(CIDRAP News) After delaying action for weeks as the novel H1N1 influenza virus took hold in far-flung parts of the globe, the World Health Organization (WHO) today declared a full-fledged pandemic, formally recognizing that the virus is becoming a global contagion.
(CIDRAP News) In response to concerns from various governments about the possible effects of declaring a full-scale influenza pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) will call on outside experts to consider whether to revise the agency's definitions of pandemic alert phases, a WHO official announced today.
(CIDRAP News) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) signaled today that it will change its current recommendation—which is to close schools for at least 2 weeks when a confirmed case of novel H1N1 swine flu is found among students—as health officials in the Seattle area and Minnesota scaled back their guidance to reflect more of a seasonal influenza approach.
(CIDRAP News) –At an emergency hearing today of the Senate appropriations committee, Sen Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said the Obama administration will ask for $1.5 billion to fight the swine influenza epidemic, as committee members sought to get a handle on the elements and cost estimates of the public health response.
Editor's note: Includes two new sections, on phase change considerations and on possible impact.
(CIDRAP News) The World Health Organization (WHO) today raised its official pandemic alert level from the current phase 3 to phase 4 on its 6-phase scale, saying the newly identified swine influenza virus has made a pandemic more likely but not inevitable.
(CIDRAP News) The case count in the nationwide Salmonella outbreak tied to peanut butter climbed to 550 yesterday, as federal officials announced an effort to use "social media" such as podcasts and YouTube videos to keep consumers abreast of product recalls and other developments in the outbreak.
(CIDRAP News) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today released its inspection findings on the Georgia peanut butter plant that has been linked to a nationwide Salmonella outbreak, saying the company shipped products that had initially tested positive for Salmonella and citing various other questionable practices.
(CIDRAP News) Experts and industry leaders speaking at congressional hearings this week on the nationwide Salmonella outbreak said federal agencies should take cues from state programs if they want to improve the traceability of fresh produce and the success of foodborne disease outbreak investigations.
(CIDRAP News) – New details emerged today about breaks in the Salmonella investigation that led to the identification of the outbreak strain in a jalapeno pepper, as the number of cases in the nationwide outbreak rose to 1,284.