17 Stories

For the First Time in 2 Decades, a New Flu Drug Hits US

US health regulators approve Xofluza

(Newser) - US health regulators have approved the first new type of flu drug in two decades. Wednesday's approval of Xofluza for people ages 12 and older comes ahead of the brunt of this winter's flu season. Xofluza is a pill that can reduce severity and shorten duration of flu... 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 »

Feds Release Last of Kids Tamiflu Stockpile

Swine flu has killed at least 114 US children and teens

(Newser) - With the swine flu outbreak taking an enormous, and sometimes fatal, toll on American kids, the Centers for Disease Control today released the last of its stockpiles of the children’s version of flu drug Tamiflu. Some 114 youngsters have been reported killed by the virus, and the actual number... More »

Fears Trigger Rush on Liquid Tamiflu for Kids

Sporadic shortages reported around the country

(Newser) - Parents are scrambling in parts of the country to find liquid Tamiflu for their kids. It's selling out so quickly in drug stores that federal officials have given pharmacists a back-up plan: They can mix syrup with the powdery adult capsules—the precise ratio is determined by a child's weight—... More »

Swine Flu Leads to Unhappy Campers

As outbreaks spread like wildfire, counselors quarantine kids

(Newser) - H1N1 may not have ended civilization as we know it, but it’s ruined a lot of stays at summer camp, the New York Times reports. Camps are dry tinder for flu outbreaks, and many have canceled or postponed this year's sessions. Others have been split nearly in half to... More »

Swine Flu Soars in England

(Newser) - Diagnosed cases of swine flu have jumped sixfold in some parts of England over the last week, the Guardian reports. Suspected cases have risen almost 50% across the country. The pandemic has killed 16 people in the UK so far. British doctors say they are being overwhelmed by patients demanding... More »

Harry Potter Star Has Swine Flu as New Strain Emerges

(Newser) - The actor who plays schoolboy sorcerer Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter movies has a "mild case" of swine flu, the Daily Mail reports. Twenty-year-old Rupert Grint left the latest Potter film set for a few days, but plans to attend next week's premiere of Harry Potter And ... More »

Swiss Pharma Won't Donate Swine Flu Vaccine to Poor

Novartis defies WHO calls to give free doses to poor

(Newser) - Swiss pharma giant Novartis is defying the World Health Organization by refusing to donate swine flu vaccines to the world's poor, despite the designation of H1N1 as the first pandemic in 40 years, reports the Financial Times. Last week the WHO's director general called on drug companies to show "... More »

States' Flu Readiness Comes Up 10M Doses Short

Stockpiles of antiviral medication are 10 million doses short

(Newser) - Dozens of states have failed to stockpile enough medication to treat a full-blown flu outbreak, the Washington Post reports. The federal Strategic National Stockpile program has vast amounts of antiviral medication stashed in secret locations around the country, but records show that state governments have 10 million fewer dosages than... More »

Officials Fear Flu Drug Resistance

Misuse of antivirals by panicked public could breed stronger strains of disease

(Newser) - Pharmacies are stocking up on Tamiflu and other anti-influenza drugs as fears grow of a swine flu outbreak, but health officials warn that the antivirals could do more harm than good if administered incorrectly. Taking the drugs in the wrong dose or for too short a time can lead to... More »

Flu Spooks Street; Dow Off 51

Firms likely to be hurt by reaction to disease see shares drop

(Newser) - Swine flu worried investors but wasn’t enough to spark a full-scale sell-off today, the Financial Times reports. AMR, parent of American Airlines, Marriott, and Expedia fell as investors bet against firms that may be specifically hurt. Shares of Gilead Sciences, developer of Tamiflu, were up nearly 4%, however. The... More »

Swine Flu Sends Travel Stocks Falling

Airlines decline while drugmakers advance; Mexican peso tumbles

(Newser) - Stocks declined worldwide today, with travel companies leading losses as investors gave their first reaction to the outbreak of swine flu. Airlines took a pummeling—Lufthansa fell more than 12%, British Airways 8.7%—and tour operators like Carnival also suffered sharp drops. But pharmaceutical companies did well: drugmaker Roche,... More »

Tamiflu Useless Against Dominant Flu Strain

Substitute isn't safe for everyone

(Newser) - The dominant flu strain circulating in much of the US is nearly 100% resistant to Tamiflu, the most commonly used antiviral, the Los Angeles Times reports. Despite a milder than usual flu season, the resistance is still causing concern, and the CDC is advising doctors to substitute Tamiflu with Relenza,... More »

Flu Shot: Better Luck Next Year

FDA includes new strains in formula

(Newser) - Next year's influenza vaccine will be reformulated to include three new flu strains in the hope of developing a more potent vaccine than this year's effort, according to US News & World Report. An FDA panel approved the move, following the lead of the World Health Organization. This year's vaccine... More »

Common Flu Exhibits Drug Resistance

Up to 10% of cases in West don't respond to Tamiflu treatment

(Newser) - A widespread strain of the influenza virus is proving to be resistant to a common treatment, Time reports. The H1N1 virus, a subtype of influenza A (not to be confused with H5N1, the avian or bird flu) has shown rates of resistance of up to 10% in Europe, Canada, and... More »

Tamiflu Will Carry Stronger Warning Labels

Maker will beef up language on possible psychiatric side effects

(Newser) - The maker of flu drug Tamiflu said today it will accept recommendations by a government panel that it revise printed warnings about the medication's side effects. Labels already warn of possible psychiatric reactions, but the panel recommended noting that some people have died, the AP reports. Drugmaker Roche says flu... More »

FDA May Add Warnings to Flu Meds

Hallucinations, other side effects seen with Tamiflu, Relenza

(Newser) - The FDA may change the labels of flu medications Tamiflu and Relenza to warn of serious side effects such as hallucinations, the Wall Street Journal reports. More than 700 so-called neuropsychiatric events—for example, children trying to "flee" by jumping through windows—and 16 deaths may be related to... More »

17 Stories
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