseases mentioned above. However, the risk of disease recurrence and spread in the near future is very high. East noted, the local not subjective, neglect, always active disease surveillance, early detection, and control enclosure services giving rise to the new epidemic.

NC Health Director Declares Recent Flu Activity at Highest Levels Recorded in the Past Decade, 12 Deaths

December 26, 2012

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services encourages all North Carolinians to take time out of their holiday activities to get their annual flu vaccination.  

According to State Health Director Laura Gerald, flu activity across the state is at the highest levels recorded in the past decade. Twelve flu-related deaths already have been reported in our state.

“It is very unusual for us to see this many deaths so early in the flu season,” Dr. Gerald said. “This year’s vaccine is well-matched to the strains of flu we are seeing in North Carolina so we strongly recommend that anyone over 6 months old be vaccinated.” 


South Carolina: Flu deaths and hospitalizations continue to climb

Thursday, December 27, 2012 12:53 a.m. Excerpts: Ten deaths from the flu have been reported in South Carolina as the number of hospitalizations and fatalities climbs well above last year’s mild season. Flu season Statewide, 519 people with laboratory-confirmed influenza were admitted to hospitals from Sept. 30 through Dec. 15, only partly through the season, according to the latest figures available from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. In comparison, last year’s flu season began late and resulted in one death and 114 people hospitalized with lab-confirmed flu from Oct. 2, 2011, to July 7, 2012, according to DHEC. Continued:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Indonesia: No Vaccine for the clade

Outbreaks of bird flu virus or Avian Influenza (AI) has attacked thousands of ducks in some areas. It takes a new vaccine that the virus is not getting into.Animal Health expert Prof. Widya Asmara drh states, since no new vaccines, one way that can still be done is spraying disinfectant and tighten poultry traffic.
"During this time traffic monitoring poultry trade remains weak," said Widya after the seminar at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FKH) Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), Wednesday (26/12/2012).
Widya said the vaccine has been circulating for AI is not necessarily able to cope. For AI virus clade (group) is not a result of mutation of the virus clade 2.1 is already endemic in Indonesia.
AI vaccines are now available from the laboratory clade 2.1 is still a bit to protect chickens against new viruses. But in the field with a larger dose of virus most likely can not protect very well.
"Now that should be considered is the development of new AI vaccine seed AI virus H5N1 clade prevalent in the field," said Widya. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Indonesia: Both Suspected Human Cases Test Negative for #H5N1 #Birdflu

 December 25, 2012
The head of the Central Java Provincial Health Anung Sugihantono ensure patient suspect bird flu had the initials of SMEs (54) resident Sambiroto, Semarang in Semarang Elizabeth Hospital bird flu negative. The assurance came after laboratory results of Central Java Health Office, Research and Development RSUP Kariadi and the Ministry of Health declared negative.
"The patient may already be home next Monday," said Anung when confirmedTribun Jogja (Tribunnews Network) , Tuesday (12/25/2012).
He said the handling of SMEs since according to the procedure stated suspect bird flu. In fact, it gives the standard drug treatment of bird flu to SMEs.
Another standard procedure bird flu was observed during the incubation period or 20 days after the suspect was found. Not only patients suspect was observed, but also the citizens of the neighborhood.
To ensure the return of SMEs, Anung surrender completely to the hospital and doctors. Do patients need to be observed more or not is up to the treating doctor.
"In Kendal also a suspect but the negative as well," said Anung.

