H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Social-gathering ban, de-emphasizing seasonal flu vaccine, high Tamiflu dosing, impact on Mecca

first_imgZambian district bans social gatheringsHealth authorities in Zambia’s Luanshya district have banned weddings and other social gatherings to curb the spread of the pandemic H1N1 virus, according to a Sep 26 Times of Zambia report that was picked up by Xinhua, China’s state news agency. Over the past 4 days the district has reported more than 630 suspected pandemic flu cases. Flu cases are reportedly on the rise elsewhere in Zambia, as well.http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-09/26/content_12114449.htmSep 26 Xinhua storyBritish Columbia pares back seasonal flu effortsBritish Columbia said today it would delay promoting seasonal flu shots until early in 2010, except for those in high-risk groups such as older people, the Vancouver Sun reported. Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Nova Scotia announced similar steps in the past few days. The moves follow reports of an unpublished Canadian study that suggests seasonal flu vaccination may double the risk of pandemic H1N1 infection, a finding not confirmed by WHO and CDC data.High antiviral dosage may have saved H1N1 patientsDoubling the dosage of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) in patients with severe H1N1 flu cases has helped Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong avoid any deaths from the disease so far, according to the Hong Kong newspaper The Standard. The hospital has treated at least 60 severely ill patients without loss of life, said Dr. David Hui Sui-cheong, a respiratory disease specialist. The hospital has focused on early treatment along with doubling the dose.http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?we_cat=4&art_id=88437&sid=25513528&con_type=1&d_str=20090928&fc=10Sep 28 Standard reportPandemic chokes flow of pilgrims to MeccaWorries about the H1N1 pandemic have kept many Muslims from traveling to Mecca for the minor pilgrimage called umra, which can be done any time of year, according to the Herald, a Scottish newspaper. The drop in visitors has hurt business for shops, hotels, and tour operators in Mecca, with hotel occupancy rates in the last 10 days of Ramadan down by more than a third from last year. Saudi Arabia had urged the elderly and people with chronic diseases to postpone trips.http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/world-news/swine-flu-fears-keep-pilgrims-away-from-mecca-1.922671|Sep 28 Herald storylast_img

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