BMJ News reports on the ongoing external investigation of the WHO’s handling of the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic, following recent statements to the WHO’s executive board meeting by review committee chairman, Harvey Fineberg. Despite initial expectations that the external review committee would produce a draft of its findings in January, Fineberg “said the panel was planning a meeting on 28-30 March, and it would distribute in advance to all WHO member nations copies of a draft summary of its principal findings, conclusions, and recommendations, for comments and reactions, before it finalises the report.”
Pneumonia & Flu
“Scientists have developed genetically modified [GM] chickens that don’t transmit bird flu [H5N1] to other chickens,” HealthDay News/Bloomberg Businessweek reports. “This achievement could stop bird flu outbreaks from spreading within poultry flocks and possibly reduce the risk of bird flu epidemics that could lead to flu virus epidemics in humans, according to the researchers at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh in the United Kingdom,” whose findings appear in the Jan. 14 issue of the journal Science, according to the news service (Preidt, 1/13).
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World Economic Forum Global Risks Report Highlights Concerns Over Demand For Food, Water “Nations are in no position to deal with any more big shocks, the World Economic Forum said on Wednesday, yet risks are rising with the threat of ‘disastrous impacts,'” the organization noted in its Global Risks 2011…
The antibodies produced by individuals who fought off H1N1 (swine flu) infection last year may bring researchers one step closer to their quest to develop a “universal” flu vaccine, U.S. researchers said Monday, HealthDay News/Bloomberg Businessweek reports. As the researchers from Emory University and the University of Chicago report in the Jan. 10 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine, “people who were infected with the H1N1 virus and recovered had a special immune response, producing antibodies that protect against a wide variety of flu strains,” the news service writes (1/10).
Scientific American Examines Efforts To Increase Influenza Virus Monitoring In Pigs To Prevent Pandemics In Humans
Scientific American examines how, in an attempt to improve early recognition of viruses that could give rise to pandemics in people, such as last yearâ€™s H1N1 swine flu, scientists are looking to better understand “the viruses that infect the estimated 941 million domesticated pigs around the world.” However, as the article notes, “[i]ntensive monitoring of pig viruses is unlikely to come any time soon â€¦ Most pork-producing countries do not test their pigs at all, and in some that doâ€”such as the U.S.â€”the testing is done on behalf of the pork producers, who have little economic incentive to share what they find. The reason: pig farmers know pork prices plummet when pigs and flu are linked in the news.”
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AOL News Examines Fight Against Domestic Violence, Private Sector Role AOL News examines how the U.N.Â is working toÂ includeÂ corporations in the effort toÂ reduce domestic violence against women, which “includes beatings, rape, human trafficking and female genital mutilation.” According to the article, “more than 100 countries still don’t have laws against domestic…
“A new vaccine against the most deadly forms of pneumonia, one of the world’s biggest killers of children, [was] launched in Nicaragua [on Sunday] as part of an effort to prevent 700,000 deaths in poorer countries by 2015,” Reuters reports (Kelland, 12/10).
GAVI Says Pentavalent Vaccine Price To Fall, But $3.7B Still Needed To Vaccinate Children In Developing Countries
The average price of a vaccine that protects children against five diseases is expected to “drop to $2.58 next year compared to the current average price of $2.97,” the GAVI Alliance said Friday, Reuters reports. The group credits the expected price decline, which “represents a decrease of 30 percent over the last seven years,” in part to an “increased demand for the pentavalent, or five-in-one vaccine,” according to the news service (Kelland, 11/26).
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Bird Flu Case In Hong Kong Isolated Health officials in Hong Kong confirmed on MondayÂ that the woman diagnosed with H5N1 (bird) flu after a trip to China this monthÂ is now in stable conditionÂ and did not contract a new strain of the virus, SAPA/DPA/Mail & Guardian report. Additionally, her case appears…
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Nigerian Drug Research Institute Halts Research Because Of Funding Shortfall Nigeria’s National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), which focuses on developing traditional herbal remedies into drug candidates,Â has had to discontinue research after the Nigerian health ministry did not provide the full amount of expected fundingÂ and a “key grant…