Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Swine Flu Fizzles Out; WHO May Declare End to Pandemic Alert/ Bloomberg

There has been almost no swine flu in the southern hemisphere so far this winter.  Finally WHO will announce we are in the post-pandemic phase.  From Bloomberg:
... More than $14 billion was spent on vaccines and medicines to fight the germ, which shared features of the Spanish flu of 1918 while causing little more than a fever and a cough in a majority of patients.
... Pharmaceutical companies reaped at least $10 billion in sales of vaccines and antivirals because of the outbreak, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Roche of Basel, Switzerland, sold about $3.58 billion of Tamiflu last year and in the first three months of 2010. London-based GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s revenue from the pandemic reached $3.78 billion.  Novartis AG of Basel, Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis SA, CSL Ltd. of Melbourne and Baxter International Inc. of Deerfield, Illinois, also sold vaccines.

... The pandemic highlighted the unpredictable nature of influenza and showed that planning for responses to global outbreaks requires greater flexibility, Canterbury Health’s (New Zealand) Jennings said.

Closing schools and screening travelers at entry ports didn’t stop the virus, and the pandemic response wasn’t justified by its severity, said Heath Kelly, head of epidemiology at Victoria state’s infectious diseases reference laboratory in Melbourne, Australia.

1 comment:

alex said...

Henry Niman of Recombinomics, Crof at his H5N1 blog, and readers of my blog at labvirus.com would entirely disagree. perhaps seasonal flu has fizzled out, but pH1N1 polymorphisms are recombining rapidly in both humans in swine and are now showing G185E rbd change ability to escape the immune system, in addition to D225G which carries a 1918 polymorhpism. This thing is NOT over by a LONG SHOT.