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Voluntary Moratorium On H5N1 Research Ends; Fate Of U.S.-Funded Research Unknown

“Almost a year after they announced it, leading influenza researchers are ending a voluntary moratorium on certain types of controversial experiments involving the H5N1 avian influenza virus,” Science Insider reports (Malakoff, 1/23). “The research touched off a firestorm in 2011 when it became known that two groups, one in the Netherlands and another in…

Have Scientists Thoroughly Addressed Avian Flu Research Concerns?

Noting that researchers recently lifted a nearly yearlong moratorium on H5N1 avian influenza research, put in place “because of safety and terrorism concerns,” a New York Times editorial states, “We wish we could be as sanguine as they are that all the earlier concerns have been dealt with.” The editorial…

Global Response To Possible H5N1 Flu Outbreak Could Affect Epidemic’s Course

“It’s been a rough flu season this winter in the United States and Europe, but it could be worse. A lot worse,” science writer Carl Zimmer states in National Geographic’s “Phenomena: The Loom” blog. In other parts of the world, including Egypt, India and Cambodia, the H5N1 avian influenza strain…

Eleventh Global Case Of SARS-Linked Virus Confirmed In U.K.

“British officials say a mysterious virus related to SARS may have spread between humans, as they confirmed the 11th case worldwide of the new coronavirus in a patient who they say probably caught it from a family member,” the Associated Press reports (2/13). “The new virus, which the WHO refers to as…

Cambodia, China Report Cases Of Avian Influenza H5N1

“Cambodia reported on Wednesday that another four-year-old girl has contracted avian influenza H5N1, becoming the seventh person [in the country to contract] the virus in 2013,” Xinhua reports (2/13). “Cambodia saw eight cases of avian flu, ending in eight deaths in the whole of 2011, according to WHO figures, while 2012 saw…

Roche To Offer Developing Countries Discounted Tamiflu

The vaccine manufacturer Roche on Wednesday announced a program to help ensure developing countries have access to its antiviral Tamiflu, for “the management of a novel influenza strain defined by the WHO as having significant and current pandemic potential,” Reuters reports.

International Health Experts Hold Two-Day H1N1 Meeting

WHO leaders and international health ministers met Thursday for a two-day meeting in Cancun, Mexico, to share the lessons learned from the spread of H1N1 (swine flu) (Xinhua, 7/3) and strategies for “battling the pandemic,” the AP/Washington Post reports.

WHO To Recommend Countries Stop Testing For H1N1

Within the next few days, the WHO “will recommend that countries stop trying to test all suspected cases of swine flu, said Keiji Fukuda, the agency’s assistant director-general of health security and environment,” Tuesday during a conference call with reporters, Bloomberg reports.