H1N1 virus

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Pregnant Woman Killed by Flu

Leslie Creekmore's doctor told her to put off getting a flu shot

(Newser) - An Arkansas woman who lost her unborn baby last month after contracting the H1N1 flu virus has died. Leslie Creekmore, 29, had been hospitalized first in Arkansas then transferred to St. Louis in mid-January, where a hospital spokesperson confirmed she had died Monday. Just two days after she was moved... More »

Narcolepsy Breakthrough: It's Autoimmune

Researchers find 'smoking gun' confirming long-held theory

(Newser) - A group of researchers has finally found evidence to confirm what many have long suspected: Narcolepsy is an autoimmune disease. The hypothesis has been swirling since 2009, when at least 900 children developed the chronic drowsiness disorder after being given a swine flu vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline, Scientific American and Reuters... More »

Swine Flu's 2009 Death Toll Not 19K—It Was 203K

New research finds H1N1 epidemic killed 10 times more than estimated

(Newser) - WHO initially reported 18,631 lab-confirmed deaths from 2009's "swine flu" epidemic—but a new study by epidemiologists finds that H1N1 actually killed as many as 203,000 people. The researchers looked at respiratory deaths in 20 countries and then used that data to calculate a global figure.... More »

Swine Flu Shot May Have Caused Kids' Narcolepsy

795 European recipients of GlaxoSmithKline drug report illness

(Newser) - Children across Europe have been developing narcolepsy at increased rates since 2009—and experts fear the crisis may be linked to a GlaxoSmithKline swine flu vaccine. The incurable sleep disorder has surged in Sweden, Finland, Norway, France, and Britain, experts say, and it can take a devastating toll: Reuters recounts... More »

Study Made Bird Flu More Contagious

Report finally out, despite government terrorism fears

(Newser) - The journal Nature has published a controversial paper describing how University of Wisconsin scientists created an airborne strain of H5N1—aka "bird flu"—that was transmissible in mammals. A federal panel had asked Nature not to publish the study, and a similar one from a Dutch virologist, fearing... More »

FDA Cracks Down on False Claims for Hand Sanitizers

Agency warns firms claiming their gels battle MRSA

(Newser) - Warning: Hand sanitizers will not make you invincible. They don’t, for example, protect against germs like MRSA, as the FDA pointed out yesterday in a consumer update. Nor do they kill E. coli, salmonella, or the H1N1 virus. It’s not just consumers who don’t get this: The... More »

56 Dead as Swine Flu Resurfaces in Egypt

Officials had taken measures to stop spread

(Newser) - The H1N1 swine flu virus has reemerged in Egypt, infecting 1,172 people and killing 56 since Oct. 8, Reuters reports. Some 16,373 have been infected in the country, with 281 deaths, since it was first reported there in June 2009. Egyptian officials last year culled all pigs, shut... More »

WHO Exaggerated Swine Flu Pandemic: EU Reports

Watchdogs accuse WHO of colluding with drugmakers

(Newser) - Was the H1N1 pandemic exaggerated? European officials are putting heat on the WHO over its handling of the pandemic, alleging the organization caused unnecessary panic and wasted millions of dollars. Reports released by an EU watchdog and the British Medical Journal go even further: they accuse the WHO of being... More »

Snopes Founders: People Are Suckers

Please, stop falling for that Nigerian scam

(Newser) - The founders of Snopes.com started out investigating the origins of urban legends like the serial killer with a hook for a hand; 14 years later, their site is a major source of information for people seeking the real story behind political rumors. “When you’re looking at truth... More »

US May Toss 75M Doses of Swine Flu Vaccine

Unused shots are near expiration date

(Newser) - More than 71 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine purchased by the federal government to combat an expected flu pandemic will have to be discarded if they go unused, which seems increasingly likely. Those doses were packaged for individual use, which dramatically decreases their shelf life. Of the 229 million... More »

Swine Flu Killed 17K Americans: CDC

Total lower than usual, but victims skew younger

(Newser) - The H1N1 pandemic has been less deadly than a normal flu season, but the infection has claimed the lives of far younger victims, the CDC announced today. The outbreak killed 17,000 Americans, far less than the 36,000 who die during an average flu season. But in a normal... More »

Swine Flu Not Gone Yet

US is 'not at all out of the woods,' CDC chief says

(Newser) - H1N1 continues to spread, albeit at a subdued pace. The chances of a third outbreak this season seem slight, but even though swine flu is not mounting a major offensive, it seems unusually resilient—most influenza outbreaks would've dissipated by now. Deaths from pneumonia and influenza are up, for the... More »

US Grade for Bio-Terror Readiness: F

Feds 'failing to address several urgent threats,' commission says

(Newser) - The US is woefully unprepared for a biological attack—getting an “F” from a bipartisan commission on weapons of mass destruction. “While the government has made progress on preventing such attacks, it is simply not paying consistent and urgent attention to the means of responding quickly and effectively... More »

Santa's a Terrible Role Model for Kids

He's obese, doesn't wear a helmet, and could be spreading swine flu

(Newser) - There really is a Santa Claus—and he's a public health menace, warns a light-hearted new study in a British medical journal. It identifies a "very high Santa awareness" among children and determines that he's a reckless role model with his frequent cookie snacks, occasional cigars, and refusal to... More »

Thank You, Swine Flu: Seasonal Version No Big Deal

History, and this past spring, show novel strains 'crowd out' normal ones

(Newser) - A perfect storm of factors related to the swine flu pandemic have many experts predicting the usual seasonal flu viruses will be no-shows this season. First off, the rush for H1N1 vaccinations saw many patients being vaccinated for the seasonal varieties as well. And then there’s “crowding out,... More »

800K Swine Flu Shots for Kids Recalled

They lost effectiveness since being distributed

(Newser) - French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis has recalled 800,000 child doses of swine flu vaccine sold to the US because the preservative-free shots have significantly declined in potency since manufacture. The CDC says anyone already vaccinated with the syringes—intended for children 6 to 25 months—is safe, but doctors should return... More »

Swine Flu Hits 1 in 6

H1N1 has killed 10K Americans

(Newser) - Swine flu had sickened 50 million Americans, and killed 10,000 of them by mid-November, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates released yesterday. A sixth of the population has been infected and over 200,000 people with the H1N1 virus have been hospitalized. The number of deaths... More »

Scam Emails Capitalize on Swine Flu Scare

Phishing scheme asks targets to register for vaccination

(Newser) - Bogus email alert: Be on the lookout for messages allegedly from the CDC about a "mandatory" swine flu vaccination program. The emails ask recipients to enter personal information in order to get vaccinated, but unlucky registrants get malware instead of medicine. The CDC has confirmed that it is not... More »

Flu Cases Plummet, But Child Deaths Rise

32 states report widespread disease activity, down from 43 a week ago

(Newser) - The number of H1N1 cases fell throughout November, but children under 18 continue to be disproportionately affected by the virus, with 35 deaths reported last week. Flu activity was widespread in 32 states in the weekly report out today, down from 43 a week earlier. And the worrisome rise in... More »

Flu Pandemic Slacks Off, But 'It's Not Over'

Tamiflu-resistant cluster crops up in NC; 3 of 4 patients dead

(Newser) - The swine flu outbreak is slacking off in some areas, but don't get complacent, officials say: Pandemics naturally fluctuate. "There can be multiple ups and downs over the season," says a CDC doctor. "We have many weeks ahead of us where disease is going to be circulating.... More »

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