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Declaration of H1N1 Pandemic To Accelerate H1N1 Vaccine Production

The WHO’s decision Thursday to declare H1N1 (swine) flu a pandemic will “speed the production of a vaccine against the new virus,” however scientists continue to caution that “it will be fall at the earliest before the first doses are available,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

New York Times Examines Varying Definitions Of ‘Pandemic’

“The new swine influenza virus [H1N1], which appeared suddenly after years of warning about a potential pandemic of avian influenza, upset the WHO’s assumptions that most people have the same understanding of the word pandemic,” says the New York Times in a report that examines the difficultly health experts have had when attempting to agree upon what constitutes a pandemic.

WHO To Incorporate Disease Severity Into Pandemic Alert Scale

A meeting of the WHO’s emergency committee held Friday to discuss the H1N1 (swine) flu ended without a pandemic declaration, but experts concluded that declarations would now be based upon the severity and transmission pattern of a virus, Reuters reports.

Also In Global Health News: Indonesia To Host AIDS Congress; Smoking Ban in Ghana

Indonesia To Host International Congress On AIDS Indonesia will host the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific region, August 3 – 13 in Bali, organizers of the event announced Wednesday, Xinhua reports. Indonesia was selected to host the congress because it “was one of the first…

WHO Closer To Declaring Swine Flu Outbreak A Pandemic

The WHO on Tuesday said it was “getting closer” to declaring the H1N1 (swine) flu outbreak to be a pandemic, as the virus continues to spread to people outside of North America, and in populations “as far apart as Britain, Spain, Japan, Chile and Australia,” the AP/Washington Post reports.

CDC Scientists Develop New Basis for H5N1 Vaccine

By using samples of the H5N1 (avian flu) virus obtained from Egypt, CDC scientists have developed a virus sample critical to the production of a bird flu vaccine, the WHO said Thursday, Reuters reports.

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