HEALTH

WHO to stop disclosing global tables of confirmed H1N1 cases; will continue to document pandemic

BY Michael Johnsen

GENEVA The World Health Organization announced on Thursday it would no longer provide the global tables showing the numbers of confirmed cases for all countries. However, as part of continued efforts to document the global spread of the H1N1 pandemic, regular updates will be provided describing the situation in the newly affected countries.

“At this point, further spread of the pandemic, within affected countries and to new countries, is considered inevitable,” WHO stated. “The 2009 influenza pandemic has spread internationally with unprecedented speed. In past pandemics, influenza viruses have needed more than six months to spread as widely as the new H1N1 virus has spread in less than six weeks,” making it extremely difficult for countries to try and confirm novel H1N1 infections through laboratory testing.

The novel H1N1 pandemic has been characterized, to date, by the mildness of symptoms in the overwhelming majority of patients, who usually recover, even without medical treatment, within a week of the onset of symptoms, WHO stated. But countries still need to be on guard for signals indicating a more virulent, or more deadly strain, such as spikes in rates of absenteeism from schools or workplaces or a surge in emergency department visits.

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CDC: School children may need four immunizations this fall

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK School children may need as many as four immunizations against both seasonal flu and the novel H1N1 virus this year, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials told clinicians Wednesday, according to published reports.

That regimen includes an initial shot and booster of both vaccines for children. Most everyone else will only need to get their regular seasonal shot and two shots for the novel H1N1 vaccine, when one is available.

Five manufacturers are currently producing vaccines against the pandemic H1N1 swine flu virus — CSL Biotherapies, GlaxoSmithKline, Medimmune, Novartis and Sanofi Pasteur.

The five manufacturers are expected to deliver between 40 million and 160 million doses of vaccine by October. The regular seasonal flu vaccine supply will be ready much earlier than usual, possibly as soon as late August.

According to CDC officials, pandemic flu shots will be allocated among states based on their population.

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Nature & Health announces voluntary, nationwide recall of five supplement products

BY Michael Johnsen

BREA, Calif. Nature & Health on Wednesday conducted a voluntary nationwide recall of the company’s five supplement products sold under the following names — LibieXtreme, Y-4ever, Libimax X Liquid, Powermania Liquid and Capsule and Herbal Disiac — after being informed by the Food and Drug Administration that lab analyses of these five products found they contained either tadalafil, an active ingredient of an FDA-approved drug for erectile dysfunction; its analog aminotadalafil; or the analog of sidenafil, another active ingredient of an FDA-approved ED drug.

None of the active drug ingredients are listed on the product labels. 

The undeclared ingredients may interact with nitrates found in such prescription drugs as nitroglycerin and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. Consumers with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease often take nitrates.

Additionally, the product may cause such side effects as headaches and flushing.

The recalled products were distributed in retail stores in California, Georgia, Illinois, Texas and Ohio.

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