“The Dutch government has agreed to grant an export license to allow Ron Fouchier, a virologist at the Erasmus Medical University in Rotterdam, to publish his work on H5N1 avian influenza in Science,” Nature’s “News Blog” reports (Owens, 4/27). “Fouchier had to get permission first from the Dutch Department of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation — in line with E.U. regulations — because a risk existed that the H5N1 virus, as well as its research, ‘could be used for the wrong purposes,’ the Dutch department said in a statement,” according to Agence France-Presse (4/28).
Flu Vaccine Shortages In Developing Countries Could Destabilize Global Security, Says Former WHO Deputy Head
“Flu vaccine shortages in developing nations may destabilize global security should the H1N1 [swine flu] virus become more deadly â€¦ David Heymann, a former deputy head of the World Health Organization” said Monday, Bloomberg reports.
U.S. health officials on Thursday announced nearly 10,000 people in the U.S. had died from H1N1 (swine flu) since the virus was first reported in April, the New York Times reports. The latest numbers mark a “significant jump” from CDC’s estimate last month of 4,000 deaths in the U.S., the newspaper writes (McNeil, 12/10).
Also In Global Health News: Hospital Births In Guinea-Bissau; Drought In E. Africa; Drug-Resistant Malaria; U.S. Response To H1N1
IRIN Examines Increasing Number Of Hospital Births In Guinea-Bissau IRIN examines the increase in the number of women giving birth in hospital settings rather than delivery by a traditional birth attendant â€“ a behavior that health officials hope will lead to a drop in the country’s maternal mortality rate. “According…
HIV Prevention Strategies Are Essential “For nearly 30 years scientists have been trying to break the back of the AIDS epidemic,” but the recent microbicide gel study and an AIDS vaccine trial in Thailand “show just how difficult and how distant that goal is,” according to a Washington Post editorial.…
While an increasing number of H1N1 (swine flu) vaccines are available in the U.S., “more than half of American adults say they still don’t want it, and one-third of parents say they don’t want their children to get it either, according to two surveys,” the Washington Post reports. “As of this week, 111 million doses of vaccine against the pandemic strain of H1N1 flu have been released to states and cities. Not all have been used. There have been no unusual or unexpected vaccine side effects reported.”
With many countries continuing to report a growing number of H1N1 (swine flu) cases, Keiji Fukuda, special adviser to the WHO director general on pandemic influenza said Thursday it was too early to declare the pandemic over, the Washington Post reports.
The antibodies produced by individuals who fought off H1N1 (swine flu) infection last year may bring researchers one step closer to their quest to develop a “universal” flu vaccine, U.S. researchers said Monday, HealthDay News/Bloomberg Businessweek reports. As the researchers from Emory University and the University of Chicago report in the Jan. 10 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine, “people who were infected with the H1N1 virus and recovered had a special immune response, producing antibodies that protect against a wide variety of flu strains,” the news service writes (1/10).
Also In Global Health News: Malaria Drugs In Kenya; Dengue Epidemic In Caribbean; Kenya’s Controversial Draft Constitution; UN Women Budget
Kenya To Benefit From Deal To Cut Malaria Drug Prices In Half Business Daily reports that “Kenyans are set to benefit from a major deal that is likely to cut prices of malaria drugs by more than half, easing the pressure on family medical costs.” The deal involves the Global…
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).