CDC: Flu-like illnesses driven by three U.S. regions, but numbers remain low
ATLANTA For the week ended Feb. 6, visits to doctors for influenza-like illness nationally increased slightly over the week before but remained low overall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Feb. 14.
The national increase in ILI was driven by 3-of-10 U.S. regions, the agency stated — regions 4, 7, and 9.
Region 4 is comprised of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee; region 7 is comprised of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska; and region 9 is comprised of Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada.
Very few 2009 H1N1 laboratory-confirmed hospitalizations were reported by states during the week ended Feb. 6 for most age groups.
No states reported widespread influenza activity (an increase in ILI activity in more than half of the state’s areas). Six states reported regional influenza activity (increased ILI activity in more than one but less than half of the state’s areas), including Alabama, Georgia, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Carolina.
Almost all of the influenza viruses identified so far continue to be 2009 H1N1 influenza A viruses. These viruses remain similar to the virus chosen for the 2009 H1N1 vaccine, and remain susceptible to the antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir with rare exception.
CRN opens international headquarters
WASHINGTON The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Tuesday announced the opening of its international headquarters in Manno, Switzerland. CRN will be opening a new wholly-owned entity to be known as the Council for Responsible Nutrition-International (CRN-I), the dietary supplement industry association announced.
“This was a natural progression for CRN to formalize the work it’s been doing for decades by standing up for science-based principles for dietary/food supplements worldwide,” stated Mark LeDoux, CRN. “CRN-I will provide a new forum by which we can strengthen our current efforts, with a particular emphasis on promoting sound nutrition and food safety policies, and encouraging government bodies, regulators and other decision makers to make policy recommendations that are well-grounded in science. In this global economy, having a European-based platform from which to disseminate science-based policy recommendations has been imperative to maximize our influence on behalf of our multi-national members doing business around the world.”
The new organization announced its immediate first priority is to conduct a one-day scientific symposium –“Scientific Issues Related to Codex Goals” — taking place July 3 in Geneva, Switzerland, in tandem with the Codex Alimentarius Commission meeting. The CRN-I conference will include invited international regulators and policy makers, nutrition scientists and academics, to share perspectives on Codex-related issues relating to risk management and scientific standards for health claims.
“We have a responsibility to our members and to our consumers worldwide to ensure that regulators and policy makers have the opportunity to engage in intellectual, peer-reviewed, science-based discussions so that they can consider these viewpoints as part of their policy-making process,” LeDoux said.
The CRN-I Board will be announced at the first CRN-I annual meeting, scheduled for April 15 in Paris in conjunction with the meeting of the Codex Committee on General Principles.
For more information, visit www.crn-i.ch.
Shaking up protein times 6
ORLANDO, Fla. —BSN last month showcased its line of ready-to-drink protein supplements at the ECRM Vitamin, Diet & Sports Nutrition meeting here. The company’s RTD protein supplements already are best-sellers at specialty shop GNC and military retailer AAFES.
The new-to-mass RTD protein shake, called Syntha-6, features six proteins—including milk, whey and soy—that each are metabolized by the body at different rates, allowing for a more gradual supplementation of protein.
Sports enthusiasts and avid dieters may be credited with driving sales of protein supplements higher last year by some 22%; for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 26, 2009, sales of protein supplements reached $148.3 million across food, drug and mass (including Walmart), according to Nielsen Group data.
For 2010, BSN is planning $3.2 million in advertising.