Indonesia: Suspected Bird Flu Patients Healthy Finally Revealed

 December 25, 2012
Suspected bird flu infections that previously experienced by a patient in a hospital in Semarang Elizabeth unproven. Central Java Health Office ensure berinisal AD patients aged 54 years, negative bird flu after laboratory tests were performed three times, each hospital laboratory Naidoo, the Research Laboratory of the Ministry of Health, and the Laboratory of Central Java Health Office. »The question had been allowed to go home," said Chief Medical Officer of Central Java, Anung Sugihantono, Tuesday, December 25, 2012.
He resigned returning patients who have been declared bird flu negartif to Elizabeth hospital. According Anung, Central Java Health Office has been handling since there are reports of bird flu symptoms experienced by patients. That is by giving drugs to observations during the incubation period, ie 20 days after being found suspect. »Observations also apply to residents of surrounding neighborhoods," said Anung.
He said the suspected bird flu was also found in Kendal on Friday last week. However, he also expressed negative.
Head of Public Relations Elizabeth Hospital Semarang City Probowati Tjondronegoro states do not recognize one patient suspect bird flu H1N5 virus negative. »Still holidays we have not received an official letter from the health department," said Probowati.
He declared an official letter from the Department of Health is to be a reference to repatriate patients. What's more, according to Probawati, during the patient suspect bird flu was in good health.Suspect bird flu patients treated by the hospital Elizabet Semarang City from 17 December. 
The patient was deliberately asked quarantined for fear he feels the body symptoms similar to bird flu symptoms. »He was getting special treatment because of suspected bird flu with isolation and quarantine entry way," said Probowati.

Indonesia: 2 Days on Tamiflu before being Referred to Hospital

December 24, 2012
Cianjur - Although it has not been found exposed patients (suspect) bird flu caused by the H5N1 virus in Cianjur, but all clinics have been set up drug Tamiflu (oseltamivir). Secretary of District Health Cianjur Niswan Purwenti said preparations are aimed to help first before the patient was referred to hospital. "We have set up drug tamiflu in every health center in Cianjur to anticipate the bird flu (H5N1)," said Niswan in Cianjur, Monday, December 24, 2012. Niswan explains, the drug tamiflu available in all health centers in Cianjur enough for first aid. Therefore, patients were given a dose of medication tamiflu tablets 2X1 for two days, after which it should be referred to a designated hospital. Niswan urged people to be aware of the symptoms of bird flu, the fever that appears suddenly, with cough, nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath, muscle aches, sore throat and extreme fatigue. "if experience symptoms such as fever that appears suddenly and had direct contact with poultry died suddenly, immediately call the nearest health personnel," he concluded. 

Egypt: Kafr El-Sheikh Large Number of Dead Birds in Streets

December 25, 2012
Confirmed Mustafa Algosaiv head of the Center homeland of human rights, he responded to a number of complaints from cities and villages of Kafr Sheikh private village "Bloch" of the Center for Burullus of death of a large number of birds where the villages again and potentially نفوقها because of bird flu. pointed Algosaiv that parents threw number of birds in the streets. added that he would submit a complaint against the governor Kafr El-Sheikh, Deputy Minister of Veterinary Medicine for not conducting a comprehensive survey of each period to identify the presence or absence of any disease of birds or livestock.called Dr. Mohamed Morsi president and governor of Kafr Sheikh speed intervention to determine the causes bird deaths in the village. 

Bangladesh: Gazipur's Kaliakoir Poultry Deaths

Previously posted here, there appears to be more than 1.5 lakh poultry that have been destroyed, and 150 workers that have taken part in the culling.

December 26, 2012
Authorities in Gazipur's Kaliakoir upazila started culling more than 1.5 lakh poultry and destroying 5 lakh eggs from Monday night after an outbreak of bird flu was confirmed.
The order came after tests showed that poultry at a privately-owned farm, Bay-Agro Industries Ltd, in Telirchala had died of avian influenza.
Around 150 workers had been engaged in killing the infected fowls.
Major (Rtd) Anisur Rahman, owner of the farm, said he noticed that fowls started dying in his farm since December 20.
Later, samples of the dead poultry were sent to Dhaka for laboratory test through Gazipur district livestock hospital.
As the tests confirmed the presence of bird flu virus in the samples, Gazipur district authorities gave instructions to the district livestock department to cull the birds and damaging the eggs.
At least two more days will be required to complete the culling operation, an official of the livestock department said.
Confirming the incident, Mejbah Uddin Khandokar, officer of Kaliakoir Upazila Livestock Department, said the reason for the outbreak was being investigated.
The department officials were also monitoring whether domestic chickens, ducks and other birds within one kilometre range of the affected farm had been infected, he added.
Md Nurul Islam, deputy commissioner of Gazipur, visited the spot of culling operation yesterday morning.
The authorities concerned would compensate the farm owner with Tk 250 for each culled bird and Tk 5 for each damaged egg, he added.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Indonesia: Kendal 6 of 20 Districts #Birdflu, Chickens Also

