News & Perspective

Dec 19, 2003

Dec 19, 2003

CDC says 42 children have died of flu

(CIDRAP News) – Forty-two children have died recently of influenza-related causes, and at least some of them had no underlying health problems, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today.

Dec 19, 2003

Blood transmission of vCJD suspected in Britain

(CIDRAP News) – Britain's health secretary reported this week what could be the world's first case of a person contracting variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) from a blood transfusion.

John Reid told the House of Commons that a person who died recently of vCJD had received blood in 1996 from a donor who became ill with vCJD in 1999 and died soon afterward.

Dec 18, 2003

Dec 18, 2003

CDC advises on antiviral use in flu outbreaks

(CIDRAP News) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday issued guidelines for using antiviral drugs to prevent and treat influenza during the current season.

The guidelines cover the use of four antivirals—oseltamivir, zanamivir, amantadine, and rimantadine. The CDC emphasizes using the medications to control flu outbreaks in nursing homes and other institutions housing people at high risk for flu complications.

Dec 18, 2003

Flu widespread in 36 states; vaccine supplies vary

(CIDRAP News) – Thirty-six states had "widespread" influenza outbreaks by the end of last week, 12 more states than faced that situation a week earlier, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today.

All western states except South Dakota and Alaska had widespread flu, meaning outbreaks in at least half their regions, the CDC says in the Dec 19 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Dec 17, 2003

Dec 17, 2003

FDA approves test for anthrax in lab cultures

(CIDRAP News) – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a new test that clinical laboratories can use to help identify anthrax in cultures of bacteria from people potentially infected with the pathogen.

Dec 17, 2003

Dec 17, 2003

Taiwanese SARS researcher infected

(CIDRAP News) – A Taiwanese scientist has contracted SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), probably while studying the SARS coronavirus in a laboratory, the Taiwan Department of Health reported today.

Dec 17, 2003

FDA approves test for anthrax in lab cultures

Dec 31, 2002 (CIDRAP News) – Individuals receiving smallpox vaccine should wait 3 weeks before donating blood, according to guidance issued yesterday by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The recommendations are being issued as a precautionary measure to reduce the "very slight risk" of bloodborne exposure to vaccinia virus in certain patient populations, according to the agency.

Dec 16, 2003

Dec 16, 2003

Avian influenza strikes South Korean chicken farm

(CIDRAP News) – An outbreak of avian influenza in South Korea has resulted in the deaths of 24,000 chickens at a farm southeast of Seoul.

The disease killed 19,000 chickens at the farm and prompted authorities to destroy the remaining 5,000 chickens as a containment measure, according to a report by the OIE (Office International des Epizooties), the world organization for animal health.

Dec 15, 2003

Dec 15, 2003

HHS buys another 375,000 doses of flu vaccine

(CIDRAP News) – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is buying 375,000 doses of influenza vaccine from British drug maker Chiron to boost the nation's waning vaccine supply, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson announced today.

In addition, HHS has negotiated a contract for 3 million doses of the intranasal vaccine FluMist that state and local health departments can buy if needed, Thompson announced.

Dec 15, 2003

HHS sets rules for smallpox vaccine injury compensation

(CIDRAP News) – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced details of how the compensation program for civilians who are injured by the smallpox vaccine will work.

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