News & Perspective

Oct 27, 2008

Oct 27, 2008

Drug-resistant flu viruses cause growing concern

– WASHINGTON, DC (CIDRAP News) – Health officials worldwide are becoming increasingly concerned about influenza viruses' resistance to antiviral drugs, which can shut down a flu infection or mitigate symptoms. Flu antivirals are vital for reducing severe illness and death in average flu seasons and could be essential bulwarks against an influenza pandemic if one began.

Oct 01, 2008

Oct 01, 2008

FDA approves CDC's new rapid flu test

(CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday approved a new diagnostic test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that can quickly distinguish seasonal influenza strains from an evolving virus that might have pandemic potential in hours rather than days.

Aug 14, 2008

Aug 14, 2008

Researchers probe pandemic potential of H9N2 virus

(CIDRAP News) – Scientists have warned it's impossible to predict which avian influenza virus will spark the next pandemic, and while most of the attention has been on highly pathogenic H5N1, one research group is reporting new findings that raise concerns about the threat from the low-pathogenic H9N2 virus.

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.

Jun 17, 2008

Jun 17, 2008

CDC funds tests to sort seasonal, avian flu

(CDIRAP News) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded two contracts worth a total of $12.9 million to develop influenza tests, with the aim of making it possible to distinguish seasonal from avian flu viruses within 3 hours.

Jun 06, 2008

Jun 06, 2008

Hawaii begins testing some arriving travelers for flu

(CIDRAP News) – The first real test of a new program to screen some arriving passengers at the Honolulu airport for flu-like illness went smoothly this week, according to an official with the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH).

May 28, 2008

May 28, 2008

WHO confirms Bangladesh's first H5N1 case

(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed that a 16-month-old boy from Bangladesh had an H5N1 avian influenza infection in January but has since recovered.

May 28, 2008

Some avian flu H7 viruses growing more human-like

(CIDRAP News) – Scientists have found evidence that North American avian influenza viruses of the H7 subtype are becoming more like human flu viruses in their ability to attach to host cells, which suggests they may be improving their capacity to infect humans.

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.

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