(CIDRAP News) The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) expressed renewed concern today about H5N1 avian influenza, warning of a "possible major resurgence" of bird outbreaks and saying that a vaccine-evading strain has emerged in Vietnam and China.
(CIDRAP News) An article published by the British Medical Journal says three scientists who helped frame World Health Organization (WHO) guidance on pandemic influenza preparedness had consulted for pharmaceutical companies that stood to profit from the WHO guidance and that the WHO did not disclose the scientists' industry ties.
(CIDRAP News) A new subtype of H5N1 avian influenza virus has become predominant in southern China over the past year, possibly through its resistance to vaccines used in poultry, and has been found in human H5N1 cases in China, according to researchers from Hong Kong and the United States.
(CIDRAP News) A group of influenza experts convened by the World Health Organization cautioned today that governments shouldn't stockpile "pre-pandemic" H5N1 influenza vaccines now, because too little is known about the requirements for an effective vaccine.
(CIDRAP News) The World Health Organization (WHO) today changed the H5N1 avian influenza strains recommended for candidate vaccines for the first time since 2004, causing some experts to question how far the virus has evolved.
The WHO's new prototype strains, prepared by reverse genetics, include three new H5N1 subclades.
Jan 6, 2006 (CIDRAP News) 2005 is likely to go down as the year when avian influenza, powered by a steady rise in human cases and the spread of poultry outbreaks all the way to Eastern Europe, emerged as a high-profile global health issue.
When 2005 dawned, only 45 human cases of H5N1 avian flu, including 32 deaths, had been counted by the World Health Organization (WHO). All of those were in Vietnam and Thailand.
(CIDRAP News) Turkey today confirmed two human cases of avian influenza, contradicting earlier statements and marking the disease's first attack on people outside East Asia, according to news reports this afternoon.
(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.
(CIDRAP News) International health agencies are questioning China about a report that the country has used a human antiviral drug in poultry for years, thereby causing the H5N1 influenza virus to become resistant to the drug.
(CIDRAP News) The British magazine Nature trained a floodlight on the threat of an influenza pandemic today with a collection of 10 articles that explore the danger and possible remedies and demand a more serious global response.
"The level of current efforts is not commensurate with the threat we face," the editors write. "The time for diplomacy and denial is over. It is time for advocacy and action."