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).
Two women have become the first to die from H1N1 (swine flu) in Gaza, health officials said Monday, Agence France-Presse/Inquirer.net reports.
Though there are signs the H1N1 (swine flu) has peaked in the U.S. and Canada, a WHO flu expert said Thursday it is too early to declare the pandemic over, Canadian Press reports. “‘In the Northern Hemisphere, we continue to see an up and down pattern by countries. And so what you see in one country is not necessarily what you are seeing in another country,’ Keiji Fukuda, special adviser to WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on pandemic influenza, said in a teleconference briefing,” the news service writes.
Measles deaths fell from 733,000 in 2000 to 164,000 in 2008 â€“ 78 percent â€“ thanks, in part, to increased vaccination efforts that reached an estimated 700 million children, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S.-based Measles Initiative, Reuters reports.
The WHO’s Stop TB Department released data on Thursday at the 40th Union World Conference on Lung Health indicating that the number of new active TB cases worldwide rose from 9.27 million in 2007 to 9.4 million in 2008, Reuters reports. Experts gathered for the conference in Cancun, Mexico “called for more research funding to develop better diagnostic tests, vaccines and drugs for tuberculosis, which killed 1.8 million people around the world last year,” according to the news service.
A report released Wednesday by the Commission on AIDS in the Pacific region outlines the challenges of preventing the spread of HIV in “22 geographically and culturally diverse countries” of the Pacific and recommends efforts to scale up the region’s fight against HIV/AIDS, U.N. News Centre reports.
The number of H1N1 (swine flu) cases in the U.S. appears to be decreasing, the CDC said Tuesday, CQ HealthBeat reports. “Flu was widespread in 32 states by the end of the week of Nov. 21, a decrease from 43 states in the prior week and 46 states earlier this fall, according to the CDC,” the news service writes.
The WHO is looking into reports that patients with “severely suppressed immune systems” in Britain and the U.S. developed resistance Tamiflu, which is used to treat the symptoms of H1N1 (swine flu), a spokesman for the organization said Tuesday, Reuters reports.
Representatives of African countries are meeting in Abuja this week to discuss the procurement and distribution of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine, the Daily Trust/allAfrica.com reports (Rabiu, 11/23).
The Associated Press/News-Observer examines revitalized vaccine research, including for such conditions as malaria, TB and HIV. “Vaccines are no longer a sleepy, low-profit niche in a booming drug industry. Today, they’re starting to give ailing pharmaceutical makers a shot in the arm,” according to the article.