Influenza vaccine helps 50-64 year olds stay at work
Data presented today at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) show that Xolair (Omalizumab) for Subcutaneous Use significantly reduced asthma attacks in children aged six through 11 with moderate or severe persistent allergic asthma inadequately controlled with inhaled corticosteroids. The study further defines the safety profile of Xolair in this patient population.
Full Post: Xolair (Omalizumab) shows promise in treating allergic asthma inadequately controlled by inhaled corticosteroid
Workers age 50-64 who received influenza vaccine lost substantially fewer days of work and worked fewer days while ill, according to a new study in the Feb. 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.
Given the concerns about antiviral drug resistance among this year’s flu strains, the study highlights the importance of vaccination to prevent influenza.
The burden of influenza-like illnesses during the flu season is significant in working adults between the ages of 50 and 64. Uncertainty regarding the impact of the flu as well as the benefits of vaccination may contribute to low vaccination rates in that segment of the population.
The new study included 497 people, 404 of whom received an influenza vaccination. An influenza-like illness was reported by 17.1 percent of the study participants and was responsible for 39 percent of all work days lost. On average, the individuals were sick for eight days, missed one and a half days of work, and worked for four days while still symptomatic. Additionally, 30 percent visited a health care provider. The symptoms of illness appeared more severe in unvaccinated individuals, although the differences were not statistically significant.
Among unvaccinated study participants, influenza-like illnesses were associated with 45 percent of all days of illness during the flu season. However, with vaccination, a substantial reduction of almost 45 percent in the risk of illness was observed as well as a reduction of more than 60 percent in the numbers of days of illness, work loss, working while ill, and days in bed.
According to study author Kristin Nichol, MD, of the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, “The implications are that the prevention of influenza-like illnesses can have a huge impact on the health and work productivity of adults 50 to 64, and we should do more to make sure that this high priority group is vaccinated. It is a win-win for the worker with fewer illnesses, days of illness, days in bed, etc. and for the employer with improved worker productivity.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported high rates of resistance to the popular antiviral drug oseltamivir in one of this year’s flu strains. “Given the concerns about antiviral resistance,” Dr. Nichol said, “this study is a reminder of the importance of influenza vaccine. It’s not too late to get your flu shot.”
College students who are vaccinated against influenza appear less likely to develop flu-like illnesses, require related health care visits or experience impairments in academic performance during flu season, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. An estimated 9 percent to 20 percent of college and university students
Full Post: College students vaccinated against influenza less likely to develop flu-like illnesses
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is prepared to respond to public health needs for Relenza (zanamivir) Inhalation Powder this flu season following a Health Alert Advisory issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Relenza is a preferred medication in the CDC-issued interim recommendations for all circulating subtypes of influenza virus. This interim guidance is based
Full Post: GlaxoSmithKline ready to supply Biota’s Relenza to meet CDC recommendations
Despite recent doubts about its effectiveness, the influenza vaccine does give valuable protection against illness, hospital admission and death caused by influenza, and people over 65 should have the flu jab this winter, say experts on bmj.com. Several prominent media articles have suggested that the flu vaccination programme for the over 65s is not worthwhile.
Full Post: Seniors should have the flu jab this winter, say experts
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has announced a donation of up to one million doses of FluMist (Influenza Virus Vaccine Live, Intranasal) by MedImmune in a partnership aimed at increasing influenza awareness and vaccinations in underserved communities and populations. NACCHO will make these donated doses of vaccine available to selected state
Full Post: NACCHO to donate up to one million doses of FluMist
In what has been termed a landmark new study, it is suggested that wearing masks and washing hands prevents the spread of flu-like symptoms. While this may seem to many to be a case of the blatantly obvious, the study is apparently a “first-of-its-kind” examination of the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions in controlling the spread
Full Post: Protect yourself from flu by wearing a mask and washing your hands