pandemic

How Flu Spreads on a Plane

As if the generally horrific experience of flying wasn’t bad enough (maybe I’m just a little sour about the 90 minutes I spent on the tarmac at Newark last night), a new study [PDF] in Emerging Infectious Diseases shows that …

The swine flu pandemic is over

So sayeth the World Health Organization (WHO)—and they should know, since they were the ones who declared a full, phase six-level pandemic a little more than a year ago. Now it’s done—this morning WHO head Dr. Margaret Chan announced that the group’s emergency committee of top flu experts had convinced her that the pandemic had …

Are we failing to stop the next flu pandemic?

The H1N1 flu pandemic last year came out of nowhere. Well, not exactly — H1N1 first emerged in human beings in Mexico. But that wasn’t where most influenza experts were looking. The focus had been on southeast Asia, where the H5N1 avian flu had been infecting — and killing — human beings for the past few years. Most flu pandemics …

BMJ: WHO swine flu advisers had drug company ties

Almost exactly one year ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the swine flu outbreak had reached global pandemic proportions. The announcement, made on June 11, 2009, spurred governments to order huge stocks of vaccines and prompted broad public health initiatives around the globe. And while we can all be grateful that

Avoiding Bogus Flu Remedies

The World Health Organization says it’s maintaining its estimate that swine flu — the virus better known now as “novel H1N1″ — will infect some 2 billion people before the pandemic is over. That’s almost a third of the world’s population, and a scary thought. So this seems as good a time as any to figure out what’s fact and what’s …