News & Perspective

May 26, 2009

May 26, 2009

WHO may redefine pandemic alert phases

(CIDRAP News) – In response to concerns from various governments about the possible effects of declaring a full-scale influenza pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) will call on outside experts to consider whether to revise the agency's definitions of pandemic alert phases, a WHO official announced today.

May 22, 2009

May 22, 2009

WHO sticks with current pandemic alert phase

(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Assembly ended today with no indication that the World Health Organization (WHO) would raise the pandemic alert level from 5 to 6, which sparked questions about why the group is holding back in the face of mounting global numbers of those infected with the novel H1N1 influenza virus.

May 21, 2009

May 21, 2009

Some immunity to novel H1N1 flu found in seniors

(CIDRAP News) – In a search for factors that may give some patients a protective edge against novel H1N1 influenza, researchers said today that adults, especially those older than 60, appear to have some cross-antibody response but that seasonal influenza vaccines appear unlikely to offer any protection.

May 20, 2009

May 20, 2009

CDC: H1N1 spreads about as readily as seasonal flu

(CIDRAP News) – A federal influenza expert said today that the novel H1N1 flu virus seems to spread at about the same rate as seasonal flu viruses do, even though much of the population is believed to have little or no immunity to the virus.

May 19, 2009

May 19, 2009

CDC finds patterns in novel flu hospitalizations

(CIDRAP News) – In a first early look at trends in patients who have been hospitalized with novel influenza H1N1infections, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today that all but one of a group of 30 patients presented with fever and that about two thirds of them had an underlying medical condition.

May 19, 2009

WHO group envisions greater production of H1N1 vaccine

(CIDRAP News) – A new report from a World Health Organization (WHO) advisory group predicts that global production of vaccine for the novel H1N1 influenza virus could be as much as 4.9 billon doses a year, far higher than previous estimates.

May 18, 2009

May 18, 2009

WHO is urged to go slow on declaring pandemic

(CIDRAP News) – As the World Health Organization (WHO) convened its annual meeting today, several countries urged the agency to use caution in weighing whether to declare a full-scale pandemic, despite signs that the novel H1N1 influenza virus is now spreading in Japan.

May 15, 2009

May 15, 2009

CDC: novel flu outbreak expanding

(CIDRAP News) – An official from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today that novel H1N1 influenza is expanding across the country, with 22 states reporting widespread or regional illnesses.

May 13, 2009

May 13, 2009

WHO foresees problems with pandemic severity index

(CIDRAP News) – A World Health Organization (WHO) official today signaled that the agency is stepping back from plans to develop a way to grade pandemic severity, because its experts believe severity will vary from place to place, making the development of a severity index difficult and its use impractical.

May 12, 2009

May 12, 2009

WHO likely to counsel restraint on antivirals for H1N1

(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to release clinical guidance that will say most patients sick with the novel H1N1 influenza (swine flu) will not need antiviral treatment, but the drugs should be considered for high-risk groups, a WHO official said today.

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