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WHO Declares End To Global Swine Flu Pandemic

“The World Health Organization is declaring an end to the global swine flu pandemic,” the Associated Press/Seattle Times reports. WHO Director-General Margaret Chan “said Wednesday the pandemic is considered over by WHO’s emergency committee due to global factors and reports from several nations” and because “the new H1N1 virus has largely run its course,” according to the news agency.

Vigilance Over Disease Outbreaks Must Continue, Opinion Pieces, Editorial State

The following summarize an editorial and opinion pieces on recent disease outbreaks, including H7N9 avian flu in China and a novel coronavirus in Saudi Arabia, and the global public health response. Washington Post: The outbreak of a new bird flu strain in China, known as H7N9, “has not reached U.S.…

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…

Health Officials Continue To Monitor 2 New Respiratory Virus Outbreaks

“Two respiratory viruses in different parts of the world have captured the attention of global health officials — a novel coronavirus [NCoV] in the Middle East and a new bird flu spreading in China,” the Associated Press reports. The “WHO, which is closely monitoring the viruses, says both have the…

In Discussion Of MERS-CoV At WHA, WHO DG Says Patents Will Not Hinder Public Health

“Dutch scientists who took out a patent on the novel coronavirus that’s killed 22 people since emerging in Saudi Arabia last year defended the move after the Saudi Health Ministry said the patent was hindering the fight against the outbreak,” Bloomberg Businessweek reports. “The virus now known as Middle East…

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…