December 24, 2012
 Outbreaks of bird flu in Kendal regency, Central Java, continues to expand. Even now, bird flu is not only attacking poultry at the farm, but also chickens owned by residents of nearby farms. The chickens that died suddenly when approaching the ranch.
To anticipate the outbreak of bird flu is not widespread, the Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Forestry Plantations Kendal disinfectant to divide the districts for spraying poultry cages owned by residents.
Head of Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Forestry Plantations Kendal, Sri Purwati, explains, spraying is done so that the virus is spreading and attacking ducks continue to be reduced and given twice a day.
"Spraying disinfectant to kill the virus that is settled, both at home and used the leftovers," said Purwati, Monday (12/24/2012).
Purwati also asked the public to the dead ducks were collected and burned and then buried to break the chain of virus from spreading. The way it is for now considered quite effective and prevent the spread of bird flu.
Bird flu virus attacks Kendal has occurred since the beginning of December and spread over six districts, namely District Rowosari, Weleri, South Kaliwungu, Patebon, Brangsong, and Cepiring. Most of the bird flu virus attacked young and adult ducks.
"Of the 20 districts in Kendal, already there are 6 districts of bird flu," he added

Indonesia: MUK (15) Improves; Residents Only Had Flu & Common Cold...

December 24, 2012

 MUK (15), a resident of the village of Navan, Patebon, Kendal, Central Java were treated in special hospitals Soewondo Kendal as suspect bird flu, began to improve. However, these patients still have to undergo treatment and remain isolated for up to 7 days.

It was announced by the Director Regional General Hospital (Hospital) Suwondo Kendal, Darsono Suhartono, Monday (24/12). Darsono explains, until recently it was still awaiting the results of blood tests in the laboratory patients.
"The results of the examination in the lab, then we know two days," said Darsono. He hoped that the patient's condition continues to improve, so they can move again as before.
Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Officer Kendal Widodo claimed, besides MAK no longer citizens suspected of bird flu virus. From some of the people who present at health post in the village of Navan, none of whom suffered from bird flu. Residents only had the flu and common cold. "We no longer find people with bird flu to humans. All are safe," he said.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Indonesia: Lampung #Birdflu #H5N1 Update

December 23, 2012

Strive Disnakkeswan Indemnity Poultry Breeders 

Bandarlampung - The cattle ranchers in Lampung shall be more vigilant. Section, Department of Animal Husbandry and Animal Health (Disnakkeswan) Lampung find any cases of local ducks were exposed to a new variant of bird flu virus. Ducks were certainly not the shipment of Java.
    '' We've found in the village of Negararatu, Natar, South Lampung, local ducks exposed to the virus. That's not a duck from Java. Hence we immediately destroy seven tails, "said Head Keswan and Veterinary Disnakkeswan drh Lampung.Arsyad yesterday.
    He suspected the local ducks exposed to viruses that come attached to the car used to transport ducks from Java. Therefore, Arsyad asked stakeholders in the district / city to perform disinfection of transport vehicles ducks from Java. '' It turned out so quickly spread. Local poultry have been hit, "he said.
    Arsyad continued monitoring team from Lampung Disnakkeswan continue to move to localize the places discovered new variants of the H5N1 virus. '' I also ask that the duck duck farmers directly affected by the virus destroy it, "he said.
    For a while, the new variant virus was discovered only attack birds ducks. Which so concerns Arsyad, if exposed to the virus of duck carcasses but not destroyed.
    '' That's the danger. If you get eaten by a dog or thrown into the river. But thank God, until now we have not been able to report again, "he said.
Reported, the bird flu virus or avian influenza (AI), a new type of attack birds in Lampung. Mutated bird flu has appeared in five districts / cities. Namely Pringsewu District, Tulangbawang, East Lampung, South Lampung, and Metro City.

However, so far no residents in the five districts / cities that are ill or died from the killer virus that attacks the ducks. '' In the last week, about 34 dead ducks in Metro,'' explained Arsyad. He continued, bird flu virus is a new kind of shipment from Java. ''

In addition to Metro, a virus with the same signs also emerged in Pringsewu, Tuba, Lamtim, and Lamsel. We continue to monitor these cases in order not to KLB (extraordinary event), "he said. -snip-

"We have not recommended to vaccinate, wait for observation and a new type of vaccine,'' he said.

