Friday, December 4, 2009

Montana's News Station: H1N1 e-mail scam making the rounds

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services is reporting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned the state about fraudulent e-mails referencing a CDC sponsored State Vaccination Program.

The scam asks recipients of the messages to register personal information if they received a 2009 H1N1 vaccine. But, the CDC has not implemented a state vaccination program requiring registration.

Users that click on the e-mail are at risk of having a malicious program code installed on their computer's operating system.

Montana's News Station: H1N1 scam making the rounds

WHO investigates Tamiflu resistance, updates antiviral recommendations for H1N1 patients with severely compromised immune systems

Following recent reports of clusters of Tamiflu resistance, the WHO recommended that patients with severely weakened immunesystems who become infected with the H1N1 (swine flu) virus receive additional antiviral treatment as needed throughout the duration of their illness, Agence France-Presse reports.

'Although the WHO said there was no evidence that the two clusters found in Wales and in North Carolina [U.S.] marked a wider public health threat, it reiterated calls for vigilance and modified treatment advice for the frontline flu drug,' the news service writes.

In addition to ramping up antiviral treatment, the agency advised physicians treating patients with suppressed immune systems who are not responding to Tamiflu be given the alternative antiviral, Relenza (12/2).
The WHO also announced an investigation into the Tamiflu-resistant cases of H1N1 in hospitals in Wales and the U.S. showed the virus had not spread among hospital workers and the community, the Canadian Press reports.

Read the rest of this article:
WHO investigates Tamiflu resistance,
updates antiviral recommendations for H1N1 patients with severely compromised immune systems

AFP: Netherlands reports mutant swine flu death

Dutch authorities said Thursday a patient infected by a mutant strain of the swine flu virus had died, but added that this was not the cause of death.

Harald Wychgel, spokesman for the Dutch Institute for Health and the Environment, told AFP that there had been a 'minor change in the virus to make it resistant to Tamiflu,' a key treatment for influenza.

'He died not because the virus was resistant but because he was seriously ill and caught the Mexican (swine) flu,' Wychgel said.

The man, whose age had not been given, died Sunday in the northern city of Groningen, local health official Hans Coenraads said.

'We have carried out tests on the patient's associates to see if the mutation had spread but we found no such indications', he said.

Reports said that two more patients in the Netherlands had shown resistance to Tamiflu.

It is the fifth fatal case of mutated A(H1N1) flu in Europe, after two in France and two in Norway.

The World Health Organisation said last month that mutations had been observed in Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico, where the swine flu pandemic began, Ukraine, and the United States, as early as April.

Italy also reported a non-fatal case on Monday.

'The mutations appear to occur sporadically and spontaneously. To date, no links between the small number of patients infected with the mutated virus have been found and the mutation does not appear to spread,' a WHO statement said on November 20.

The WHO also underlined that there was no evidence of more infections or more deaths as a result, while the mutated virus detected up to that point remained sensitive to antiviral drugs used to treat severe flu, oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza).

Scientists fear that mutations in flu viruses could cause more virulent and deadly pandemic flu. The global health watchdog reiterated a call for close monitoring.

'Although further investigation is under way, no evidence currently suggests that these mutations are leading to an unusual increase in the number of H1N1 infections or a greater number of severe or fatal cases,' it added.

AFP: Netherlands reports mutant swine flu death