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January 21, 2015

Priests beaten in Forecariah, Guinea over Ebola fears

Priests beaten in Forecariah, Guinea over Ebola fears

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

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  • 21 January 2015: Priests beaten in Forecariah, Guinea over Ebola fears
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  • 7 March 2010: Polio vaccination campaign targets 85 million African children
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Three Baptist priests in Guinea were assaulted and held hostage yesterday by local villagers after being mistaken for campaigners promoting awareness about Ebola, the BBC has reported. They were visiting Kabac, a village in the sub-prefecture of Forécariah, to spray insecticide for the treatment of wells and pit latrines. Locals reportedly thought they were bringing Ebola and attacked the priests. After the assault they were held hostage and had their vehicle set alight.

Electron micrograph of Ebola virus.
Image: Centers for Disease Control / Dr. Frederick Murphy.

Following the attack on the priests, town council workers were forced to evacuate as their building came under assault and was set fire to. A local report, not been independently verified, alleged a council worker was killed during the incident. Police intervened to arrest a number of the local villagers involved in the attacks but were met with hostility from those trying to stop the arrested being taken away.

Such incidents have been noted by the World Health Organisation (WHO). A recent WHO report said “community resistance” is a “major barrier to control” in the countries Ebola has worst hit.

Forécariah has seen incidents like this before. In one incident, on September 23, two Red Cross volunteers buried an Ebola victim, and were then attacked. Villagers removed the corpse from the grave and hid it. This then grew into an attack on a team of epidemiologists by a mob of about 3000 armed youths. This attack had undone “weeks of persistent and effective efforts to slow the outbreak” according to the WHO, who were overseeing the team.

Although not the worst affected country, Guinea has seen 1,876 deaths from 2,871 cases of Ebola, according to WHO. This is compared to Liberia and Sierra Leone with 3,605 and 3,145 deaths each from the effects of the Ebola virus.



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September 10, 2014

WHO warns of thousands of new Ebola cases

WHO warns of thousands of new Ebola cases

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

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Liberia is expected to see thousands of new Ebola cases within the next three weeks, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said yesterday.

The current outbreak of the virus in West Africa is believed to have killed 2,100 people, including 79 health workers. As well as Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone are at the centre of the outbreak, with Nigeria, and Senegal also effected.

Cquote1.svg As soon as a new Ebola treatment facility is opened, it immediately fills to overflowing with patients Cquote2.svg

—World Health Organisation

Liberia is proving particularly vulnerable to the spread of the virus. Before the outbreak, the country had only one doctor for every 100,000 inhabitants, and a severe shortage of beds. The WHO stated that “as soon as a new Ebola treatment facility is opened, it immediately fills to overflowing with patients”.

The UK military have said they will build a 50 bed centre near Sierra Leone’s capital, with the US saying it would send a 25 bed field hospital. This falls short of the 1,000 beds an investigative team from WHO says is needed in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, alone.

WHO says a three- to four-fold increase in the efforts of those combating the outbreak is needed.

The African Union also warned of the economic impact of the outbreak, urging a lifting of travel bans and border closures. WHO have previously warned that such travel restrictions increased the chance of food shortages. An agreement made yesterday is expected to lead to those restrictions imposed in the last few months being lifted.



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August 11, 2014

WHO declares Ebola outbreak an international emergency

WHO declares Ebola outbreak an international emergency

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Monday, August 11, 2014

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On Friday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated the West African Ebola outbreak is now an international health emergency.

The current ongoing outbreak of Ebola is the deadliest since the disease was first reported in humans 40 years ago, with nearly 1,000 people reported to have been killed by the disease in this outbreak. So far three countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria, have declared national emergencies in response to the outbreak, with cases also reported in Guinea. The latter country was reported to have closed its borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia, but an official announcement later clarified they were taking medical precautions on border crossings.

Dr Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO
Image: January.

Director-General of WHO Dr Margaret Chan appealed for an international response to the outbreak, calling it “the largest, most severe and most complex outbreak in the nearly four-decade history of this disease”. Reports say the comparatively underdeveloped medical infrastructure in the affected countries has hampered efforts to contain the spread of the virus, with Liberia’s health system particularly under-equipped for the pressure. Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) said the health system in Liberia was “falling apart”. Health experts and aid workers from Europe and America are already working to help bring the outbreak under control, but MSF and WHO are now calling for more help.

