News & Perspective

Dec 15, 2008

Dec 15, 2008

Progress reported at WHO meeting on virus sharing

(CIDRAP News) – A World Health Organization (WHO) group that met last week in Geneva to solve problems related to global sharing of H5N1 avian influenza viruses made progress on language spelling out the commitment to sharing both the viruses and benefits, a senior US government official told CIDRAP News.

Dec 03, 2008

Dec 03, 2008

USDA drafts avian flu risk assessment for poultry and egg products

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) yesterday released a draft of its risk assessment for contracting highly pathogenic avian influenza from eating poultry products, shell eggs, and egg products, a tool that could be used to reduce human illness from the virus and help target messages to consumers.

Oct 29, 2008

Oct 29, 2008

Experts stress vigilance over emerging, unpredictable diseases

See related article posted today: "US urged to launch major campaign against emerging diseases"

– WASHINGTON, DC (CIDRAP News) – Health authorities must remain alert to new and renascent disease threats, experts warned this week at an international medical meeting.

Jul 21, 2008

Jul 21, 2008

More efforts look outside the box for outbreak signals

(CIDRAP News) – In the history of infectious diseases, coincidence plays an extraordinary role. In 1706, Cotton Mather purchased a slave named Onesimus who happened to come from a tribe that practiced variolation, and so smallpox prevention was introduced to North America.

Jul 17, 2008

Jul 17, 2008

GAO looks abroad for food-safety oversight lessons

(CIDRAP News) – The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report examining the results several developed nations and the European Union achieved when they consolidated oversight of food safety in a single agency, a step often advocated in the United State for solving some of the problems linked to contaminated imported and domestic food.

Jun 23, 2008

Jun 23, 2008

Health leaders: World far from ready for flu pandemic

(CIDRAP News) – The world is far from being well prepared for an influenza pandemic, leading national and international health officials warned at a meeting in Malaysia last week.

As the H5N1 avian influenza virus continues to thrive in birds, there is no vaccine that can provide sure protection if it evolves into a pandemic strain, and governments are paying less attention to the threat, officials said.

May 30, 2008

May 30, 2008

WHO reports progress on intellectual property issues

(CIDRAP News) –The World Health Assembly (WHA) recently approved a global strategy for managing intellectual property issues and made progress on a draft action plan that was presented by a World Health Organization (WHO) working group.

The WHA, which consists of delegates from all WHO member states and serves as the agency's policy-making arm, met in Geneva from May 19 to 23.

May 27, 2008

May 27, 2008

Indonesia claims wide support for virus-sharing stance

(CIDRAP News) – Indonesia's health minister asserted yesterday that 112 other nations at a meeting in Geneva last week expressed support for her country's position on avian influenza virus sharing, according to an Indonesian newspaper.

Apr 29, 2008

Apr 29, 2008

Toronto officials approve antivirals for city workers

(CIDRAP News) – Toronto's city council yesterday approved a $1.5 million plan to treat nearly half of the municipal employee workforce with antiviral medication in the event of a pandemic scenario, making it the first major Canadian city to stockpile the drugs.

Mar 20, 2008

Mar 20, 2008

US has enough H5N1 vaccine for 13 million people

(CIDRAP News) – A progress report released today says the US government has stockpiled enough prepandemic H5N1 influenza vaccine for 13 million people, more than double the number listed in the previous report, issued last July.

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