Wednesday, August 19, 2009

GlaxoSmithKline Begins Testing H1N1 Vaccine

GlaxoSmithKline has started testing its pandemic H1N1 swine flu vaccine in humans, and expects to start giving the results to government agencies next month, the drugmaker said on Friday,' Reuters reports. The company 'plans to conduct 16 different trials of the vaccine and to test 9,000 people in total across Europe, Canada and the United States,' according to the news service.

GlaxoSmithKline Begins Testing H1N1 Vaccine

Dutch advice on Mexican flu: 'Just sit it out'

The Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) announced Friday that it has stopped recording new Mexican flu patients in the Netherlands. Doctors and hospitals no longer have to report new cases to the health authorities.

From the available data it looks like the Mexican flu is after all relatively mild. Only one to three percent of all patients develop complications, mostly pneumonia.

Two thirds of all patients with complications so far belong to the traditional groups at risk. These include people over 60, children under two, people with diabetes, heart or lung diseases, pregnant women in their third trimester, and people with diminished resistance, for instance as a result of chemotherapy. These people already qualify for the regular winter flu shot.

In other words, the Dutch health authorities are now treating the Mexican flu as a common winter flu. - International - Dutch advice on Mexican flu: 'Just sit it out'

Dutch researchers create swine flu video game

Since swine flu first emerged in April, it has sparked panic, vaccine production and now, a video game. In an effort to raise awareness, Dutch researchers have created a game that challenges players to control a new pandemic.

'It is actually what is happening now, what is happening in the real world,' said Ab Osterhaus, head of virology at the Erasmus Medical Centre, who designed 'The Great Flu' game with colleagues. The game can only be playedonline at and it is free.

The game begins with images of bedridden patients and graveyards from the 1918 Spanish flu. As the head of the fictitious "World Pandemic Control," players pick a flu strain, and then monitor thatstrain's spread around the world.

To fight the emerging outbreak, players use measures including setting up surveillance systems, stockpiling antivirals and vaccines, and closing schools and airports. Players also have a limited budget and are warned that "your actions to control the virus cost money, so keep an eye on it." - International - Dutch researchers create swine flu video game