News & Perspective

Apr 25, 2009

Apr 25, 2009

WHO declares public health emergency as US swine flu cases rise

(CIDRAP News) – Health officials from Kansas and New York today announced more confirmed and probable swine influenza cases, as an emergency panel of the World Health Organization (WHO) met but stopped short of raising the global pandemic alert level.

Apr 26, 2009

Apr 26, 2009

US swine flu cases rise as feds call health emergency

(CIDRAP News) – Federal officials, speaking at a White House briefing on the swine influenza outbreak today, said the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is declaring a public health emergency, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 9 more human cases.

Apr 27, 2009

Apr 27, 2009

As US swine flu cases double, some travel to Mexico discouraged

(CIDRAP News) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today confirmed 20 more swine influenza cases, all connected to previous cases at a New York City high school, and said federal officials will issue new travel advice urging against nonessential travel to Mexico.

Apr 27, 2009

WHO raises pandemic alert to phase 4 [updated 7:15 p.m. CST]

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.

Apr 28, 2009

Apr 28, 2009

Senate hearing raises pandemic readiness, funding issues

(CIDRAP News) –At an emergency hearing today of the Senate appropriations committee, Sen Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said the Obama administration will ask for $1.5 billion to fight the swine influenza epidemic, as committee members sought to get a handle on the elements and cost estimates of the public health response.

Apr 29, 2009

Apr 29, 2009

Lawmakers press for tougher border measures to curb virus spread

(CIDRAP News) – Top US officials responsible for managing the nation's response to the swine influenza outbreak today faced increasing pressure to implement more aggressive measures at the Mexico border and reveal more details about the status of a vaccine.

Apr 30, 2009

Apr 30, 2009

Flu experts counter Biden's travel advice

(CIDRAP News) – Vice President Joe Biden today told Matt Lauer on NBC's "Today" show that he has advised his family not to fly on airlines or ride subways to avoid exposure to the swine flu virus, a message that goes well beyond the government's current travel advice for Americans to avoid nonessential trips to Mexico.

May 01, 2009

May 01, 2009

HHS orders more antivirals for national stockpile

(CIDRAP News) – Federal officials will acquire 13 million more courses of antiviral medication for the nation's Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) and have begun sending 400,000 treatment courses to Mexico to help control the spread of the virus, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced yesterday.

May 12, 2009

May 12, 2009

WHO likely to counsel restraint on antivirals for H1N1

(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to release clinical guidance that will say most patients sick with the novel H1N1 influenza (swine flu) will not need antiviral treatment, but the drugs should be considered for high-risk groups, a WHO official said today.

May 26, 2009

May 26, 2009

WHO may redefine pandemic alert phases

(CIDRAP News) – In response to concerns from various governments about the possible effects of declaring a full-scale influenza pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) will call on outside experts to consider whether to revise the agency's definitions of pandemic alert phases, a WHO official announced today.

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