WHO probes swine flu narcolepsy concerns


AFP
February 9, 2011

Twelve countries have reported suspected cases of narcolepsy linked to swine flu jabs, the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday as its scientists said the findings warranted more investigation.

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The WHO said in a statement that such sleep disorders, mainly in youngsters, had not been seen with vaccines in the past, and were more frequent in Sweden, Finland and Iceland than in other countries.

However, the UN health agency decided to keep its advice in favour of vaccination, including with the Pandemrix vaccine highlighted in the study, because it still felt the benefits outweighed a relatively small risk, spokeswoman Alison Brunier said.

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder which causes extreme fatigue and often results in the patient falling soundly asleep without warning, even in the middle of an activity.

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