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Seven states report sporadic flu cases


first_imgOct 14, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – In a sign that influenza season is approaching, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that a handful of states have seen sporadic flu cases and that the earliest signs suggest that this year’s vaccine is a good match for circulating strains. Reports from  US labs affiliated with the World Health Organization and the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System say that of 40 influenza viruses identified during September, 1 (2.5%) was an H1 virus, 4 (10%) were H3 viruses, 29 (72.5%) were nonsubtyped A viruses, and 6 (15%) were B viruses. “Based on the level of oseltamivir resistance in only one influenza subtype, H1N1, and the persisting high levels of resistance to the adamantanes in H3N2 viruses, CDC continues to recommend the use of oseltamivir and zanamivir for the treatment or prevention of influenza,” the report said. “Use of amantadine or rimantadine is not recommended.” For the week that ended Oct 4, the CDC said in an Oct 10 update that seven states reported sporadic seasonal influenza activity: California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, New York, and Wyoming. Forty-one other states reported no activity, and two—Montana and Washington—did not report. Over the summer months (May 18 through Sep 27), the CDC antigenically characterized a small number of influenza isolates, the report said. Of the six isolates, four were type A/H1, one was type A/H3, and one was type B. “All six viruses are antigenically similar to the components selected for the 2008-2009 influenza vaccine,” the CDC said. For the H1 component the vaccine strain is similar to A/Brisbane/59/2007, for the H3 component, A/Brisbane/10/2007, and for the B component, B/Florida/4/2006. Last year a number of countries, including the United States, reported increased resistance of H1N1 viruses to the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu). The CDC said that since May 18 it has tested 10 isolates for antiviral resistance. It found that 2 of 6 H1N1 viruses showed resistance to oseltamivir, but no resistance was found in H3N2 and B viruses. All retained sensitivity to zanamivir (Relenza), the other neuraminidase inhibitor. Of six type A viruses tested for resistance to the older flu drugs known as adamantanes, two were positive: one H3N2 virus and one of five H1N1 viruses. See also: CDC’s week 40 influenza reporthttp://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/last_img read more


Germany to limit parties, family gatherings to curb virus: Merkel


first_imgIf rates shoot up to 50 per 100,000 people, then only 25 people would be allowed at public gatherings.Federal states failed to agree on rules for private parties at home but Merkel said they “strongly recommend” that people limit guest lists to just 10 at home in the hardest-hit regions.The chancellor also encouraged citizens to stay in Germany during the upcoming autumn school holidays, given the rapid increase in infection rates in neighboring European countries.In addition, Germany will impose fines of at least 50 euros if clients fail to provide real contact details when they dine at restaurants to help with tracing. Germany will impose a cap on the number of people at parties and family gatherings in areas worst affected by the coronavirus, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday after talks with premiers of the country’s 16 states.With recent outbreaks in the country frequently traced to weddings and other private events, Merkel said “a reaction is therefore necessary” to halt the spread of the virus.Any region where infection rates reach 35 per 100,000 people would be required to impose a cap of 50 people maximum at gatherings in public spaces or rented venues. “The operators must ensure that people are giving real information… if names like Donald Duck are provided, it is not hard to spot,” said Merkel.In cases of doubt, restaurant owners or hairdressers should ask for identification cards to verify the details, she said, something that could provoke some resistance in Germany where privacy is fiercely guarded.”We know that more difficult times are before us, namely the autumn and winter months,” she said, adding that rising infection numbers are “of course reason for concern”.Merkel reiterated the importance of taking targeted, local action against regional outbreaks, saying another nationwide shutdown “must be prevented”.She warned that new infection numbers in Germany — currently at around 2,000 a day — could leap to 19,200 daily by Christmas if the current trend continued.Germany began to ease stringent measures including shop closures or limits to the numbers of people meeting from late April, after weeks of lockdown brought new infections down from the peak of around 6,000 daily. But with larger gatherings going ahead and travel picking up again, particularly during summer holidays, contagion has returned swiftly, bringing current infection numbers to heights last seen at the end of April.Topics :last_img read more