Jones & Bartlett Learning Medicine Blog

    Controversial Avian Influenza (H5N1) Research Released

    Posted by admin on Jun 25, 2012 1:15:42 PM

    After months of deliberation, a controversial study from the Netherlands examining how the H5N1 virus - also known as avian influenza or bird flu, could be genetically altered and transmitted by mammals as an airborne pathogen was published last week. The paper was completed in 2011, but because of widespread concerns that bioterrorists could use this information to engineer a weapon, the findings were not published until now.

    Avian flu affects several types of birds, including farmed poultry (chickens, geese, turkeys and ducks). Bird flu can also be transmitted from livestock to wild birds and also to pet birds, and vice-versa. The virus spreads through infected birds, via their saliva, nasal secretions, feces, and feed.

    The first avian influenza virus to infect humans occurred in Hong Kong in 1997 and was linked to infected chickens.

    Human cases of H5N1 have since been reported in Asia, Africa, Europe, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Pacific, and the near East.  Since 2003, nearly 60% of the 606 cases of human infection of H5N1 reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) worldwide, have resulted in death.

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    Topics: flu, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), H5N1, influenza, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disea, National Institute of Health, Netherlands, pandemic, Science journal, vaccine, virus, Anthony Fauci, avian flu, avian influenza, bird flu, Bruce Alberts, Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Su, Global Health Blog, Infectious Disease, World Health Organization (WHO)

    August is National Immunization Awareness Month

    Posted by admin on Aug 17, 2011 11:28:43 AM

    With students getting ready to go back to school, and the upcoming flu season fast approaching, August marks the annual observance of National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM).

    The goal of NIAM is to increase awareness about immunizations, and to reach the thousands of people in the U.S.  and the hundreds of thousands around the world who go unprotected from vaccine-preventable diseases that claim the lives of countless people each year. It has been proven that the best defense against contracting common viruses and diseases is for both children and adults to be immunized. In addition, a healthier population reduces healthcare costs, and results in fewer missed work and school days.

    5 Key Reasons to Support Immunization Programs:

    1. Immunization Saves Lives
    Immunization saves more than 3 million lives worldwide each year, and it saves millions more from suffering illness and lifelong disability.

    Global distribution of the 1.4 million annual deaths caused by vaccine-preventable (WHO)
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    Topics: influenza, National Immunization Awareness Month, NIAM, vaccine, immunization, Infectious Disease, infectious disease

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