1. Being as it's Friday, there will be a #flu update from @CDCgov later this morning. I'll add to this when it comes out.
Just looking at the weekly Covid & #influenza report from @PHE_uk. In a normal flu season, one might see a little flu activity in early Sept. Nope. Image
2. @CDCgov's FluView is up. Actual confirmed cases of #flu remain very low. There is, however, a fair amount of influenza-like illness, or ILI, activity. The report suggests it may have plateaued among 0-4 & 5-24 yr olds. Will be interesting to watch this, now that school is in. Image
3. @CDCgov reports another 2 cases of infection with swine #flu viruses have been detected, both in Iowa. Neither was sick enough to need hospital care; both recovered. Both had traceable links to pigs. Image
4. These new swine #flu cases bring to 9 the number detected in the US so far this year. Nothing strange about this number. 3 different swine flu strains involved; cases seen across 4 states. Image
5. @CDCgov has to report all human swine flu cases to @WHO. The world keeps an eye out for human infections with non-human flu viruses because of their pandemic potential. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic was caused by a virus that jumped from pigs to people.
6. @CDCgov says none of the 9 cases detected so far this yr involved human-2-human transmission (a good thing). But the link to swine for at least some of the cases seems to leave that possibility open. One of this week's cases, for instance, lived with people who cared for pigs. Image
7. It's impossible to know at this point when #flu activity will resume here. There is definitely some flu transmission in some parts of the world, but it remains at historically low levels. This week's FluView shows no signs of it picking up here yet. cdc.gov/flu/weekly/ind…

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More from @HelenBranswell

3 Sep
1. Let's talk a little #flu. Or more specifically, let's talk about ILI — #influenza-like illnesses. Those are cold & flu-like ailments caused by a stew of viruses: influenza, rhinoviruses, adenoviruses, parainfluenza, human coronaviruses & respiratory syncytial virus — RSV.
2. @CDCgov releases its weekly #flu updates Friday morning. This week's (covering Aug. 22-28) showed there is more ILI activity now (red arrow) than there was at any point last winter during the traditional cold and flu season. Does that mean flu has returned? In a word, no.
3. I assume different parts of the country may be seeing different combos of bugs, but here's what's being seen in Utah, from Intermountain Healthcare's GermWatch. Lots of rhinoviruses (the most common cause of the common cold) & RSV. No flu or human CoVs. intermountainhealthcare.org/health-informa…
Read 6 tweets
30 Aug
1. #ACIP meets today. I'll be tweeting on the meeting in this thread.
When it was first announced, this was going to be a 2-day meeting; now only 1.
If you want to listen to the meeting, you can do so from here: video.ibm.com/channel/VWBXKB…
2. Contrary to popular opinion, this #ACIP meeting isn't primarily about whether Americans who got mRNA vaccines need a 3rd dose starting in Sept., as per the policy announced by the Biden administration. Only 45 minutes of the 6.5 hour meeting has been set aside for boosters.
3. Why so little discussion about boosters? Not a lot of data at this point.
Pfizer only recently applied to @US_FDA for a 3rd shot; Moderna hasn't yet applied. #ACIP will review the data Pfizer submitted to FDA when it becomes available to ACIP, chair Grace Lee told me.
Read 36 tweets
17 Aug
1. The last couple of days have been so busy I haven't updated on #Ebole in Côte d'Ivoire. Here goes:
At present there is 1 confirmed case, a young woman who travelled by bus (buses?) from Guinea to Abidjan. There is also a suspect case. I'd bet that's a case.
2. @WHOAFRO says there are also 9 contacts who've been identified and are being monitored. I would be surprised if that total doesn't change a lot. This woman had a long journey & at a point was on a bus with 70 people. This is likely a complex investigation.
3. I was told just now by @WHO that there still isn't confirmation of the species of #Ebola involved. Not sure why that isn't known yet. The working assumption has to be that it's Ebola Zaire because they are using vaccines that target the Zaire species. Won't work for others.
Read 5 tweets
14 Aug
1. A short thread about the newly announced case of #Ebola in Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast).
The diagnosis was confirmed by the Institut Pasteur in Cote d'Ivoire. This does not have the feel of a suspect case — the announcement sounds like @WHOAFRO is confident this is Ebola.
2. A critical point made by @MoetiTshidi, regional director of @WHOAFRO, is that this is the first time since 2014 that an #Ebola cases has been diagnosed in a major city. (I need to refresh my memory about the North Kivu outbreak.) Abidjan population: +4M.
Urban Ebola = not good
3. The @WHOAFRO statement says there's no indication this case, a man who traveled from Guinea, was linked to the Guinean #Ebola outbreak from earlier this year. Work is underway to determine the source of infection.
Read 6 tweets
13 Aug
1. #ACIP is meeting now to vote on a recommendation that some severely immunocompromised people be given a 3rd dose of mRNA vaccine in their primary series, because they do not get enough protection from 2 doses. FDA cleared the way for this LATE last night.
I will be tweeting.
2. Here's the story we published last night about this change to the EUAs for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The 3rd dose should be given at least 28 days after the 2nd dose in the series.
No change was made to the 1 dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
statnews.com/2021/08/12/fda…
3. #ACIP has a new chair today. Grace Lee from Stanford takes over from José Romero, Arkansas' health secretary.
The committee is down 3 members today. The term of 3 previous members expired but 3 replacements haven't yet been "onboarded" -- which I think is a paperwork thing.
Read 43 tweets
10 Aug
1. @WHO put out a meaty release today on the confirmation of Guinea's first detected #Marburg case. A thread.
The first known case, described in the local media as a 46 yo father of five, developed symptoms on July 25. No word yet on the source of his infection. Image
2. This #Marburg case occurred at Gueckédou, which is near where the 2014-16 #Ebola outbreak is thought to have started. Guinea's health system is underfunded, which helped Ebola take off there. But Gueckédou now has a lab to test for viral hemorrhagic fevers. Beneficial legacy. Image
3. The man sought medical care but his illness wasn't diagnosed as #Marburg. He was tested for malaria — a common occurrence when health workers don't know a viral hemorrhagic fever is circulating. After his Aug. 2 death, Marburg was diagnosed pretty quickly.
Read 8 tweets

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