Thursday, April 30, 2009

Deadly influenza virus


French: Les élevages de porcs ne sont pas, jusqu'à
preuve du contraire, responsables de l'épidémie de
grippe, selon le directeur général de l'Organisation
mondiale de la santé animale (OIE), Bernard Vallat.]
(Click sur le titre pour lire l'interview de B Vallat.)

English: The deadly influenza virus currently rampaging in
Mexico and other countries is by far transmitted only
among humans, rather than widely believed to have
originated in pigs, the head of the World Organization
for Animal Health (OIE) said Monday. The virus is a
cocktail, which combines the features of swine, bird
and human viruses. It is inaccurate to name the
disease "swine flu" though the swine flu virus played
a part in the outbreak, Bernard Vallat said. He is
the director general of the Paris-based OIE . Vallat
said he is worried about people's misconception about
the disease, which was caused in part by its misnomer
"swine flu." He said that as the virus is nonexistent
before, the disease got its current name in the early
stage of the outbreak. He recommended "North American
influenza" as a more reasonable term, as influenza
epidemics are customarily named after their places of
origin, Spanish flu, for instance.

"Based on assessment of all available information and
following several expert consultations, Dr Margaret
Chan, WHO's Director General raised the current level
of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to 5. She
stated that all countries should immediately activate
their pandemic preparedness plans. At this stage,
effective and essential measures include heightened
surveillance, early detection and treatment of cases,
and infection control in all health facilities."

The rest is here:

Ah, there is this too...

10/03/2009 13:26 (50 Days 19:14 minutes ago)
The FINANCIAL -- Sanofi-aventis (EURONEXT: SAN and
NYSE: SNY), announced on March 9 the signing of an
agreement with the Mexican authorities to build a €
100 million facility to manufacture influenza vaccine
in Mexico.

The announcement was made during a ceremony attended
by Felipe Calderon, President of Mexico, and Nicolas
Sarkozy, President of France, who was in Mexico City
for a State visit.

[(L-R) Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, French President Nicolas
Sarkozy, Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his
wife Margarita Zavala during a visit to the pyramids
of Teotihuaca

This facility will be built and operated by sanofi
pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis
Group, which was represented at the ceremony by Chris
Viehbacher, Chief Executive Officer of sanofiaventis.

“By building this new facility, sanofi-aventis is
proud to contribute to the strengthening of Mexico’s
health infrastructure and is eager to support Mexico’s
exemplary commitment to public health through
influenza immunization and pandemic readiness”, said
Chris Viehbacher. “This investment illustrates
sanofi-aventis’ local approach to global health. This
facility will benefit public health in Mexico and the
Latin American region, in the context of influenza
pandemic preparedness”.

The agreement was signed by Birmex’ (Laboratorio de
Biológicos y Reactivos de México) and sanofi-aventis’
representatives in the presence of Dr. José Ángel
Córdova Villalobos, Minister of Health of Mexico.

Under the terms of the agreement, sanofi pasteur will
manufacture influenza vaccine in collaboration with
Birmex, a Mexican federal vaccine manufacturer. Birmex
will perform certain stages of manufacturing and will
be responsible for distributing influenza vaccines to
the public in Mexico.

Sanofi pasteur is planning to start construction of
the new vaccine manufacturing facility within a few
weeks. Upon completion within four years, the
facility will have a yearly capacity of up to 25
million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine.

The new influenza vaccine plant will be built in
Ocoyoacac, where sanofi-aventis already operates a
facility. The plant will be designed to switch to
pandemic vaccine manufacturing if a human influenza
pandemic is declared and a pandemic influenza strain
is identified by the World Health Organization (WHO).

As the world leader in research, development and
manufacturing of influenza vaccines, sanofi pasteur is
working to develop new and improved influenza vaccines
to save lives and is actively involved in pandemic
preparedness. Over the last five years, sanofi
pasteur has been consistently investing in major
expansions of its influenza vaccine production
capacity in the United States, France, China, and now
Mexico. With the production of more than 170 million
doses of seasonal influenza vaccine in 2008, sanofi
pasteur confirmed its global influenza vaccine market

Consistency, right.

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