The space occupied by Google Flu Trends is becoming more congested. One year after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out a call for ways to use digital data to forecast the flu season, details of the entrants' models are still trickling in as academic papers are published.
Google has made the biggest change to its Flu Trends influenza tracking software since it first released the system in 2008. The update incorporates data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an attempt to improve the accuracy of the model.
Pfizer's Prevnar 13, the world's best-selling vaccine, scored a big win Wednesday, nabbing a CDC committee nod for universal use in adults over the age of 65. And once payer coverage kicks in, that's a nod that could be worth $2 billion for Pfizer, analysts say--with Merck's Pneumovax getting a boost, too.
I caught up with Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last week, prior to his address at the National Press Club in downtown Washington, DC. Other media outlets joined in later. Here are some takeaways from his speech on antibiotic resistance, as well as our conversation.
For the first time since the swine flu pandemic in 2009, influenza A virus pdm09 (pH1N1) predominated in the U.S. during the 2013-2014 flu season. And while this season saw overall lower levels of outpatient illness and death than in those predominated by fellow A virus H3N2, for older adults it was comparatively more severe, a CDC report found.
With HIV-infection rates no longer going down and condom use continuing to fall, U.S. health officials are recommending that Americans at high risk of infection take a pill: Gilead Sciences' Truvada, an AIDS fighter that's the only drug approved for HIV prevention.
Vaccination against the flu reduces a child's risk of intensive care hospitalization related to the flu by 74%, according to a CDC study published recently in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Donald Trump has once again pushed a debunked link between vaccines and autism, this time weighing in after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report indicating that the number of children in America with the disorder has jumped from 1 in 88 two years ago to 1 in 68.
In the decade after Merck began selling its chickenpox vaccine in the U.S. the proportion of infants immunized against the virus rose to almost 90%. Yet immunized kids continued to catch chickenpox and the virus even killed two people who had received the vaccine. This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on the success of the strategy it adopted to prevent such cases.
While polio has been eradicated across much of the earth, other viruses from the same family continue to circulate. Many infections are mild or even asymptomatic, but occasionally the viruses can cause the paralysis associated with polio. Over the past 18 months, Stanford University researchers have identified 20 possible cases in California.