The announcement by WHO has international law implications, and it is expected possible cases will not be allowed to leave the countries affected until it is confirmed they are clear of the virus, with the possibility of travel being denied from any region not meeting the WHO’s guidelines. WHO have also warned all nations should prepare to bring their own nationals back to home territory for treatment if infected by the virus, with cases already returned for treatment to the US and Spain.

WHO vaccine chief Jean-Marie Okwo Bele told AFP he expected a possible vaccine against Ebola to start clinical trials next month, stating: “Since this is an emergency, we can put emergency procedures in place […] so that we can have a vaccine available by 2015”. WHO assistant director-general Marie-Paule Kieny admitted, however, to do so the bar set during the testing process would have to be lower, reflecting questions about the ethics of using comparatively untested drugs, and who they should be given to.

Meanwhile, restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the disease are reported to be causing problems among those affected in already impoverished areas. Liberia and Sierra Leone are both reported to have deployed soldiers to limit travel within these countries, with many residents reported to be worried about the effect on their trade and incomes. The Telegraph reported from interviews, there is also resistance to some measures in Liberia, where there is a strong stigma attached to the disease. This has led to many people refusing to report the deaths of family members and hand their bodies over for cremation. There have also been cases of violence towards those seeking to enforce government measures to limit the disease’s spread.



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March 25, 2011

China plans to ban smoking in indoor public places

China plans to ban smoking in indoor public places

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Friday, March 25, 2011

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Universal No Smoking Sign

Yesterday the Health Ministry claimed that China issued a national ban on smoking in all indoor public spaces. The ban is included in the government’s 12th Five-Year Plan. Also banned is smoking in outdoor public areas where pedestrians pass. The ban will begin May 1.

China, with a third of the world’s smoking population at 300 million smokers, is the largest cigarette market in the world. Each week approximately 70 percent of non-smoking adults are exposed to second-hand smoke. According the the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco-related illnesses kill over one million people annually. The World Health Organisation says Chinese smoking-related deaths account for one fifth of deaths from smoking world-wide.

The number of deaths are predicted to rise to 3.5 million deaths a year by 2030 if no steps are taken, states a report co-authored by Zhao Ping, deputy director general of the Chinese Cancer Foundation. Further, there is a spike of new smokers in China as increasingly women, young people and the poor become smokers.

The posting of logos is being required to alert people not to smoke. Vending machines selling cigarettes in public places will be banned as will cigarette advertisements and sponsorships. The new regulations include educational measures to inform people about the dangers of tobacco.



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June 6, 2010

WHO\’s reaction to H1N1 influenced by drug companies, reports claim

WHO’s reaction to H1N1 influenced by drug companies, reports claim

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Reports suggest the World Health Organisation’s declaring a swine flu pandemic was an error driven by drug companies, and lead to unjustified fear. A year after the swine flu pandemic was declared, stocks are left unused and governments try to abandon contracts, pharmaceutical companies have profited at least £4.6billion from the sale of vaccines alone.

Reports by the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) and the Council of Europe claim that The World Health Organisation reaction to H1N1 was influenced by pharmaceutical companies and that key scientists behind advice had financial ties with firms Roche and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). These conflicts of interest have never been publicly disclosed by WHO, an apparent violation of its own rules.

The World Health Organisation issued H1N1 guidelines in 2004, recommending countries to stockpile millions of doses of antiviral medication. The advice prompted many countries around the world into buying up large stocks of Tamiflu, made by Roche, and Relenza manufactured by GSK.

A joint investigation with the BMJ and the BIJ, found that scientists involved in developing the WHO 2004 guidance had previously been paid by Roche or GSK for lecturing and consultancy work as well as being involved in research for the companies. “The WHO’s credibility has been badly damaged,” BMJ editor Fiona Godlee said in an editorial.

A report by the health committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, a 47-member human rights watchdog, found that the WHO’s reaction was influenced by drug companies that make H1N1 antiviral drugs and vaccines. It criticised WHO lack of transparency around the handling of the swine flu pandemic and says the public health guidelines by WHO, EU agencies and national governments led to a “waste of large sums of public money and unjustified scares and fears about the health risks faced by the European public.”

