NEWS SCAN: US global pandemic flu funds, new animal health center

Apr 20, 2010

US global funds for avian, pandemic flu reach $1.5 billion
Yesterday the US delegation to the International Ministerial Conference on Animal and Pandemic Influenza (IMCAPI) meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, noted the country has spent more than $1.5 billion to combat global avian and pandemic influenza. This figure represents $627 million invested since the previous 2008 IMCAPI conference held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, according to a Department of State press release. The additional US funding will be allocated to multilateral organizations, such as the World Health Organization, as well as to bilateral and regional programs. This investment includes the donation of 10% of the US H1N1 vaccine supply to developing countries, as well as in-kind assistance such as personal protective equipment, laboratory and decontamination kits, technical and humanitarian assistance, and vaccine research. The 3-day conference, which ends tomorrow, is being hosted by Vietnam with support from the US Agency for International Development, the United Nations, and the European Commission.
Apr 19 Department of State press release

USDA animal health research center dedicated in Iowa
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and other officials from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) dedicated the final component of the National Centers for Animal Health (NCAH) yesterday. The Ames, Iowa, center houses laboratories, offices, animal space, and administrative space for top animal health scientists and researchers and will employ 700 people, according to a USDA news release. The dedication marks the completion of a long-term project to consolidate three USDA units previously operated separately at Ames. "The new NCAH will help create jobs and economic opportunity in America's rural communities by supporting livestock producers across the country," said Vilsack. The NCAH includes the National Animal Disease Center, operated by USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, and the Center for Veterinary Biologics, operated by USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). It will conduct research, diagnostics, and training, as well as test vaccines and other veterinary biological products. Last year, APHIS and ARS scientists tested the first samples of novel H1N1 influenza, discovering that infected pigs did not have any of the virus in their tissues and confirming the safety of the food supply.
Apr 19 USDA news release

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