News & Perspective

Dec 31, 2008

Dec 31, 2008

Study hints at pneumonia risk with resistant flu viruses

(CIDRAP News) – A newly published analysis of oseltamivir-resistant influenza viruses collected last winter in Norway hints that they may increase an infected person's risk of pneumonia and sinus infections, but the small number of patients in the study means the finding is no more than a hint at this point.

Dec 29, 2008

Dec 29, 2008

Ebola strikes Congo again

Editor's note: This story was revised Dec 30 to make clear that as of Dec 29, only two cases in the outbreak had been confirmed as Ebola. During the DRC's 2007 outbreak the government confirmed 17 cases, down from 25 it reported earlier, and initial reports during that outbreak mentioned as many as 395 suspected Ebola cases.  Some of the suspected patients had other diseases, including shigellosis.

Dec 24, 2008

Dec 24, 2008

Surging flu cases may herald tough season in England

(CIDRAP News) – While the US influenza season has started slowly, cases are surging in England, raising concern that the country could have its toughest season since 1999-2000.

Dec 22, 2008

Dec 22, 2008

FDA approves shortened anthrax-vaccine course

(CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a new version of BioThrax—the nation's only licensed anthrax vaccine—that requires fewer doses and changes the injection route.

Dec 19, 2008

Dec 19, 2008

With H1N1 resistance, CDC changes advice on flu drugs

(CIDRAP News) – Increased resistance to oseltamivir (Tamiflu), the leading influenza drug, has prompted federal health officials to change their advice about flu treatment, saying clinicians for now should consider using zanamivir (Relenza) or a combination of two drugs for patients suspected of having influenza A.

Dec 17, 2008

Dec 17, 2008

Cost, resistance aired in HHS webcast on antivirals

(CIDRAP News) – Cost issues and the risk of viral resistance drew considerable attention today in an online presentation by federal health officials on their revised guidance regarding use of antiviral drugs in an influenza pandemic.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released two guidance documents this week, one on antiviral use in general and one on employer stockpiling of antivirals.

Dec 12, 2008

Dec 12, 2008

CDC sees early-season signs of Tamiflu resistance

(CIDRAP News) – With this year's US influenza epidemic barely getting started, there are already signs of increased viral resistance to oseltamivir (Tamiflu), the most widely used antiviral drug, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today.

In its flu surveillance report for Nov 30 to Dec 6, released today, the CDC said 45 of 46 influenza A/H1N1 viruses tested so far have shown resistance to oseltamivir.

Dec 11, 2008

Dec 11, 2008

Testing turns up Ebola virus in pigs

(CIDRAP News) – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today announced that the Ebola virus has been found in pigs for the first time, a discovery researchers made when they were investigating outbreaks of porcine reproductive respiratory syndrome (PRRS) at several swine producers in the Philippines.

Dec 11, 2008

Half-dose flu shots could help prevent shortages

(CIDRAP News) – Half-dose influenza shots generate nearly as strong an immune response in young adults as full-dose shots do, suggesting that cutting the dose in half may be a good way to cope with vaccine shortages, according to a study published this week.

Dec 10, 2008

Dec 10, 2008

Rand releases midseason flu vaccination status report

(CIDRAP News) – The Rand Corp. today released its first-ever midseason survey on the uptake of the current influenza vaccine, which found that public officials still have a tall task in front of them to administer this year's record vaccine supply.

The survey indicated that about 30% of US adults had received a flu shot by mid November, but more than half of those surveyed said they didn't plan to get the immunization.

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