Sunday, December 6, 2009

Center for Disease Control - Seasonal Influenza (Flu) - Weekly Report: Influenza Summary Update


During week 47 (November 22-28, 2009), influenza activity continued to decrease in the U.S.

  • 956 (15.4%) specimens tested by U.S. World Health Organization (WHO) and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) collaborating laboratories and reported to CDC/Influenza Division were positive for influenza.
  • Over 99% of all subtyped influenza A viruses being reported to CDC were 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses.
  • The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was above the epidemic threshold for the ninth consecutive week.
  • Seventeen influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported. Twelve of these deaths were associated with 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus infection and five were associated with an influenza A virus for which the subtype was undetermined.
  • The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was 3.7% which is above the national baseline of 2.3%. Eight of the 10 regions reported ILI at or above region-specific baseline levels. Regions 6 and 10 reported ILI below their region specific baselines.
  • Twenty-five states reported geographically widespread influenza activity, 17 states reported regional influenza activity, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and six states reported local influenza activity, and Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and two states reported sporadic influenza activities.

    INFLUENZA Virus Isolated
    View WHO-NREVSS Regional Bar Charts | View Chart Data | View Full Screen | View PowerPoint Presentation Microsoft PowerPoint file

    Pneumonia and Influenza Hospitalization and Death Tracking:

    This new system was implemented on August 30, 2009, and replaces the weekly report of laboratory confirmed 2009 H1N1-related hospitalizations and deaths that began in April 2009. Jurisdictions can now report to CDC counts of hospitalizations and deaths resulting from all types or subtypes of influenza, not just those from 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. To allow jurisdictions to implement the new case definition, counts were reset to zero on August 30, 2009. From August 30 – November 28, 2009, 31,320 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations and 1,336 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated deaths were reported to CDC. CDC will continue to use its traditional surveillance systems to track the progress of the 2009-10 influenza season.

    Aggregate Hospital and Death Reporting
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    | View PowerPoint Presentation Microsoft PowerPoint file

    Antigenic Characterization:

    CDC has antigenically characterized one seasonal influenza A (H1N1), three influenza A (H3N2), four influenza B, and 499 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses collected since September 1, 2009.

    One seasonal influenza A (H1N1) virus was tested and is related to the influenza A (H1N1) component of the 2009-10 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine (A/Brisbane/59/2007).

    The three influenza A (H3N2) viruses tested showed reduced titers with antisera produced against A/Brisbane/10/2007, the 2009-2010 Northern Hemisphere influenza A (H3N2) vaccine component, and were antigenically related to A/Perth/16/2009, the WHO recommended influenza A (H3N2) component of the 2010 Southern Hemisphere vaccine formulation.

    Influenza B viruses currently circulating globally can be divided into two distinct lineages represented by the B/Yamagata/16/88 and B/Victoria/02/87 viruses. The influenza B component of the 2009-10 vaccine belongs to the B/Victoria lineage. The four influenza B viruses tested belong to the B/Victoria lineage and are related to the influenza vaccine component for the 2009-10 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine (B/Brisbane/60/2008).

    Four hundred ninety-eight (99.8%) of 499 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses tested are related to the A/California/07/2009 (H1N1) reference virus selected by WHO as the 2009 H1N1 vaccine virus and one virus (0.2%) tested showed a reduced titer with antiserum produced against A/California/07/2009.

    Annual influenza vaccination is expected to provide the best protection against those virus strains that are related to the vaccine strains, but limited to no protection may be expected when the vaccine and circulating virus strains are so different as to be from different lineages. Antigenic characterization of 2009 influenza A(H1N1) viruses indicates that these viruses are only distantly related antigenically and genetically to seasonal influenza A(H1N1) viruses, suggesting that little to no protection would be expected from vaccination with seasonal influenza vaccine. It is too early in the influenza season to determine if seasonal influenza viruses will circulate widely or how well the seasonal vaccine and circulating strains will match.

