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Pandemic/Biohazard - page 347

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// by Homeland Security Today

Bird Flu-afflicted Countries Have Shared 700+ Viruses With WHO Labs

Countries afflicted with H5N1 avian flu sent more than 700 viruses to World Health Organization laboratories from 2003 to 2007 - and nearly a quarter of them came from Indonesia, a report released Monday reveals.

Of 734 viruses currently stored in WHO labs, 171 were provided by Indonesia, the country which for the past year has been at the centre of a standoff over access to viruses.

 

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// by Homeland Security Today

Nasal Powder H5N1 Influenza Vaccine Passes Preclinical Toxicology Studies

Carrington Laboratories, Inc. announced that its wholly owned DelSite Biotechnologies, Inc. subsidiary has successfully completed preclinical toxicology studies of its GelVac nasal powder influenza vaccine under FDA-reviewed protocols. Successful toxicology studies in two animal models using the H5N1 antigen were required in order to proceed with a planned Phase I clinical trial later this year. The bird flu antigen used in these preclinical studies was from a non-egg-based source.

Meanwhile, Juvaris BioTherapeutics Inc. signed an agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to test a substance that could boost the potency of pandemic flu vaccine, the company said.

The collaborative study will evaluate whether its Juvaris JVRS-100 can extend the limited supply of H5N1 flu vaccines in the event of a pandemic.

 

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CDC to Make Call On Mystery Skin Disease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wednesday launched a study into Morgellons, the name that’s been given to an unexplained skin disorder that allegedly causes fatigue, disturbing crawling sensations, lesions that won't heal and mysterious red, blue or black fibers just under the skin. The study is the first attempt to determine whether Morgellons is a legitimate illness or is instead caused by the patient's imagination. Some medical authorities believe those claiming to have Morgellons suffers from a psychiatric illness.

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Experts Warn Plague is Reemerging

Experts warn that plague, a lethal disease of a bygone era, appears to be cropping up again, mostly in parts of Africa. They worry the illness is easily confused with other diseases and failure to recognize and treat the condition leads to rapid death.

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Bird Flu Is Mistaken for Typhoid, Hampering Diagnosis

Bird flu has been mistaken by doctors for pneumonia, typhoid and at least four other diseases in Southeast Asia, causing treatment delays that might have worsened their patients' chances of survival, a study found.

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Project BioShield

Though the $7.1 billion in funds in the initiative announced by President Bush on Nov. 1 are earmarked specifically against potential avian flu outbreaks—as opposed to deliberate acts of bioterror — they mark the second major expansion of investment by the federal government in building its national strategic drug stockpile against bio-emergencies.

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OIE Chief’s Downplaying of Pandemic Risk Draws Fire

Disease experts and preparedness advocates reacted negatively today to comments by the head of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) suggesting that the risk of an influenza pandemic posed by the H5N1 avian flu virus is minimal.

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Washington, DC Hospital Testing ER One Concepts

Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, has launched a program in its Emergency Department to test in practice for the first time the concepts of the federally funded Project ER One initiative in a real-world emergency care setting.

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India Risks Bird Flu ‘Disaster,’ Human Cases Feared

India's worst ever outbreak of bird flu could turn into a disaster, an official warned Tuesday, as five people were reportedly quarantined with symptoms of the virus.

Eight districts in the eastern state of West Bengal have been hit by the virus, and dead birds are being sold and locals said to be "feasting" on cheap chicken.

 

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Safety from tap to tongue

A variety of innovative products and programs are aiming to secure America’s vulnerable drinking water supplies.

The vulnerability of drinking water supplies to terrorist attack has been a longstanding concern of homeland security, regional and municipal officials-and scientists, private companies and universities are working to close the gap.

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The Question of Quarantine

For the first time, homeland security officials are facing the possibility of having to deal with large populations at risk from deadly disease. How people are protected and—if necessary, isolated—is a crucial issue that is only now getting the attention it requires.

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