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Human Swine Flu A(H1N1) - Australia

 
 
 

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AUDIO: Plain packets 'working' in Australia

Thursday 28 11 13 17:05 UTC
Fiona Sharkie, Executive Director of Quit Victoria, explains how plain cigarette packaging has changed smoking habits in Australia.

Australia Protected By Biogeographic Barrier From Avian Flu But Not From Nipah Virus

Friday 26 04 13 10:00 UTC
An invisible barrier separates land animals in Australia from those in south-east Asia may also restrict the spillover of animal-borne diseases like avian flu, but researchers have found that fruit bats on either side of this line can carry Nipah virus, a pathogen that causes severe human disease...

Mutant swine flu returns to Australia - Perth Now

Wednesday 03 04 13 11:26 UTC

Mutant swine flu returns to Australia
Perth Now
The swine flu, aka H1N1, which killed thousands of people when it swept the world in a pandemic in 2009, is returning in a new, mutated form to Australia, health authorities have warned as flu season begins. And people aged 95 years and older may be ...

VIDEO: UK medic 'helicopter hero' in Australia

Monday 01 04 13 12:33 UTC
Manchester anaesthetist, Dr Hilary Eason, has just returned from Australia as a flying doctor where she featured in the new BBC series Helicopter Heroes Down Under.

New York Times examines emergence of XDR-TB in Australia, PNG

Wednesday 27 03 13 10:10 UTC
"Australia's first death from XDR-TB -- extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, which is nearly incurable -- has alarmed health officials and added new heat to a debate over how to treat immigrants with dangerous diseases," the New York Times reports.

VIDEO: Australia faces baby formula shortage

Tuesday 08 01 13 03:07 UTC
Retailers in Australia have restricted sales of infant formula, amid a shortage caused by demand from China, following the tainted milk scandal.

Jab fears in worst outbreak since swine flu - The Australian

Tuesday 10 07 12 16:08 UTC

TopNews United States

Jab fears in worst outbreak since swine flu
The Australian
AUSTRALIA appears to be entering its worst influenza outbreak since the 2009 global swine flu pandemic, with signs that the main strain responsible for most cases has mutated enough to partly evade the protection offered by this year's vaccine.
Pandemic Flu Toolkit will predict future outbreaks in TexasUT The Daily Texan
Spike in north coast flu casesABC Online
Flu virus warningBody and Soul
TopNews United States -NewsPoint Africa
all 205 news articles »

Concern raised after dual flu infection found in Cambodia - Radio Australia

Monday 07 11 11 06:34 UTC

CTV.ca

Concern raised after dual flu infection found in Cambodia
Radio Australia
A study looking at historical data found a boy and his teacher were infected with both H1N1 and a seasonal flu in 2009 - the year the pandemic swine flu emerged. In these cases, tests showed there was no "genetic recombination," or mingling of the two ...

flu vaccine works in only 59 pct of cases - The Australian

Wednesday 26 10 11 04:19 UTC

Telegraph.co.uk

flu vaccine works in only 59 pct of cases
The Australian
Published in The Lancet medical journal, the study found the seasonal flu jab, available free to seniors, is only 59 per cent effective, while the swine flu vaccine has a 69 per cent success rate in preventing the disease. ...

Flu cases soar across Australia - ABC Online

Wednesday 19 10 11 03:07 UTC

Flu cases soar across Australia
ABC Online
It is the highest number this decade, apart from the swine flu epidemic two years ago. Queensland is the worst affected area with more than 10000 cases. New South Wales came in second with half that number. Per capita infection rates have been highest ...

Swine flu hit Australia's remote areas hardest - The Cairns Post

Friday 23 09 11 01:11 UTC

Swine flu hit Australia's remote areas hardest
The Cairns Post
ABORIGINAL and Torres Strait Islander people had a five times higher risk of death during the swine flu pandemic than non-indigenous Australians and experts at an international workshop say there are lessons to be learnt. ...

Bird-swine flu hybrid could be a killer combo - Australian Life Scientist

Tuesday 30 08 11 09:16 UTC

Sydney Morning Herald

Bird-swine flu hybrid could be a killer combo
Australian Life Scientist
The appearance of a new mutant of bird flu in Asia raises the concern that it might hybridise with swine flu creating a new pandemic threat. Bird flu is back on the radar, with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warning of a new ...