Cquote1.svg We’re still in the pandemic Cquote2.svg

—Margaret Chan of the World Health Organisation said yesterday.

A spokesman for WHO said the drug industry did not influence its decisions on swine flu. Margaret Chan, the organisation’s director, had dismissed inquiries into its handling of the A/H1N1 pandemic as “conspiracy theories” earlier this year, she had said: “WHO anticipated close scrutiny of its decisions, but we did not anticipate that we would be accused, by some European politicians, of having declared a fake pandemic on the advice of experts with ties to the pharmaceutical industry and something personal to gain from increased industry profits.”

Yesterday, a 16-member “emergency committee” consisting of advisors from the World Health Organisation said that the H1N1 pandemic is not yet over. The WHO has refused to identify committee members, arguing that they must be shielded from industry pressure, so possible conflicts of interest with drug companies are unknown. The BMJ report also reveals that at least one expert on the “emergency committee” received payment during 2009 from GSK.

In related news, Reuters reported, Pfizer Inc, the world’s biggest drugmaker, is selling its swine vaccine business to Chinese Harbin Pharmaceutical Group for $50 million.

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  • “WHO: H1N1 influenza virus still a pandemic” — Wikinews, June 4, 2010

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June 4, 2010

WHO: H1N1 influenza virus still a pandemic

WHO: H1N1 influenza virus still a pandemic

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Friday, June 4, 2010

The World Health Organisation says that the H1N1 influenza virus, although not as intense as it has been in the past, still poses a threat and the pandemic is not yet over.

Margaret Chan, the organisation’s director, commented that the pandemic alert level will remain at six, the highest possible rating. She noted that the WHO may look at the situation again in July and see if a revision is necessary then.

An emergency committee consisting of fifteen advisors stated that countries should remain on the lookout for the pandemic, and encouraged measures to be implemented for disease surveillance and control. The panel actually was held on Tuesday, but Chan didn’t announce the comments until yesterday.

“We’re still in the pandemic,” said a spokesman for the organisation, Gregory Hartl, to the Reuters news service.



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May 27, 2010

Bottled water concerns health experts

Bottled water concerns health experts – Wikinews, the free news source

Bottled water concerns health experts

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

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Canadian researchers from C-crest Laboratories have discovered an “unusually high” amount of bacteria in bottled water. Researchers don’t blame specific brands, but bottled water in general.

A random study found unusually high rates of heterotrophic bacteria in the bottled water, more than 500 cfu, the legal limit set by United States Pharmacopeia on how much bacteria should be present in drinking water in Canada. Unusually high amounts of bacteria were present in 70% of the test samples across several brands of bottled water. “Heterotrophic bacteria counts in some of the bottles were found to be in revolting figures of (100) times more than the permitted limit,” said Sonish Azam, a Canadian researcher involved in the study, “This amount of bacteria is alarming, as if we are ingesting a cup of culture.” “Microbiologically speaking,” she said, “tap water is purer than bottled water — most bottled water. We didn’t know this until we conducted the research.”

The bacteria are not very harmful to an average person, but many sensitive groups, such as the young, sick or elderly, could get sick from it. “Heterotrophic bacteria counts in drinking water are not a health concern to the general public,” was the concluding analyses of a recent study by the World Health Organization.



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  • “Calls for bottled water bans grow in Canada” — Wikinews, August 23, 2008
  • “Bottled water in Canada recalled due to arsenic concerns” — Wikinews, March 16, 2007

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April 25, 2010

WHO starts simultaneous immunization campaigns in over 100 countries

WHO starts simultaneous immunization campaigns in over 100 countries

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

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Child receiving an oral polio vaccine (file photo)

The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday began simultaneous immunization campaigns, in 112 countries and territories across its Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, and European regions. The unprecedented vaccination drive will last for a week.

This is the first time the World Health Organization has launched such an event across multiple regions at once. WHO officials say their goal is to expand immunization coverage and raise awareness of the importance of vaccines, and that such cross-border activities can prevent disease and save lives.

WHO spokesman Daniel Epstein says that many countries are working to eliminate measles, adding that says countries in the European region are very concerned that they have stalled in their goal of eliminating measles and rubella this year.

