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).
To mark the first World Pneumonia Day on Monday, the WHO and UNICEF launched a $39 billion Global Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia (GAPP) aimed at preventing 5.3 million child deaths from the disease by 2015, the Associated Press reports (Cheng, 11/1).
JAIDS Supplement Focuses On Global Health Systems “Action always leads to reaction, a fundamental law of nature,” write the authors of an introduction appearing in a Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS) supplemental issue that focuses on global health systems. “Central to the debate [over investments in HIV/AIDS spending]…
The New York Times examines how Saudi Arabia is preparing for the upcoming annual pilgrimage of some “2.5 million people from 160 countries” to Mecca, some who “will be bringing the swine flu.”
The U.S. will hold off on donating H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine stockpiles to developing countries until “at-risk Americans” receive the vaccine, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday, Agence France-Presse reports. Last month, the U.S. pledged to donate H1N1 vaccine stockpiles to developing countries. However, manufacturing delays of the H1N1 vaccine have driven the supply to “about 10 million doses short of the 40 million doses they had expected to have by the end of this month,” the news service writes.
GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty said Wednesday the company would ensure that if an experimental malaria vaccine works, it would be priced reasonably, Reuters reports. “The vaccine, called Mosquirix [or RTS,S] and the first malaria shot to make it to final-stage trials, is creating a buzz ahead of a conference of 1,500 malaria experts in Nairobi next week,” writes Reuters.
Gates Foundation Praises U.S. Global Health Investments, Calls For 15-Year Goal Of Cutting Child Deaths Worldwide By Nearly Half
As part of a “major push to convince the United States to maintain government spending on worldwide health initiatives, despite the financial crisis and a soaring U.S. budget deficit,” the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is urging U.S. policymakers to commit to cutting “the number of child deaths each year, from 9 million to 5 million” by 2025, CNN reports.
CDC Says U.S. H1N1 Vaccine Supplies On The Rise; Senators Question Government’s Handling Of H1N1 Vaccination Program
Supplies of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine are steadily increasing in the U.S. and should soon be more widely accessible in the next two weeks, the CDC said on Tuesday, CQ HealthBeat reports. During a press briefing, CDC Director Thomas Frieden said that 22.4 million vaccine doses are now available for states to order (Norman, 10/27).
President Barack Obama declared the H1N1 (swine) flu outbreak a national emergency, the Wall Street Journal reports. “The declaration, which Mr. Obama signed Friday, authorizes the administration to waive or modify certain federal requirements involving Medicare, Medicaid and health-privacy rules to speed treatment,” the newspaper writes (McKay/Simpson/Whalen, 10/26).
Lancet Infectious Diseases Review Examines Progress On Dengue Vaccine “The spread of dengue virus throughout the tropics represents a major, rapidly growing public health problem with an estimated 2.5 billion people at risk of dengue fever and the life-threatening disease, severe dengue,” write the authors of a Lancet Infectious Diseases…