“The first human antibody that can knock out all influenza A viruses has been shown effective in lab mice, an exciting step forward in the hunt for a universal vaccine, researchers said Friday,” Agence France-Presse reports (Sheridan, 7/30).
Pneumonia & Flu
“More than 100 public health experts have wrapped up a three-day meeting in Geneva to review a Global Action Plan for Influenza Vaccines that was developed in 2006, and to develop a strategic plan of action for the next five years,” VOA News reports, noting that the WHO “says the world is better prepared for the next influenza pandemic than it was in the past” (Schlein, 7/14).
GAO on Monday published two reports on the government’s response to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. The first report examines lessons learned from the government’s response that can be incorporated into future planning (6/27). The second report examines how production delays for the H1N1 vaccine “heightened interest in alternative technologies…
A new variant of H1N1 (swine) influenza that is easily spread and retains some resistance to the two major drugs used to treat flu has been detected in Singapore and Australia, according to a report from the WHO’s influenza research group published in the journal Eurosurveillance, Bloomberg reports (Cortez, 6/9).
In his opening address at the U.N. High Level Meeting on AIDS on Wednesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “told presidents, ministers and diplomats from across the globe that if all partners involved in the fight unite ‘as never before,'” the goal of “zero new infections, zero stigma and zero AIDS-related deaths” can be achieved, the Associated Press/Kansas City Star reports (Lederer, 6/8).
Researchers and “advocates for all vaccine research today launched yet another effort to increase funding and coordination,” ScienceInsider reports.
Reuters featured an interivew with Afghanistan’s Acting Health Minister Suraya Dalil on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly in Geneva.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on Monday laid out her vision for reforming the international health agency in the opening address of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, saying she sees “a WHO that gives a bigger voice to the many partners working on health, but encourages them to speak with a coherent voice that responds, first and foremost, to the needs and priorities as defined by recipient countries,” Intellectual Property Watch reports.
It will take at least 10 years to eradicate the H5N1 (bird flu) virus from poultry in the six countries where it is endemic, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a report (.pdf) released on Thursday, Agence France-Presse reports (4/21).
After almost four years of negotiations, the WHO on Saturday announced it had reached an agreement on sharing flu virus samples, Agence-France Presse reports (4/17).