Keiji Fukuda, the special adviser to the WHO director general on pandemic influenza, on Thursday dismissed allegations that the agency exaggerated the threat of the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic and has been influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, the Washington Post reports. Fukuda’s defense came amid reports this week that the Council of Europe will investigate the WHO’s actions and as several countries slash H1N1 vaccine orders.
Agence France-Presse examines the WHO’s response to H1N1 (swine flu) one year since the virus was first reported in Mexico and the U.S. “A year on, questions linger as to whether a decision by the World Health Organization to declare swine flu a pandemic, thereby unleashing the slew of health measures, was over-dramatic or even tainted by commercial interests,” the news service writes.
Though the world has made “great strides” in eliminating H5N1 (avian flu) from poultry since the “peak of its outbreak in 2006” in 63 countries, the virus persists in Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Indonesia and Vietnam, VOA News reports (DeCapua, 4/16).
The first meeting of external experts tasked with reviewing the WHO’s handling of the H1N1 (swine flu) virus came to a close Wednesday, with health leaders maintaining it was still too early to declare the pandemic over, Agence France-Presse reports.
“A year after the emergence of swine flu [H1N1], U.S. health authorities and laboratories say the pandemic illustrated the need for new vaccine production techniques that are faster and more reliable,” Agence France-Presse writes in an article that examines the challenges associated with current vaccine development practices and plans for future development.
The rapid spread of information via the Internet “had a disruptive impact on the handling of the flu pandemic by fanning speculation and rumours,” WHO officials said Tuesday on day two of a three-day meeting of external experts tasked with evaluating the WHO’s handling of H1N1 (swine flu), Agence France-Presse reports.
Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s top influenza expert, on Monday said the organization did not effectively communicate the uncertainties of the H1N1 (swine flu) virus, which led to confusion worldwide, Reuters reports.
BetterÂ Living Conditions Can Improve Health Former U.S. Senate Majority LeaderÂ Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Habitat for Humanity CEO Jonathan Reckford write in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution opinion pieceÂ about the need to “address the constant crisis families face daily in deplorable living conditions.” The authors reflect onÂ several healthÂ problems associated with unsanitaryÂ and crowded living…
Health experts on Monday began a probe of how the WHO responded to the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic “nearly a year after global alarm was raised over the new swine flu strain,” Agence France-Presse reports (Capella, 4/12).
Lancet Comment Calls For Global Plan For Justice In Response To Health Inequalities A Lancet Comment appeals for “an international call to action through a global plan for justiceâ€”a voluntary compact between states and their partners” to help meet the health needs of people living in developing countries. Such a…