As the number of H1N1 (swine flu) cases in the U.S. continues to wane, the New York Times reflects on how federal officials handled the pandemic and other contributing factors. “The outbreak highlighted many national weaknesses: old, slow vaccine technology; too much reliance on foreign vaccine factories; some major hospitals pushed to their limits by a relatively mild epidemic,” the newspaper writes.
Pneumonia & Flu
The Independent examines the expansion of human diseases that originated in animals. “At least 45 diseases that have passed from animals to humans have been reported to U.N. agencies in the last two decades, with the number expected to escalate in the coming years,” the Independent writes.
While an increasing number of H1N1 (swine flu) vaccines are available in the U.S., “more than half of American adults say they still don’t want it, and one-third of parents say they don’t want their children to get it either, according to two surveys,” the Washington Post reports. “As of this week, 111 million doses of vaccine against the pandemic strain of H1N1 flu have been released to states and cities. Not all have been used. There have been no unusual or unexpected vaccine side effects reported.”
Scientific American Examines Neglected Tropical Diseases A Scientific American article examines recent efforts to tackle neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The author writes “NTDs have plagued humankind for thousands of years. â€¦ What is new, however, is that donors, drugmakers, health ministries in low- and middle-income countries, the World Health Organization…
With many countries continuing to report a growing number of H1N1 (swine flu) cases, Keiji Fukuda, special adviser to the WHO director general on pandemic influenza said Thursday it was too early to declare the pandemic over, the Washington Post reports.
Also In Global Health News: Hospital Births In Guinea-Bissau; Drought In E. Africa; Drug-Resistant Malaria; U.S. Response To H1N1
IRIN Examines Increasing Number Of Hospital Births In Guinea-Bissau IRIN examines the increase in the number of women giving birth in hospital settings rather than delivery by a traditional birth attendant â€“ a behavior that health officials hope will lead to a drop in the country’s maternal mortality rate. “According…
HIV Prevention Strategies Are Essential “For nearly 30 years scientists have been trying to break the back of the AIDS epidemic,” but the recent microbicide gel study and an AIDS vaccine trial in Thailand “show just how difficult and how distant that goal is,” according to a Washington Post editorial.…
U.S. health officials on Thursday announced nearly 10,000 people in the U.S. had died from H1N1 (swine flu) since the virus was first reported in April, the New York Times reports. The latest numbers mark a “significant jump” from CDC’s estimate last month of 4,000 deaths in the U.S., the newspaper writes (McNeil, 12/10).
Flu Vaccine Shortages In Developing Countries Could Destabilize Global Security, Says Former WHO Deputy Head
“Flu vaccine shortages in developing nations may destabilize global security should the H1N1 [swine flu] virus become more deadly â€¦ David Heymann, a former deputy head of the World Health Organization” said Monday, Bloomberg reports.
The German government is looking to sell over 2 million leftover doses of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine, the country’s health minister said Monday, Agence France-Presse reports. “A health ministry senior official in the state of Thuringia, Hartmut Schubert, said that the vaccines could even be donated and that there had been requests from Afghanistan and Eastern European countries including Ukraine,” the news service adds (12/7).