News & Perspective

Aug 22, 2003

Aug 22, 2003

Irradiation proponents object to Consumer Reports article

(CIDRAP News) – Supporters of irradiation as a tool for preventing foodborne disease are dismayed by a generally negative evaluation of irradiated meat in the August issue of Consumer Reports.

Aug 22, 2003

Aug 22, 2003

Waning outbreak in Canadian nursing home isn't SARS, officials say

(CIDRAP News) – A mysterious illness that sickened more than half of the residents of a nursing home in British Columbia and raised concern about a possible return of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) is nearly over, according to Dr. Perry Kendall, provincial health officer of British Columbia.

Aug 21, 2003

Aug 21, 2003

D. A. Henderson critiques report on duration of smallpox immunity

(CIDRAP News) – Dr. D. A. Henderson, who led the global smallpox eradication campaign in the 1960s and 1970s, says researchers who recently reported on the duration of immunity conferred by smallpox vaccination were wrong in suggesting that immunity can last for decades or even for life.

Aug 21, 2003

Tests suggest Acambis smallpox vaccine may have safety advantage

(CIDRAP News) – Initial tests of the new cell-culture–grown smallpox vaccine now being stockpiled by the US government indicate that it may be slightly safer than the vaccine used in the current immunization program, according to a report by the vaccine's manufacturer.

Aug 19, 2003

Aug 19, 2003

Protective effect of smallpox vaccine may last decades

Editor's note: See Aug 21 CIDRAP News story for a critique by Dr. D. A. Henderson of the report described below.

(CIDRAP News) – A study of more than 300 people who received smallpox shots suggests that the resulting immunity to smallpox may last up to 75 years, according to a report published online yesterday by Nature Medicine.

Aug 19, 2003

Aug 19, 2003

West Nile virus vaccine shows promise in monkeys

(CIDRAP News) – As the number of West Nile virus cases continues to climb, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) announced that its scientists have created a promising new vaccine against the virus. The vaccine involves a distantly related virus, dengue type 4, in which some proteins have been replaced by corresponding proteins from the West Nile virus.

Aug 18, 2003

Aug 18, 2003

Rats may have played role in Hong Kong SARS outbreak

(CIDRAP News) – The vector in the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak at the Amoy Gardens housing complex in Hong Kong last spring may have been roof rats, hypothesizes Stephen K. C. Ng of Columbia University School of Public Health in an article published in the Aug 16 issue of The Lancet. How the infection spread from the index case to more than 300 residents of the complex very rapidly has remained a mystery.

Aug 15, 2003

Aug 15, 2003

SARS developments in Canada and China

Aug 15 (CIDRAP News) – Two more deaths from SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) occurred this week in Toronto, one of them in a heathcare worker. That brings the total number of deaths in Canada to 44. Eight people remain hospitalized with the illness in Toronto.

Aug 15, 2003

West Nile cases triple again

Aug 15 (CIDRAP News) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Thursday that West Nile cases have tripled in just the last week. As of yesterday, the CDC was reporting 446 cases of West Nile virus and 10 deaths. Colorado accounts for more than half of those cases, with 247 and 6 deaths.

Aug 14, 2003

Aug 14, 2003

Successful screening of blood donations for West Nile ongoing

(CIDRAP News) – As of June 14, all blood donations in the United States are screened for West Nile virus (WNV) through a program among US blood collection agencies (BCAs) that uses nucleic acid–amplification tests (NATs). The program and its success thus far are described in a report in the Aug 15 issue of Morbidity Mortality Weekly Report, released today.

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