News & Perspective

Mar 13, 2003

Mar 13, 2003

WHO issues alert over atypical pneumonia outbreaks in Asia

(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization has issued an alert over outbreaks of severe respiratory illness, including atypical pneumonia, that it has been investigating since mid-February in Vietnam, Hong Kong, and mainland China.

Aug 31, 2004

Aug 31, 2004

Flu virus shows surprising resistance to oseltamivir

(CIDRAP News) – Influenza viruses in 18% of a group of Japanese children who were treated with oseltamivir (Tamiflu) developed resistance to the antiviral drug, which is viewed as one of the key defenses against pandemic influenza, according to a new report in The Lancet.

Jan 14, 2005

Jan 14, 2005

CDC to mix avian, human flu viruses in pandemic study

Jan 14, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – One of the worst fears of infectious disease experts is that the H5N1 avian influenza virus now circulating in parts of Asia will combine with a human-adapted flu virus to create a deadly new flu virus that could spread around the world.

Jan 21, 2005

Jan 21, 2005

Smuggled animals may bring disease

(CIDRAP News) – The next infectious disease to enter the United States might cross the border taped to a traveler's leg or tucked snugly under a tourist's hat.

Smuggling of wild animals has always posed hazards to human health, but the stakes may be getting higher today, given the role of animal hosts in lethal outbreaks such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and avian influenza.

Apr 13, 2005

Apr 13, 2005

Pandemic flu virus from 1957 mistakenly sent to labs

(CIDRAP News) – The revelation that samples of the influenza virus that caused the flu pandemic of 1957-58 were inadvertently sent to thousands of laboratories has raised fears of a new pandemic and triggered an urgent effort to destroy the samples.

Jun 20, 2005

Jun 20, 2005

China's alleged use of human flu drug in poultry questioned

(CIDRAP News) – International health agencies are questioning China about a report that the country has used a human antiviral drug in poultry for years, thereby causing the H5N1 influenza virus to become resistant to the drug.

Aug 03, 2005

Aug 03, 2005

Two studies model containment strategies for pandemic flu

(CIDRAP News) – Researchers relying on mathematical modeling claim that early containment of pandemic influenza, an eventuality widely accepted as not an "if" but a "when," may well be attainable through targeted public health strategies. A leading public health expert, however, cautions against viewing these study results as fodder for relaxed planning efforts, stressing the myriad variables that would come into play.

Aug 12, 2005

Aug 12, 2005

Asian nations plan for pandemic flu, another treatment is suggested

(CIDRAP News) – A week-long meeting of Asian nations just finished in Bangkok resulted in consensus that regional stockpiles of antivirals should be amassed for fast use in the influenza pandemic that is widely expected to emerge from the avian flu strain now circulating.

Aug 17, 2005

Aug 17, 2005

Pig-linked disease outbreak in China ebbs

(CIDRAP News) – The outbreak of an unusual pig-related disease in China might be nearly spent, and evidence continued to point to Streptococcus suis as the cause, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday.

Sep 29, 2005

Sep 29, 2005

UN names global coordinator for flu threats

(CIDRAP News) – The United Nations today signaled a new level of concern about avian influenza and the risk of a flu pandemic by naming a special coordinator of all UN responses to the situation.

Dr. David Nabarro, a British public health expert with the World Health Organization (WHO), was named to the new job of "UN system coordinator for avian and human influenza."

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