News & Perspective

Sep 11, 2006

Sep 11, 2006

Clinical study points to cytokine storm in H5N1 cases

(CIDRAP News) – A controlled study of H5N1 influenza patients in Vietnam has provided fresh evidence that explosive viral growth and the resulting cytokine storm, or excessive immune response, account for the often lethal nature of H5N1 disease.

Sep 08, 2006

Sep 08, 2006

Could blood from H5N1 flu survivors help others?

(CIDRAP News) – A recent report about the use of blood products to treat patients in the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918 has sparked interest among those concerned about the threat of the next pandemic, but experts say it's far from clear whether the approach would be practicable in a pandemic today.

Aug 18, 2006

Aug 18, 2006

WHO changes H5N1 strains for pandemic vaccines, raising concern over virus evolution

(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.

May 24, 2006

May 24, 2006

Two generations of spread possible in Indonesia H5N1 cases

(CIDRAP News) – For the first time, evidence suggests that the H5N1 avian influenza virus may have passed from one person to another and on to a third, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) official.

Referring to the extended-family case cluster in Indonesia, the WHO's Maria Cheng told the Canadian Press (CP) yesterday, "This is the first time we have seen cases that have gone beyond one generation of human-to-human spread."

Apr 11, 2006

Apr 11, 2006

Would an imperfect vaccine be useful in a flu pandemic?

(CIDRAP News) – A mathematical modeling study suggests that a modestly effective vaccine could keep an influenza pandemic from striking more than 10% of the US population, but only if large amounts of vaccine were distributed quickly and the virus was not too highly contagious.

Mar 30, 2006

Mar 30, 2006

H5N1 vaccine trial shows limited benefit

(CIDRAP News) – The first experimental US vaccine for H5N1 avian influenza yielded only modest results in its first clinical trial, generating an adequate immune response in slightly more than half of participants who received a heavy dose, scientists report.

Mar 22, 2006

Mar 22, 2006

WHO issues revised plan to douse pandemic spark

(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a new draft of its plan for spotting and stopping a budding influenza pandemic.

Mar 07, 2006

Mar 07, 2006

HHS using Indonesian strain for second H5N1 flu vaccine

(CIDRAP News) – A second vaccine against human H5N1 influenza is being developed, US Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt announced yesterday.

In a speech at an immunization conference, Leavitt announced that he has authorized the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to start work on a second vaccine, according to an Associated Press (AP) report published yesterday.

Mar 02, 2006

Mar 02, 2006

China may have more avian flu this spring, leader warns

(CIDRAP News) – China's vice premier said today that China may see more bird outbreaks and human cases of avian influenza this spring, as the government announced plans for an intensive hunt for cases among wild birds on a major migration route, according to news services.

Feb 27, 2006

Feb 27, 2006

Survey: Most Americans concerned about avian flu

(CIDRAP News) – More than half of Americans are concerned about the threat of avian influenza reaching the United States, but few are "very concerned" and fewer still have looked into getting an antiviral drug to protect themselves, according to a survey from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).

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