“In European countries, in many of them, immunization coverage is below the 95 percent recommended level. And, there have been ongoing measles outbreaks in some of these countries. Measles cases have also been imported to the US and Canada and the Americas from European countries,” said Epstein.

The agency says an important goal of the immunization campaigns is to reach those who have been excluded up to now. It notes that every year, in the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 25 percent of deaths among children under age five are attributed to vaccine preventable diseases. 2.1 million children in the Middle East hadn’t received a shot against tetanus, whooping cough, or diphteria in 2009, according to the WHO.

In the Americas, WHO says special regional events are being held in border areas of Nicaragua, between Suriname and French Guiana, and between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It says many young children, pregnant women, elderly and indigenous peoples live in isolated areas where vaccine coverage is low.

In all three regions, Epstein said the vaccination campaigns will be accompanied by health information campaigns.

“The biggest obstacle to reaching our goals of vaccination are lack of awareness, lack of information and people being ignorant that they should be vaccinated, and thus not having enough vaccinators, money, trucks, bicycles, etc. to get to these remote regions,” he said.

WHO also began a large polio immunization campaign across sixteen countries in central and West Africa on Saturday. It says 78 million children under five will be vaccinated to stop a major outbreak of the disease.



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March 31, 2010

Wikinews discusses H1N1 with the WHO

Wikinews discusses H1N1 with the WHO – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews discusses H1N1 with the WHO

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Flag of the World Health Organization.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a program of the United Nations and a global authority on human health. In an interview with Wikinews, the WHO tells about the current H1N1 pandemic.

The organization’s 93rd update as of March 26, 2010 states 213 countries, territories, and other communities have laboratory-confirmed cases and there have been at least 16,931 confirmed deaths, including 4,653 deaths in Europe and 7,673 in the Americas.

Wikinews reporter Mike Morales talks with Karen Mah, a media relations representative for the WHO, and asks her several questions.

Interview

Wikinews waves Left.pngMike MoralesWikinews waves Right.pngCan you tell us what exactly H1N1 is and how it affects us today?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKaren MahWikinews waves Right.pngAs of 21 March 2010, worldwide more than 213 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including over 16,931 deaths. This number is a large underestimation of total deaths with total figures unavailable until a year or two after the pandemic is declared over.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngHow does the WHO feel the media coverage has been and does the WHO suggest any changes to coverage and if so, what kind?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngWHO does not have any comment with regards to media coverage nor is it in our purview to suggest changes to coverage. The pandemic is a global event and media coverage can’t be characterized with any generalities.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngWhich areas around the world are most affected by the pandemic and why?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngCurrent disease activity and epidemiological activity indicates we are seeing the highest levels of activities occurring in Southeast Asia, West Africa, and in the tropical zone of the Americas. After a period of sustained pandemic influenza transmission in Thailand over the past two months, overall activity now appears to be decreasing. In West Africa, limited data suggests that active transmission of pandemic influenza virus persists without clear evidence of a peak in activity. In Central America and in the tropical zone of South America, an increasing trend of respiratory disease activity associated with circulation of pandemic influenza virus has been reported since early March 2010 in an increasing number of countries.

The H1N1 virus.
Image: Cybercobra.

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This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngWhat advice does the WHO recommend to any areas affected by H1N1? What does the WHO recommend to governments’ health authorities of countries affected?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngThis is a very far-reaching question and answer and paraphrasing the pandemic preparedness guidelines is too simplistic. I will refer you to this page [URL below] to see the whole spectrum of guidance for countries ranging from response, surveillance, reduction of spread, travel, hygiene etc. From a WHO perspective, we have to offer the broadest range of guidance to cover developing, mid-level and developed countries.

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/guidance/national_authorities/en/index.html

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngWhat does the WHO recommend for those individuals affected by H1N1? How does H1N1 affect someone who is infected?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngSince the H1N1 pandemic virus is now the dominant influenza virus circulating worldwide, most cases of influenza-like illness are likely pandemic influenza.

Typical symptoms to watch for include fever, cough, headache, body aches, sore throat and runny nose.

WHO advises health care providers to treat people with influenza-like illness based on their symptoms and the progress of their illness, and not to wait for laboratory confirmation of pandemic influenza. The pandemic H1N1 virus has already spread worldwide.

