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Scientific American Examines Efforts To Increase Influenza Virus Monitoring In Pigs To Prevent Pandemics In Humans

Scientific American examines how, in an attempt to improve early recognition of viruses that could give rise to pandemics in people, such as last year’s H1N1 swine flu, scientists are looking to better understand “the viruses that infect the estimated 941 million domesticated pigs around the world.” However, as the article notes, “[i]ntensive monitoring of pig viruses is unlikely to come any time soon … Most pork-producing countries do not test their pigs at all, and in some that do—such as the U.S.—the testing is done on behalf of the pork producers, who have little economic incentive to share what they find. The reason: pig farmers know pork prices plummet when pigs and flu are linked in the news.”

Health Officials Encourage Caution, Despite H1N1 Case Decline

As the number of new H1N1 (swine flu) infections worldwide drops, U.S. health officials on Friday cautioned the virus continues to circulate and can still be deadly, Reuters reports. According to the WHO, H1N1 remains the dominant strain worldwide, but there are reports of the recent emergence of the seasonal flu in Africa and China, according to the news agency.

Also In Global Health News: Bird Flu In Bangladesh; Women’s Health In Kenya; Drug-Resistant Malaria In Cambodia; Over-Diagnosis Of Malaria In Children; HIV/AIDS In Africa; Efforts To Channel African Aid

USAID Program To Prevent Spread Of Bird Flu In Bangladesh Expands  All Headline News reports on a USAID-funded initiative to prevent the spread of bird flu in Bangladesh. The STOP AI (Stamping Out Pandemic and Avian Influenza) Bangladesh initiative includes the “renovation of the water supply, addition of a bio-gas facility for…

WHO Releases H1N1 Emergency Committee Roster

Five of the fifteen experts advising the WHO on H1N1 (swine flu) had ties to the pharmaceutical industry, “including for flu vaccine research,” according to the Emergency Committee members’ list released by the agency Wednesday, Agence France-Presse reports.

WHO Publishes Comprehensive Report On H1N1

“A year after the H1N1 [swine] flu first appeared, the World Health Organization has issued perhaps the most comprehensive report on the pandemic’s activity to date,” HealthDay News/Bloomberg Business Week reports (Gardner, 5/5).

Also In Global Health News: Bird Flu In Hong Kong; Counterfeit Drugs In Africa; Dep. Sec. Of State For Management, Resources; HIV/AIDS In S. Africa; World Toilet Day

Bird Flu Case In Hong Kong Isolated Health officials in Hong Kong confirmed on Monday that the woman diagnosed with H5N1 (bird) flu after a trip to China this month is now in stable condition and did not contract a new strain of the virus, SAPA/DPA/Mail & Guardian report. Additionally, her case appears…