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Topic: influenza
Worried about the flu season? Here’s the story behind the figures

Worried about the flu season? Here’s the story behind the figures

Heath Kelly writes: Tuesday’s reports suggesting a particularly severe flu season could easily be overstating the case. The figures, released by Influenza Specialist Group say there have been more than 20,000 cases of flu nationally so far this year, double last year’s number. The release highlights the fundamental problem with trying to get a picture of […]

An expert’s questions for the Australian Government on the “Scamiflu” saga

An expert’s questions for the Australian Government on the “Scamiflu” saga

(A Federal Health Department response to this post was added on 18 April). “Most experts would agree that the modest benefits of Tamiflu and Relenza, as reported by the review, do not justify the increased adverse risks, let alone the money spent on them…” So says an NHS Choices analysis of an important systematic review […]

Influenza vaccination and children: weighing up the evidence

Influenza vaccination and children: weighing up the evidence

As has been widely reported, the Food and Drug Administration recently sent CSL a warning letter raising concerns about its manufacturing processes and the company’s investigation into problems with its influenza vaccine for children, Fluvax (which has been marketed in the US as Afluria). The letter, dated 15 June, asked for CSL to respond within […]

Temperatures soar in federal/states stoush over influenza vaccination

Temperatures soar in federal/states stoush over influenza vaccination

Temperatures are rising in the stoush between federal and state health officials over who was to blame for an inadequate response when evidence began to emerge that young children in WA were suffering febrile convulsions after having the influenza vaccine Fluvax. As previously reported at Croakey, in August a report by a former WA chief […]

An infectious diseases soup: whooping cough, swine flu and “Delhi belly”

An infectious diseases soup: whooping cough, swine flu and “Delhi belly”

Below is a soup of infectious diseases – a bit of whooping cough mixed in with swine flu and finished off with a dose of “Delhi belly”… Are parents getting good advice on whooping cough? NSW Health recently issued a warning for parents to be on alert for whooping cough (pertussis) following an increase in […]

YouCommNews launches with an investigation into influenza policy

YouCommNews launches with an investigation into influenza policy

YouCommNews, a website to enable members of the public to commission and fund journalistic investigations, will be launched at the NewNews conference in Melbourne today. The conference is being held by the Public Interest Journalist Foundation and Melbourne Writers Festival. Associate Professor Heath Kelly, an expert on the epidemiology of influenza, explains below some of […]

An update on influenza, vaccination and other recent controversies

An update on influenza, vaccination and other recent controversies

Herewith, a series of updates of recent news and views in the world of influenza, vaccination etc (including a rather stiff serve directed at the Federal Department of Health and Ageing…) Federal response to WA influenza vaccination review is sorely lacking As mentioned at Croakey previously, the WA Government recently released an important report reviewing […]

WA review critical of official response to problems with influenza vaccination in children

WA review critical of official response to problems with influenza vaccination in children

The WA review, which was established in May to investigate the response by health authorities to adverse events in children following seasonal influenza vaccination, was released today (although dated July), and is available here. At a quick glance, it directs some rather stern criticism towards not only WA health authorities but also the Commonwealth. It […]

Why advertising for cold and flu treatments makes me sick (and you as well)

Why advertising for cold and flu treatments makes me sick (and you as well)

Companies flogging cold and flu treatments may be encouraging the spread of infections because their advertising is encouraging people to soldier on, rather than keeping themselves and their viruses tucked away at home. So says Dr Harry Hemley, president of the Australian Medical Association Victoria. He writes: “I’m getting increasingly irritated by direct to consumer […]

Industry, experts and the pandemic scandal at WHO

Industry, experts and the pandemic scandal at WHO

Will the scandal about undeclared industry ties of experts who advised the World Health Organisation on pandemic influenza claim the scalp of the Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan? Such a question might have seemed far-fetched even just a few months ago, but no less an authority than the editor of the BMJ, Dr Fiona Godlee, has […]