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WHA Ends With Multiple Resolutions, WHO DG Stressing Caution On Emerging Disease

“After seven days of intense discussions, the [World Health Assembly (WHA)] concluded with agreement on a range of new public health measures and recommendations aimed at securing greater health benefits for all people, everywhere,” RTT News reports. The WHO governing body approved 24 resolutions and five decisions, including “a budget…

Scientists Find First Signs Of Antiviral Resistance In New H7N9 Virus

“Scientists have found the first cases of the new bird flu virus proving resistant to treatment with Tamiflu or similar drugs,” The Guardian reports. “The analysis of the course of the H7N9 bird flu virus and use of antivirals in 14 patients, reported in The Lancet (.pdf) medical journal, found…

MERS Virus Spreads To Italy, Kills 3 More In Saudi Arabia

“On Friday, Italy’s health ministry reported its first case of [Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)] was contracted by a 45-year-old man who returned from a trip to Jordan where he visited his son, who had the ‘flu,’” GlobalPost reports (Mattson, 5/31). “The patient was in good condition and was…

Scientists Warn Of H7N9 Risks As Number Of Cases, Deaths Continue To Rise

“A new strain of bird flu that is causing a deadly outbreak among people in China is a threat to world health and should be taken seriously, scientists said on Wednesday,” Reuters reports (Kelland, 5/1). “The new H7N9 avian flu virus has been detected in one more patient in China,…

Fourteen H7N9 Patients Remain Hospitalized In China; 132 Cases Confirmed

“A total of 131 H7N9 avian flu cases have been reported on the Chinese mainland, including 39 that have ended in death, according to an update released Sunday by health authorities,” Xinhua reports (6/9). “Only 14 patients from China’s H7N9 bird flu outbreak are still in hospital, national health authorities…

WHO Publishes New Plan On How To Alert The World About Possible Flu Pandemics

“The [WHO] on Monday published a new plan on how to alert the world to possible flu pandemics, following harsh criticism of its handling of the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009,” Agence France-Presse/GlobalPost reports (6/10). “Following recommendations by a review committee on Pandemic (H1N1) 2009, the new influenza guidance…

Blog Examines ‘Advanced Market Commitment’ Funding Mechanism

Writing in the Center for Global Development’s (CGD) “Global Health Policy” blog, Amanda Glassman, director of global health policy and a senior fellow at the CGD, and Kate McQueston, a program coordinator to the global health policy team, examine the Advanced Market Commitment (AMC), an “innovative financing mechanism [that] aims…

GlobalPost Interviews WHO Technical Lead On MERS

“To put [the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus] in perspective and to understand what’s happening and what could happen next, GlobalPost spoke with Dr. Anthony Mounts, WHO’s technical lead on the coronavirus,” the news service reports. Mounts discusses why the agency established an emergency committee to examine MERS, how…

Rational Discussion About Flu Pandemic Risks Necessary

In his Wall Street Journal column “Mind and Matter,” Matt Ridley writes that the new H7N9 avian flu strain “is spreading alarm” and “has infected about 130 people and killed more than 30.” He continues, “Every time this happens, some journalists compete to foment fear, ably assisted by cautious but…