HEALTH

Three N.Y. schools close for H1N1 outbreak, assistant principal in critical condition

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Just when it seemed fear of the H1N1 influenza outbreak had subsided, three New York City schools closed Friday, with one school official in critical condition.

Education Department spokeswoman Margie Feinberg said maintenance crews were thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting two middle schools and one elementary school in Queens County where hundreds of students were sent home sick this week, the Associated Press said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the school closures Thursday evening, saying four students and the assistant principal at the Susan B. Anthony middle school in Hollis have documented cases of swine flu. The assistant principal is said to be on a ventilator and in critical condition.

Meanwhile, the New York City Department of Education has developed a Web page to assure parents that the situation has been recognized and is being taken care of.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported over 4,700 cases of H1N1 across 47 states, including four deaths.

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Roche launches complete detection kit for influenza A /H1N1

BY Michael Johnsen

PENZBERG, Germany Roche Applied Science on Thursday announced the availability of a new detection kit for the novel influenza A/H1N1 virus. Roche currently is filing to get approval of the local health authorities worldwide for use of the kit in emergency situations.

“The design of the new detection kits benefited very much from information we got out of our manifold research cooperations,” stated Manfred Baier, head of Roche Applied Science. “We are glad of our contribution in supplying fast and reliable tools for the detection of Influenza A/H1N1 to the research community.”

Currently, there is no human vaccine on the market that protects against Influenza A H1N1 infection, Roche noted. Standard therapy for the disease includes treatment with antiviral drugs like Tamiflu or Relenza.

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Blood glucose control may reduce risk of complications after diabetes treatment starts

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Controlling blood glucose levels is one of the primary concerns of diabetes patients, but a Swedish study indicates it’s more important than people thought.

The study, presented at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy is based on analysis of patient records from Swedish diabetes clinics, indicates that small improvements in blood-glucose control can reduce the risk of complications after treatment has started.

The researchers examined more than 5,000 patient records from western Sweden, including more than 4,000 patients who used Sanofi-Aventis’ Lantus (insulin glargine [rDNA origin]) and more than 1,000 who used Eli Lilly & Co.’s Humalog (insulin lispro [rDNA origin]).

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