News & Perspective

Mar 25, 2002

Mar 25, 2002

In simulated smallpox attack, vaccine shortage crippled national response

(CIDRAP News) – It is 13 days since the emergence of a hypothetical smallpox epidemic caused by the release of virus in three US shopping malls. Some 16,000 cases have been reported, 1,000 people have died, and the nation is running out of vaccine. Hospitals are overflowing, and federal and state officials are at odds over how to contain the epidemic.

Jun 03, 2003

Jun 03, 2003

FAO says BSE finding in Canada proves surveillance is working

(CIDRAP News) – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says the recent detection of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a Canadian cow shows that active surveillance programs for BSE are working.

"The identification of a single case of BSE is not a cause for panic," Andrew Speedy of the FAO's Animal Production and Health Division said in a news release from the agency's Rome headquarters.

Dec 09, 2003

Dec 09, 2003

CDC considers tapping European supply of flu vaccine

(CIDRAP News) – The federal government is considering buying influenza vaccine from a British company in an effort to remedy a possible shortage in the United States, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today.

Jan 28, 2004

Jan 28, 2004

USDA to end BSE investigation soon

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will probably end its investigation of the nation's single bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) case within 2 weeks, even if all the cows that might have shared feed with the infected cow are not found, USDA officials said this week.

Feb 04, 2004

Feb 04, 2004

USDA review panel urges tightening BSE rules

(CIDRAP News) – A panel of experts that reviewed the US response to the nation's first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) says there are probably other cases in the United States and recommends increasing restrictions designed to keep BSE-infected materials out of human food and animal feed.

Sep 23, 2004

Sep 23, 2004

WHO stresses prevention over remediation for drinking-water safety

(CIDRAP News) – Calling for better prevention from catchment to consumer, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Sep 21 issued new guidelines to ensure drinking-water safety worldwide.

Aug 16, 2005

Aug 16, 2005

US seeks stockpile of safer smallpox vaccine

Editor's note: This story was revised Aug 17 to add information on funding and a link to the government's request for proposals to supply the vaccine.

(CIDRAP News) – The US government has called for proposals to supply up to 80 million doses of a weakened smallpox vaccine to protect people for whom the conventional vaccine is too risky, according to two vaccine manufacturers.

Feb 03, 2006

Feb 03, 2006

CDC: New test speeds detection of bird flu in humans

(CIDRAP News) – A new test developed by federal experts offers preliminary detection of H5 avian influenza in human patients in about 4 hours, compared with 2 to 3 days for other methods, government officials announced today.

Aug 25, 2006

Aug 25, 2006

Scientists launch effort to share avian flu data

(CIDRAP News) – Leading medical researchers yesterday announced the formation of a consortium to unlock genetic and other data on avian influenza in the hope of improving the understanding of how viruses such as H5N1 spread and evolve.

Oct 27, 2006

Oct 27, 2006

WHO to report on ethical issues in pandemic planning

(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to issue a report in January on ethical issues raised by pandemic influenza planning, such as how to provide fair access to available drugs and vaccines, WHO officials said today after 2 days of meetings in Geneva.

More than 30 leading experts on pandemic flu, ethics, and public health attended the meetings Oct 24 and 25, WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said at a news teleconference today.

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