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Understanding Ebola Is Vital, But Helping Those In Need Is A Priority

New York Times: Ebola Virus: A Grim, African Reality David Quammen, author of “Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic” Ebolaviruses’ “invisible immanence makes them all the more dangerous during those lulls between outbreaks, and for that reason ecological research — efforts to find the reservoir hosts, and to…

Aid Organizations Work To Contain Spread Of Ebola In West Africa

News outlets report on international aid organizations’ efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Agence France-Presse: Aid groups take emergency steps against Ebola onslaught “International aid organizations launched a series of emergency measures across west Africa on Thursday in a bid to contain one of the worst ever…

Filipino Health Worker Dies Of MERS In UAE; Five Others Infected

News outlets report on the death of a health worker from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the United Arab Emirates. Yemen also reports its first case of MERS. Agence France-Presse: Filipino paramedic dies of MERS in UAE “The United Arab Emirates announced Friday that one of six Filipino paramedics…

U.S.-Funded Research On Ebola Treatments Shows Progress

CQ HealthBeat: U.S.-Funded Ebola Drugs Make Gains in Testing “While global health agencies confront the recent Ebola outbreak in western Africa, researchers funded by federal agencies are gaining ground in efforts to develop medicines to combat the deadly virus…” (Young, 4/11).

Guinea Brings Ebola Outbreak Under Control; Vaccine Still Years Away

News outlets report on progress to contain and stop West Africa’s Ebola outbreak. Agence France-Presse: Guinea Ebola outbreak under control: foreign minister “Guinea’s Foreign Minister Francois Fall said on Monday the west African country had brought the spread of the deadly Ebola virus under control after more than 100 people…

Scientific American Examines Efforts To Increase Influenza Virus Monitoring In Pigs To Prevent Pandemics In Humans

Scientific American examines how, in an attempt to improve early recognition of viruses that could give rise to pandemics in people, such as last year’s H1N1 swine flu, scientists are looking to better understand “the viruses that infect the estimated 941 million domesticated pigs around the world.” However, as the article notes, “[i]ntensive monitoring of pig viruses is unlikely to come any time soon … Most pork-producing countries do not test their pigs at all, and in some that do—such as the U.S.—the testing is done on behalf of the pork producers, who have little economic incentive to share what they find. The reason: pig farmers know pork prices plummet when pigs and flu are linked in the news.”

FDA Recommends H1N1 For Inclusion In Next Year’s Flu Vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday recommended that the H1N1 (swine flu) strain be added to next year’s seasonal flu vaccine, “putting an end to separate shots deployed against the pandemic,” Bloomberg reports. The FDA committee voted unanimously to make the H1N1 strain one of the three strains included in the shot, according to the news service. “The panel’s recommendations are routinely adopted and used to guide vaccine manufacturers,” Bloomberg writes (Randall, 2/22).

WHO Will Meet To Decide If H1N1 Has Peaked

The WHO will convene a meeting of its emergency committee later this month to assess whether H1N1 (swine flu) has peaked, Keiji Fukuda, the special adviser to the WHO’s director general for pandemic influenza said Thursday, Bloomberg reports. “While the flu continues to spread in parts of the world, notably northern Africa, eastern Europe and eastern Asia, infection activity is declining, [Fukuda] said,” according to Bloomberg (Serafino, 2/11).

WHO Emergency Committee Concludes ‘Too Premature’ To Declare H1N1 Has Peaked

The WHO’s emergency committee concluded Tuesday that it was too early to declare that H1N1 (swine flu) has peaked in all parts of the world, the Associated Press reports. The announcement came after the committee met to review the most recent statistics H1N1 activity around the world (2/24).

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