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.
Pneumonia & Flu
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…
Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline announced plans on Tuesday to donate 50 million doses of its H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine to the WHO for use in developing countries within the next few months, Reuters reports.
Despite reports that the numbers of new H1N1 (swine flu) are leveling off in some parts of the Northern Hemisphere, the virus continues to spread, the WHO said Friday, Reuters reports. “In an update on the H1N1 swine flu virus, the WHO said parts of the southern and southeastern United States, as well as Iceland and Ireland, seemed to have weakening levels of disease after an unusually early start of the winter flu season,” the news service writes.
Health System Funding Can Address ‘Silent Killers’ “For too long, global health funding has gone to diseases like AIDS with the most vocal lobby groups and not to the diseases with the greatest need,” Philip Stevens, a senior fellow at International Policy Network, writes in a Business Daily opinion piece.…