News & Perspective

Dec 30, 2005

Dec 30, 2005

H5N1 avian flu viruses: What's in a name?

(CIDRAP News) – Last month, officials in Italy and Canada aroused concern by announcing they had found an H5N1 influenza virus in wild birds. Neither country had previously been troubled by any reports of the virulent H5N1 virus that has been plaguing poultry and occasionally sickening and killing humans in Asia.

But in both cases, health officials said the virus was not dangerous and was unrelated to the H5N1 virus in Asia.

Nov 21, 2005

Nov 21, 2005

Avian flu viruses in Canada not dangerous, officials say

(CIDRAP News) – Canadian officials said yesterday they would destroy all the poultry on a British Columbia farm where a duck was found to be carrying a low-pathogenic H5 avian influenza virus.

That announcement came 2 days after the Canadian government reported the identification of a low-pathogenic strain of H5N1 virus in wild birds in Manitoba and other flu viruses in wild birds in British Columbia and Quebec.

Nov 08, 2005

Nov 08, 2005

US calls for expert panel to plan pandemic response

(CIDRAP News) – The United States proposed today that a small group of experts be appointed immediately to plan a fast response in case an influenza pandemic erupts, as an international conference on avian and pandemic flu continued in Geneva.

Nov 04, 2005

Nov 04, 2005

Avian flu reported in China, Thailand, Vietnam

(CIDRAP News) – About 9,000 chickens have died and close to 370,000 have been culled in China in the largest of several outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza reported this week in Asia.

Oct 31, 2005

Oct 31, 2005

Thailand confirms 20th human case of avian flu

(CIDRAP News) – Thailand has confirmed its 20th human case of avian influenza, this time in a 50-year-old woman near Bangkok, according to the BBC today.

Thawat Suntrajarn, director general of the Thai Department of Disease Control told Agence France-Presse (AFP) today that the woman is "fine" and under treatment at a Bangkok Hospital.

Oct 27, 2005

Oct 27, 2005

Roche stops Tamfilu shipments to prevent hoarding

(CIDRAP News) – The drug maker Roche announced yesterday it was suspending shipments of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) to US pharmacies to prevent hoarding that could lead to a shortage of the drug during the winter influenza season.

The company said it was concerned that hoarding by people worried about a flu pandemic could lead to a shortage of the drug for those who will need it for treatment of ordinary seasonal flu.

Oct 21, 2005

Oct 21, 2005

Thai boy has avian flu; UK finds H5 virus in parrot

(CIDRAP News) – The 7-year-old son of a Thai farmer who died 2 days ago of H5N1 avian influenza also has the virus, but there is no evidence that the boy caught it from his father, according to news services.

Reuters and Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports said the boy tested positive for the virus, but they didn't say what test was used or where it was done. The boy is hospitalized but is expected to recover.

Sep 16, 2005

Sep 16, 2005

US pushes international efforts to thwart flu pandemic

(CIDRAP News) – US officials this week promoted international efforts to prepare for a potential influenza pandemic, announcing an international flu surveillance partnership and promising aid to Vietnam for avian and human flu surveillance.

Aug 03, 2005

Aug 03, 2005

Two studies model containment strategies for pandemic flu

(CIDRAP News) – Researchers relying on mathematical modeling claim that early containment of pandemic influenza, an eventuality widely accepted as not an "if" but a "when," may well be attainable through targeted public health strategies. A leading public health expert, however, cautions against viewing these study results as fodder for relaxed planning efforts, stressing the myriad variables that would come into play.

Jun 29, 2005

Jun 29, 2005

H5N1 virus has not grown more dangerous, experts say

(CIDRAP News) – An international team of experts has concluded that the H5N1 avian influenza virus in Vietnam has not recently improved its ability to spread to or among humans, according to news reports published today.

The finding suggests that the immediate risk of a flu pandemic is lower than previously believed, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report.

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