Flu season tough for older people this year in US

Flu Season ‘Bad One for the Elderly,’ CDC Says — US flu epidemic – 29 children dead – An unusually severe flu season is exacting a heavy toll on older people in New York and across USA. This year’s edition of influenza is hitting the elderly hard, putting many in hospitals, even as overall flu activity is showing signs of slowing down.

Flublok seasonal influenza vaccine approved in US

US FDA approves new seasonal influenza vaccine made using novel technology – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it has approved Flublok, the first trivalent influenza vaccine made using an insect virus (baculovirus) expression system and recombinant DNA technology. Flublok is approved for the prevention of seasonal influenza in people 18 through 49 years of age.

Flu season started in US in 2012

U.S. Flu Season Off To Early Start, CDC Urges Vaccination — Early Vaccine Coverage Data Shows Millions Unprotected Still – Significant increases in flu activity in the United States have occurred in the last two weeks, indicating that an early flu season is upon us. These increases in activity overlap with National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) being observed December 2-8, 2012.

Illegal Internet pharmacies – FDA acts

FDA takes action against thousands of illegal Internet pharmacies — Agency participates in international Operation Pangea V to protect consumers from potentially dangerous, unapproved drugs – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in partnership with international regulatory and law enforcement agencies, took action this week against more than 4,100 Internet pharmacies that illegally sell potentially dangerous, unapproved drugs to consumers. Actions taken include civil and criminal charges, seizure of illegal products, and removal of offending websites.

Asthma and allergies drug Singulair as generic version approved

FDA approves first generic versions of Singulair to treat asthma, allergies – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first generic versions of Singulair (montelukast sodium) for use in adults and children to control asthma symptoms and to help relieve symptoms of indoor and outdoor allergies.

Bird flu may be possible from human to human through air

Avian flu viruses which are transmissible between humans could evolve in nature — Research provides insight into feasibility of virus becoming airborne transmissible – It might be possible for human-to-human airborne transmissible avian H5N1 influenza viruses to evolve in nature, new research has found. The findings, from research led by Professor Derek Smith and Dr Colin Russell at the University of Cambridge, were published today, 22 June in the journal Science.

H1N1 flu shot during pregnancy shows unexpected benefits to the baby

Flu shot during pregnancy shows unexpected benefits in large study – Getting a flu shot during pregnancy provides unanticipated benefits to the baby. A new study showed that H1N1 vaccination during the pandemic was associated with a significantly reduced risk of stillbirth, preterm birth and extremely small babies at birth.

Genetic variations transform mild influenza to a life threatening disease

Genetics of flu susceptibility — Researchers find gene that can transform mild influenza to a life-threatening disease – Genetic variations in human body make it more susceptible to diseases. A genetic finding explains why influenza becomes a life-threating disease to some people while it has only mild effects in others.

Bird Flu rears its head again

Bird Flu rears its head again — Increased preparedness and surveillance urged against variant strain — Major resurgence H5N1 possible – UN FAO recently urged heightened readiness and surveillance against a possible major resurgence of the H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza amid signs that a mutant strain of the deadly Bird Flu virus is spreading in Asia and beyond, with unpredictable risks to human health.

Swine flu vaccine causing sudden sleep disorder narcolepsy in children

Swine flu vaccine causing sudden sleep disorder narcolepsy in children – A swine flu vaccine which has been given to thousands of children in Britain may cause the sleep disorder narcolepsy. Symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness and nodding off suddenly without warning.

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