Apr 27, 2010 (CIDRAP News) – In the latest developments surrounding suspected adverse reactions to the seasonal flu vaccine in Australian children, an autopsy revealed no clear link to immunization in the death of a 2-year-old, and vaccine maker CSL said it has found no evidence of a bad batch connected to cases reported so far. The adverse events that the country’s health officials are investigating involve CSL’s seasonal flu vaccine, which covers the pandemic H1N1 virus. So far most of the reports are concentrated in West Australia state, which unlike other states offers free seasonal flu vaccine for children under age 5.

West Australian officials have received 250 reports of possible adverse reactions, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported today. Queensland has also received some adverse-event reports and is investigating the death of a 2-year-old Brisbane girl who died about 12 hours after receiving the vaccine. The events prompted Australian health officials on Apr 23 to ask health providers to stop giving children under age 5 the vaccine while it investigated fever and convulsions in some children who had received it. At the same time CSL said it stopped shipping the pediatric version of its Fluvax vaccine while it and health authorities investigate the events.

Dr Jeanette Young, Queensland’s chief medical officer, said today that the initial autopsy on the Brisbane child revealed no evidence that her death was linked to the seasonal flu shot, but further tests are needed, the Brisbane Times reported today. “It’s too early at this stage to say that the vaccine caused this child’s death or indeed what did cause this child’s death,” she said. “But at this stage there’s nothing jumping out and saying this child died as a result of receiving the vaccine.” Meanwhile, CSL, which makes flu vaccine for Australia but is not the country’s sole provider, said today that a check of vaccine batch numbers on the adverse-event reports does not indicate that a single batch is responsible for the suspected reactions, the AAP reported today. CSL told the AAP that it was continuing to work with regulators and West Australian health officials to investigate the adverse-reaction reports.



•  CIDRAP: Australia widens probe into flu-vaccine events (Link) Bloomberg article (Link)

•  Flu jab still the safer option for children (Link)

•  19 poultry markets up for upgrade to avert bird flu risk (Link)
•  Bangladesh Reports 12 Outbreaks of Bird Flu (Link)

•  British Columbia: Nine people dead at B.C. hospital since ‘influenza-like’ outbreak began (Link)
•  Mystery outbreak leaves 9 dead (Link)

•  More than 1,000 birds killed by H5N1 virus (Link)

•  H1N1 Virus Keeps Striking Cuba (Link)

•  Summer’s first swine flu case in Andhra (Link)

•  H1N1 Raises Ugly Head Again – Two Lose Lives  (Link)

•  Bird Flu Case in Spreads Starting Apit River  (Link)
•  Partnership Reduces the Risk of Bird Flu (US Embassy press release) (Link)

•  Joice Positive , Arifin Achmad Hospital Patients Hospitalized Three suspect(ed of) bird flu (Link)
•  Three Suspected Bird Flu Sufferers in Pekanbaru hospitalized (Link)
•  Patient Suspect Bird Flu Parents Try Fleeing The Department Of Internal Medicine  (Link)

•  H1N1 – 29 new cases reported (Link)

•  2 heart patients add to death toll (Link)
•  Current Situation of Influenza A (H1N1) as of 30 April 2010 (translated) (Link)
•  Woman is latest H1N1 victim (Link)

•  Current Situation of Influenza A (H1N1) as of 29 April 2010 (Link) Ministry of Health Report (Link)

•  BMA hopes to examine H1N1 Influenza at Ratchaprasong (Link)

•  ProMed: Undiagnosed Fatalities – Uganda (Bugiri), Meningitis Suspected, Request For Information (Link)

United States
•  IN: Indiana health department shuts down swine flu line (Link)

•  HHS has a new venture: Open Government Plan (Link)

•  Outbreak under control influenza A/H5N1 (translated) (Link)
•  Streptococcus alarm from pig to human transmission – High risk of spread of H5N1 from Cambodia to Vietnam (translated) (Link)
•  Hot sun, the North inspired many diseases (Link)

•  A clamp for emerging flu viruses (Link)

•  Much slower travel couldn’t contain influenza even in 1889 (Link)
•  WHO: Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 – update 98 (Link)