News & Perspective

Jul 24, 2006

Jul 24, 2006

Thailand faces renewed avian flu fight

(CIDRAP News) – Thailand is facing its first outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza in birds in 8 months, along with flu-like illnesses in a number of people in areas with sick birds, according to news services.

Jul 21, 2006

Jul 21, 2006

More Salmonella cases tied to frozen chicken entrees

(CIDRAP News) – In the wake of two outbreaks of Salmonella infection involving 29 cases, Minnesota health officials are warning the public to be careful when cooking frozen, pre-browned chicken entrees.

The outbreaks prompted state health and agriculture officials yesterday to "strongly advise" people not to cook stuffed chicken entrees in microwave ovens because of the risk of uneven and incomplete cooking.

Jul 21, 2006

Jul 21, 2006

FDA names director for pandemic preparedness

(CIDRAP News) – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has created a new position that involves directing the evaluation of products for emerging and pandemic disease threats and has named veteran staff member Mark Goldberger, MD, MPH, to fill it.

Goldberger has been appointed "medical director for emerging and pandemic disease threats" in the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), the agency announced yesterday.

Jul 21, 2006

HHS adds Relenza to state stockpile program

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) yesterday announced a contract with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) that will allow states to add the influenza drug zanamivir (Relenza) to their federally subsidized antiviral stockpiles.

Jul 20, 2006

Jul 20, 2006

USDA to cut back BSE testing program

(CIDRAP News) – The US government's expanded testing program for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) will be cut back soon, having shown that the nation has "no significant BSE problem," Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said today.

Jul 20, 2006

Jul 20, 2006

WHO confirms Indonesia's 54th avian flu case

(CIDRAP News) – A World Health Organization (WHO) reference laboratory confirmed today that a 44-year-old man who died on Jul 12 near Jakarta had H5N1 avian influenza.

The WHO announcement brings Indonesia’s official avian flu toll to 54 cases with 42 deaths. The country is now tied with Vietnam for the most deaths.

Jul 19, 2006

Jul 19, 2006

Broad health preparedness bill advances in Senate

(CIDRAP News) – A US Senate committee today approved a bill packed with a wide variety of provisions designed to improve the nation's ability to handle public health emergencies, including pandemic influenza.

Jul 19, 2006

Governors group issues pandemic planning guide for states

(CIDRAP News) – The role of state officials in an influenza pandemic has been hazy, but the focus became clearer yesterday when the National Governors Association (NGA) released a guide that spells out key planning issues for top state officials.

Jul 18, 2006

Jul 18, 2006

Novartis to build US cell-based flu vaccine plant

(CIDRAP News) – Novartis, the Swiss-based drug manufacturer, today announced plans to build what it says will be the first US plant to make cell-culture-based influenza vaccines.

The facility will be built in Holly Springs, N.C., at a total cost of about $600 million, the company said in a news release. It will be able to produce about 50 million doses of seasonal trivalent (three-strain) flu vaccine annually.

Jul 18, 2006

States slow to sign up for Tamiflu subsidy

(CIDRAP News) – The federal government on Jun 30 announced a subsidy to help states buy the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu) to build stockpiles in preparation for a potential influenza pandemic, but so far, few states have said they intend to use the program.

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