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News stories tagged with "pandemic"

Bird flu is still a big story in Asia
Bird flu is still a big story in Asia

Story 2.0: Avian flu pandemic still a risk, as public attention wanes

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
Avian flu has made headlines globally (Source:  Nature Magazine
Avian flu has made headlines globally (Source: Nature Magazine

Influenza a Global Risk: One Town Plans Ahead

Avian influenza is still extremely rare. Fewer than a hundred people have died worldwide. But many scientists worry that the risk of a deadly influenza strain spreading among humans has been growing. A full-blown pandemic could quickly overwhelm America's medical infrastructure, especially in rural areas. In Saranac Lake, an informal group of scientists, county health officials, and hospital workers began meeting last fall. As Brian Mann reports, they say an avian flu outbreak will require a community response that goes well beyond the hospital door. This report first aired in October 2005.  Go to full article
Avian flu has made headlines globally (Source:  Nature Magazine
Avian flu has made headlines globally (Source: Nature Magazine

Influenza a Global Risk: One Town Plans Ahead

Avian flu has pushed its way to the forefront as a global health concern. Yesterday, the US Senate voted unanimously to boost funding for avian flu research and planning. The disease is still extremely rare. Less than a hundred people have died worldwide. But many scientists worry that the risk of a deadly influenza strain spreading among humans has been growing. While avian flu is a global health threat, experts say the burden of responding to an outbreak could fall most heavily on local governments, along with local doctors and nurses. In Saranac Lake, an informal group of scientists, county health officials, and hospital workers has begun meeting. As Brian Mann reports, they hope to develop a plan for avian flu response that could include quarantines and emergency shelters for sick patients.  Go to full article
Tim Brookes
Tim Brookes

Lessons Learned From SARS

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
Dr. Suzi Swain (Source: Trudeau Institute
Dr. Suzi Swain (Source: Trudeau Institute

Avian Flu Could Overwhelm Region's Healthcare

Global health officials are tracking the spread of avian flu in birds. They worry that a deadly strain of influenza could mutate and begin to spread aggressively among humans. There have already been dozens of cases where the disease made the leap from birds to people and in extremely rare instances the avian flu appears to have passed between humans. More than a hundred and twenty people have been infected so far, most of them in Asia. Nearly half died. This morning in the first part of our series on the local response to avian flu, we talk with Dr. Suzi Swain. Dr. Swain heads the Trudeau Institute, in Saranac Lake, one of the premier research facilities in the country investigating infectious and respiratory diseases. She's been meeting with local healthcare providers, who are preparing a response plan for the Tri-lakes area. Dr. Swain spoke with Brian Mann.

Note: Tomorrow during the 8 O'clock Hour, Brian reports looks at how one North Country community might respond if a flu pandemic occurs.  Go to full article

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