News & Perspective

Aug 26, 2008

Aug 26, 2008

Anthrax probe prompts concerns about military labs

(CIDRAP News) –US Navy and Air Force officials recently reported a suspension of work in their biodefense laboratories to allow a thorough review of safety procedures, following the Army's announcement in early August that it would review security measures at the lab that housed the work of the late Bruce E. Ivins, whom federal officials believe played a role in the 2001 anthrax attacks.

Jul 15, 2008

Jul 15, 2008

Indonesia details reasons for withholding H5N1 viruses

(CIDRAP News) – In a recent medical journal article, Indonesian officials detailed the rationale for their refusal to share H5N1 influenza virus samples with the World Health Organization (WHO), asserting that it was in part a response to violations of the WHO's own guidelines by scientists and laboratories.

Jun 23, 2008

Jun 23, 2008

Health leaders: World far from ready for flu pandemic

(CIDRAP News) – The world is far from being well prepared for an influenza pandemic, leading national and international health officials warned at a meeting in Malaysia last week.

As the H5N1 avian influenza virus continues to thrive in birds, there is no vaccine that can provide sure protection if it evolves into a pandemic strain, and governments are paying less attention to the threat, officials said.

May 22, 2008

May 22, 2008

Bangladesh reports its first human H5N1 case

(CIDRAP News) – Bangladesh has become the 15th country to have a human case of H5N1 avian influenza, this one in a 16-month-old boy who became ill in January but recovered, according to news services.

The boy's case was confirmed only yesterday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report quoting Saluddin Khan, a government official. The child is from Dhaka, the capital, the story said.

May 19, 2008

May 19, 2008

Experts welcome Indonesia's vow to share H5N1 data

(CIDRAP News) – Indonesia's recent announcement that it would immediately begin sharing H5N1 avian influenza genetic sequences with a new public database is being hailed by experts as a promising development, though there is a concern that having actual virus isolates would be better.

Indonesia's decision, announced by Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari, was detailed in a May 15 report from the Associated Press (AP).

May 02, 2008

May 02, 2008

Adenovirus-based H5N1 vaccine broadly protective in mice

(CIDRAP News) – An H5N1 influenza vaccine based on a weakened adenovirus was tested successfully in mice and may offer advantages as a tool for combating a human flu pandemic, according to researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Purdue University.

Mar 05, 2008

Mar 05, 2008

Indonesia: recent H5N1 viruses show no mutation

Editor's note: This story was revised Mar 6 to include a clarification about the frequency of mutations in influenza viruses.

(CIDRAP News) – Indonesia's health ministry said today that H5N1 avian influenza virus samples it sent to a World Health Organization (WHO) laboratory in the United States in February showed no signs of dangerous mutations, according to a Reuters report.

Feb 22, 2008

Feb 22, 2008

CDC expecting H5N1 samples from Indonesia

(CIDRAP News) – An official from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is a collaborating laboratory for the World Health Organization (WHO), today said Indonesia's health ministry is sending 15 H5N1 influenza samples for virus characterization, the first the country has shared since last year.

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