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Pandemic/Biohazard - page 350

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CDC Airs Katrina issues

At a rowdy public meeting Monday, officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention restated the agency’s earlier call for Hurricane Katrina victims to be moved out of government trailers and mobile homes as soon as possible because already high levels of formaldehyde in the units could spike in the summer heat.

 

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Bird Flu Breaks Out In Tibet, Claims Another Life In China

The Ministry of Agriculture in China has confirmed there is an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in Tibet, the second this year. This follows confirmation that a a 22 year old man from central China died of the virus last month. Chinese authorities said the Tibetan outbreak started on 6th February, in a small community… Keep Reading

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Experts Suggest Ways to Curb Ill-Effects of Avian Flu

The Influenza Foundation of India (IFI), an advisory body to bring awareness on the disease as also its prevention and control, has issued several recommendations to curb the ill-effects of seasonal influenza, especially during the avian flu outbreak. Stating that in India’s healthcare map avian influenza is currently the most disturbing disease with bird flu… Keep Reading

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More Microbiology Clinics Could Curb New Illnesses, Says Experts

The dearth of microbiology clinical laboratories keeps the country vulnerable to infectious diseases like avian influenza and tuberculosis, a top microbiologist said here over the weekend. "There is no a single sufficient microbiology clinical lab in Indonesia," Pratiwi Pujilestari Sudarmono told students and government officials during her inauguration as professor at the University of Indonesia’s… Keep Reading

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Report urges USDA to tighten oversight of pandemic planning

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made notable progress on plans to detect and contain H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in birds, but some management missteps at the agency could hamper its response capability, according to a recent audit by the department's inspector general. In the 33-page report, the inspector general's office reviewed 55 tasks assigned to the USDA in the Bush administration's national pandemic influenza strategy that were to be completed by February 2007. The USDA is responsible for leading the veterinary response to an H5N1 threat.

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Biodefense Watchdog Group Disbands

With less than nine months before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security decides where to site its disease research lab, proponents and opponents of the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility continue to plead their cases before government leaders and the business community.

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Bio lab debate goes on tour

With less than nine months before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security decides where to site its disease research lab, proponents and opponents of the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility continue to plead their cases before government leaders and the business community.

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New Decontamination System Kills Anthrax Rapidly Without Lingering Effects

In October 2001, letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to several news media offices and two U.S. senators, killing five people and infecting 17 others. Clearing the Senate office building of the spores with chlorine dioxide gas cost $27 million, according to the Government Accountability Office. Cleaning the Brentwood postal facility outside Washington cost $130 million and took 26 months.

Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) in collaboration with Austin-based Stellar Micro Devices, Inc. (SMD) have developed prototypes of a rapid, non-disruptive and less expensive method that could be used to decontaminate bioterrorism hazards in the future.

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Health IT Funding Hike Sought by White House

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology would receive a 7.7 percent funding hike under President Bush’s fiscal year 2009 budget proposal.

ONCHIT, the Health and Human Services Department's health information technology arm, promotes electronic medical record adoption. In a Monday press conference, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt cited EMR technology as a critical component in changing the nation’s health care system and correcting the course of Medicare.

Leavitt described Medicare, on its current trajectory, as “eleven years from going broke.”

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The Chemical Conundrum

In seeking to protect America’s chemical infrastructure, DHS has taken on new regulatory tasks. Is the agency up to the job—and are the rules fair?

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The chains that bind

Public health authorities increasingly are concerned about what’s being done to ensure that vital supply lines are kept open for respirators, ventilators, everyday medications, intravenous tubing and other basic medical necessities that will quickly be exhausted and difficult to restock given that most hospitals’ inventories are replenished “just in time.” Keep Reading

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Homeland Health: Flu Season 2008

Is a mild flu season lulling America into complacency toward deadlier strains of the disease? Authorities are warning against ‘pandemic fatigue.’

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New Model Could Speed Bio-Pathogen Detection Innovation

In an HSToday survey of state of the art research in WMD detection, "Searching for Smarter WMD Detection," bio-detection tools were cited as lagging far behind other areas of WMD detection in terms of flexibility and precision. The current research outlined below points to a potential breakthrough in speeding innovation by offering a new framework for comparing and measuring sensor performance more precisely.

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Medicago’s Pandemic Vaccine Provides 100% Protection in Mice at Low Doses

Medicago Inc. announced that low doses of the Company's H5N1 Avian Influenza VLP vaccine ("H5N1 VLP vaccine") provided 100 percent protection in mice against a lethal challenge of live H5N1 viruses. In addition, this preclinical study demonstrated that Medicago's vaccine has the ability to recognize and kill an H5N1 strain that is different from the one used to design the vaccine.

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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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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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