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February 29, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
Laboratory-engineered strains of H5N1 influenza, also known as bird flu, aren't as dangerous as some have been led to believe, said a scientist involved in the controversial research Wednesday. The researcher, virologist Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, has been at the center of an ongoing debate about bird flu research among public health and biodefense officials. He made his comments at the American Society for Microbiology's Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research meeting, in Washington, D.C. Bird flu is lethal more than half of the time it strikes humans.
September 14, 2009 | Melissa Healy
Tammy Reed, the 28-year-old mother of a toddler, is not given to belief in conspiracy theories and is not the type to be rattled by the phrase "pandemic flu." The Menifee, Calif., resident is the kind of mom who gathers a good deal of her medical intelligence on government websites, trusts a friend who is a nurse practitioner and is raising her bright, strong-willed daughter with all the confidence of a former nanny and the second-born in a family of six. She's the kind of mom who thinks that when the vaccine for H1N1 influenza becomes available for her daughter, she may just take a pass on it. "It's a different brand of flu, but it is still the flu, and I think she's already built a pretty strong immune system," