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Originally posted by ecoparity
They say to expect an even more intense effort to suppress flu related items in the media based on meetings with CDC and various State / Federal representatives.
The WHO meeting had been planned for some time but took on new urgency with the outbreak last month of a new version of swine flu, the influenza A (H1N1) virus which has already infected nearly 8,500 people in 38 countries.
Discussions began on the subject in 2007 amid an outbreak of the bird flu.
Indonesia, one of the countries hit in the outbreak, raised the issue of the sharing of vaccines between industrialised and developing countries which do not have the means to produce enough doses in case of a global pandemic.
Poor countries argued they should have access to the resulting vaccines, especially if the samples came from the developing world.
But rich countries led by the United States wanted pharmaceuticals companies to be able to claim the vaccines as intellectual property and earn royalties on them.
The WHO's World Assembly, its governing body, begins its annual meeting on Monday in Geneva and discussions on the subject could continue.
New Experimental Treatment Being Used to Help Critical Swine Flu Patient
The device, about the size of a printer, is called a Hemo-Modulator, currently an experimental treatment for those suffering from HIV and Hepatitis C.
Much more at Link...
Pandemic Information News
Date: Wed 13 May 2009
WHO declines to assign severity scale
The World Health Organization (WHO) said today that it is unable to assign
a severity scale to the influenza A (H1N1) epidemic for the reason that
disease characteristics and responses of countries vary. Dr Sylvie Briand,
with the WHO Global Influenza Programme, spoke today [13 May 2009] at a
media briefing in Geneva. According to Dr Briand, the WHO pandemic alert
level phases are mainly based on the transmission of the virus and its
geographical spread, while "the severity itself is assessed by other
means." Currently, the pandemic alert level has remained at level 5 out of
6, indicating community-based outbreaks in a single WHO region.
The severity of a potential pandemic is based on 3 factors: "the
[characteristics of the] virus, the vulnerability of the population, and
the intervention we can put in place to reduce the impact of severe
disease," Dr Briand said. Assessing severity is important for helping
countries determine their response to an outbreak, but at a global level, a
severity index is "not very helpful" because "severity will vary from place
to place," she said. Dr Briand pointed out that while wealthier countries
may have the resources to mount a more effective response to an outbreak,
some developing parts of the world such as West Africa are already used to
coping with epidemics and may be at an advantage due to having healthcare
systems in place. This is referred to as the "resilience" of a country, she
More at Link...
Japan confirms 20 more cases of swine flu
Tokyo, May 17, 2009
Japan's health ministry announced Sunday that 20 more teenagers have been confirmed as having swine flu, as the government shut down schools in affected cities. The country's tally is now at 25.
The students, who attend several high schools in the western prefectures of Hyogo and Osaka, tested positive for the H1N1 virus over the weekend and are recovering at local hospitals, ministry official Takuya Nemoto said.
The news of the rapid spread of the virus at schools came a day after Japan confirmed its first domestic case of swine flu in another student in the western port city of Kobe, about 270 miles (430 kilometers) west of Tokyo.
The students have not traveled overseas recently, but tested positive for the same strain that has killed more than 70 people worldwide, mostly in Mexico.
The government immediately ordered schools closed in parts of the affected cities. Kobe also canceled its annual festival and other events planned for the weekend.