News & Perspective

Dec 30, 2005

Dec 30, 2005

H5N1 avian flu viruses: What's in a name?

(CIDRAP News) – Last month, officials in Italy and Canada aroused concern by announcing they had found an H5N1 influenza virus in wild birds. Neither country had previously been troubled by any reports of the virulent H5N1 virus that has been plaguing poultry and occasionally sickening and killing humans in Asia.

But in both cases, health officials said the virus was not dangerous and was unrelated to the H5N1 virus in Asia.

Dec 21, 2005

Dec 21, 2005

E coli outbreak in Washington blamed on raw milk

(CIDRAP News) – An outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 cases in Washington state has sickened up to 18 people, most of them children, and triggered renewed warnings about drinking raw milk.

A report in the Portland Oregonian newspaper today said 18 people, including 15 children younger than 13, are believed to have been infected with E coli O157:H7 after drinking raw milk from Dee Creek Farm near Woodland, Wash.

Dec 20, 2005

Dec 20, 2005

Another avian flu case likely in Indonesia

(CIDRAP News) – Laboratory tests in Indonesia indicated that an 8-year-old boy who died Dec 15 had avian influenza, making him potentially the country's 11th victim of the disease, Indonesian officials reported yesterday.

The local test results were awaiting confirmation by a World Health Organization (WHO) reference lab in Hong Kong, Hariadi Wibisono of the Indonesian health ministry told Bloomberg News.

Dec 16, 2005

Dec 16, 2005

After 2004 decline, West Nile cases rose this year

(CIDRAP News) – The number of West Nile virus (WNV) cases in the United States rebounded slightly this year after a sharp drop in 2004, signaling that the disease is here to stay, according to figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dec 15, 2005

Dec 15, 2005

Sanofi says H5N1 vaccine with adjuvant may go further

Editor's note: The title and first two paragraphs of this story were revised Dec 16 to correct a statement in the original that gave a more positive reflection of the trial results described below than may be warranted. The original version said that Sanofi Pasteur had described the trial results as "promising," but the company actually said only that the results were "a sign of progress."

Dec 14, 2005

Dec 14, 2005

Pandemic preparedness road show begins in Minnesota

(CIDRAP News) – National health officials came to Minnesota today to launch what was billed as the first of 50 state pandemic influenza planning meetings around the nation, emphasizing the key roles of state and local governments as partners with the federal government.

The general theme of the half-day conference was that much, if not most, of the real work of preparing for a pandemic must be done at the local and state levels.

Dec 14, 2005

Study shows few serious problems among smallpox vaccinees

(CIDRAP News) – Exactly 100 of about 38,000 civilians who received smallpox shots in a federal program in 2003 suffered serious adverse events afterward, signaling that the program successfully screened out most people at risk for complications, according to a recent report.

Dec 12, 2005

Dec 12, 2005

Japan ends BSE-related ban on US beef

(CIDRAP News) – Japan has lifted its ban on the importation of American beef, nearly 2 years after the discovery of the first US case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) triggered the boycott.

Dec 09, 2005

Dec 09, 2005

HHS urges business to plan for pandemic as economic impacts assessed

(CIDRAP News) – Large businesses should examine their sick-leave policies and figure out ways to limit face-to-face contact, among many other steps to prepare for an influenza pandemic, according to a planning checklist released by federal health agencies this week.

Dec 02, 2005

Dec 02, 2005

FDA approves West Nile test to screen blood

(CIDRAP News) – A test to screen blood and organ donors for West Nile virus (WNV) has won approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after 2 years of trial use.

The FDA yesterday announced approval of the Procleix West Nile virus assay, developed by Gen-Probe Inc., San Diego, and marketed by Chiron Corp., Emeryville, Calif. The test detects West Nile RNA in blood.

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