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CDC Recommends Flu Vaccine for All Adults and Children Over Age 6

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently recommended that everyone age 6 and older should be vaccinated against influenza, even though the 3 flu strains included in this year's vaccine -- including pandemic H1N1 "swine" flu -- are the same as last year's.alt

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2009 H1N1 Influenza: What Next for People with HIV?

As a new flu season gets underway, a series of recent reports have looked at aspects of the 2009 H1N1 influenza strain responsible for last year's "swine flu" epidemic. Spanish researchers reported the promising finding that people with well-controlled HIV disease on antiretroviral therapy (ART) had H1N1 flu outcomes similar to those of HIV negative individuals. But another pair of studies found that HIV positive people -- especially those with low CD4 cell counts -- did not respond as well as HIV negative people to the H1N1 vaccine or an older flu vaccine. Finally, scientists with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) recently projected what might happen with H1N1 this year and into the future. alt

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CDC Reports U.S. H1N1 Flu Activity Falls to Normal Low Summer Level

H1N1 "swine flu" activity has fallen to a low level typically observed for seasonal influenza during the summer months in the U.S., according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During the week of May 9-15, doctor visits for flu-like symptoms decreased, flu-related hospitalizations leveled off, and the number of deaths attributed to influenza or pneumonia remained stable. Globally, the most active areas of H1N1 flu transmission are in the tropical regions of the Caribbean, South America, and Southeast Asia.

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World Health Organization Declares End to H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced this week that 2009 H1N1 influenza A, popularly known as swine flu, has now entered a post-pandemic period. Although localized outbreaks are likely to continue, H1N1 is no longer being widely transmitted worldwide, as it was last fall and winter. Nevertheless, the agency stressed that the course of influenza pandemics is unpredictable and continued vigilance is warranted. alt

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WHO Modifies Recommendations for Treatment of H1N1 Swine Flu in Severely Immunocompromised Patients

The World Health Organization (WHO) last week issued modified treatment recommendations for severely immunocompromised individuals, after receiving reports of 2 clusters of hospitalized patients in Wales and North Carolina who contracted 2009 H1N1 influenza A (commonly referred to as swine flu) resistant to the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Severely immunocompromised patients are highly susceptible to infection, particularly difficult to treat, and especially likely to develop resistance; an alternative drug, zanamivir (Relenza), should be considered as the treatment of choice for patients who develop prolonged influenza illness despite treatment with oseltamivir. alt

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