“It’s easy to get the impression that [recent controversy over research into mutated versions of the H5N1 flu virus] has created a clear split between a scientific community that wants the research to proceed and the results to be published and a biosecurity community that doesn’t,” biological-weapons expert Tim Trevan writes in this Nature opinion piece. But “[a]s a member of this biosecurity community for more than 30 years — I was special adviser to the chairman of the United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq and covered chemical and biological disarmament with the U.K. Foreign Office in both London and Geneva, Switzerland — I believe this to be a false dichotomy,” he states.
Pneumonia & Flu
Several blogs, publications examine the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) summit: The MDGs serve a dual purpose “helping the poor countries to fight poverty and the rich countries to preserve a sense of social solidarity,” writes Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute in a post on the Guardian’s…
Five of the fifteen experts advising the WHO on H1N1 (swine flu) had ties to the pharmaceutical industry, “including for flu vaccine research,” according to the Emergency Committee members’ list released by the agency Wednesday, Agence France-Presse reports.
ASEAN Representatives Participate In Week-Long Exercise Aimed At Improving Region’s Pandemic Response
A group of experts from Southeast Asia gathered in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Monday for the start of a week-long exercise to help bolster “the capabilities of [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] ASEAN member states, both individually and collectively, to prepare for and respond to a severe pandemic with potentially devastating effects on the region,” Agence France-Presse reports (8/17).
Also In Global Health News: IDUs In Kenya; Haiti Recovery; Pandemic Preparedness; Somalia Hunger; HIV In Mozambique; Strengthening Immune System Against HIV
Kenya Drafts Policy To Address HIV In IDUs In Kenya, “[i]ntravenous drug users (IDUs) have been largely ignored by the government’s HIV programmes on the basis that drug-taking is illegal, but a new policy is being drafted with the aim of reducing HIV transmission among this high-risk group,” IRIN/PlusNews reports.…
The WHO “has granted prequalification status to Pfizer Inc.’s children’s pneumococcal vaccine, Prevenar 13, paving the way for United Nations agencies and governments to start ordering the product,” the Associated Press reports (8/23).
“World Health Organisation Director-General Margaret Chan announced Tuesday the end of the [H1N1] swine flu pandemic, more than a year after it was declared,” Agence France-Presse reports. “The world is no longer in phase 6 of influenza pandemic alert. We are now moving into the post-pandemic period,” Chan said during a virtual press conference from Hong Kong, according to a WHO press release.
Following the WHO’s decision on Tuesday to declare the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic over, several news outlets reviewed the emergence of the virus around the world, exploring how some of the lessons learned from H1N1 could assist the WHO’s handling of future outbreaks.
Newly Identified Gene Enabling Bacterial Resistance To Most Antibiotics Found In South Asia, U.K., Study Finds
A study published online Wednesday in Lancet Infectious Diseases identifies a gene that enables bacteria to resist most antibiotics and calls for better global surveillance of multi-drug resistant bacteria, the Associated Press reports (8/11).
The WHO’s decision to declare the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic officially over could come within weeks, according to WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, the Canadian Press reports.