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Editorials Address China’s Response To Emergence Of H7N9 Bird Flu Strain

The following is a summary of editorials addressing China’s response to the emergence of a new strain of bird flu, H7N9. Bloomberg Businessweek: “The H7N9 strain contains gene sequences that make it relatively effective, for a bird virus, at infecting humans and other mammals,” Bloomberg writes. However, “[t]his is no reason to…

Number Of H7N9 Cases Surpasses 100; U.S. CDC Warns Physicians To Be Vigilant

“The number of bird flu cases in China jumped Sunday to 102, including 20 deaths, the World Health Organization announced,” CNN reports, noting 70 patients remain hospitalized with the new H7N9 avian flu strain and the “WHO said there is still no evidence of human-to-human transmission” (Gray/Armstrong, 4/22). “‘Until the…

World Must Be Better Prepared For Potential Pandemics

“In China an influenza virus never before seen in people had, as The Economist went to press, infected at least 82 and killed 17. Meanwhile a new type of coronavirus, the family that brought severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), is festering in the Middle East,” an editorial in the magazine…

Cases Of New Coronavirus Rises To 17, Number Of Deaths Is 11

“The deadly and mysterious coronavirus that first appeared in Saudi Arabia last year has claimed two more victims, bringing the official death toll to 11,” and the case count to 17, the Los Angeles Times’ “Booster Shots” blog reports. “The 17 patients identified so far are just the ‘tip of…

Hong Kong Researchers Examine Health Risks Of New SARS-Like Virus

“A new coronavirus that emerged in the Middle East last fall could be deadlier than the SARS virus (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed 774 people between 2002 and 2003, researchers from the University of Hong Kong said … in a study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases this…

Also In Global Health News: Nigerian Drug Institute Funding; Food Security, Climate Change; Heat-Stable, Nasal Vaccine Works In Mice; Task-Shifting In Swaziland; Bird Flu In Hong Kong

Nigerian Drug Research Institute Halts Research Because Of Funding Shortfall Nigeria’s National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), which focuses on developing traditional herbal remedies into drug candidates, has had to discontinue research after the Nigerian health ministry did not provide the full amount of expected funding and a “key grant…

Canada To Donate 5M Doses Of H1N1 Vaccine To WHO; Agency Has Received Commitment Of 200M Vaccines

The Canadian government on Thursday announced the country would donate five million doses of H1N1 vaccines to the WHO from the country’s current surplus, the Canadian Press reports (Branswell, 1/28). “[T]he donation will help the Geneva-based international body in its efforts to redistribute the vaccine to developing countries that couldn’t afford their own supplies,” the Globe and Mail reports (Alphonso, 1/28).

WHO, CDC Issue H1N1 Updates

Though H1N1 (swine flu) activity worldwide has slowed, the potential of a new wave of infections in the northern hemisphere in late winter or early spring remains viable, Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s top flu expert, said Monday at the start of the WHO’s weeklong Executive Board meeting, Reuters reports. The H1N1 pandemic “initially sparked widespread concern about antiviral and vaccine supplies, especially in developing countries, but many nations have cut back their vaccine orders recently because the pandemic has not turned out as deadly as originally feared,” the news service writes (Nebehay, 1/18).

Media Outlets Examine U.S. Plans For Leftover H1N1 Vaccine, Efforts To Keep Flu Vaccine Production On Track

After working to ensure the U.S. had access to enough H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine, health officials may now face a new dilemma – a vaccine surplus, the Associated Press reports. “Get ready for a huge flu-shot push as health officials try to rekindle interest in protection against this new influenza strain that, despite plummeting cases, still is threatening lives – even as they reassess just how much more vaccine needs to be shipped,” the news service writes.

WHO Director-General Highlights Global Health Gains, Challenges At Executive Board Meeting

During the WHO’s recent executive board meeting, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan reflected on public health gains over the past decade and the challenges that lie ahead, Nigeria’s Guardian reports. Chan commended the international community’s response to H1N1 and global efforts to reduce child mortality, fight malaria and tuberculosis.

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