Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 5 Issue 341 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 7-Dec-2003 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 8-Dec-2003
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Influenza summary update: Week ending November 29, 2003-Week 48
Thirteen U.S. state health departments reported widespread influenza activity, 16 states and New York City reported regional activity, 6 states reported local influenza activity, 13 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico reported sporadic influenza activity, and 1 state and the District of Columbia reported no influenza activity.  more

CDC assessing influenza vaccine now in supply pipeline - High risk individuals and health care workers should be immunized
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in response to strong consumer demand for influenza vaccine is working with vaccine manufacturers, state health departments, medical professionals, and others to assess the status of the current flu vaccine supply in the United States. Current reports indicate that most available flu vaccine supplies have now been distributed to doctors, clinics, health departments and other providers, which is not unusual for this time of year.  more


Review: The influenza (flu) viruses
Influenza types A or B viruses cause epidemics of disease almost every winter. In the United States, these winter influenza epidemics can cause illness in 10% to 20% of people and are associated with an average of 36,000 deaths and 114,000 hospitalizations per year. Getting a flu shot can prevent illness from types A and B influenza. Influenza type C infections cause a mild respiratory illness and are not thought to cause epidemics. The flu shot does not protect against type C influenza.  more

Antiviral drug information
Although a flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu, antiviral drugs are other tools that can be used to help prevent and treat influenza. The four available drugs are: amantadine, rimantadine, zanamivir, and oseltamivir.  more

Information for patients: Influenza - The disease
The flu is spread, or transmitted, when a person who has the flu coughs, sneezes, or speaks and sends flu virus into the air, and other people inhale the virus. The virus enters the nose, throat, or lungs of a person and begins to multiply, causing symptoms of influenza. Influenza may, less often, be spread when a person touches a surface that has flu viruses on it a door handle, for instance and then touches his or her nose or mouth. more

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