HEALTH

CDC advises American travelers to delay, avoid trips to Mexico

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention on Monday advised American travelers to avoid all nonessential travel to Mexico.

As of Monday, Mexico has reported 18 laboratory confirmed human cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 infection. Investigation is continuing to clarify the spread and severity of the disease in Mexico. Suspect clinical cases have been reported in 19 of the country’s 32 states. The World Health Organization, the Global Alert and Response Network and CDC have sent experts to Mexico to work with health authorities. CDC has confirmed that seven of 14 respiratory specimens sent to CDC by the Mexican National Influenza Center are positive for swine influenza virus and are similar to the swine influenza viruses recently identified in the United States.

On April 25, the WHO Director-General declared this event a Public Health Emergency of International Concern under the rules of the International Health Regulations. CDC and state public and animal health authorities are currently investigating 20 cases of swine flu in humans in California, Texas, Kansas, Ohio and New York City. Some of the U.S. cases have been linked to travel to Mexico.

At this time, only two of the 20 cases in the U.S. have been hospitalized and all have recovered, but deaths are reported to have occurred in Mexico. CDC is concerned that continued travel by U.S. travelers to Mexico presents a serious risk for further outbreaks of swine flu in the United States.

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NCPA, Roche Diagnostic team up with new online diabetic resource

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. In an alliance with Roche Diagnostic, the National Community Pharmacists Association is giving its independent pharmacy members a new tool to expand their presence in the crucial market for diabetic care services and supplies.

NCPA has launched a new, online resource, dubbed the “Diabetes Supply Center,” through the organization’s Pharmacist e-Link. The Web site is designed to provide pharmacists with the information needed to serve patients with diabetes more effectively and make diabetic supplies a viable part of their business, according to the group.

The site helps pharmacists navigate the regulatory process for competitive bidding, accreditation or surety bonds, NCPA noted Monday. It also provides business tools, articles catering to pharmacists, news updates, expert opinion forums and a regular newsletter.

“Many independent community pharmacies are caught between the need to serve their patients with diabetes and navigating an excessive amount of government regulation and costs if they want to continue selling medical supplies such as diabetes testing strips,” said NCPA president Holly Whitcomb Henry. “NCPA is proud to partner with Roche Diagnostic to help community pharmacies better confront all of these challenges through the wide array of information found at the Diabetes Supply Center on Pharmacist e-Link.”

Added Luc Vierstraete, Head of Roche Diagnostic Care North America, ““The role of pharmacists continues to grow and evolve and Roche recognizes their important role in the health care community.”

An American Diabetes Association study in 2007 found 17.5 million people diagnosed with diabetes in America at a cost of $174 billion. The average patient spends approximately $2,500 at community pharmacies for diabetes medications and supplies.

For more information, visit http://www.pharmacistelink.com/accu-chek/.

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Pure Biosciences’ SDC-based disinfectants meet CDC standards for swine flu care

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN DIEGO Pure Bioscience on Sunday confirmed that all EPA-registered SDC-based disinfectants, branded Axen30, meet the recommendations by the United States Centers for Disease Control for infection control for care of patients with confirmed or swine flu in both home and healthcare settings.

“Pure’s SDC-based disinfectant is effective against both human and avian influenza A, and our distributors across the nation are poised and ready to respond to the current outbreak,” stated Pure president and CEO Michael Krall. “Should the current outbreak become pandemic, Pure has the manufacturing capability to react not only to the needs in the U.S. but also abroad to supply our powerful disinfectant to governments, healthcare institutions and consumers seeking to effectively stem the spread of swine flu.”

Axen30 is sold through a variety of distributors under more than a dozen private label brands, the company stated. Pure’s SDC-based disinfectants have been registered by the EPA specifically for use on children’s toys, cribs, high chairs and other sensitive areas of the home as well as for use on hard surfaces in multitudes of environments, including hospitals, schools and offices.

Guidance published by the CDC on April 24 for infection control in healthcare settings advises that “disinfection strategies used during influenza seasons can be applied to the environmental management of swine influenza.” Additional guidance published on April 25 for infection control in the home recommends keeping “surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant according to directions on the product label.”

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