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Pneumonia & Flu

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Deaths From H1N1 Rise By 700 In One Week, WHO Reports

The number of deaths from H1N1 (swine flu) rose by 700 in a week, to top 5,700 since the virus was first identified in April, the WHO reported Friday, Agence France-Presse reports (10/30). “The biggest rise in the past week was recorded in the Americas, w[h]ere 636 more people were reported killed by swine flu, bringing the region’s death toll to 4,175, the UN agency said, AFP reports in a second story. “Fatal cases in Europe also climbed to at least 281, while those in Asia-Pacific rose to 1,070” (10/31).

H1N1 Is Now Most Dominant Flu Strain Worldwide, WHO Says

The H1N1 (swine flu) virus is now the dominant flu strain worldwide, the WHO reported Thursday, with the virus accounting for up to 70 percent of the flu viruses sampled in some countries, the Associated Press reports. “We remain quite concerned about the patterns that we’re seeing,” Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s Special Adviser on Pandemic Influenza to the Director-General, said during a press briefing.

Also In Global Health News: Nutritionally-Enhanced Products; Health Care In India; Cell Phones As Microscopes; GSK Pneumonia Vaccine; Men Fighting HIV/AIDS

News Outlets Examine Nutritionally-Enhanced Products The East African examines the recent launch of a $21.25 million research project, at the International Sweet Potato Centre in Uganda, that aims to develop “nutritionally enhanced sweet potatoes … to reduce health problems related to vitamin A deficiency and improve food security in sub-Saharan…

H1N1 Cases Increase In China, Japan; Afghanistan Attempts To Contain Virus

The WHO on Friday reported on a rising number of H1N1 (swine flu) cases in China and Japan, Reuters/Washington Post reports. “In China, after an earlier wave of mixed influenza activity (seasonal H3N2 and pandemic H1N1), pandemic H1N1 influenza activity now predominates and is increasing,” the agency said. “Sharp increases in pandemic flu infections continue to be reported throughout Japan, particularly on the northern island,” the news service writes (Nebehay, 11/6).

China, WHO To Collaborate On Flu Research Center

Chinese and WHO officials last week agreed to open a flu research center in Beijing, Bloomberg reports. “The new collaborating center for reference and research on influenza will join a network of WHO-affiliated labs in Atlanta, London, Tokyo and Melbourne that monitor flu strains and make recommendations on vaccines to fight the virus,” the news service writes.

Report Calls For Refocusing Health Spending In Developing Countries To Save Children’s Lives

“More than 24,000 infants die daily from preventable diseases in developing countries,” and child deaths have fallen in countries where governments “have shown a high level of political leadership on child health,” World Vision International said in a new report (.pdf) released on Monday as part of a five-year campaign to reduce child deaths worldwide, the Associated Press/San Francisco Chronicle reports.

UNICEF Report Highlights Gains In Child Health, While 1B Still Lack Essential Services

A special edition of UNICEF’s annual State of the World’s Children report, released 20 years after the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, shows that “fewer youngsters are dying and more are going to school – but an estimated 1 billion still lack services essential to their survival and development,” the Associated Press reports.

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