Regarding laboratory testing of cases, public health authorities and WHO partners continue to do selective testing of samples from patients with influenza-like illness to characterize outbreaks, monitor the virus and identify disease trends.

Anti-viral drugs (which are medicines that act directly on viruses to stop them from multiplying) should not be taken to prevent H1N1. There are two antiviral drugs are being used to treat pandemic influenza infections. These are oseltamivir and zanamivir, which both block the action of an influenza virus protein called neuraminidase.

For patients with symptoms of severe illness that are probably due to pandemic influenza, WHO recommends that treatment with oseltamivir should start immediately, no matter when the illness started and without waiting for laboratory results to confirm infection.

For patients at higher risk for serious disease from pandemic influenza, including pregnant women, children under age 5 and those with certain underlying medical conditions, WHO recommends treatment with either oseltamivir or zanamivir as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms, and without waiting for the results of laboratory tests.

Otherwise healthy people who are not from a higher risk group but who have persistent or rapidly worsening symptoms should be treated with antivirals. These symptoms include difficulty breathing or a high fever that lasts beyond three days.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngHow does H1N1 affect someone who is infected?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngPandemic H1N1 virus is spread from person to person in the same way that seasonal influenza viruses are spread. It is transmitted as easily as the normal seasonal flu and can be passed to other people by exposure to infected droplets expelled by coughing or sneezing that can be inhaled, or that can contaminate hands or surfaces.

Signs of the pandemic influenza are flu-like, including malaise, fever, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and runny nose, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhoea.

The majority of people with pandemic influenza experience mild illness and recover fully without treatment. However, people should seek medical care if they experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or if a fever, and especially high fever, continues more than three days. For parents with a young child who is ill, seek medical care if a child has fast or labored breathing, continuing fever or convulsions (seizures).

Supportive care at home with plenty of rest, drinking plenty of fluids and using a pain reliever for aches and pains is adequate for recovery in most cases. A non-aspirin pain reliever should be used for children or adolescents under age 18.

The public should be made aware that there are specific groups of people who appear to be at higher risk of more complicated or severe illness which include:

  • pregnant women;
  • infants, and young children particularly under age 2;
  • people of any age with certain chronic health conditions (including asthma or lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease or some neurological conditions);
  • people with severely compromised immune systems.

Currently, people age 65 or older are the least likely to be infected with the pandemic influenza, but those who do get sick are also at high risk of developing serious complications, just as they are from seasonal flu.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngIs it known when the virus will become less virulent and cease becoming a major threat to health and of so when?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngIt is impossible to predict when the pandemic H1N1 virus will become less virulent.

Diagram showing antigenic shift.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngIs there a significant risk of H1N1 mutating and becoming more deadly?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngInfluenza viruses constantly change through a process called antigenic drift. All influenza viruses undergo this process but there is no way to predict if, when and how the pandemic H1N1 virus will shift.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngAre the current anti-flu vaccines effective and how sufficient is the current supply? Can you explain how these anti-virus vaccine work and any possible side effects?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngThe current H1N1 vaccines are effective and supply is sufficient. The safety profile of H1N1 vaccines is very good. Outcomes of studies completed to date indicate that pandemic vaccines have a similar safety record as seasonal influenza vaccines. Pandemic influenza vaccines underwent the same production and testing methods as seasonal vaccines.

The safety tracking of the vaccine for adverse events after its distribution and use worldwide has likely been the most thorough and sensitive in history.

Influenza vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.

Possible side effects can depend on the type of vaccine, how it is administered and the age of the recipient. There are two main types of vaccines: one is manufactured with inactivated viruses, the other uses live viruses. Inactivated vaccines, administered by injection, commonly cause local reactions such as soreness, swelling and redness at the injection site, and less often can cause fever, muscle- or joint- aches or headache. These symptoms are generally mild, do not need medical attention, and last 1 to 2 days. Fever, aches and headaches can occur more frequently in children compared to elderly people.

Rarely, such influenza vaccines can cause allergic reactions such as hives, rapid swelling of deeper skin layers and tissues, asthma or a severe multisystem allergic reaction due to hypersensitivity to certain vaccine components.

