News & Perspective

Dec 03, 2004

Dec 03, 2004

Departing HHS chief cites pandemic flu, food tampering as top concerns

(CIDRAP News) – In announcing his resignation today after 4 years as US Health and Human services (HHS) secretary, Tommy G. Thompson cited pandemic influenza and food biosecurity as two of his biggest worries.

Thompson, who presided over massive increases in federal spending for public health preparedness and biodefense research, said in response to a question, "There are two things that really worry me yet. The big one is pandemic flu."

Jan 14, 2005

Jan 14, 2005

CDC to mix avian, human flu viruses in pandemic study

Jan 14, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – One of the worst fears of infectious disease experts is that the H5N1 avian influenza virus now circulating in parts of Asia will combine with a human-adapted flu virus to create a deadly new flu virus that could spread around the world.

Sep 09, 2005

Sep 09, 2005

WHO renews flu warnings; Thailand has more avian outbreaks

(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) this week stepped up its warnings about the risk of an influenza pandemic, while Thailand reported four new outbreaks of avian flu on poultry farms.

Oct 05, 2005

Oct 05, 2005

Scientists recreate 1918 flu virus, see parallels with H5N1

(CIDRAP News) – Scientists today reported findings that may help explain what made the 1918 pandemic influenza virus so deadly and that reveal similarities between that virus and the H5N1 avian influenza virus now circulating in Asia.

Nov 11, 2005

Nov 11, 2005

CDC: no plans now to send 1918 virus to other labs

(CIDRAP News) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has no current plans to release the reconstructed version of the virus that caused the 1918 influenza pandemic to other laboratories, the head of the CDC said yesterday, but she did not rule out the possibility.

Jan 24, 2007

Jan 24, 2007

National conference to help business gird for pandemic flu

(CIDRAP News) – Decision makers in commerce and industry can explore how to plan effectively for an influenza pandemic at the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy's (CIDRAP's) second national conference on business preparedness, to be held Feb 5 and 6 in Orlando, Fla.

Feb 02, 2007

Feb 02, 2007

1918 flu virus: tiny changes cancel transmissibility

(CIDRAP News) – Inducing just two small changes in the virus that caused the influenza pandemic of 1918 inhibits the pathogen's ability to spread, researchers reported Thursday, a finding that may help identify potential pandemic flu strains in the future.

Feb 28, 2007

Feb 28, 2007

Questions raised about study on masks as aerosol barrier

(CIDRAP News) – A recent study has raised expectations that simple surgical masks might offer a reasonably good substitute for N-95 respirators for healthcare workers seeking protection from airborne viruses, but others say the study is seriously flawed.

Mar 13, 2007

Mar 13, 2007

Review finds little evidence of airborne spread of flu

Editor's note: This story was revised Mar 14 to correct a misquote, introduced in editing, that was attributed to Michael T. Osterholm and to include qualifying details that were omitted from the earlier version.

Apr 17, 2007

Apr 17, 2007

Pandemic planners urged to tap grass roots

(CIDRAP News) – Governmental plans for an influenza pandemic are missing an important opportunity to improve US preparedness, according to two new reports: They are not reaching out to communities and grass-roots groups that could refine plan details and increase public support.

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