Editor's note: This is the first in a seven-part series investigating the prospects for development of vaccines to head off the threat of an influenza pandemic posed by the H5N1 avian influenza virus. The series puts advances in vaccine technology in perspective by illuminating the formidable barriers to producing an effective and widely usable vaccine in a short time frame.
(CIDRAP News) A federal interagency working group yesterday released a draft report detailing how the government would allocate limited vaccine supplies if a severe influenza pandemic grips the United States, offering a tiered approach that flags key health and public safety personnel and children as top priorities.
(CIDRAP News) Officials from the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today unveiled a host of actions that the agency hopes will blunt a recent spike in Escherichia coli outbreaks involving ground beef.
(CIDRAP News) The World Health Organization (WHO) today estimated that by 2010 the world may be equipped to make enough pandemic influenza vaccine to immunize 4.5 billion peoplevastly more than in previous projections, though still well short of the world's population of 6.7 billion.
(CIDRAP News) – The White House recently issued a lengthy homeland security directive aimed at bolstering the response of federal, state, and local public health systems to national emergencies such as bioterrorist attacks, influenza pandemics, and natural disasters.
(CIDRAP News) A study on the effects of the H5N1 avian influenza virus on small land birds suggests it is often lethal in sparrows but has lesser effects on starlings and pigeons and does not readily spread to other birds of the same species.
However, the researchers say their findings also suggest that sparrows and starlings could potentially spread the virus to poultry and mammals.
(CIDRAP News) The US government's pandemic influenza preparedness plans need to pay more attention to children, especially their need for antiviral drugs and the effects of prolonged school closings, according to a report released today by public health and pediatrics experts.