(CIDRAP News) – Eleven of 16 hospitalized US cases of variant H3N2 (H3N2v) swine-origin influenza this past summer occurred in Ohio, and 10 of those were in children, according to a report that also suggests that even healthy people stay away from pigs at fairs to avoid flu infection.
Disclosure: The University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, which publishes CIDRAP News, has produced training programs and materials for the BioWatch program. The news team has no involvement in the center's BioWatch work.
(CIDRAP News) – The type of flu transmission occurring mainly in young people directly exposed to pigs at fairs this summer is unprecedented, and health officials should consider keeping pigs away from the events, according to one infectious disease expert who has gone on record with his concerns.
In the wake of a newspaper investigation that questioned the value of the federal BioWatch program for detecting dangerous airborne pathogens, some public health officials familiar with the program acknowledge that it's far from perfect, but they say it's not time to scrap it.
(CIDRAP News) – The number of recent human cases of swine-origin variant H3N2 influenza (H3N2v) in recent weeks climbed to 152 today as Illinois reported its first case and Indiana announced more infections.
(CIDRAP News) – The head of the US agency that funds much influenza research today called on scientists to continue their voluntary moratorium on certain kinds of potentially hazardous H5N1 research, saying they need to better address public concerns about the studies, according to news reports from a flu meeting in New York City.
(CIDRAP News) – As leading influenza researchers prepare to meet in New York City next week, several eminent life-sciences authorities are calling for continuation of a moratorium on studies involving lab-modified H5N1 viruses with increased transmissibility, according to a story today in the British newspaper The Independent.
(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has offered some brief, general guidance on safety and security in research on laboratory-modified H5N1 viruses, mainly stressing that researchers should follow existing guidelines and gain authorization from their governments.
(CIDRAP News) – A study showing that it takes as few as five mutations to turn the H5N1 avian influenza virus into an airborne spreader in mammals—and that launched a historic debate on scientific accountability and transparency—was released today in Science, spilling the full experimental details that many experts had sought to suppress out of concern that publishing them could lead to the unleashing of a dangerous virus.
(CIDRAP News) – In a lengthy letter, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) official has rejected recent charges that the agency planned a biased meeting agenda in an effort to induce the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to act as it did in voting for full publication of two much-debated studies on H5N1 virus transmissibility.