Saturday, August 15, 2009

Swine Flu: Brazil bans flu medication ads

FOCUS Information Agency - Brazil on Friday imposed a temporary ban on all flu medicine advertisements in an effort to reduce self-medication that may disguise A/H1N1 symptoms, Xinhua News Agency informs.

The ban applies to advertisements for aspirin-based medicine and over-the-counter remedies for flu symptoms on all mass media, including the Internet, said the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa).

The measure aims at reducing the self-medication, which may cause errors in the diagnosis of the A/H1N1 flu, leading to more severe cases of the disease, the Anvisa said.

The Brazilian health ministry said that 77 percent of flu cases in the country were A/H1N1 and the number was rising sharply.

Brazil has registered 277 deaths from the disease, the third largest number of A/H1N1 deaths after the United States and Argentina.

Brazil are taking other measures to contain the spread of the A/H1N1virus, such as postponing poliomyelitis immunizations scheduled for Aug. 22 to avoid crowding in hospitals that could lead to more infections.

Classes remain suspended in many schools and universities in the country. Students will have to miss nearly a month of school before most schools resume classes in late August or early September.

Latest data released by the health ministry this week said that there are 3,642 confirmed cases of A/H1N1 flu in Brazil.

However, the ministry noted that the number may grow bigger, as more tests for the disease are underway.
Published by Mike Hitchen,
Putting principles before profits