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Should this headline about the swine flu pandemic be really alarming or just a bit worrying?

A modelling study estimating the global mortality associated with the first 12 months of the 2009 swine flu pandemic has been published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases (abstract free, pay for full article). It estimates that globally there were 201,200 respiratory deaths (range 105,700—395,600) with an additional 83,300 cardiovascular deaths (46,000—179,900) associated with the pandemic. Eighty [...]

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A legacy of swine flu: guidelines for public health officials & journalists dealing with epidemics

During the swine flu pandemic, journalists in the US became concerned about inconsistencies in how jurisdictions handled the release of information about H1N1 cases and deaths. According to the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ), the disparate approaches – with some jurisdictions releasing specific information about the age, gender and residence of victims and others [...]

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An infectious diseases soup: whooping cough, swine flu and “Delhi belly”

Below is a soup of infectious diseases – a bit of whooping cough mixed in with swine flu and finished off with a dose of “Delhi belly”… Are parents getting good advice on whooping cough? NSW Health recently issued a warning for parents to be on alert for whooping cough (pertussis) following an increase in [...]

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Blaming the public for low swine flu vaccination rates is not fair, and not helpful

Dr Julie Leask, a Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney, writes: A new report on the uptake of the swine flu vaccine shows what a few of us had predicted last year – that uptake would be low. The AIHW report shows that only 1 in 5 Australians [...]

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Industry, experts and the pandemic scandal at WHO

Will the scandal about undeclared industry ties of experts who advised the World Health Organisation on pandemic influenza claim the scalp of the Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan? Such a question might have seemed far-fetched even just a few months ago, but no less an authority than the editor of the BMJ, Dr Fiona Godlee, has [...]

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Breaking news: influenza vaccine remains suspended for young kids

This statement has just been issued by the Chief Commonwealth Medical Officer, Professor Jim Bishop. “After consideration of the results to date of a comprehensive investigation into the safety of the seasonal flu vaccine for young children, I have advised, that as a precaution, the suspension of seasonal flu vaccination should continue for healthy children [...]

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The latest big, fat dose of FLU coverage

On April 30, Professor Jim Bishop, the Australian Government’s Chief Medical Officer, announced that the suspension of seasonal influenza vaccination for children aged five and under would be continued, pending further investigations into an apparent spike in febrile convulsions associated with the jab. He said that more time was needed to complete epidemiological and scientific [...]

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What does Jim Bishop have to say about swine flu?

What will be the impact of the H1N1 pandemic upon public trust in health authorities and campaigns? This is just one of many questions surrounding the pandemic and the public health response. You can read plenty more about related issues in this article, which has just been published by Inside Story. Last Friday (January 29), [...]

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WHO defends itself against “faked pandemic”claims

As previously reported at Croakey, the Council of Europe this week convened a public hearing titled “Faked pandemics: a threat to public health”. Here is what the World Health Organization told the hearing.

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Why I have been vaccinated against pandemic influenza: an expert’s account

As previously reported at Croakey, the World Health Organisation is facing some awkward questions in Europe regarding the pharmaceutical industry’s role in the pandemic influenza response, and here is the latest snippet in an issue which is likely to continue to hit the headlines. Professor Robert Booy, a paediatrician and infectious diseases expert from the [...]

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