News & Perspective

Jun 08, 2009

Jun 08, 2009

Flu researchers call for enhanced swine surveillance

(CIDRAP News) – Government officials and researchers may have underestimated the potential role of pigs as "mixing vessels" for influenza viruses and the importance of swine surveillance for identifying new pandemic threats, veterinary experts from Mexico asserted recently.

Jun 05, 2009

Jun 05, 2009

Obama seeks more funds for novel flu fight

(CIDRAP News) – President Barack Obama this week asked Congress for another $2 billion in supplemental funds to fight the novel H1N1 influenza epidemic, on top of $2 billion requested a month ago, and also proposed to tap federal economic stimulus funds for up to another $3.1 billion for the same purpose.

Meanwhile, public health advocates said even more may be needed if a nationwide H1N1 vaccination campaign is launched in the fall.

Jun 04, 2009

Jun 04, 2009

Analysis of H1N1 flu response shows progress, problems

(CIDRAP News) – A coalition of health policy groups today offered a "good news, bad news" evaluation of the US response to the novel H1N1 influenza epidemic so far.

The good news: The experience has shown that years of pandemic preparation have paid dividends, particularly with regard to coordination, communication, antiviral drugs, and vaccine development.

Jun 02, 2009

Jun 02, 2009

WHO drawing closer to declaring a pandemic

(CIDRAP News) – The global novel H1N1 influenza situation is drawing closer to the status of a true pandemic but is not there yet, the World Health Organization's (WHO's) lead spokesman on the issue said today.

"Globally we believe we're in phase 5 but are getting closer to phase 6," said Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the WHO assistant director-general for health security and the environment, referring to the WHO's pandemic alert phases.

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.

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