(CIDRAP News) – A federal advisory committee yesterday recommended increased biosafety precautions for research involving H5N1 avian influenza viruses that can spread among mammals, a step that stems from the ongoing controversy over studies involving lab-modified H5N1 strains that show increased transmissibility in ferrets.
(CIDRAP News) – Some professional groups and scientists think it's a good idea to classify highly pathogenic avian (HPAI) H5N1 influenza viruses as "select agents" requiring special research precautions, while others say the step is unnecessary and would impede research, according to comments they have filed with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
(CIDRAP News) – As a meeting to discuss issues related to federally funded H5N1 avian influenza research wrapped up today, experts anticipated that a voluntary moratorium on work with lab-modified strains that have increased transmissibility might end soon and said they sensed agreement about lab biosecurity levels.
(CIDRAP News) – Federal health officials are inviting the public to weigh in on whether research on H5N1 avian influenza viruses, including strains modified in the lab to make them more transmissible, is risky enough to require new safety regulations and precautions.
(CIDRAP News) Although no successful attacks on the US agriculture and food system have been reported in the past decade, the nation's efforts to defend the system came in for a barrage of criticism yesterday about a lack of coordination and various other shortcomings.
(CIDRAP News) The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued two reports that address avian and pandemic influenza planning last week, one examining how well the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is prepared to respond to avian flu outbreaks and the other assessing efforts by US and international agencies to help vulnerable countries.
(CIDRAP News) – The Bush administration's new budget proposes adding funds for pandemic preparedness while cutting some support for bioterrorism and local preparedness, drawing mixed reviews from national public health groups.