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 30, 2008

Dec 30, 2008

Hong Kong reports baby has H9N2 virus

Dec 30. 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Health officials in Hong Kong today said a 2-month-old girl who lives in mainland China has been hospitalized at a Hong Kong hospital for an H9N2 avian influenza infection, which typically causes mild illness but is considered one of the viruses that could evolve into a pandemic strain.

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 23, 2008

Dec 23, 2008

More avian flu found in Bangladesh poultry

(CIDRAP News) – Agriculture officials in Bangladesh said today that they have detected another H5N1 avian influenza outbreak on a farm, the country's fifth one since the virus reemerged in poultry flocks in October.

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 22, 2008

Dec 22, 2008

EU panel supports innovative pandemic, seasonal flu vaccines

(CIDRAP News) – An H5N1 influenza vaccine made by Baxter International could become the first cell culture–based H5N1 influenza vaccine to be approved for marketing, following its endorsement by a committee of the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) last week.

Recommendations of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) are usually followed by the EMEA within a few months.

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 18, 2008

Dec 18, 2008

Three countries report fresh H5N1 outbreaks

(CIDRAP News) – Authorities from Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Egypt reported that the H5N1 avian influenza virus has struck poultry again, according to new reports.

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.

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