    Antiviral Resistance:

    Since September 1, 2009, two seasonal influenza A (H1N1), five influenza A (H3N2), one influenza B, and 451 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus isolates have been tested for resistance to the neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir and zanamivir), and 1,089 2009 influenza A (H1N1) original clinical samples were tested for a single known mutation in the virus that confers oseltamivir resistance. In addition, two influenza A (H3N2) and 207 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus isolates have been tested for resistance to the adamantanes (amantadine and rimantadine). Additional laboratories perform antiviral testing and report their results to CDC. The results of antiviral resistance testing performed on these viruses are summarized in the table below

  • To see the rest of the report/any update go to:

New stem cell lines approved for tax-paid research

 National Institutes of Health - The Nation's Medical Research Agency

Thirteen stem cell lines -- created by Children's Hospital Boston and Rockefeller University -- are first on that list. Another 96 embryonic stem cell lines are undergoing NIH review, and 20 or more could get a decision by Friday, Collins said.

big change from the Bush administration, which had limited taxpayer-funded research to about 21 stem cell lines, those already in existence as of August 2001. Scientists say newer batches were created in ways that made them far better candidates for successful research. Indeed, only one of the Bush-era stem cell lines is among the 96 now under consideration.

Click on the following for more details:  Daily Herald | New stem cell lines approved for tax-paid research

Ill. raises speed limit for truckers

 ... illinois department of

-- The Illinois Department of Transportation says it will remove 55 mph speed-limit signs aimed at truckers along rural interstates early next year as the speed limit for trucks that weigh more than 4 tons increases to 65 mph.

the effort should cost about $75,000. The 55 mph signs need to be removed on about 1,800 miles of Illinois roads.  Enforcement of the new speed limit for truckers starts Jan. 1

Click on the following for more details:  Daily Herald | Ill. raises speed limit for truckers

Northwest Herald Letter to Editor:| Insulting ad

Northwest Herald - Local news and video for McHenry County, Illinois 

To the Editor:

I resent the state lottery using the Christmas hymn, “Joy To The World,” as a come-on for their lottery. I ask that they pull that Christian-insulting ad.

Bill McElman

Lake In The Hills

Click on the following to read the comments, all 100+ of them:  Northwest Herald | Insulting ad

Red kettles go high tech

 ... Auto Care » Salvation Army

Salvation Army chapters in 120 cities, including Chicago, have equipped more than 300 of their red kettles with credit and debit card machines marked with the organization’s red shield logo, according to the organization.

“The test market is predominantly indoor locations, and we’re not exactly sure what, if any, problems there will be in the weather,”

Northwest Herald | Red kettles go high tech

Business Journal | Boosting ethanol blend not so easy


The EPA said it would postpone making a decision on whether to increase the amount of ethanol that can safely be blended into gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent  The market is saturated, and it’s forced a lot of plants out of business. This would be a good way to bring those back on line and bring back second-generation or cellulosic ethanol to the table.

Click on the following for more details: Business Journal | Boosting ethanol blend not so easy

Treasury Forecasts Smaller Loss From Bank Rescue


The Treasury Department expects to recover all but $42 billion of the $370 billion it has lent to ailing companies since the financial crisis began last year, with the portion lent to banks actually showing a slight profit, according to a new Treasury report.

$42 billion in losses is a net figure that accounts for some profits to offset the losses. The Treasury officials said the government had lost about $60 billion, roughly half to Chrysler and General Motors and the other half to the insurance giant American International Group.

Click on the following for more details:  Treasury Forecasts Smaller Loss From Bank Rescue -

Charity Navigator - America's Largest Charity Evaluator

It is Christmas Time and every recipient of your generosity, past or present, is requesting another contributions.  If you haven’t done so lately see what others say about your charity.

Click on the following to see what some experts say:  Charity Navigator - America's Largest Charity Evaluator | Home