Indonesia: Heath Office Sets Up Command Posts for #H5N1 #birdflu in Humans in Patebon, Central Java

[The last suspected human case of Bird flu was in Central Java. He had been visiting his brother in Patebon since December 17th. His onset was December 20th. This article states that thousands of ducks died of bird flu on a farm in the hamlet a few days ago.]

 December 23, 2012
Anticipation of Bird Flu, Kendal Establish a health post

Health Office (PHO) Kendal began establishing health posts in Dodokan Hamlet, Navan Rural, Patebon, Kendal, Central Java. Health post was established to anticipate the spread of bird flu virus to humans. Post open 24 hours and serves free treatment to the residents.

The establishment of the post is related to the presence of thousands of ducks that died of bird flu on a farm in the hamlet, a few days ago. Since thousands of ducks died suddenly, dozens of residents suffered high fever, runny nose, and cough. In fact, one of the residents initials MUK (15), is still being treated in a specialized hospital Soewondo Kendal, as suspect bird flu.
Head of Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Kendal, Finuryanah said it would open health posts to people who suspect bird flu declared cured. Residents who experience symptoms similar to bird flu is not only adults but also children.
"Command Post is open 24 hours to serve those in need of treatment for free," said Finuryanah.
Finuryanah appealed to citizens not to make direct contact with dead birds. Residents are also asked to report the sudden death of poultry and related agencies immediately spraying disinfectant on cages.
In the meantime, Head of Animal Husbandry Department of Agriculture Livestock Forestry and Plantation Eko Dwi Jatmiko asking people not to throw birds died suddenly to the river. If you find the birds died suddenly, the residents were immediately burned, and buried. Because if thrown into the river, feared bird flu will spread to other poultry. "As soon as the grave and burned when finding dead birds," pleaded Eko.

Indonesia: U.S. Invites MoH Elaborate Bird Flu

DECEMBER 23, 2012

MINISTRY of Health (MoH) invites researchers United States (U.S.) to establish research collaborations bird flu virus. The effort required for public health in countries affected by bird flu outbreaks.
Director General of Disease Control and Environmental Health Ministry of Health Tjandra Yoga Aditama said the role of the developed countries is very important to deal with the outbreak."When developed countries to study bird flu virus from Asian countries, it is important to work together," he said during a conversation Yoga Aditama relationship health between Indonesia and the U.S., particularly on health research as well as some aspects of bird flu in Indonesia, yesterday. 

 He explained that there are at least three reasons for the importance of cooperation between the research conducted in both countries related to the study of bird flu virus. First, cooperation can expand horizons and research capabilities.  Second, the study not only can be used for scientific purposes, but can also be used for public health in countries experiencing outbreaks of the virus.   different reasons, so that those in the origin of the virus to obtain clear information about the study results. 

 Meanwhile, Health Minister (Menkes) Nafsiah Mboi called for more people to increase alertness if found birds that died suddenly in large numbers. He even advised to avoid direct contact with dead birds, especially for children or parents with weak endurance."People need to increase alertness and attention to correct if there are a lot of dead birds, to stay away," he said. According to him, people do not need to hesitate to report to a health worker if it is known there are children or elderly people experiencing symptoms of fever accompanied by stone, especially if you have previously had a history of direct contact with poultry. Thus, health care workers can be immediately brought to the hospital and give Tamiflu. "We've trained the health workers so that if there is a suspicious incident of bird flu in the clinic or in the village, to immediately send to the referral hospital," he said. 

 It was announced Nafsiah following a bird flu case in a child aged 4 years in Bogor.  Furthermore, he explained that a new type of bird flu variant or clade 2.3.2 is endemic in Central Java, East Java and West Java recently discovered in ducks that were previously classified as resistant poultry. Mutation of the bird flu virus from clade 2.1 to 2.3.2. has led to thousands of ducks in Java sudden death. "Previous ducks considered invulnerable, but the clade that is deadly for these birds, "cucapnya.  

Menkes confirmed, until now have not found a new type of bird flu virus or clade 2.3.2. in humans. Cases of bird flu was discovered in an old type virus. 

 Throughout 2012, the Ministry of Health noted the incidence of bird flu in humans have left nine people dead. That figure is relatively down compared to the previous year. In 2006 there were 55 cases, 2007 (42) 2008 (24) 2009 (21), 2010 (9), and 2011 (12).  

