News & Perspective

Oct 23, 2008

Oct 23, 2008

UN: Pandemic risk remains despite progress on H5N1

(CIDRAP News) – So far this year no new countries have been hit by H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks, and fewer previously affected countries have reported fresh outbreaks, but the threat of an influenza pandemic has not changed, according to a recent progress report from the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank.

Oct 23, 2008

ACIP opens door to anthrax shots for first responders

(CIDRAP News) – The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has opened the door to voluntary anthrax vaccination for first responders, revising an 8-year-old recommendation against that step.

Oct 22, 2008

Oct 22, 2008

GAO says tighter security needed at two BSL-4 labs

(CIDRAP News) – Two of the nation's five biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) labs lack outer-ring security controls to protect against a terrorist attack or theft of some of the world's most dangerous pathogens, such as the Ebola and smallpox viruses, according to a new report from the Governmental Accountability Office (GAO).

Oct 21, 2008

Oct 21, 2008

Group urges next administration to reform public health

(CIDRAP News) – Drawing on the expertise of more than 150 health experts, Trust for America's Health (TFAH), a nonprofit health advocacy group in Washington, DC, today released a report designed to help the next president and Congress reform the public health system to improve the nation's health and emergency preparedness.

Oct 21, 2008

Oct 21, 2008

Google funds projects to find, fight new pathogens

(CIDRAP News) – The philanthropic arm of the Internet search company Google today announced it is awarding more than $14 million for various projects aiming to prevent the next pandemic by detecting new pathogens and disease outbreaks in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Oct 20, 2008

Oct 20, 2008

FDA to open five overseas offices by year's end

(CIDRAP News) – Aiming to make imports safer, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will open four overseas offices by the end of the year, starting with China and followed by India, Europe, and Latin America, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced recently.

Oct 17, 2008

Oct 17, 2008

US antiterrorism rules restrict vaccine exports

(CIDRAP News) – A recent Associated Press (AP) report revealed that, in the name of preventing biological attacks, the United States has rules barring the exportation of vaccines for avian influenza, smallpox, yellow fever, and many other pathogens to five countries classified as sponsors of terrorism.

Oct 17, 2008

World Bank says flu pandemic could cost $3 trillion

(CIDRAP News) – An internal report prepared by the World Bank estimates that a severe influenza pandemic could kill 71 million people and cause a recession costing more than $3 trillion, Bloomberg News reported today.

The report says that in a severe pandemic, sagging tourism, transportation, retail sales, and productivity, coupled with worker absenteeism, could reduce global gross domestic product (GDP) by 4.8%, according to Bloomberg.

Oct 16, 2008

Oct 16, 2008

Governors group identifies states' pandemic-preparedness gaps

(CIDRAP News) – State pandemic preparedness has improved over the past few years, but gaps remain, particularly in areas that don't relate directly to healthcare such as continuing government operations, maintaining essential services, and coordinating with the private sector, according to a recent report from the National Governors Association (NGA).

Oct 16, 2008

Polio vaccination may continue after wild virus fades

(CIDRAP News) – Teams of researchers from several countries today report positive results in the long battle to eradicate polio. At the same time, they acknowledge that the international campaign faces an extraordinary challenge of both biology and economics: While circulation of wild poliovirus may cease, polio vaccination may need to continue for an indefinite period of time.

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