Two new strains to be used in 2006-07 flu vaccine

first_imgMar 1, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Global and US health authorities have recommended two new influenza virus strains for use in the flu vaccine for the 2006-07 season.Last week the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) selected a “Wisconsin” strain of influenza A(H3N2) and a “Malaysia” strain of influenza B for next season. They will replace a “California” strain of H3N2 and a “Shanghai” strain of influenza B used in the current vaccine.The “New Caledonia” strain of influenza A(H1N1) virus used in this year’s vaccine should be used again next season as the third component of the trivalent vaccine, the ACIP said. (The strain’s full name is A/New Caledonia/20/99[H1N1].)The ACIP, which advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), followed recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in picking the strains. The CDC routinely follows the ACIP recommendations on flu vaccines.Each February the WHO assesses the flu virus strains in circulation before picking the strains for the next Northern Hemisphere flu season. In a Feb 14 report on its recommendation concerning the H3N2 strain to be used, the WHO said, “Many recent isolates were antigenically similar to the current reference virus, A/California/7/2004, but an increasing proportion of recent viruses was more closely related to A/Wisconsin/67/2005.”Likewise, the WHO said the majority of recent influenza B isolates were similar to the strain B/Malaysia/2506/2004, rather than to the B/Shanghai/361/2002 strain used in this year’s vaccine. The Malaysia strain is antigenically equivalent to B/Ohio/1/2005, according to the CDC.A year ago, health authorities picked only one new strain for the 2005-06 flu vaccine, keeping the other two the same. According to a recent Reuters report, a spokesman for a leading vaccine manufacturer said changing two of the strains in next season’s vaccine may make production less predictable.”It does put more uncertainty into the total number of doses you’re producing at any one time,” Albert Thomas, director of vaccine manufacturing for Sanofi Pasteur, was quoted as saying. His company has been the biggest supplier for the US market in recent years.The strains to include in each season’s vaccine must be chosen early in the year because it takes roughly 6 months to produce the vaccine. The viruses used in vaccines are grown in chicken eggs.The WHO report said global flu activity from October 2005 through January 2006 was low compared with recent years. Several countries had outbreaks of H3N2 influenza, but H1N1 and B viruses caused only scattered cases in most countries, the agency said.See also:Feb 23 CDC news release on ACIP actions, including flu vaccine recommendationhttp://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/r060223.htmWHO report on recommendation for 2006-07 vaccinehttp://www.who.int/influenza/vaccines/2007northreport.pdfFeb 17, 2005, CIDRAP News story “FDA approves adding new strain to flu vaccine”last_img read more

Experts urge including cats in avian flu precautions

first_imgApr 5, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Growing evidence of H5N1 avian influenza in cats suggests they may play a role in spreading the virus, signaling a need for new precautions, according to a team of medical and veterinary researchers from the Netherlands and Italy.”Cats could be more than a dead-end host for H5N1 virus,” says a commentary article published today in Nature. The authors are Thijs Kuiken, Ron Fouchier, Guus Rimmelzwaan, and Albert Osterhaus of Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam and Peter Roeder of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome.They call for efforts to protect cats from the virus and to test those with possible exposure to it—recommendations that are not included in existing official guidelines for controlling avian flu.Infections in cats were first observed in Thailand in early 2004, the article notes. In one case, 14 cats in a household near Bangkok died of the infection. In addition, tigers and leopards in two Thai zoos died after eating infected chicken carcasses.The researchers point to several other observations indicating that cats “are more than collateral damage in avian flu’s deadly global spread and may play a greater role in the epidemiology of the virus than previously thought.”Fatal infections in cats have become common in Indonesia, Thailand, and Iraq, where the virus is endemic in poultry, they write. Veterinarians in both Indonesia and Iraq have reported a high incidence of sudden death in cats during poultry outbreaks of avian flu.In addition, dead or sick cats infected with H5N1 virus turned up in Germany soon after the virus was detected in wild birds there, the researchers note.They also note that experiments at Erasmus Medical Centre have shown that cats can be infected with the virus by respiratory and gastrointestinal routes and by contact with other infected cats. The infected cats all excreted the virus from the nose, throat, and rectum. It is unknown how long cats can shed the virus or whether they can spread it to humans, poultry, or other species, the article says.Nonetheless, the researchers write that cats “may provide the virus with an opportunity to adapt to efficient transmission within and among mammalian species, including humans, thereby increasing the risk of a human influenza pandemic.”Therefore, despite the uncertainties, official guidelines for controlling the spread of avian flu should consider the potential role of cats, the authors say.”In areas where H5N1 virus has been detected in either poultry or wild birds, we recommend taking steps to prevent contact between cats and infected birds or their droppings, and to quarantine and test cats suspected of such contacts, or cats showing clinical signs suggestive of H5N1 influenza,” the article states. That means keeping cats indoors where possible.They also say that other carnivores, such as dogs, foxes, members of the weasel family, and seals, may be susceptible to the H5N1 virus. Therefore they recommend testing for the virus if unusual illness or death rates occur in such animals in areas where avian flu is endemic.last_img read more

Brisbane Lions halfback on why he loves Camp Hill

first_imgSixteen of my teammates and close friends live in Camp Hill so it makes it easy for us to catch up and go for breakfast or a coffee at a range of the nice cafés Camp Hill has to offer. Camp Hill is a quiet and family orientated neighbourhood, which makes it a safe and a friendly community to be a part of.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus10 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market10 hours ago 6. What was the best piece of property advice you were given? Or what was the biggest lesson you learned? 4. What is the best thing about your suburb? 2. What do you love about your home? Alex Witherden loves living in Brisbane’s Camp HillBrisbane Lions young gun and halfback Alex Witherden loves living in Camp Hill, where he can be close to many of his teammates and friends, who also live in the suburb. I would have an en suite in the master bedroom. The reason I bought my home was the backyard. It is a 889sq m block of land with a big outdoor area containing a swimming pool, a big grass area for backyard cricket and other activities, as well as an outdoor living area. It’s the best way to utilise the Queensland weather and get outside. It was probably not to get sucked into all the bells and whistles that a house may offer but instead look at the land and the value it has. After all it’s always the land that goes up in value not so much the building on top of it. 1. Where do you live and why? Camp Hill. It is close to work, has a good range of cafés, and the supermarkets/shops are easily accessible, which makes living here very convenient. I absolutely loved Mykonos (Greece) when I visited at the end of 2017. I’d love to have a big villa at the top of the hill overlooking the whole island. It’s just a scooter ride down to the beach and all the cocktail bars; the village is full of life and energy every day throughout the European Summer. 5. If money was no option, what would be your fantasy home and where? Villa in Capri? Chalet in the Swiss Alps? 3. What would you change about your home? last_img read more