ScienceDaily (Oct. 30, 2009) — Influenza viruses evade infection-fighting antibodies by constantly changing the shape of their major surface protein. This shape-shifting, called antigenic drift, is why influenza vaccines — which are designed to elicit antibodies matched to each year’s circulating virus strains — must be reformulated annually. Now, researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, have proposed a new explanation for the evolutionary forces that drive antigenic drift. The findings in mice, using a strain of seasonal influenza virus first isolated in 1934, also suggest that antigenic drift might be slowed by increasing the number of children vaccinated against influenza.

full story


•  Country may have had 2 new deaths from H1N1  (Link)

•  Bulgaria to distribute Tamiflu and Relenza to hospitals (Link)
•  School principal may be 3rd death from H1N1 (Link)
•  3rd and 4th deaths confirmed (Link)

•  Canada’s healthcare system ‘strained’ (Link)
•  3rd confirmed death in Ontario in a week (Link)
•  Flu fears and emotional ventings on H1N1 and vaccines (Link)
•  Sudbury has 6 in hospital on ventilators in ICU (Link)
•  Alberta: Vaccination clinics close early (Link)

•  A/H1N1 flu virus spreading quickly(Link)
•  Death toll from A/H1N1 flu reaches 6 on Chinese mainland (Link)

•  Leader Fidel Castro blames tourists for bringing H1N1 (Link)

•  1st swine flu death in person with no other illness (Link)

•  Death toll reaches 473 with 8 new deaths, 77 new cases (Link)
•  3rd death confirmed in Chandigarh, second child death (Link)
•  3 US tourists in Calcutta have ILI (Link)

•  MOH expert let down for taking public stands (Link)

•  Unable to care well for pregnant women, and 6th death suspected (Link)

•  Swine Flu Claims First Five Victims(Link)

Trinidad & Tobago
•  Young mother’s death is 5th death from H1N1 confirmed (Link)

•  Ukraine Orders Mobile Military Hospitals for H1N1 Caseload (Link)
•  WHO Team to Investigate Ukraine H1N1 Outbreaks (Link)
•  Ukraine taking some of ‘sternest measures’ (Link)
•  Halloween/zombies/flying pumpkins? Or not?  (Link)

United Kingdom
•  Sussex sees continued spread of H1N1 (Link)
•  Sir Elton John in hospital in London with ‘complications’ from flu (Link

United States
•  US: problems presented by those not getting vaccinated  (Link)
•  US: New findings that surgical masks are just as good as N95 masks (Link)
•  CA: San Luis Obispo man, 24, died of H1N1 – Tulare County (Link)
•  IA: Iowa counts 2 more deaths from H1N1  (Link)
•  IL had 6 deaths this week (Link)
•  IL: Pregnant Chicago woman dead from H1N1 (Link
•  OH: Clinton Memorial Hospital sees ‘sharp increase’ in flu cases (Link)
•  OR: McMinnville man dies of H1N1 flu  (Link)
•  PA: Allegheny County Sees 2nd H1N1 Flu Death; More Vaccine Expected (Link)
•  PA: H1N1 Flu Seen More In Pittsburgh Area Than Any othe State Region  (Link)
•  PA: Erie hospital breaks 124 yr old record for ER visits (Link)
•  TX: 49 yr old mom died of H1N1’s pneumonia, health department says COD pneumonia (Link)
•  VA: Accomack County hit hard by flu virus (Link)
•  WA: Snohomish County has long lines, enough vaxx for them  (Link)
•  WI: Kenosha man dead of suspected H1N1 (Link)

Commentary, General
•  Opinion on the US fed pandemic response from DemCT(Link)
•  WHO experts favor single-dose H1N1 vaccine regimen  (Link)
•  Canada: (opinion) We will dodge this bullet, but … (Link)
•  WHO says 700 dead in past week globally, and Ukraine takes tough measures  (Link)
•  Seniors among least likely to contract H1N1 virus (Link)
•  Vaccinated Pregnant Women Protect Their Unborn From Acquiring Seasonal Influenza: Presented at IDSA (Link)