News & Perspective

Jan 03, 2006

Jan 03, 2006

FDA approves new FluMist plant in England

(CIDRAP News) – A new facility built in England to produce MedImmune's intranasal flu vaccine, FluMist, has gained the US Food and Drug Administration's approval, the company announced last week.

The facility in Liverpool will increase the company's production capacity to about 90 million bulk doses per season, MedImmune said in a news release.

Jan 05, 2006

Jan 05, 2006

YEAR-END REVIEW: Avian flu emerged as high-profile issue in 2005

Jan 6, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – 2005 is likely to go down as the year when avian influenza, powered by a steady rise in human cases and the spread of poultry outbreaks all the way to Eastern Europe, emerged as a high-profile global health issue.

When 2005 dawned, only 45 human cases of H5N1 avian flu, including 32 deaths, had been counted by the World Health Organization (WHO). All of those were in Vietnam and Thailand.

Jan 14, 2006

Jan 14, 2006

CDC: Resistance makes 2 older flu drugs ineffective

(CIDRAP News) – The dominant strain of influenza virus in the United States has unexpectedly turned highly resistant to the two older antiviral flu drugs in use, prompting federal health officials today to advise physicians to stop using them for the rest of this season.

Jan 17, 2006

Jan 17, 2006

Roche to give more Tamiflu; bird-flu funding meeting opens

(CIDRAP News) – The Swiss drug company Roche said today it would give another 2 million treatment courses of its anitivral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu) to the World Health Organization for developing countries to use to fight avian influenza in humans.

The announcement came as representatives from 90 countries and 20 organizations met in Beijing for a conference to raise funds to battle the H5N1 virus.

Jan 20, 2006

Jan 20, 2006

Report discourages use of antivirals for seasonal flu

Jan 20, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers who analyzed numerous clinical trials concluded that the two newest antiviral drugs for influenza, oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza), should not routinely be used against seasonal flu—a recommendation flatly rejected by the manufacturer of oseltamivir.

Jan 23, 2006

Jan 23, 2006

Canada reports its fourth BSE case

(CIDRAP News) – Canada today reported its fourth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, raising concern about the possibility of another US ban on Canadian beef and cattle.

The case was found in a 6-year-old crossbred cow in north-central Alberta that had shown possible signs of BSE, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said. The disease was detected through Canada's regular BSE surveillance program.

Jan 25, 2006

Jan 25, 2006

Limits on US distribution of Tamiflu lifted

(CIDRAP News) – Roche announced yesterday it was again shipping its antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu) to all US markets, lifting restrictions imposed last fall because of concern about people hoarding the drug out of fear of a potential influenza pandemic.

Feb 01, 2006

Feb 01, 2006

National summit to address business readiness for flu pandemic

(CIDRAP News) – A national conference scheduled Feb 14 and 15 in Minneapolis will give business leaders an opportunity to learn from experts about the risk of pandemic influenza and help figure out how their industries can prepare for it.

Feb 03, 2006

Feb 03, 2006

CDC: New test speeds detection of bird flu in humans

(CIDRAP News) – A new test developed by federal experts offers preliminary detection of H5 avian influenza in human patients in about 4 hours, compared with 2 to 3 days for other methods, government officials announced today.

Feb 03, 2006

Latest cases raise WHO's avian flu tally to 161

(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) tally of human cases of H5N1 avian influenza rose to 161, including 86 deaths, with the final confirmation of 12 cases in Turkey and one in Iraq this week.

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