HEALTH

WHO: H1N1 in post-pandemic period, but it’s not over

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK The World Health Organization’s director-general Margaret Chan issued a statement on Tuesday that the H1N1 influenza has entered the post-pandemic period, but warned that the virus has not yet gone away.

While WHO has reported marginal levels of H1N1 transmission worldwide as of late, Chan said it expects the H1N1 virus to take on the behavior of a seasonal influenza virus and continue to circulate for some years to come.

 

NEW YORK The World Health Organization’s director-general Margaret Chan issued a statement on Tuesday that the H1N1 influenza has entered the post-pandemic period, but warned that the virus has not yet gone away.

While WHO has reported marginal levels of H1N1 transmission worldwide as of late, Chan said it expects the H1N1 virus to take on the behavior of a seasonal influenza virus and continue to circulate for some years to come.

 

"Pandemics, like the viruses that cause them, are unpredictable," she said. "So is the immediate post-pandemic period. There will be many questions, and we will have clear answers for only some. Continued vigilance is extremely important, and WHO has issued advice on recommended surveillance, vaccination, and clinical management during the post-pandemic period.

 

"As I said, pandemics are unpredictable and prone to deliver surprises. No two pandemics are ever alike. This pandemic has turned out to be much more fortunate than what we feared a little over a year ago," Chan added.

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Wild Child seeks to educate consumers on lice prevention

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES Natural healthcare products company Wild Child is offering head lice-prevention tips for the back-to-school season.

Wild Child, which is distributed through Hyland’s, has such homeopathic product offerings as the Quit Nits kit, Quit Nits everyday preventative spray and Quit Nits advance lice treatment cream. The company said it recommends increased awareness of how to treat and eliminate both lice and nits so children can be in school without any lice issues.

“Prevention is the key for parents this back-to-school season,” said Leanne Preston, CEO and founder of Wild Child. “The first week of school is the most critical in preventing head lice and parents can make it a habit to apply a safe, everyday preventative spray on their child’s head before they leave for school, and check their scalp carefully as soon as they get home.”

Wild Child’s Quit Nits line is available at CVS, Whole Foods, and other retailers.

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GNC reports increase in Q2 net income, EBITDA

BY Allison Cerra

PITTSBURGH General Nutrition Centers reported a 42.5% increase in net income for its second quarter ended June 30.

GNC said Tuesday that its net income totaled $25.6 million, compared with $18 million in the year-ago period. Adjusted EBITDA for second quarter 2010 was $68.6 million, an 18.1% increase over the adjusted EBITDA of $58.1 million for second quarter 2009.

In the second quarter, the company opened 13 net new domestic cmpany-owned stores, 1 net new company-owned store in Canada, 43 net new international franchise locations, and 49 net new franchise store-within-a-store Rite Aid locations, and closed nine net domestic franchise locations. As of June 30, GNC operated more than 7,100 locations, of which more than 5,500 retail locations are in the United States (including 892 franchise and 1,972 Rite Aid franchise store-within-a-store locations), and franchise operations in 50 countries.

GNC CEO Joe Fortunato said, “Our second-quarter results demonstrate the continued momentum of the business and our ability to consistently grow revenue and adjusted EBITDA. Beyond the core business, I am also pleased with our ongoing corporate partnership initiatives, such as our previously announced venture with Pepsi and our most recent project with PetSmart. As a leader in the health-and-wellness industry focused on science and innovation, GNC is well positioned to continue to build on the valued brand that gives us an edge in the marketplace and allows us to continue to enhance financial leverage.”

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