News & Perspective

May 19, 2005

May 19, 2005

World Health Assembly addresses pandemic flu

(CIDRAP News) – The world has an unprecedented warning that pandemic influenza may be imminent, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a report that urges swift action to prevent global illness and death.

A WHO report, "Strengthening pandemic influenza preparedness and response," is slated for discussion tomorrow at the organization's annual World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva.

Sep 29, 2005

Sep 29, 2005

UN names global coordinator for flu threats

(CIDRAP News) – The United Nations today signaled a new level of concern about avian influenza and the risk of a flu pandemic by naming a special coordinator of all UN responses to the situation.

Dr. David Nabarro, a British public health expert with the World Health Organization (WHO), was named to the new job of "UN system coordinator for avian and human influenza."

Jan 05, 2006

Jan 05, 2006

YEAR-END REVIEW: Avian flu emerged as high-profile issue in 2005

Jan 6, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – 2005 is likely to go down as the year when avian influenza, powered by a steady rise in human cases and the spread of poultry outbreaks all the way to Eastern Europe, emerged as a high-profile global health issue.

When 2005 dawned, only 45 human cases of H5N1 avian flu, including 32 deaths, had been counted by the World Health Organization (WHO). All of those were in Vietnam and Thailand.

Mar 01, 2006

Mar 01, 2006

HHS orders drugs to treat 14 million in flu pandemic

(CIDRAP News) – US health officials announced today they have ordered more than 14 million treatment courses of two antiviral drugs to add to the 5.5 million courses already bought in preparation for a possible influenza pandemic.

Mar 06, 2006

Mar 06, 2006

Chinese man had H5N1; WHO hones pandemic plans

(CIDRAP News) – As the H5N1 avian influenza virus continued to claim human victims, World Health Organization (WHO) and other experts met in Geneva today for a 3-day conference to hone the agency's pandemic response plan.

May 24, 2006

May 24, 2006

Two generations of spread possible in Indonesia H5N1 cases

(CIDRAP News) – For the first time, evidence suggests that the H5N1 avian influenza virus may have passed from one person to another and on to a third, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) official.

Referring to the extended-family case cluster in Indonesia, the WHO's Maria Cheng told the Canadian Press (CP) yesterday, "This is the first time we have seen cases that have gone beyond one generation of human-to-human spread."

Jul 03, 2006

Jul 03, 2006

Avian influenza patterns resemble 1918 pandemic, WHO study shows

(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday published its first epidemiologic analysis of all laboratory-confirmed cases of H5N1 avian influenza reported to the agency between Dec 1, 2003, and Apr 30, 2006.

Though the quality, reliability, and format of the surveillance data varied by country, the WHO notes in its report that the conclusions are still useful for tracking disease patterns and planning future studies.

Aug 18, 2006

Aug 18, 2006

WHO changes H5N1 strains for pandemic vaccines, raising concern over virus evolution

(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) today changed the H5N1 avian influenza strains recommended for candidate vaccines for the first time since 2004, causing some experts to question how far the virus has evolved.

The WHO's new prototype strains, prepared by reverse genetics, include three new H5N1 subclades.

Sep 20, 2006

Sep 20, 2006

OIE launches Japan-funded project to fight avian flu

(CIDRAP News) – A new project to help improve control strategies for avian influenza has been initiated in eight Asian countries, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) announced yesterday.

Sep 26, 2006

Sep 26, 2006

WHO flu pandemic task force begins work

(CIDRAP News) – An international group of experts that will advise the World Health Organization (WHO) on avian and pandemic influenza issues met for the first time yesterday in Geneva, Switzerland.

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