News & Perspective

Feb 23, 2005

Feb 23, 2005

Avian flu conference brings urgent warnings

(CIDRAP News) – Warnings that H5N1 avian influenza could touch off a human flu pandemic rose in intensity as a major conference on the problem opened today in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, according to news services.

"We at WHO [the World Health Organization] believe that the world is now in the gravest possible danger of a pandemic," Dr. Shigeru Omi, the WHO's Western Pacific regional director, was quoted as saying.

Feb 22, 2005

Feb 22, 2005

Immunizing children called better way to fight flu

(CIDRAP News) – The idea that vaccinating schoolchildren is the best way to prevent influenza throughout the US population received a boost last week with the publication of a commentary and a Texas study in separate journals.

Feb 21, 2005

Feb 21, 2005

CDC chief says avian flu is biggest threat

(CIDRAP News) – The nation's top disease-control official proclaimed in a speech in Washington, DC, today that avian influenza is the single biggest threat the world faces right now, according to wire service reports.

Feb 18, 2005

Feb 18, 2005

WHO confirms report will look at stockpiling of H5N1 vaccine

(CIDRAP News) – A World Health Organization (WHO) official confirmed today that the agency is working on a report suggesting that governments consider stockpiling H5N1 avian influenza vaccines, but he stressed that such a stockpile "would not solve the problem" if a flu pandemic emerges.

Feb 18, 2005

Feb 18, 2005

Pneumonic plague outbreak in Congo sparks WHO response

(CIDRAP News) – An unusual outbreak of pneumonic plague that has killed at least 61 people and potentially sickened hundreds of others is the focus of a World Health Organization (WHO) mission in a war-torn area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Feb 17, 2005

Feb 17, 2005

Report: WHO to suggest stockpiling H5N1 flu vaccine

(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) is preparing to recommend that governments consider stockpiling vaccines against the H5N1 avian influenza virus now, rather than waiting until a human flu pandemic emerges, according to a story published online today by New Scientist magazine.

Feb 17, 2005

FDA approves adding new strain to flu vaccine

(CIDRAP News) – A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee voted yesterday to add the new A/California strain to next season's influenza vaccine, amid doubts about the nation's ability to acquire an adequate supply.

Feb 16, 2005

Feb 16, 2005

Avian flu caused encephalitis in Vietnamese boy

(CIDRAP News) – Researchers studying acute encephalitis cases in Vietnam discovered an unexpected cause of death in a 4-year-old boy, and possibly his 9-year-old sister: avian influenza.

Feb 16, 2005

Study: Flu shots in elderly don't cut mortality rate

(CIDRAP News) – Researchers who tracked national data on influenza vaccination rates and mortality in elderly people from 1968 through 2001 say they could find no evidence that flu shots reduced death rates.

Feb 15, 2005

Feb 15, 2005

Vietnam claims headway in avian flu battle

(CIDRAP News) – Vietnamese and international officials concerned that the Lunar New Year would encourage the spread of avian influenza had some good news: the travel-heavy holiday didn't bring any new reports of human cases, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported yesterday.

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