Members of the Working Committee of Animal Husbandry and Animal Health Bill Nabiel Al Musawa Parliament urged people not to worry and keep alert. He asked the public to adopt a healthy lifestyle and do not make direct contact with poultry that died suddenly. He also urged the government to be aware of the conspiracy developed countries, like the U.S. and the World Health Organization (WHO), the developing countries and the third world health project. assumption is not without foundation, started as many countries, including Indonesia hit by bird flu disaster , 2005. WHO require countries suffering from bird flu virus to deliver the virus into their labs. "absence of vaccine available, even forced to buy bird flu vaccines from U.S. pharmaceutical companies one at a great price. Bird flu vaccine sold American company, allegedly obtained from samples of bird flu virus in Vietnam and Indonesia, "he said.(tty) 

Indonesia: Patient Suspect Bird Flu Treated in Hospital Soewondo Kendal

 December 23, 2012

KENDAL - Patients were allegedly infected with the bird flu virus (H5N1), was treated in isolation Regional General Hospital (Hospital) Soewondo, Kendal, Central Java. Patients experiencing symptoms of bird flu, high body heat and cough for three days. Deputy Director of Hospital Services Soewondo, Saekhu, patients suspected of bird flu had the initials MAK (15), a resident of District Pare, Kediri, East Java. patients received intense scrutiny, including health, diet and cleanliness of the room. The hospital also took blood samples and saliva of patients, studied in the laboratory to the General Hospital Center (Dr) Kariadi, Semarang. Mohammad Irfan, a friend of the victim, said, MAK visit to his brother's house in the area Patebon, Kendal, from Monday 17 last december. He stays in the house, adjacent to the duck cage.MAK began to show symptoms of high fever on Thursday night. Because of the heat never came down and with a cough, MAK taken to the nearest health center, and directly referred to hospitals Soewondo. patients suspected of bird flu is the first case in 2012. The hospital has set up a special room, in anticipation of a surge of patients suspected of bird flu because there are still many dead birds. 

FDA expands Tamiflu’s use to treat children younger than 1 year



For Immediate Release: Dec. 21, 2012
Media Inquiries: Stephanie Yao, 301-796-0394,
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA
FDA expands Tamiflu’s use to treat children younger than 1 yearParents, health care professionals must ensure proper dosing
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today expanded the approved use of Tamiflu (oseltamivir) to treat children as young as 2 weeks old who have shown symptoms of flu for no longer than two days.
The drug is not approved to prevent flu infection in this population. In addition, the safety and efficacy of Tamiflu to treat flu infection has not been established in children younger than 2 weeks old.
Tamiflu was approved in 1999 to treat adults infected with flu who have shown symptoms for no longer than two days. It has since been approved to treat flu in children ages 1 year and older who have shown symptoms of flu for no longer than two days, and to prevent flu in adults and children ages 1 year and older.
Although there is a fixed dosing regimen for patients 1 year and older according to weight categories, the dosing for children younger than 1 year must be calculated for each patient based on their exact weight. These children should receive 3 milligrams per kilogram twice daily for five days. These smaller doses will require a different dispenser than what is currently co-packaged with Tamiflu.
“Pharmacists must provide the proper dispenser when filling a prescription so parents can measure and administer the correct dose to their children,” said Edward Cox, M.D., M.P.H, director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Parents and pediatricians must make sure children receive only the amount of Tamiflu appropriate for their weight.”
Tamiflu is the only product approved to treat flu infection in children younger than 1 year old, providing an important treatment option for a vulnerable population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children younger than 2 years are at higher risk for developing complications from the flu, with the highest rates of hospitalization in those less than 6 months of age.
The FDA expanded the approved use of Tamiflu in children younger than 1 year based on extrapolation of data from previous study results in adults and older children, and additional supporting safety and pharmacokinetic studies sponsored by both the National Institutes of Health and Roche Group, Tamiflu’s manufacturer.
Pediatric legislation permits efficacy to be extrapolated from previous study results in adults and older children if the illness being studied and the effects of the drug are sufficiently similar in adult and pediatric patients. Data on how the drug is metabolized in the body (pharmacokinetic data) indicated a dose of 3 mg/kg twice daily provided concentrations of Tamiflu similar to those observed in older children and adults, and is expected to provide similar efficacy in this very young age group.
Almost all of the 135 pediatric patients enrolled in the two safety studies had confirmed flu. Results from these studies showed the safety profile in children younger than 1 year was consistent with the established safety profile of adults and older children. The most common side effects reported with Tamiflu use in this age group include vomiting and diarrhea. Although not seen in the new studies, rare cases of severe rash, skin reactions, hallucinations, delirium, and abnormal behavior have been reported.
The FDA monitors drugs for side effects and believes reporting side effects is important. Health care professionals and patients should report any side effects associated with Tamiflu’s use to FDA’s MedWatch program.
Tamiflu is not a substitute for early, annual flu vaccination, as recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. CDC recommends all persons aged 6 months and older receive an annual flu vaccine.
Tamiflu is distributed in the United States by South San Francisco-based Genentech, a member of the Roche Group.
For more information:
FDA Approved Drugs: Questions and Answers
FDA: Influenza (Flu) Antiviral Drugs and Related Information
CDC: Seasonal Influenza (Flu)
The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

