Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Flu shots are ‘very good matches’; Fewer white children have them

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Monday that this season’s flu vaccine should provide protection against strains that are currently circulating. Meanwhile, Indiana’s largest health system is restricting visitors to curb the spread of influenza and RSV.

CBS News: Flu shots are a ‘really good match’ for this season’s strains, CDC says

“We’re looking in real time at how well we think the flu matches what’s going around. And right now, the good news is that it looks like it’s a really good match,” the Centers for Disease director said. Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle. Walensky told reporters during a Monday briefing. (Pewter, 12/5)

Bloomberg: Flu rates rise ahead of holiday as white children’s vaccines are overdue

U.S. health officials are struggling to cope with declining flu vaccination rates among children, which appear to be slowed primarily by declines among white children. (John Milton and Baumann, 5/12)

St. Louis Public Radio: Washington University Conducts Clinical Trial for mRNA Flu Vaccine

Scientists at the University of Washington are looking for participants for a trial that would test whether the same type of vaccine used for the coronavirus could also work on the flu. If an mRNA vaccination method could work with the flu virus, it could mean scientists could respond to diseases more quickly, creating more effective vaccines better suited to different virus strains, the researchers said. (Fentem, 12/5)

Learn more about the spread of influenza, RSV and streptococci —

AP: Some Indiana hospitals are limiting visitors to flu rates

Hospitals in Indiana’s largest health system and its most populous county have begun restricting visitors due to an increase in reported cases of influenza and other respiratory viruses, they announced Monday. The restrictions will take effect Tuesday at all IU Health hospitals. They began Monday at all hospitals in Marion County, which is home to Indianapolis. (12/5)

USA Today: Doctors warn flu season is ‘fierce’ and getting worse. Here’s what you need to know

Although the “triple epidemic” – COVID-19, RSV and flu – remains a problem in many places, experts say the flu is starting to hit the country hard. Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, said he saw the first signs that RSV infections could stabilize after an early jump, while COVID-19 “smolders”. (Rodriguez, 12/6)

USA Today: Strep Throat Symptoms: What Are the Early Signs and How to Treat Them?

While the UK has reported the deaths of six children from strep A, US health officials said on Tuesday there had been no “notable increase” in strep disease here. Either way, it’s always good to be prepared. Here’s everything you need to know about strep throat, from symptoms to treatment to spread. (Kaufmann, 05/12)

On drug shortages —

CIDRAP: Shortages of drugs to treat children’s respiratory illnesses bother doctors and parents

Experts worry that the lack of acetaminophen and ibuprofen to relieve symptoms could force parents to seek care for their children in urgent care centers and emergency departments. “It’s a huge problem,” Kristina Powell, a pediatrician from Virginia, told The Washington Post. “Parents are running to Walmart or Target, the shelves are empty. … It’s going to be a long fall and winter of viral infections.” (12/5)

CIDRAP: FDA chief wants pharma companies to warn of spikes in demand before shortages

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official wants drug companies to start flagging spikes in drug demand in an effort to prevent or ease shortages, reports Endpoints News. In a webinar last week hosted by the nonprofit Alliance for a Stronger FDA, Valerie Jensen, RPh, associate director of FDA staff on drug shortages, noted increasing quality issues. and demand for certain drugs over the past decade, but particularly amid the COVID -19 pandemic. She called on pharmaceutical companies to report spikes in demand, although they are currently only required to report supply disruptions. (12/5)

Also –

The Atlantic: Germ-Free Year Changed Kids

In the spring of 2021, Brett Finlay, a microbiologist at the University of British Columbia, offered the world a bold and ominous prediction. “I guess in five years we’re going to see a bolus of kids with asthma and obesity,” he told Wired. These children, he said, would be “the COVID children”: those born just before or at the height of the crisis, when the coronavirus was everywhere, and we cleaned it all up because we didn’t want to. (Wu, 5/12)

#Tuesday #December

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