Up to 84,000 Americans Hospitalized with Flu in Past Three Months


(Reuters) - An estimated 69,000 to 84,000 Americans were hospitalized due to the flu in the last three months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday.

The nation saw one of the worst flu outbreaks in nearly a decade during the 2017-2018 season, with more than 900,000 cases of hospitalizations and over 80,000 deaths, the CDC estimates https://www.cdc.gov/flu/spotlights/press-conference-2018-19.htm#ref1.

Between Oct. 1, 2018 and Jan. 5, 2019, about 6 million to 7 million people were reported to have contracted the flu, according to data collected by the health agency.

Health regulators have been trying to combat flu outbreaks in the United States and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first new flu medication in nearly two decades last year.

The CDC last month signaled the start of the flu season (click https://www.cdc.gov/flu/spotlights/flu-activity-elevated.htm), saying that 24 states and Guam were reporting widespread cases, with the H1N1 virus being the predominant strain.

The dominant flu strain during the last season, H3N2, has been linked with severe disease and death, particularly among children and the elderly.

The agency continues to recommend vaccination as the best way to reduce the risk of flu and advised people who are at high risk category to approach hospital for treatment with a flu antiviral drug.

(Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)


Fund battling AIDS, TB and malaria seeks $14 billion to invigorate fight

By Kate Kelland

LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - At least $14 billion is needed to accelerate the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and quell stubborn epidemics that still kill millions, the head of a global health fund said on Friday.

Announcing a fundraising target for the next three-year cycle, Peter Sands, director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said the money could help save 16 million lives, halving deaths from the three diseases.

It would also be used to build stronger health systems in poor countries ill-equipped to handle existing outbreaks and unable to cope with potential new epidemics.

"New threats mean there is no middle ground," Sands said in a statement. "We need to ... protect and build on the gains we have made, or we will see those achievements eroded, infections and deaths resurge, and the prospect of ending the epidemics disappear."

The Global Fund is a group of governments, civil society and private sector partners which invests around $4 billion a year to fight infectious diseases. It was launched in 2002 and has since helped slash the number of people dying from AIDS, TB and malaria by around a third.

Yet the epidemics are still far from beaten.

In 2017, TB killed 1.6 million people, including 300,000 people with HIV, making it one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. Malaria kills almost half a million people each year, most of them babies or young children in sub-Saharan Africa.

In the AIDS pandemic, almost 37 million people worldwide are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and around 15 million of them do not get the antiretroviral drugs needed.

Sands acknowledged in a telephone interview how hard it would be to encourage international donors to pledge funds towards such a high target. But he added that with the fund's reach and ability to elicit engagement and investment by governments in nations affected by the epidemics, he was confident it would have a major impact.

"If we step up the fight now, we will save millions more lives," he said.

(Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)



(Reuters) - An estimated 69,000 to 84,000 Americans were hospitalized due to the flu in the last three months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday.

The nation saw one of the worst flu outbreaks in nearly a decade during the 2017-2018 season, with more than 900,000 cases of hospitalizations and over 80,000 deaths, the CDC estimates https://www.cdc.gov/flu/spotlights/press-conference-2018-19.htm#ref1.

Between Oct.


1, 2018 and Jan. 5, 2019, about 6 million to 7 million people were reported to have contracted the flu, according to data collected by the health agency.

Health regulators have been trying to combat flu outbreaks in the United States and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first new flu medication in nearly two decades last year.

The CDC last month signaled the start of the flu season (click https://www.cdc.gov/flu/spotlights/flu-activity-elevated.htm), saying that 24 states and Guam were reporting widespread cases, with the H1N1 virus being the predominant strain.

The dominant flu strain during the last season, H3N2, has been linked with severe disease and death, particularly among children and the elderly.

The agency continues to recommend vaccination as the best way to reduce the risk of flu and advised people who are at high risk category to approach hospital for treatment with a flu antiviral drug.

(Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)


Fund battling AIDS, TB and malaria seeks $14 billion to invigorate fight

By Kate Kelland

LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - At least $14 billion is needed to accelerate the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and quell stubborn epidemics that still kill millions, the head of a global health fund said on Friday.

Announcing a fundraising target for the next three-year cycle, Peter Sands, director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said the money could help save 16 million lives, halving deaths from the three diseases.

It would also be used to build stronger health systems in poor countries ill-equipped to handle existing outbreaks and unable to cope with potential new epidemics.

"New threats mean there is no middle ground," Sands said in a statement. "We need to ... protect and build on the gains we have made, or we will see those achievements eroded, infections and deaths resurge, and the prospect of ending the epidemics disappear."

The Global Fund is a group of governments, civil society and private sector partners which invests around $4 billion a year to fight infectious diseases. It was launched in 2002 and has since helped slash the number of people dying from AIDS, TB and malaria by around a third.

Yet the epidemics are still far from beaten.

In 2017, TB killed 1.6 million people, including 300,000 people with HIV, making it one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. Malaria kills almost half a million people each year, most of them babies or young children in sub-Saharan Africa.

In the AIDS pandemic, almost 37 million people worldwide are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and around 15 million of them do not get the antiretroviral drugs needed.

Sands acknowledged in a telephone interview how hard it would be to encourage international donors to pledge funds towards such a high target. But he added that with the fund's reach and ability to elicit engagement and investment by governments in nations affected by the epidemics, he was confident it would have a major impact.

"If we step up the fight now, we will save millions more lives," he said.

(Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)