More evidence of nasty flu season ahead

There’s more evidence that this is shaping up to be a nasty flu season, with the number of states with high flu activity doubling in a week and reports of the achy, feverish illness spreading widely across the U.S.

Eight states are now reporting high levels of what’s known as influenza-like illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Eighteen states reported widespread flu activity for the week that ended Dec. 8, according to the agency’s FluView data.

"Today’s report confirms that the U.S. flu season is off to early start,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a statement. “It’s too early to tell how severe our season might be. However, we know that thousands die and hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized with flu each year. Vaccination is the single most important step we can take to protect ourselves and our families against infection. It's not too late to get vaccinated before the flu season peaks.”
The good news, though, is that this year’s vaccines are well-matched to the viruses, CDC officials said.
The eight states with high levels of flu activity include Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

  Full Article

Flu prevalence in Mississippi triple national average, continuing to increase

Not too late for shot, official says
7:26 AM, Dec 22, 2012 

When going in for holiday hugs, it may be wise to note flu has been twice as prevalent in Mississippi in recent weeks as this time last year and triple the current national average.
Nationwide last week, an average of 3.2 percent of nontrauma patient visits reported flu symptoms. That rate more than tripled to 10.4 percent in Mississippi, state Department of Health data show. And in the same week last year in Mississippi, only 4 percent of patients had flu symptoms.

South Dakota Cluster of Antibiotic-Resistant Infections Reported

 December 16, 2012
PIERRE, S.D. – The Department of Health and northeastern area health care providers are investigating a cluster of bacterial infections. CRE, or carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, are difficult to treat because they are resistant to many antibiotics. 
To date this year, 26 potential cases of CRE from northeastern South Dakota have been reported to the department for evaluation. CRE cases have been reported in 42 states, including all of South Dakota’s neighboring states except Nebraska.
Enterobacteriaceae bacteria such as Klebsiella and E. coli are found in the human digestive system and can become resistant to carbapenem antibiotics. Patients on ventilators, urinary or intravenous catheters, or long courses of certain antibiotics are most at risk for CRE infections. Healthy people are not at risk.
The department has provided area healthcare and long term care facilities with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the control of CRE and also published the information in the August issue of South Dakota Medicine. It is possible to care for patients and residents with CRE and any other organism while safely caring for other patients and residents in the same facility. Protocols have been established and are followed to ensure patient and staff safety.
The CDC guidelines focus on screening of high risk individuals, laboratory capacity for testing, appropriate use of antibiotics to prevent drug resistance, and proper infection control precautions. The complete guidance can be found at
More information about CRE is available on the CDC website, 

12 flu-related deaths reported so far in NC

Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. North Carolina health officials say it's the worst flu season in a decade, with 12 flu-related deaths reported so far.

State Health Director Laura Gerald says it's unusual to see so many deaths this early in the season. She strongly encourages anyone over six months old to get a flu vaccination.

Flu outbreaks are being reported in schools and long-term care facilities statewide. Officials say the flu is especially dangerous for pregnant women, people with chronic diseases, very young children and the elderly.
Nine of the 12 people who died were older than 64. The other three were between 24 and 64 years old.
It takes about two weeks for people to develop immunity after getting the vaccination.

