News & Perspective

Oct 29, 2008

Oct 29, 2008

Experts stress vigilance over emerging, unpredictable diseases

See related article posted today: "US urged to launch major campaign against emerging diseases"

– WASHINGTON, DC (CIDRAP News) – Health authorities must remain alert to new and renascent disease threats, experts warned this week at an international medical meeting.

Oct 29, 2008

Experts at HHS webinar cite key pandemic planning issues

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today hosted an online conversation among experts, government officials, and members of the public that touched on emerging issues in pandemic planning, such as anticipating supply chain interruptions and keeping the momentum going during tough economic times.

Oct 27, 2008

Oct 27, 2008

Donors meeting nets funds for avian flu fight

(CIDRAP News) – A group of international donors who met yesterday in the final session of an avian influenza conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, pledged more support for avian and pandemic flu preparedness and prevention, led by $320 million from the United States.

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 24, 2008

Oct 24, 2008

WHO's draft pandemic flu guidance revises phases

(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has drafted a revised pandemic influenza preparedness plan that updates the definitions of pandemic phases and puts more emphasis on the social and economic effects of a global epidemic, among other changes.

Oct 23, 2008

Oct 23, 2008

UN: Pandemic risk remains despite progress on H5N1

(CIDRAP News) – So far this year no new countries have been hit by H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks, and fewer previously affected countries have reported fresh outbreaks, but the threat of an influenza pandemic has not changed, according to a recent progress report from the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank.

Oct 17, 2008

Oct 17, 2008

World Bank says flu pandemic could cost $3 trillion

(CIDRAP News) – An internal report prepared by the World Bank estimates that a severe influenza pandemic could kill 71 million people and cause a recession costing more than $3 trillion, Bloomberg News reported today.

The report says that in a severe pandemic, sagging tourism, transportation, retail sales, and productivity, coupled with worker absenteeism, could reduce global gross domestic product (GDP) by 4.8%, according to Bloomberg.

Oct 16, 2008

Oct 16, 2008

Governors group identifies states' pandemic-preparedness gaps

(CIDRAP News) – State pandemic preparedness has improved over the past few years, but gaps remain, particularly in areas that don't relate directly to healthcare such as continuing government operations, maintaining essential services, and coordinating with the private sector, according to a recent report from the National Governors Association (NGA).

Oct 10, 2008

Oct 10, 2008

Germany reports new H5N1 outbreak

(CIDRAP News) – Animal health officials in Germany today reported an H5N1 avian influenza outbreak at a commercial farm in Saxony, signifying the country's first outbreak since December 2007.

The outbreak was detected at a farm in Markersdorf, in east central Germany not far from the border with Poland, according to a report today from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The report said one bird tested positive for the H5N1 virus.

Oct 01, 2008

Oct 01, 2008

FDA approves CDC's new rapid flu test

(CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday approved a new diagnostic test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that can quickly distinguish seasonal influenza strains from an evolving virus that might have pandemic potential in hours rather than days.

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