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Deaths From H1N1 Rise By 700 In One Week, WHO Reports

The number of deaths from H1N1 (swine flu) rose by 700 in a week, to top 5,700 since the virus was first identified in April, the WHO reported Friday, Agence France-Presse reports (10/30). “The biggest rise in the past week was recorded in the Americas, w[h]ere 636 more people were reported killed by swine flu, bringing the region’s death toll to 4,175, the UN agency said, AFP reports in a second story. “Fatal cases in Europe also climbed to at least 281, while those in Asia-Pacific rose to 1,070” (10/31).

H1N1 Is Now Most Dominant Flu Strain Worldwide, WHO Says

The H1N1 (swine flu) virus is now the dominant flu strain worldwide, the WHO reported Thursday, with the virus accounting for up to 70 percent of the flu viruses sampled in some countries, the Associated Press reports. “We remain quite concerned about the patterns that we’re seeing,” Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s Special Adviser on Pandemic Influenza to the Director-General, said during a press briefing.

Also In Global Health News: Nutritionally-Enhanced Products; Health Care In India; Cell Phones As Microscopes; GSK Pneumonia Vaccine; Men Fighting HIV/AIDS

News Outlets Examine Nutritionally-Enhanced Products The East African examines the recent launch of a $21.25 million research project, at the International Sweet Potato Centre in Uganda, that aims to develop “nutritionally enhanced sweet potatoes … to reduce health problems related to vitamin A deficiency and improve food security in sub-Saharan…

VOA News Examines Conculsion Of MIM Pan-African Malaria Conference

The 5th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) Pan-African Conference ended Friday in Nairobi, Kenya, “with scientists expressing optimism about several developments in the works to prevent, treat, and possibly eradicate a disease that kills nearly one million people in Africa each year,” VOA News reports.

H1N1 Cases Increase In China, Japan; Afghanistan Attempts To Contain Virus

The WHO on Friday reported on a rising number of H1N1 (swine flu) cases in China and Japan, Reuters/Washington Post reports. “In China, after an earlier wave of mixed influenza activity (seasonal H3N2 and pandemic H1N1), pandemic H1N1 influenza activity now predominates and is increasing,” the agency said. “Sharp increases in pandemic flu infections continue to be reported throughout Japan, particularly on the northern island,” the news service writes (Nebehay, 11/6).

Recent Releases In Global Health

Clinical Infectious Diseases Examines Malaria Treatment An editorial commentary appearing in Clinical Infectious Diseases examines the insight gained in how best to control malaria, based on recent studies of artemisinin combination therapy (ACTs). “As we move toward the elimination of malaria, it is crucial that policymakers and research groups endorse…

GAVI Alliance Drives Down Pentavalent Vaccine Costs, Data Shows

The “co-ordinated buying policy” of the GAVI Alliance has driven down “[t]he price of a vaccine that helps babies fight off killer diseases,” according to data released by the group, Reuters reports. In 2010, the price of pentavalent vaccine, which protects against Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and hepatitis B, will fall “below $3.0 – a drop of almost $0.50 cents per dose on the 2009 price,” according to the news services.

China, WHO To Collaborate On Flu Research Center

Chinese and WHO officials last week agreed to open a flu research center in Beijing, Bloomberg reports. “The new collaborating center for reference and research on influenza will join a network of WHO-affiliated labs in Atlanta, London, Tokyo and Melbourne that monitor flu strains and make recommendations on vaccines to fight the virus,” the news service writes.

Also In Global Health News: Global Corruption; HIV Vaccine; Smoking; DRC Aid

Global Corruption Fight Slowing, Report Says A new report from Transparency International says the fight against corruption worldwide is slowing as urgency to address the global economic downturn recedes, Bloomberg reports. “This year’s index, which measures the perception of corruption in a country, showed that 129 of the 180 nations…