Read more here:

Seasonal Flu: South Dakota: 3rd Death This Season

 Brown County reports flu death
23 hours ago

South Dakota had its third influenza-related death last week, but flu activity here remained less than it was in three surrounding states, according to the South Dakota Department of Health.
Influenza activity remained at "regional" levels in South Dakota, while Minnesota, Iowa and Wyoming, along with 26 other states, all reported widespread influenza activity.
One new death was reported in Brown County, bringing the total number of flu-related deaths this season to three. The 2012-13 flu season started earlier and harder than last year, with 279 lab-confirmed cases to date compared to five cases at this time in 2011.

Seasonal Flu: Dallas Texas: Vaccine Flying Off Pharmacy Shelves As Flu Cases Up

Dallas County Health officials say flu cases are up 40 percent since October.  The bump in cases has come earlier than usual in the flu season and has pharmacists working hard to keep flu antivirals in stock.
Dougherty’s Pharmacy in Dallas is busy with customers looking for relief from the flu.  But those suffering with the common symptoms of fever aches and the chills–may hit a snag.
“We had some Tamilflu on the shelf, but we immediately ran out,” said pharmacist Andy Komuves.
Tamiflu–the most recommended medicine to fight influenza–is in high demand.  So much so that many pharmacies are running out and are having to make additional orders.
Shipments of the Tamiflu capsules for adults and adolescents is easier to refill, but Dougherty’s says it is completely out of the the liquid form for babies and infants.

Dallas county health experts say it’s not to late to get vaccinated against the flu and say certain patient groups are more at risk than others.

This can be very deadly for our older population and our young children the concern should always be the fact if you don’t have the flu shot you’re not protected,” said Dallas County Health Director Zachary Thompson.

Full Article:

Four Flu Deaths Reported In Texas As Season Gets Early Start

Officials say a woman in her 60s with underlying health conditions recently passed away.
It was the fourth flu-related death in Texas.  The other three, including one in Tarrant County, have been children.
Flu season is off to an early start, and it could be a bad one.  “This year we are starting early and its climbing quickly,” says Dr. Donald Murphey, an Infectious Disease Pediatrician at Cook Children’s in Fort Worth “Last year this time we really didn’t have much flu. Last year in general was a mild season.”
At Cook Children’s, doctors normally see 300 patients a day.   But in the last few days that number has doubled.

Cook Children’s treated 270 flu cases last week alone.  The week before it was 150.
At Children’s Medical Center in Dallas it’s been one of their busiest months.  Doctors say if you have a mild case of the flu treat it at home.  “We don’t have capacity to take care of everybody in a surge like this where you have lots and lots of sick kids all at one time,” explains Dr. Murphey.

Full Article:

New coronavirus may have spread person to person in Jordan; milder cases likely

 Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press

The World Health Organization says the new coronavirus may have spread from person to person in a cluster of cases that occurred in Jordan in April.
In a statement issued Friday, the global health agency did not indicate how many people it considers as probable cases from the Jordanian outbreak, which centred on a hospital in Zarqa.
In April, before the existence of the new coronavirus was recognized, the Jordan Times reported that there was an outbreak of an unknown illness causing pneumonias at Zarqa Public Hospital.

The newspaper cited Abdul Latif Wreikat, Jordan’s minister of health, as saying there were 11 cases. Seven were nurses, one was a doctor and one was a brother of one of the nurses. The article did not indicate who the other two patients were.
Two people in this cluster of cases died of their infections. Once the existence of the new coronavirus became known, stored samples taken from the two patients who died were tested for the virus and they were confirmed as cases.
Full article:

MOH rules out #birdflu #H5N1 outbreak in Kuwait


KUWAIT: Seven cases have been diagnosed with bird flu in Kuwait recently, a local daily reported yesterday quoting a senior Ministry of Health official who reassured that there is no fear of an outbreak of the dreaded disease. Speaking to Al-Rai on Thursday, Al-Sabah Hospital’s Director Dr Abbas Ramadan indicated that three senior citizens diagnosed with the disease are in stable condition at the Infectious Diseases Hospital where they receive treatment, along with four children who already have been cured at the hospital, adding that one child has already been discharged. In another development, Dr Ramadan confirmed reports about resignations among the medical staff in the Sabah Hospital, but reassured that hiring is in place to prevent shortage in staff, reported Arabic daily Al Rai Separately, Al-Qabas reported yesterday that the Central Tenders Committee refused bids to reward tenders for construction projects at four different hospitals for high costs. — Al Qabas

