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Pandemic flu

Analysis and Comment (9)

The pandemic flu virus spread around the world in several waves, causing illness in 20% to 50% of infected people and death in 1% to 5%. The pandemic flu virus spread around the world in several waves, causing illness in 20% to 50% of infected people and death in 1% to 5%. British Red Cross/Flickr

World War One’s role in the worst ever flu pandemic

The great influenza pandemic of 1918-19, often called the Spanish flu, caused about 50 million deaths worldwide; far more than the deaths from combat casualties in the World War One (1914-18). In fact…
Pandemics produce an extraordinary outpouring of emotion which is out of proportion to the number of actual cases and deaths. Pandemics produce an extraordinary outpouring of emotion which is out of proportion to the number of actual cases and deaths. EPA/Wu Hong

No evidence H7N9 spreads between humans – but fear does

It’s ten years since SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) upset our complacency about infectious diseases and now we are faced by another “new” disease. H7N9 bird flu is currently spreading through…
Billions of dollars have been spent, but the safety and effectiveness of Roche’s drug remain uncertain. Billions of dollars have been spent, but the safety and effectiveness of Roche’s drug remain uncertain.

Tamiflu is stockpiled globally as a defence against pandemic influenza … but does it work?

A Cochrane review published today has again raised questions about the efficacy of Tamiflu, the antiviral drug that has been stockpiled by countries across the world as the first line of defence against…
Are the benefits of openness worth the risk of releasing a new superflu? Are the benefits of openness worth the risk of releasing a new superflu? Ars Electronica

Avian superflu and the censorship of science

Two studies, one carried out in the Netherlands by Ron Fouchier and the other in Japan by Yoshihiro Kawaoka, are causing controversy over the creation of a new strain of H5N1 Avian Influenza or “bird flu…
Current vaccines are quite good but they offer no protection against novel pandemic strains of the flu. Current vaccines are quite good but they offer no protection against novel pandemic strains of the flu. Jason Rogers

Global efforts against flu evolving in the face of continuing threat

Influenza is never off the news agenda for long. If it’s not the flu season (and it always is in one hemisphere) and the attendant calls for vaccinations, it’s news about vaccines causing problems or new…
Authors of a new paper suggest a detergent used by CSL in making its flu vaccine could be the cause of the problem. Authors of a new paper suggest a detergent used by CSL in making its flu vaccine could be the cause of the problem. AAP

New theory on why CSL’s flu vaccine caused febrile convulsions in children

A paper published in the Medical Journal of Australia today provides a possible reason for CSL’s 2010 flu vaccine causing febrile convulsions in children. The authors hypothesise that suboptimal use of…
We’re still a while away from a vaccine for the type of flu virus that causes pandemics such as swine flu. We’re still a while away from a vaccine for the type of flu virus that causes pandemics such as swine flu. TreintagenariO -Serie B/Flickr

Don’t hold your breath for universal pandemic flu vaccine

Have you ever wondered why you need to get an influenza vaccination each year to protect yourself? Or even why it seems like another pandemic threat is announced before every flu season? Well, it’s all…

Research and News (1)

Drug trial results must be made public

A team of public health experts has called for the release of all clinical drug trial results for independent analysis following…

Research Briefs (1)