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Hong Kong Reports 2nd Case Of H7N9, Quarantines 19

“Hong Kong’s Center of Health Protection said Saturday authorities have quarantined 19 people that had come in contact with a H7N9 bird flu victim,” Forbes reports (Flannery, 12/8). Most of those quarantined have tested negative for the virus, “with the results of one patient pending,” Deutsche Welle writes, noting “Hong…

H7N9 Bird Flu Not Yet Well-Adapted For Human Transmission, Study Says

“The H7N9 bird flu virus has not yet acquired the changes needed to infect humans easily but it would not be wise to dismiss its potential risk, according to a U.S. study published in the journal Science Thursday,” Xinhua reports. “In contrast to some initial studies that had suggested that…

WHO Emergency Committee On MERS Says Situation Not An Emergency

“After discussing the latest developments, the [WHO's] emergency committee on the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) decided today that the MERS situation still does not amount to an international public health emergency,” CIDRAP News reports. However, “the panel felt that the situation is still of concern in view of…

Another 3 People In UAE Sick With MERS, 2 Die In Qatar, WHO Reports

“Another three people in the United Arab Emirates are sick with the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) virus and two people infected with it in Qatar have died, the [WHO] said on Monday,” Reuters reports. “Human cases of MERS have so far been reported in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan,…

Hong Kong Reports First Case Of H7N9 Bird Flu

“Hong Kong has reported its first case of the H7N9 bird flu strain, in a possible sign the virus is spreading beyond mainland China since it first emerged there earlier this year,” the Associated Press reports (12/2). “A 36-year-old Indonesian woman who works as a domestic helper fell ill on…

MERS Found In Camels, Raising Suspicion As Animal Reservoir

“Scientists have found cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in camels in Qatar, health officials said on Thursday, fueling speculation that camels might be the animal reservoir that allowed the virus to infect and kill humans,” Reuters reports. A statement from Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health said the virus…

Deaths From 2009 H1N1 Outbreak Likely Higher Than WHO Estimated, Analysis Shows

“Deaths from H1N1 influenza in 2009 may have been 10 times higher than previously estimated, killing 123,000 to 203,000 people from respiratory illness worldwide, according to a new analysis in the journal PLOS Medicine,” published on Tuesday, USA Today reports (Szab, 11/26). “The [WHO] had said there were about 18,500…

FDA Approves H5N1 Vaccine For Use In Epidemic

“The Food and Drug Administration [FDA] said Friday it has approved a vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline Plc for use in the event of an H5N1 bird flu epidemic,” Al Jazeera America reports (11/24). “H5N1 made news around the globe last year when two groups of researchers published [papers] on mutations that could…

Qatar Reports 4th MERS Death; WHO Says Case-Fatality Rate At 39%

“An expatriate living in Qatar has died of [Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)], bringing to four the number of deaths in the Gulf state from the coronavirus, health authorities said on Friday,” Agence France-Presse reports. “Experts are struggling to understand the disease, for which there is no vaccine,” the…

The Atlantic Examines Search For Universal Flu Vaccine

“The sudden outbreak [in 2009 of H1N1] drove home the realization that the world needs vaccines that are more effective and faster to make — not just to reduce the 250,000 to 500,000 deaths from seasonal flu that occur every year but also to prepare for the arrival of new,…