Indonesia: Central Java Suspected Human Case MAK (15)

 [This case lived in East Java, but was in Central Java since 12/17/12]

For the second time, a resident in Central Java suspected bird flu virus and isolated in hospital. The second victim this time a big new kid (ABG) was 15 years old. The boy's initials MAK had to be treated in hospital isolation room doctor Soewondo Kendal regency, Central Java.

Doctors Hospital Soewondo Kendal PR, Endang Setyorini as confirmed Saturday (22/12) stated the patient came to the hospital on Friday (21/12). The patient complained of head dizziness, cough, runny nose and body high heat.

"His complaint was initially really like the common flu. However, the fact that the complaint appears to tell a lot of birds in the surrounding environment that died suddenly, the patient is immediately placed in isolation. Concerned if positive bird flu," he said.

According Muarifin (15) which is a relative of MAK, patients come from Pare district of Kediri Regency, East Java. Since Monday (17/12) and MAK are at home relatives Hamlet Dukuh Dodokan RT 2 RW 5 Desa Purwokerto Kecamatan Patebon Kendal  to attend a niece's wedding.

"But on Friday morning MAK suddenly complained of pain. Fact it had never been in direct contact with poultry but often see a duck coops adjacent chance. Before complaining hot, so amazing. Valid On Thursday even had time to play PS (playstation) together -together. MAK had brought health center, but was subsequently referred to the hospital, "said Muarifin.

Deputy Director of Field Services Kendal Soewondo Doctors Hospital, said in addition to the space Saekhu special diet patients also considered. Do not drop her condition.

"Currently, blood and saliva samples of patients being conducted laboratory tests in hospitals Dr. Kariadi Semarang. Samples have been sent. To mengetahi positive or not, wait for the results," said Saekhu.

Shaeku add MAK is the first patient in the hospital in 2012 Soewondo suspected suspect bird flu. But to anticipate the surge in patients suspect bird flu, it has set up some other isolation.

Previously, as reported, Kendal DVO poultry in six states there Kendal had tested positive for bird flu. Patebon addition, the District Weleri, Rowosari, Cepiring, South Kaliwungu and Brangsong.

With MAK suspectnya Kendal residents is isolated due to the AI ​​virus in Central Java had two patients undergoing treatment in the isolation room at the two hospitals. The alleged victim was the first suspect AI MK Bergas citizens, Semarang regency which is a poultry farmer. MK undergoing treatment in the isolation room Semarang Elizabeth Hospital on Thursday (20/12) for patients who suspect complains like AI virus.

Indonesia: Kediri Anticipates #Birdflu Transmission To Humans

[I read this article a few days ago, and now we have a suspected case.  I can't post everything I read, but I will post this now.]

December 19, 2012

After thousands of ducks in Kediri, East Java, known to be positive bird flu (Avian Influenza), the local government is currently undertaking precautions so as not to infect humans.Chief Medical Officer of Kediri Regency, Adi Laksono said it has formed a team of Health Department as well as community health centers, and this time they began working in the field.
"We have also coordinated with the Department of Animal Husbandry related dots case finding dead birds," said Adi Laksono, Tuesday (18/12/2012).
The team, said Adi Laksono, tasked with investigating epidemiology to detect the presence or absence of people who suffer from shortness of breath accompanied by flu, the symptoms of bird flu. These checks are done on people who live within 100 meters of the location of the discovery of bird flu infected poultry.

In addition to the people who were at the discovery of bird flu cases, the examination will also be carried out on people who interact directly with the ducks, such as farmers, herders, to poultry traders.Counseling is also done to meninimalisasi the panic caused by the case. While passive measures, with accommodating people who come to the clinic to check yourself.
"We happen to have handled cases of humans infected with bird flu, which in the year 2006," he concluded.
Previously reported, thousands of ducks in Kediri positive for H5N1 virus with a clade 2.3. As a result of this attack, 26 thousand ducks infected and 11 thousand of them, died.