News outlets summarize information reported on Wednesday by Canadian health officials, who recorded North America’s first known case of H5N1 avian influenza infection in an Alberta woman who died last week. Canadian Press: Fatal case of H5N1 bird flu reported in Alberta, first North American case “Canada has reported North…
Pneumonia & Flu
News outlets continue to report on North America’s first H5N1 case, with the WHO confirming the fatality and releasing additional information on the victim. CIDRAP News: Exposure source in Canadian H5N1 case a mystery “It remained unclear today how the victim of the first H5N1 avian influenza infection in North…
The WHO on Thursday reported seven additional cases of H7N9 avian influenza in China. Reuters: WHO says China has seven more cases of new H7N9 bird flu “Seven more people in China have been found to be infected with a potentially deadly new strain of bird flu in the past…
The Geneva-based GAVI Alliance, a fund backed by governments, the World Bank, the WHO and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday that it will purchase more than $1 billion in vaccines against rotavirus, pneumococcal and other diseases through deals made with GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. to immunize children in 37 of the poorest nations, Bloomberg reports. “Wealthy nations donated $4.3 billion to purchase the vaccines as part of a plan to immunize 250 million children by 2015,” the news service notes (Bennett, 9/27).
Pollution from indoor cooking stoves, typically open fires that that burn solid fuels such as wood, charcoal or dung, kills two million globally each year, scientists at NIH said in a study published in the journal Science on Thursday, Agence France-Presse reports. Smoke emitted from the stoves, used by three billion people worldwide, “causes pneumonia and chronic lung disease that particularly affects women and children who tend to spend more time in the home while men are outside working,” AFP writes, adding that “little public awareness surrounds what the World Health Organization describes as the globe’s top environmental killer” (Sheridan, 10/13).
NPR’s food blog “The Salt” reports on the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves’ efforts to “bring in celebrities, chefs and politicians to help create awareness for the need for cleaner fuels and better cookstoves,” the smoke and gases from which contribute to nearly two million deaths a year — more than malaria — according to a study released by the WHO last week. “The technology is easy, but getting the stoves and cleaner fuels to impoverished millions is not,” the blog writes.
The third annual World Pneumonia Day will be observed on Saturday. The following is a summary of several pieces published in recognition of the day.
In this Huffington Post opinion piece, Orin Levine, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins University, reports on how World Pneumonia Day, inaugurated in 2009 by financier Lance Laifer, has grown from an idea into a movement, writing, “World Pneumonia Day 2010 is engaging governments, child health organizations and advocates in an effort to spotlight the leading killer of children” and “perhaps even more exciting is the way this movement has grown in just one year, engaging everyday citizens in the effort to raise awareness in creative ways.”
“A global push to bring a vaccine against the bacterial cause of pneumonia to communities that need it most is ramping up quickly, expanding to nearly 60 countries in the next five years,” PBS NewsHour’s “The Rundown” reports. “At least three million child deaths could be prevented in the next decade through the global vaccine rollout, according to a new analysis published Thursday in the journal of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene by health experts from Children’s Hospital Boston and Johns Hopkins University, among others,” the blog states, adding, “More new research released this week by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health called the rate of the rollout and its quick expansion ‘unprecedented.'”
U.S. Science Advisory Board Asks Science, Nature To Omit Data From Bird Flu Studies Amid Security Concerns
The U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity on “Tuesday asked two scientific journals to leave out data from research studies on a lab-made version of bird flu that could spread more easily to humans, fearing it could be used as a potential weapon,” Reuters reports (Steenhuysen, 12/20). The board “recommended that the journals Science and Nature publish only the general discoveries, not the full blueprint for these man-made strains,” the Associated Press notes (Neergaard, 12/20). “Editors at the journals … say they will not agree to the redactions until they are assured the data will be accessible to researchers” according to BBC News (12/20).