(CIDRAP News) – The fatality rate for officially confirmed human cases of H5N1 avian influenza infection is a stunningly high 59% (345 deaths in 584 cases). But the current controversy over publishing data about transmissible H5N1 viruses has revived a debate about whether the virus is as lethal as those numbers say.
(CIDRAP News) David Nabarro, influenza coordinator for the United Nations (UN), said during a press conference yesterday that the world is better prepared to respond to an influenza pandemic, but he added that continuing outbreaks in some countries are a reminder that a major threat remains.
TORONTO (CIDRAP News) Declining public interest in the deadly H5N1 strain of avian influenza and its pandemic potential has sparked alarm among animal-health experts, who worry that shifting priorities will derail the funding still needed to control the disease in birds.
TORONTO (CIDRAP News) The continuing debate over developing countries' ability to afford pandemic-influenza vaccines has produced a disturbing complication: the possibility that Indonesia and other countries affected by H5N1 avian flu will assert legal ownership of the viral isolates on which the vaccines would be based.
(CIDRAP News) The World Health Organization (WHO) has negotiated a preliminary agreement designed to maintain the international sharing of influenza virus samples while ensuring that developing countries can obtain pandemic flu vaccines, news services reported today.
Editor's note: Contrary to this story, information obtained Mar 23 from the World Health Organization and from another news report indicated that Thailand had no plans to withhold H5N1 virus samples. See link at end of story for more information.
(CIDRAP News) Indonesia, the country that has seen more human deaths from avian influenza H5N1 than any other, has ceased sharing viruses isolated from its patients with international health authorities, challenging the global system for flu-strain identification and vaccine development.
(CIDRAP News) The US government today announced the awarding of three contacts to buy enough additional H5N1 avian influenza vaccine to immunize almost 2.7 million people, at a cost of $199.45 million.
(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.