(CIDRAP News) The executive board of the World Health Organization (WHO) today nominated Dr. Margaret Chan, the agency's top pandemic influenza official and a veteran of the world's first confrontation with the H5N1 flu virus in 1997, to be the agency's next director-general.
Editor's note: Shortly after publication of this story, the US Consulate in Hong Kong first changed and later removed its Web page advising employees to stockpile a 12-week supply of food and water.
(CIDRAP News) The US State Department is advising government employees overseas to stockpile enough food and water to last up to 12 weeks in preparation for the threat of a severe influenza pandemic.
(CIDRAP News) VaxGen Inc., which is developing a new anthrax vaccine for the US civilian stockpile, announced last week it was postponing the latest clinical trial because of potential problems with the vaccine's shelf life.
(CIDRAP News) Because federal officials expect to keep finding low-pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza viruses in wild birds, they recently announced a new procedure for reporting the findings: posting them online but not issuing news releases.
(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.
(CIDRAP News) A group of influenza experts convened by the World Health Organization cautioned today that governments shouldn't stockpile "pre-pandemic" H5N1 influenza vaccines now, because too little is known about the requirements for an effective vaccine.
(CIDRAP News) Federal investigators have turned up few solid leads in a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened 171 people in 19 states, but some food safety experts are suggesting that contaminated tomatoes and infected food service workers might have played a role.
(CIDRAP News) A recent World Health Organization (WHO) report on 10 of the 12 confirmed H5N1 avian influenza cases that occurred in Turkey last winter adds to evidence that children and youth may be particularly susceptible to the infection.
(CIDRAP News) In a worst-case influenza pandemic, without enough vaccine for everyone, who should stand closer to the front of the line: a 25-year-old water utility worker or a healthy 75-year-old?
Public health officials may have to make difficult decisions such as this, and a Minnesota health ethics group, in publishing recommendations about pandemic vaccine allocation, hopes to get conversations going now, rather than during a crisis.