Tamiflu-Resistant Flu Outbreak Reported in Australia's Newcastle, WHO Says - Bloomberg

Friday 26 08 11 03:37 UTC

Tamiflu-Resistant Flu Outbreak Reported in Australia's Newcastle, WHO Says
Bloomberg
More than two dozen cases of H1N1 swine flu resistant to Roche Holding AG (ROG)'s Tamiflu pill were reported in Australia in the largest outbreak of the drug- evading influenza strain. ...

Peak of Australian flu season is imminent so take the necessary precautions now: Experts

Tuesday 19 07 11 01:01 UTC
The Influenza Specialist Group (ISG) is today warning that high rates of influenza outbreaks have been confirmed in QLD, SA and NSW, but there is still time for most Australians, especially those in at-risk groups, to protect themselves and those around them.

Swine flu kills Australian romantic

Wednesday 02 02 11 20:00 UTC
AN Australian tourist who flew to Russia to marry his girlfriend has died of swine flu. Swine flu kills Australian romantic

Swine flu kills Australian in Russia

Tuesday 01 02 11 01:51 UTC
AN Australian tourist and a child have died in Russia after suffering from swine flu, local media reports. Swine flu kills Australian in Russia

Australian dies from swine flu in Russia

Tuesday 01 02 11 00:42 UTC
AN Australian tourist and a child have died in Russia after suffering from swine flu, local media reports. Australian dies from swine flu in Russia

Bacteria from cat fleas: 1st Australian case

Monday 03 01 11 22:52 UTC
Australia’s fist case of a human infected with bacteria from cat fleas has been reported by a Newcastle doctor who says the disease may be more common than the GPs thought. The case study appeared in the Medical Journal of Australia that documents a Victorian family infected with Rickettsia felis after exposure to a kitten infested with fleas. Murdoch University scientists confirmed the presence of R. felis in cat fleas on cats and dogs in WA for the first time in 2006.

RegeneRx granted Australian patent for Tβ4 in treatment of gastrointestinal infections and disorders

Thursday 18 11 10 07:17 UTC
RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that the Company received a patent in Australia using thymosin beta 4 (Tβ4) for the treatment of a broad array of gastrointestinal infections and disorders.

MDI and Integrated Sciences enter exclusive distribution agreement for Detect-Ready MRSA assay in Australia

Wednesday 22 09 10 14:28 UTC
Molecular Detection Inc. (MDI), a company developing Detect-Ready™ assays designed to increase the speed and accuracy of infectious disease diagnosis, and Integrated Sciences Pty. Ltd. today announced that they have entered into an exclusive distribution agreement for MDI's Detect-Ready MRSA assay in Australia.

Australian probe puts US flu shots on hold

Wednesday 14 07 10 21:00 UTC
THE US is holding off approval of this year's flu shot as it probes Australia's ban on the fever-inducing vaccine for young children.

Large number of infected cases in Australia attribute to failure in containing H1N1 pandemic

Monday 18 01 10 09:32 UTC
The rapid and widespread entry of the pandemic H1N1 infection that led to a large number of infected cases in Australia suggested a public health management failure in containing the pandemic when it broke out in April 2009.

Majority of Australians think H1N1 vaccination is not necessary

Thursday 24 12 09 05:34 UTC
Australia risks a serious swine flu (H1N1 influenza virus) outbreak with two-thirds (65 per cent) of unprotected Australians stating they're unlikely to get vaccinated against the disease in the next 12 months, according to an MBF Healthwatch Poll.

Community-based program proves to be successful in reducing skin infections in Australian aboriginal children

Wednesday 25 11 09 09:34 UTC
A community-based program aimed at reducing the burden of skin disease across remote communities in Australia's Northern Territory has been successful according to a study published November 24 in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

A three-month study reveals the impact of swine flu on the health of the general public in Australia and New Zealand

Friday 09 10 09 16:12 UTC
A comprehensive study has revealed, for the first time, the impact of swine flu on the health of the general public in Australia and New Zealand.

