(CIDRAP News) – As cases in the global outbreak of "severe acute respiratory syndrome" (SARS) climbed to 264 today, the World Health Organization (WHO) said there is evidence that the illness may be caused by a previously unknown member of the Paramyxovirus family, which causes measles, mumps, and canine distemper.
(CIDRAP News) A second case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) has been reported in a US resident, although American authorities said he is thought to have contracted the illness in his native Britain.
(CIDRAP News) Because of a suboptimal match between this year's flu vaccine and circulating influenza B viruses, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended changing one of the three strains used in flu vaccines for the Northern Hemisphere next fall and winter.
Editor's note: Includes two new sections, on phase change considerations and on possible impact.
(CIDRAP News) The World Health Organization (WHO) today raised its official pandemic alert level from the current phase 3 to phase 4 on its 6-phase scale, saying the newly identified swine influenza virus has made a pandemic more likely but not inevitable.
Editor's note: Today we are launching a daily digest of the latest developments concerning the swine influenza H1N1 virus. This digest will be updated more than once a day as news developments dictate.
(CIDRAP News) As the official count of US swine influenza cases rose to 64 today, top federal health officials said it's becoming increasingly clear that the virus is spreading beyond people who recently traveled to Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 331 cases of swine influenza H1N1 in 11 countries as of 6 a.m. GMT today. The case numbers by country are United States, 109 (1 death) (these are yesterday's totals); Mexico, 156 (9 deaths), Canada, 34; Spain, 13; United Kingdom, 8; New Zealand, 3; Germany, 3; Israel, 2; and 1 each in Austria, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. [WHO update 7]