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swine flu

The following articles have the tag swine flu

Call to vaccinate family to protect babies from influenza

Call to vaccinate family to protect babies from influenza

A QUARTER of infants admitted to hospital with influenza during the swine flu pandemic developed serious complications, Australian data shows, prompting paediatricians to call for families with young babies to be vaccinated.

Swine flu deaths at more than half a million worldwide

Swine flu deaths at more than half a million worldwide

DEATHS associated with the 2009 H1N1influenza pandemic could be 15 times higher than previously thought, according to estimates from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Australian flu vax not ‘out of date’ despite WHO tweaks

THE seasonal flu vaccine made for this Australian winter is not out of date, GPs are being assured, despite the WHO’s recent ‘tweaking’ of the strains that will be targeted in the northern hemisphere.

GPs an afterthought in pandemic flu response

GPs an afterthought in pandemic flu response

GPs were left dazed and confused as Australian health officials scrambled to respond to the 2009 swine flu pandemic, a review has acknowledged.

Flu case influx similar to swine flu pandemic

GPs are being urged to ensure at-risk  patients are vaccinated against influenza, following a surge in transmission that echoes the experience of the 2009 swine flu pandemic. Respond to our poll question : Will you be vaccinating yourself against influenza this year? “We are seeing the same thing as 2009, which is desperately sick young people,” said Dr Ian Seppelt, an intensive care physician from NSW who was involved in recording influenza cases in ICU during the pandemic. ...

Whooping cough vax rates in adults concerning

FEW Australian adults have had a booster dose of whooping cough vaccine, according to new research, despite the recent epidemic. An Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) vaccination survey showed that only one in nine Australians aged 18 years and over had ever received a pertussis vaccination as an adult or adolescent. However, 45% of those vaccinations had been received during 2009. Pertussis vaccine coverage was 43% among the 'at-risk' group, which included parents of young infants, adults working with young children and healthcare workers. Adult vaccination against whooping cough varied widely among the ...

Lesson learnt from 1918 Spanish flu uses plasma to treat H1N1

A TREATMENT used in the 1918 Spanish influenza A (H1N1) pandemic may reduce deaths from severe swine flu, a study shows. Drawing on reports of the 1918 outbreak and the 2006 bird flu (H5N1) infection, Hong Kong researchers in 2009 tested the theory that convalescent plasma might be effective against the new H1N1 pandemic. In a prospective cohort study, researchers administered plasma from patients who had recovered from swine flu to 20 intensive-care patients out of a cohort of 93 with severe infection. Only 20% of the plasma patients died, compared with 55% of controls with ...

GP advice swayed many patients to get swine flu vax

DOCTOR advice was one of the main reasons people chose to get vaccinated against swine flu, particularly for elderly Australians, a survey shows. Among people who took up the offer of free vaccine, most did so because they believed the threat of the flu was serious (24.7%) or it was offered at work (13.7 per cent). Doctor advice was the most compelling reason among the elderly, cited by 37.8% of those older than 65 years, and also influenced nearly one in 10 people aged 18 to 64 years. A survey by the Australian Institute of Health ...

Swine flu threat downgraded to ‘post-pandemic’

THE World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the swine flu pandemic is over. WHO director-general Dr Margaret Chan says while the H1N1 virus has largely run its course, localised outbreaks are still a threat, with some countries including New Zealand currently experiencing significant transmission. Dr Chan said WHO had determined the world had entered a “post-pandemic period” following assessment by its international emergency committee yesterday. However, “pandemics are unpredictable and prone to deliver surprises”, she told a news conference, emphasising a need to continue vaccination of vulnerable groups in the community. The pandemic affected more ...

Software glitch hampers child flu vaccine records

SEVERE reactions to this year’s seasonal flu vaccination appear to occur in children naïve to flu vaccine and in those younger than three, rather than the entire under-five cohort as initially suspected. But establishing a precise denominator for this year’s vaccinated cohort has been fraught with difficulty because a software glitch has prevented optimum recording of doses on the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR).   Perth paediatric immunologist Associate Professor Peter Richmond said the affected children were mostly younger than three years. “It seems to have affected more children who are getting vaccine for the first time – ...

Multi-dose vial vaccine risk debate reignites

CONCERNS over the infection risk posed by the use of multidose vials (MDV) to deliver swine flu vaccine are being exaggerated, experts say. Dr Greg Rowles, AGPN immunisation representative, has taken outspoken specialist Professor Peter Collignon to task over a recent editorial where he said the use of MDV was “a needless additional risk” for the mass vaccination campaign. “In the past, many infections such as Staphylococcus aureus, hepatitis B and HIV” had been caused by vaccination programs using MDV, Professor Collignon wrote in Australian Prescriber. But Dr Rowles said there were few cases of infection ...

Swine flu may cause encephalopathy, experts warn

CLINICIANS should be alert to the potential neurological complications of swine flu, experts warn. Specialists from The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, NSW, have published details of two cases of severe encephalopathy in previously healthy children who were positive for H1N1. A five-year-old girl presented with hemiplegia and fever and required mechanical ventilation, anticonvulsants, oseltamivir and steroids before recovering fully. A five-year-old boy presented with ascending paralysis and fever, and was quadriplegic and comatose within 24 hours.  After treatment  with oseltamivir, immunoglobulin and steroids, he was discharged a month later with mild left arm weakness. “We ...

Swine flu: still a looming threat?

Was the threat of swine flu over-estimated, and do we really need to vaccinate everyone now? Rada Rouse reports. HYPE or hoax? Whatever the swine flu pandemic was, a lot of people believe it was never a deadly threat. Earlier this year, the chair of the Council of Europe’s health committee, Dr Wolfgang Wodarg, forced an inquiry into the continent’s multibillion dollar expenditure on swine flu vaccine, saying governments had been hoodwinked by pharmaceutical companies wanting to make big bucks. Worse, he accused the WHO of being in cahoots with Big Pharma ...

Four out of five patients shun swine flu vaccine

FEWER than one in five adults received the swine flu vaccine last year, new figures show, and experts have warned this uptake must double in order to avoid a second wave of the virus this winter. Provisional national data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that among the most vulnerable adult age group (ages 18 to 64 years), uptake of the Government’s $100 million-plus H1N1 vaccine program was only 14 per cent. “There is certainly a possibility, if we don’t get enough people vaccinated, of having a second wave and filling up our intensive ...

H1N1 vigilance vital in pregnancy

NEW swine flu research has underlined the importance of prompt treatment and timely vaccination of pregnant women, experts say. A study of 211 pregnant women with H1N1 presenting to a Singapore hospital showed admission was more likely with comorbidities or breathlessness. Nine developed complications, including first trimester miscarriage and premature labour. The researchers said the study suggested that the effects of swine flu infection in the cohort were overall “relatively benign”, but they attributed this to early presentation, diagnosis and treatment. Most of these women received oseltamivir within 48 hours. However, in a study ...