The Australian Institute of Policy and Science awards Dr Jake Baum for malaria research

Friday 25 09 09 17:28 UTC
Research aimed at developing drugs that stop malaria parasites from spreading throughout the body has seen Dr Jake Baum, from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, named a Young Tall Poppy by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science.

Australia to donate flu vaccines

Friday 18 09 09 06:53 UTC
AUSTRALIA is joining eight other countries that will donate 10 per cent of the swine flu vaccine stockpiles to other nations.

Another view from Australia

Tuesday 15 09 09 12:04 UTC

If anyone wants to get an idea of what the next few months may be like in Britain, then Australia may give us some clues, having just come to the end of its first winter with swine flu (see yesterday's post).

I got an interesting perspective when I met Dr Dominic Dwyer, Professor of Virology at Westmead hospital in Sydney. Professor Dwyer divides his time between seeing patients, often in intensive care, and working in the virology lab.

I met him at the Department of Virology - Westmead has the main public health laboratory in New South Wales and works with the WHO on research and surveillance.

Westmead

In common with the other doctors I met in Australia, Professor Dwyer had never experienced a winter flu season like this one:

"It's been absolutely massive for us here, we've been working essentially twenty hours a day trying to churn through all the samples to work out what's swine flu. I see the patients as well, and I must say I've never seen so much influenza activity."

WestmeadProfessor Dwyer said that H1N1 swine flu was the dominant strain circulating, but that other seasonal strains were also around. He confirmed that the vast majority of people infected did not get very sick, and the majority of those who got complications had underlying health problems. But he said it was "unpredictable", in that a small minority of otherwise healthy individuals got very sick indeed.

"It's been absolutely striking how severe the infection has been in a small proportion of people. So in our intensive care unit here in western Sydney, we had about a third of the unit filled with people with swine flu, and they were often young, younger than you might expect.
 
Normal influenza tends to to affect the elderly, but this is a disease that affects younger people mostly - so its been really very dramatic."

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You can see more on all of this is in Panorama tomorrow evening, and in the video above (which is not in the TV programme), Professor Dwyer shows me round his labs.

What can we learn from Australia?

Monday 14 09 09 13:50 UTC

I want to begin with a confession. In recent weeks, my contribution to this blog has been somewhat patchy; for that, my apologies. It's felt a bit like when I look out of the window at my garden. I know there is work to be done, but it's finding the time - at least that's my excuse for an unkempt lawn.

walsh in australiaI've been working on an edition of Panorama about swine flu to be broadcast on Wednesday 16 September. Its rather ambitious title is: "Swine flu: Everything you need to know". I'll be interested to get your feedback. The other presenters are Sophie Raworth and Jeremy Vine.

For part of the film I went to Australia, which has been in the grip of the worst flu season for 40 years. It felt strange walking around Sydney with the temperature at 27C and knowing this was deep midwinter. No-one has quite been able to explain to me why flu should be so rampant in such hot temperatures. I'm told that in the tropics, where it's hot all year round, there is no flu season.

walsh in australiaHow has Australia fared? The H1N1 virus did not bring society to a halt, and there were no food or power shortages: so far, so good. But there was increased absenteeism from work. And the health service has been extremely busy with hospital intensive care units under immense pressure.

I visited several hospitals in Sydney which had all had to cancel planned surgery at the peak of the winter, in order to cope with the influx of patients with severe respiratory problems. Last week, UK health officials confirmed that they were prepared to take similar measures, if and when needed.

The video below shows an excerpt from the programme plus some extra interview material with Professor Robert Booy from Westmead Children's Hospital in Sydney. He was incredibly helpful in suggesting where we filmed in Australia and has been quoted many times already in this blog.

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I got to meet some of his patients, including 18-month-old Emily, and her mother Louise. Emily has leukaemia and H1N1 swine flu. She was at increased risk of complications from the virus, but received prompt treatment with Tamiflu and is doing well.

You'll also hear from Professor Booy assessing the threat from swine flu and talking about the problems associated with obesity.

U.S., Australian researchers say single H1N1 vaccine dose protects adults against virus

Friday 11 09 09 18:23 UTC
The results of clinical trials have shown one dose of the H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine is enough to offer adults protection against the virus, U.S. and Australian researchers said Thursday, the Associated Press reports (Neergaard, 9/11).
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