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A viewpoint on H7N9 vaccination

on Fri, 05/10/2013 - 14:53

Michael Osterholm is the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota, a professor in the School of Public Health, and an adjunct professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School. He is a recognized authority in the field of epidemiology and, in the past, he had criticized the lack of international preparedness for an influenza pandemic. In an article published on the Journal of the American Medical Association, he and his colleagues examine several issues regarding the development of vaccines against the potential threat

An infographic about H7N9

on Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:05

Jeremy Chui, a medical student at the Sheffield University, realized an effective infographic about the H7N9 avian flu virus now circulating in China. Data have been obtained from the World Health Organization, the Xinhua News Agency, Reuters and Forbes.

Id card of the new avian flu virus

on Wed, 04/24/2013 - 13:31

The genetic heritage of the new H7N9 influenza virus is 100% of bird origin; to this day April 16, 2013, this virus has caused 60 influenza cases and made 13 victims, at least according to official data provided by Chinese authorities. Spreading from the eastern regions around Shanghai, it has already reached Beijing. The in-depth genetic analysis of the first three cases, all of them fatal, described in the New England Journal of Medicine confirmed that all these viruses' genes, never reported before, are of avian origin.

Influenza A cases, of the H7 type, already infected humans in the past,

New flu virus is being watched closely by the social network

on Mon, 04/22/2013 - 12:54

From the East comes not only the threat of a Korean nuclear attack but also worrying news from China of a new avian flu epidemic, provoked by a virus which had never before affected mankind, called H7N9. But exactly ten years after the SARS emergency, which brought on thousands of cases and hundreds of deaths throughout the world (amongst which the Italian medic Carlo Urbani, the first to have discovered the corona virus which is responsible for this flu), new technology is forcing authorities to radically change the way in which the situation is managed, obligating them to be more


Influenza, an update on the 2010-11 season from ECDC

on Fri, 04/12/2013 - 17:37

The 2010–11 influenza season in Europe was the first after the 2009 pandemic and thus raised the interest of the epidemiologists, due to the possibility to draw some indication of the characteristics of the new seasonal influenza. Data from the ECDC’s Annual Epidemiological Report shown that the 2010–11 influenza season started around the 50th week of 2010 and lasted for a median of 10 weeks, with a geographical progression from west to east (see Table 1). Only one out of 28 countries – Luxembourg – reported very high intensity, compared to the nine of the previous pandemic year.

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Annual Epidemiological Report from ECDC

on Sat, 04/06/2013 - 10:10

The sixth edition of the Annual Epidemiological Report has been released by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). This report provides a surveillance overview about more than 50 infectious diseases in 27 Member Countries and 3 countries from the European Economic Area (Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway). Data came from the European Surveillance System (TESSy) in 2010 and the updates from epidemic intelligence in 2011, and are intended primarily for policymakers, health service leaders, epidemiologists and researchers, and also for the wider public.

Avian flu cases in China

on Thu, 04/04/2013 - 17:15

Seven cases of human infection with influenza A(H7N9) virus have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the China Health and Family Planning Commission. The first three cases – two from Shanghai and one from Anhui province – were notified on 31 March 2013, after being laboratory confirmed two days before by China CDC. Two of them died, while the third is in critical condition. Four other cases from Jiangsu province have been reported on 3 April 2013, with no links between them.

Relationships between climate and flu

on Wed, 04/03/2013 - 16:25

Climate may have an influence on the spread of flu. This is the conclusion of a study from a team of American researchers, led by Cécile Viboud, from the National Institutes of Health's Fogarty International Center, recently published on PLoS Pathogens.
The authors of the study assessed the role of specific humidity and other local climatic variables on influenza virus seasonality by examining the peaks of influenza virus activity in 78 sites sampled globally.


Ebola-like virus vial lost by Texas Biolab

on Wed, 04/03/2013 - 10:15


The Galveston National Laboratory, a high security National Biocontainment Laboratory owned by the University of Texas Medical Branch, reported the loss of one of five vials containing the Guaranito virus, the etiologic agent of Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever, whose symptoms are similar to those caused by Ebola viruses. At least several hundred cases of infections have been attributed to Guanarito virus in those regions where it is common, with an estimated mortality rate between 10 and 20 percent. At the moment, no treatment or cure is available for the virus.

Vaccines and pregnancy

on Wed, 02/27/2013 - 11:16

Pregnant women who were given H1N1 influenza vaccine in 2009 were less likely to face adverse fetal outcomes such as preterm birth. Also, they gave birth to heavier infants. These are the conclusions of a study published on Clinical Infectious Diseases, coordinated by Dr. Saad Omer, of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, Atlanta.