(University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 10 November 2015) Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered a new bat SARS-like virus that can jump directly from its bat hosts to humans without mutation. However, researchers point out that if the SARS-like virus did jump, it is still unclear whether it could spread from human to human.
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ABC News Matthew Doran 5 November 2015
A new influenza vaccine that protects against four different strains of the virus will be released next year, after a record number of reported cases this year.
This year’s flu shot protected Australians from three different strains, but the Federal Government has expanded its effectiveness to include the Brisbane and Phuket strains of influenza for 2016.
“There were 90,000 reported flu cases in 2015, that’s 25,000 higher than the previous record, so we know that more people are getting the flu,” Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley said.
EurekAlert 24 September 2015
Influenza pandemics are potentially the most serious natural catastrophes that affect the human population. New findings published in PLOS Computational Biology suggest that with both timely and accurate data and sophisticated numerical models, the likely impact of a new pandemic can be assessed quickly, and key decisions made about potential mitigation strategies.
View the source article http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004392
News.com.au Rose Brennan September 25, 2015
THE Brisbane-strain of influenza will be included in next year’s flu vaccine for Australians.
Overnight The World Health Organisation released their recommendations for the influenza vaccine for the southern hemisphere for winter 2016.
The guideline is handed down in September each year so manufacturers have enough time to cultivate the strains and produce the vaccines before the season sets in.
The influenza B strain to be included will be the Brisbane strain as it was in 2010, 2011 and 2010.
The vaccine is limited to two strains and is made up of two Influenza A varieties and one Influenza B.
The California and Hong Kong strains of influenza A will be included.
Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/queensland/brisbane-strain-of-influenza-included-in-next-years-vaccine/story-fnii5v6w-1227543290303
Weekend Australian 19-20 September 2015 page 5
A dramatic spike in the number of people experiencing serious allergic reactions after receiving this year’s flu jab has sparked an investigation by the nation’s drugs regulator.
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Townsville Bulletin RACHEL RILEY September 17, 2015
MORE than 10 patients a day have been struck down with influenza over the past three weeks, prompting a mobile doctor to fast-track a new after-hours service.
A total of 639 influenza notifications have been received by the Townsville Hospital and Health Service from January 1 to September 6, with 62 patients admitted to hospital.
That has jumped 231 cases in less than a month.
Overall figures are down from 751 for the same period last year, but the city still has the most number of cases in the “tropical region”, which covers Torres Strait down to Mackay.
The hospital’s public health unit is urging the community to remain vigilant against contracting and spreading the influenza virus following increases in influenza types A and B in Townsville.
Read more: http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/townsville/city-in-grip-of-flu-strike/story-fnjfzsax-1227530778137?from=public_rss
(University of Wisconsin-Madison 2 September 2015) Vaccines to protect against an avian influenza pandemic as well as seasonal flu may be mass produced more quickly and efficiently using technology described today by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the journal Nature Communications.
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