News & Perspective

Dec 29, 2006

Dec 29, 2006

Feds detail progress on pandemic preparedness

(CIDRAP News) – In a recent update on pandemic influenza preparedness planning, the US government reported meeting more than 90% of a long list of objectives it set for itself about 6 months ago.

The report charts progress on a wide range of preparedness measures, from shoring up laboratory capabilities to planning for distribution of critical medical supplies and preparing checklists for various sectors of the economy.

Dec 14, 2006

Dec 14, 2006

Studies support flu vaccination in children, adults

(CIDRAP News) – Two studies reported in today's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine provide additional support for seasonal influenza immunization while shedding some light on questions about vaccination strategies and the efficacy of the vaccines.

Nov 09, 2006

Nov 09, 2006

Chan confirmed as head of WHO

(CIDRAP News) – Dr. Margaret Chan, a former Hong Kong health official who has battled H5N1 avian influenza and SARS, easily won election today as the next director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Nov 03, 2006

Nov 03, 2006

Study says new H5N1 strain pervades southern China

(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.

Nov 02, 2006

Nov 02, 2006

WHO report calls H5N1 vaccine stockpiling premature

(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.

Oct 04, 2006

Oct 04, 2006

Groups call for pandemic flu vaccine 'master plan'

(CIDRAP News) – Public health and infectious disease experts today called on the United States to develop a "master plan" for development of pandemic influenza vaccines in order to translate scientific advances more rapidly into improved pandemic preparedness.

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.

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."

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.

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