***CDC activates emergency center over H7N9*** Peramivir EUA around the corner
Robert Roos News Editor
Apr 9, 2013 (CIDRAP News) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Atlanta yesterday to support the response to the H7N9 influenza outbreak in China, CDC officials said in an e-mailed statement today.
The EOC was activated at level 2, the second of three levels. Level 1, the highest, signals an agency-wide response. "This is a limited activation that allows for the use of additional resources and staff to meet the technical needs of a public health response," the agency said.
Activation was prompted because the novel H7N9 avian influenza virus has never been seen before in animals or humans and because reports from China have linked it to severe human disease, the agency said.
"Since this is an international outbreak, activation of the EOC provides resources, logistical support, and avenues of communication with international partners that make management of the situation easier," the CDC said, adding that it is collaborating closely with authorities in China and other countries.
"Additionally, in this stage of investigation and intense planning, activation of the EOC is intended to ensure that internal connections are developed and maintained and that CDC staff are kept informed and up to date with regard to the changing situation," the statement said.
Information on the number of personnel involved in the CDC response was not available at this writing.
Information on the CDC Web site says the last EOC response was for Japan's severe earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
Neuraminidase Inhibitors for Influenza
Anne Moscona, M.D.
N Engl J Med 2005; 353:1363-1373September 29, 2005DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra050740
Vaccine production by current methods cannot be carried out with the speed required to halt the progress of a new strain of influenza virus; therefore, it is likely that vaccine would not be available for the first wave of spread of virus.1 Antiviral agents thus form an important part of a rational approach to epidemic influenza and are critical to planning for a pandemic.
Four drugs are currently available for the treatment or prophylaxis of influenza infections: the adamantanes (amantadine and rimantadine) and the newer class of neuraminidase inhibitors (zanamivir [Relenza] and oseltamivir [Tamiflu]).
As a class, the neuraminidase inhibitors are effective against all neuraminidase subtypes and, therefore, against all strains of influenza, a key point in epidemic and pandemic preparedness and an important advantage over the adamantanes, which are effective only against sensitive strains of influenza A. These new drugs, if used properly, have great potential for diminishing the effects of influenza infection....
Current supplies of neuraminidase inhibitors are inadequate for any proposed strategy for pandemic response,1 even for the least satisfactory option of treating only the ill. There is little capacity to increase production in the time of need, and therefore anticipatory stockpiling of drugs and the development of efficient distribution methods in case of need are high priorities.