U.S. health officials defended their handling of the country’s H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine campaign Tuesday “against criticism that their plan to protect Americans was confusing and over-optimistic,” Reuters reports (Fox, 11/17).
The number of H1N1 (swine flu) cases in the U.S. appears to be decreasing, the CDC said Tuesday, CQ HealthBeat reports. “Flu was widespread in 32 states by the end of the week of Nov. 21, a decrease from 43 states in the prior week and 46 states earlier this fall, according to the CDC,” the news service writes.
WHO Investigates Tamiflu Resistance, Updates Antiviral Recommendations For H1N1 Patients With Severely Compromised Immune Systems
Following recent reports of clusters of Tamiflu resistance, the WHO on Wednesday recommended that patients with severely weakened immune systems who become infected with the H1N1 (swine flu) virus receive additional antiviral treatment as needed throughout the duration of their illness, Agence France-Presse reports.
Though there are signs the H1N1 (swine flu) has peaked in the U.S. and Canada, a WHO flu expert said Thursday it is too early to declare the pandemic over, Canadian Press reports. “‘In the Northern Hemisphere, we continue to see an up and down pattern by countries. And so what you see in one country is not necessarily what you are seeing in another country,’ Keiji Fukuda, special adviser to WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on pandemic influenza, said in a teleconference briefing,” the news service writes.
Two women have become the first to die from H1N1 (swine flu) in Gaza, health officials said Monday, Agence France-Presse/Inquirer.net reports.
Countries are narrowing in on a “deal to speed up their response to the next flu pandemic by sharing virus samples in return for access to affordable vaccines,” co-chairs of a WHO working group told reporters on Tuesday, Reuters reports. The group, which is meeting this week and just last week was in meetings with drug manufacturers and WHO member states about the plans, says it hopes to have a draft agreement finalized by Friday to be voted on during next month’s World Health Assembly, according to the news service (Nebehay, 4/12).
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After almost four years of negotiations, the WHO on Saturday announced it had reached an agreement on sharing flu virus samples, Agence-France Presse reports (4/17).
A draft agreement that would ensure countries would share virus samples in exchange for access to affordable vaccines derived from such samples in the event of a pandemic is nearly complete, senior diplomats told Reuters on Thursday. “Consensus has been reached across all regions, including Indonesia which three years ago stopped sharing influenza samples with the World Health Organization (WHO), but the United States has yet to give formal approval, they said,” according to the news service.
In 2012, measles “claimed the lives of more than 300 children in Pakistan,” with more than 200 of those deaths from Sindh province, and health experts and the WHO are saying “the huge difference in routine immunization coverage between the provinces, districts and cities is at the root of the…