Flu :: Governor Blagojevich announces pandemic flu preparedness guide for Illinois schools

Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a new guide for Illinois schools that provides them the tools they need to proactively plan and prepare for a pandemic flu outbreak. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) jointly prepared the School Guidance During an Influenza Pandemic document.

Flu :: Getting a flu shot in October is a great way to ward off seasonal flu this winter.

Flu season typically lasts from December to March, but the ideal time for “high-risk” people to be inoculated with the flu vaccine is now through mid-November, says Dr. James Luby, an infectious disease expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Although vaccine shortages have been experienced in the past, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting no short supplies this season.

Flu :: GlaxoSmithKline?s new generation flu vaccine shows a significant seroprotection

New data released today demonstrate significantly better immune responses in the age range 65 and above when vaccinated with GSK?s new generation (adjuvanted) seasonal flu vaccine compared to a traditional seasonal flu vaccine. These new data are highly important, since the disease burden and death toll is highest among the elderly in each flu season. The data, presented at the Influenza Vaccines for the World (IVW) 2006 Congress, showed the seroprotection rate (90.5%) achieved by the new adjuvanted vaccine in the elderly to be more than 25% higher than that reported in the age matched comparator group.

Influenza :: Tamiflu for Prevention of Influenza in Children

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) for prevention (prophylaxis) of seasonal influenza (“flu”) in children 1 to 12 years of age who had close contact with an infected individual. This is the first drug approved for prevention of both influenza A and B in pediatric patients.