Feb 18, 2009 — A scientist at the Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake will receive $1.8 million from the National Institutes of Health to continue studying the effects of aging on vulnerability to the influenza virus. The Trudeau Institute is one of the leading infectious-disease laboratories in the world. Six years ago, researchers first started raising alarms when a dangerous strain of influenza known as "avian" or "bird flu" first started killing people in Asia. Since then, the threat of a flu pandemic has dropped off the front pages.
Last week, lawmakers in Washington cut more than $800 million from the Federal stimulus bill that had been slated for influenza research. But scientists say the threat of bird flu is as great as ever. People are still dying in Asia and researchers still haven't perfected a vaccine. This morning, Brian Mann revisits the influenza issue, as part of a series we call Story 2.0. Go to full article
Sep 11, 2006 — Geese and other birds are gathering for the fall migration. After cases of a deadly strain of avian flu spread from the Far East west to Turkey last year, bird migrations are being watched as more than picturesque reminders of the change of season. The U-S government is testing wild migratory birds for a deadly strain of avian flu. The GLRC's Rebecca Williams reports, so far, no wild birds have tested positive. Go to full article
Oct 28, 2005 — SARS was the first epidemic of this century. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome also arose in chicken flocks in Asia -- China and Hong Kong. The new virus spread from chickens to humans, and then made the jump to human to human transmission. At first, everyone who came down with SARS died. The outbreak began with one case in China in November 2002. It spread from China to Europe, the US, and, notably, Canada. There were travel bans and quarantines, people wore masks on the streets of Toronto. The outbreak lasted about 6 months. In July 2003, Toronto was officially declared SARS-free. Since then, there have been a handful of cases. Afterward, the American Public Health Association asked Burlington writer Tim Brookes to write a book about the epidemic. It's called Behind the Mask: How the World Survived SARS. It's gained new attention as fears of the new avian flu have built. The book is good reading. It traces the emergence of SARS beginning in 1997, then its spread, and eventual containment. Brookes visited health officials, hospitals and survivors in China and Ontario. They were overwhelmed. Martha Foley spoke with Brookes yesterday. Tim Brookes is the author of books on asthma and hospice. He's also a commentator for National Public Radio, and this radio station. He's director of the professional writing center at Champlain College in Burlington. Go to full article