News & Perspective

Dec 12, 2008

Dec 12, 2008

CDC sees early-season signs of Tamiflu resistance

(CIDRAP News) – With this year's US influenza epidemic barely getting started, there are already signs of increased viral resistance to oseltamivir (Tamiflu), the most widely used antiviral drug, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today.

In its flu surveillance report for Nov 30 to Dec 6, released today, the CDC said 45 of 46 influenza A/H1N1 viruses tested so far have shown resistance to oseltamivir.

Nov 21, 2008

Nov 21, 2008

Researchers report new species of deadly Ebola virus

(CIDRAP News) – Researchers from the United States and Uganda today released the first full scientific report on a new Ebola species that struck western Uganda late last year and was linked to 149 suspected cases and 37 deaths, at least 4 of them healthcare providers.

Nov 12, 2008

Nov 12, 2008

Feds stage airport test of plan to slow pandemic

(CIDRAP News) – Officials from several agencies recently converged on Miami's international airport to take part in a full-scale exercise of the federal government's risk-based strategy to slow the spread of a future pandemic influenza virus across US borders.

Oct 27, 2008

Oct 27, 2008

Drug-resistant flu viruses cause growing concern

– WASHINGTON, DC (CIDRAP News) – Health officials worldwide are becoming increasingly concerned about influenza viruses' resistance to antiviral drugs, which can shut down a flu infection or mitigate symptoms. Flu antivirals are vital for reducing severe illness and death in average flu seasons and could be essential bulwarks against an influenza pandemic if one began.

Oct 16, 2008

Oct 16, 2008

Polio vaccination may continue after wild virus fades

(CIDRAP News) – Teams of researchers from several countries today report positive results in the long battle to eradicate polio. At the same time, they acknowledge that the international campaign faces an extraordinary challenge of both biology and economics: While circulation of wild poliovirus may cease, polio vaccination may need to continue for an indefinite period of time.

Oct 14, 2008

Oct 14, 2008

Seven states report sporadic flu cases

(CIDRAP News) – In a sign that influenza season is approaching, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that a handful of states have seen sporadic flu cases and that the earliest signs suggest that this year's vaccine is a good match for circulating strains.

Sep 23, 2008

Sep 23, 2008

WHO keeps same strains for 2009 southern hemisphere flu vaccine

Editor's note: The second paragraph of this story was revised on Sep 24 to correct an error. On the basis of information from ProMED-mail (published by the International Society for Infectious Diseases), the original version said it was unusual for the southern hemisphere vaccine composition to be the same as the preceding northern hemisphere vaccine. A later ProMED-mail posting made clear that this is not unusual.

Jun 12, 2008

Jun 12, 2008

Death rate for flu, pneumonia fell sharply in 2006

(CIDRAP News) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday that the death rate in the United States dropped significantly from 2005 to 2006, led by a 12.8% decline in mortality related to seasonal influenza and pneumonia.

The findings were released in a 52-page preliminary report on death trends for 2006 from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

Jun 10, 2008

Jun 10, 2008

Tracing air travelers at risk for disease still tough

(CIDRAP News) – Five years after the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) epidemic spread around the globe via air travel, significant barriers still stand in the way of tracking down and notifying airline passengers who may have been exposed to an infectious disease.

Mar 19, 2008

Mar 19, 2008

HHS includes online services in pandemic communication drill

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently held a tabletop exercise to assess how it could best work with the news media—including blogs and other online-only information sources—to get status updates and vital health information to the American people during an influenza pandemic.

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