(CIDRAP News) If someone tried to kill Americans with Bacillus anthracis spores today, the nation would have a better medical tool chest for treating the sick and those potentially exposed than it had 10 years ago, when the anthrax letter attacks killed five people, but anthrax defenses are still a work in progress.
(CIDRAP News) The National Institutes of Health (NIH) yesterday announced it has awarded contracts, which could total $150 million over 5 years, to four companies to develop broad-spectrum therapies that could help the nation respond to a bioterror attack or other public health emergency.
(CIDRAP News) A new analysis of influenza outbreak patterns in several navies in 1918 suggests that the first and second waves of the pandemic were caused by "antigenically distinct" viruses, a conclusion that runs counter to some other recent studies that have tried to discern why the second wave was so much more deadly than the first.
(CIDRAP News) A study of preserved lung sections from 68 US soldiers who died in the 1918 influenza pandemic shows that cases from the spring and fall pandemic waves looked much the same and that there is no evidence of viral mutations that could readily explain why the fall wave was so lethal.
(CIDRAP News) – In the film "Contagion," opening in theaters today, a respiratory virus from Malaysia makes its way from bats to humans, spreading quickly around the world and killing a high proportion of those infected. It's clearly an extreme scenario, but not an impossible one, say experts who have seen the movie.
(CIDRAP News) Scientists have found an answer to a nagging question about how best to protect children under age 3 against influenza, reporting that any combination of injected or nasal-spray vaccines, given in any order, yields similar protective antibody responses in the recommended two-dose prime-boost strategy.
(CIDRAP News) A team of European researchers reported yesterday the discovery of a human monoclonal antibody that binds to all types of influenza A viruses, raising the prospect of a new flu treatment and improving the chances of developing a broadly protective or "universal" flu vaccine.