Live vaccines are given via a nasal spray, and can commonly cause runny nose, nasal congestion, cough, and can less frequently cause sore throat, low grade fever, irritability and head- and muscle- aches. Wheezing and vomiting episodes have been described in children receiving live influenza vaccines.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngWhat action has the WHO taken, if any, to insure vaccines are available?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngDuring the first stages of the pandemic in 2009, the Director-General highlighted the need to make vaccine and medicines available to countries who would be unable to access them on their own. As the WHO pandemic vaccine donation programme was first established, all countries were surveyed by WHO, and 95 identified as having no access to pandemic vaccines, and therefore eligible for donations.

Based on the pledges of donated vaccine, a plan was prepared for a two phase approach to supply sufficient vaccines for 10% of the population in these countries; an initial supply to cover health workers and other essential workers, equivalent to 2% of the population, and a second supply of 8% for other priority groups. The sequencing of supply was based on assessments of vulnerability to the pandemic, and readiness to utilize vaccines.

To date, 25 countries have received donated H1N1 vaccine totaling more than 10 million doses, along with ancillary supplies. Another 15 to 20 countries will be receiving their vaccine shipments in the upcoming few weeks.

The 25 countries who have received shipments are: Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Fiji, Kiribati, Kosovo, Laos PDR, Maldives, Mongolia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Togo, Tonga, Vanuatu, Cuba, Honduras, El Salvador, Kenya, Samoa, Tokelau, Cook Islands, Pakistan, [and] Philippines

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngLast November, the WHO stated the H1N1 virus is world’s most dominant virus. Is this still true?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngOn February 18th, WHO concluded a four-day meeting to look at vaccine strains for seasonal influenza vaccine for the 2010 and 2011 season. This is part of the routine work that WHO does twice yearly to determine vaccine strains to be included in upcoming northern and southern hemisphere seasonal influenza vaccines.

During the scientific discussions which ended on the 18th of February, it was confirmed that the overwhelming number of influenza viruses that were isolated around the world were the pandemic H1N1 virus. The experts believe that based on this information that this virus will continue to be one of the dominant viruses in wide circulation in the coming fall and winter season.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngIs there anything that the WHO believes to be very important for the public to know about the H1N1?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.png

  • The overall impact of the pandemic has been moderate and most people experienced mild symptoms or illness. However, some groups are more vulnerable and have a higher risk of complications or severe illness, for example pregnant women, infants, young children and people with chronic diseases.
  • Many of the severe cases have been due to viral pneumonia, which is harder to treat than the bacterial pneumonia normally associated with seasonal influenza. Many of these patients have required intensive care, which has led to intensive care units being frequently overwhelmed at the peak of the outbreak.
  • Most of the deaths caused by the pandemic influenza disease occurred among younger people than is the case during seasonal influenza outbreaks, including among those who were previously healthy.
  • To protect people from infection and avoid related severe outcomes, the H1N1 vaccine is an important public health tool as long as the pandemic H1N1 virus is circulating and causing illness.
  • Since September 2009, more than 75 Member States and territories have implemented immunization programmes, and 290 million doses of the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 vaccine have been administered.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngThank you for your time.

Related news

  • “WHO states H1N1 swine flu world’s most dominant virus” — Wikinews, 6 November 2009
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March 21, 2010

WHO releases report on drug resistant tuberculosis

WHO releases report on drug resistant tuberculosis

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

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Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the most common cause of tuberculosis
Image: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The World Health Organization released their annual report on the world prevalence of tuberculosis in 2008. The report said that there were 9.8 million cases of tuberculosis, with 1.8 million resulting in death. The report also said that there were 440,000 cases of multi drug resistant tuberculosis, with about one-third of them being fatal.

The average cost to treat a case of tuberculosis was US$20 (€14.78, £13.32), over a six month period. The cost to treat a case of drug resistant tuberculosis was US$500 (€365.55, £333.00), and up-to two years of treatment.

Some of the hardest hit regions include nations of the former Soviet Union, and specifically Tajikistan which according to the report “[had] proportions of 16.5 percent MDR-TB [sic:Multi-Drug Resistant tuberculosis] among new TB cases and 61.6 percent MDR-TB among previously treated TB patients in Dushanbe city and Rudaki district, or the highest proportion ever reported among previously treated TB patients in a subnational area,”.

The prevalence of tuberculosis in the United States dropped 11.5% with only 11,540 new cases, with 108 of them being drug resistant.



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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
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