CDC: vaccine deliveries set record, but will strains match?

first_imgNov 9, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Deliveries of seasonal influenza vaccine have already outpaced the number of doses ever distributed in a single season, officials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today, but they voiced concerns about a possible mismatch of one of the strains.So far 103 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed to clinics and other providers, the most ever delivered, said Jeanne Santoli, MD, MPH, deputy director of the CDC’s immunization services division, at a CDC press conference today. By the end of the season, 132 million doses of the vaccine will be shipped, which is 10 million more than ever produced before in the United States, she added.Some providers may not have received their complete order yet, but all should have enough of the vaccine to launch their annual flu vaccine campaigns, Santoli said.Despite the plentiful supply of the vaccine early in the season, she said the CDC is working to raise awareness that flu vaccination in December or later still offers protection in advance of the flu season’s January-February peak. Santoli announced that the CDC will sponsor its second annual National Influenza Vaccination Week after Thanksgiving, from Nov 26 to Dec 2.So far, the CDC has noted low levels of flu activity in the United States, which is normal for the start of a new flu season, said Joe Bresee, MD, chief of epidemiology and prevention for the CDC’s immunization services division. Only 2.5% of specimens tested have been positive for influenza, and of those, 90% were influenza A, he said. Outpatient visits for influenza-like illnesses are low in all parts of the country except for the mountain region, where the number is slightly higher.Only two areas are reporting local activity, Bresee said. According to the CDC’s most recent influenza update, only Hawaii and Florida reported local influenza activity. Seventeen states have reported sporadic activity. No pediatric deaths have been reported, he said.”The take-home message is that flu activity remains low and that people should get their vaccinations,” Bresee said. “The supply is at an all-time high, and we should make the most of this opportunity.”Though CDC officials haven’t seen enough isolates yet to determine if this year’s vaccine is a good match against influenza strains circulating in the United States, Bresee said the agency is concerned about reports from last season and this summer of possible drift in the H3N2 A strain.Canada’s Public Health Agency said the Wisconsin H3N2 strain has mutated from the one used in the vaccine, according to an Oct 24 report from CTV, Canada’s largest television network. The agency said the Malaysia influenza B strain also showed signs of change, the CTV report said.Bresee said reports from Latin America this summer suggested a drifted H3N2 strain, and he said a US Department of Defense report estimated that the flu vaccine in its European population last season was only 52% effective, which suggests a mismatch between the circulating strains and the vaccine.”It’s too early to tell-we don’t know what that will mean for the United States,” he said. “Vaccination is still the best way to prevent influenza complications, and this year should be no exception,” he noted, pointing out that even without a perfect match, the flu vaccine can reduce illness severity.See also:Nov 9 CDC press releaselast_img read more

Is this Australia’s most sustainable house?

first_imgThis Tiny Tropical Healthy House (TTHH) was unveiled this morning at James Cook University in Townsville.THIS house designed by a James Cook University Professor is the epitome of low-key living. JCU’s Engineering Professor Anne Steinemann and her team have created a Tiny Tropical Healthy House (TTHH) that has good indoor air quality and is resilient in tough tropical climates.The project which was unveiled this morning at James Cook University campus in Townsville was constructed without using petrochemical glues, and instead uses metal flashing, mechanical fixings, and wall frames assembled using screws and rivets.READ MORE Property prices expected to increase by 10%Townsville dubbed a regional real estate hotspot “The tiny house is constructed with stainless steel, known for its low-offgassing and inert properties and its resistance to microbial growth and infestation,” Professor Steinemann said. We have avoided the use of any petrochemical-containing building materials, such as manufactured wood, recycled products, treated lumber or composites.“In addition to being healthy, it’s designed to be energy efficient, cyclone rated, affordable, adaptable, and transportable.” Professor Steinemann said there was a need for a healthy house suitable for the tropics.“We spend most of our time indoors, and levels of pollutants in homes are usually several times higher indoors than outdoors,” she said. The house also uses climate-sensitive design, with open windows to encourage cross-ventilation.“In this way, the tiny house eliminates the need for airconditioning and mechanical ventilation,” Professor Steinemann said“The tiny house can be rotated according to the direction of the wind and sun.”center_img More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020 “Energy efficiency measures that involve more airtight buildings, lower ventilation rates, increased reliance on airconditioning, and less use of open windows can actually worsen indoor air quality,” Professor Steinemann said. READ MORElast_img read more