News & Perspective

Oct 25, 2007

Oct 25, 2007

THE PANDEMIC VACCINE PUZZLE Part 1: Flu research: a legacy of neglect

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.

Oct 25, 2007

ACIP endorses FluMist for 2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds

(CIDRAP News) – A federal advisory committee yesterday endorsed FluMist, the nasal-spray form of seasonal influenza vaccine, as a good option for children aged 2 through 4 years.

Oct 24, 2007

Oct 24, 2007

Indonesian child is latest H5N1 fatality

(CIDRAP News) – A health ministry official in Indonesia said yesterday that a 4-year-old girl from Banten province died Oct 22 of H5N1 avian influenza.

Lily Sulistyowati, a health ministry spokeswoman, said the girl was hospitalized 2 days before her death, according to a Reuters report yesterday.

Oct 24, 2007

Pandemic vaccine proposal favors health workers, children

(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.

Oct 23, 2007

Oct 23, 2007

USDA announces plans to reduce E coli contamination in ground beef

(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.

Oct 23, 2007

WHO expects pandemic vaccine capacity to soar

(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 people—vastly more than in previous projections, though still well short of the world's population of 6.7 billion.

Oct 22, 2007

Oct 22, 2007

White House aims to transform public health preparedness

(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.

Oct 19, 2007

Oct 19, 2007

Study: Cold, dry air favors spread of flu in lab animals

(CIDRAP News) – Scientists investigating why seasons drive annual influenza epidemics have charted how low humidity and cold temperatures contribute to the spread of the disease in laboratory animals.

The research group, from Mt Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, published their findings yesterday in the October issue of Public Library of Science Pathogens (PLoS Pathogens).

Oct 18, 2007

Oct 18, 2007

Study says H5N1 has varied effects in small land birds

(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.

Oct 17, 2007

Oct 17, 2007

Report: Pandemic plans need more focus on children

(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.

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