(CIDRAP News) The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today hosted an online conversation among experts, government officials, and members of the public that touched on emerging issues in pandemic planning, such as anticipating supply chain interruptions and keeping the momentum going during tough economic times.
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.
(CIDRAP News) A group of international donors who met yesterday in the final session of an avian influenza conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, pledged more support for avian and pandemic flu preparedness and prevention, led by $320 million from the United States.
(CIDRAP News) The World Health Organization (WHO) has drafted a revised pandemic influenza preparedness plan that updates the definitions of pandemic phases and puts more emphasis on the social and economic effects of a global epidemic, among other changes.
(CIDRAP News) So far this year no new countries have been hit by H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks, and fewer previously affected countries have reported fresh outbreaks, but the threat of an influenza pandemic has not changed, according to a recent progress report from the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank.
(CIDRAP News) An internal report prepared by the World Bank estimates that a severe influenza pandemic could kill 71 million people and cause a recession costing more than $3 trillion, Bloomberg News reported today.
The report says that in a severe pandemic, sagging tourism, transportation, retail sales, and productivity, coupled with worker absenteeism, could reduce global gross domestic product (GDP) by 4.8%, according to Bloomberg.
(CIDRAP News) State pandemic preparedness has improved over the past few years, but gaps remain, particularly in areas that don't relate directly to healthcare such as continuing government operations, maintaining essential services, and coordinating with the private sector, according to a recent report from the National Governors Association (NGA).
(CIDRAP News) GlaxoSmithKline, maker of the antiviral drug zanamivir (Relenza), today launched a program designed to help businesses stockpile the drug as a strategy to protect employees in the event of an influenza pandemic.
(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.
(CIDRAP News) Two pharmaceutical companies that are developing a second-generation version of the inhaled antiviral drug zanamivir (Relenza) reported promising phase 2 results showing that one dose was as effective against influenza as a course of oseltamivir (Tamiflu).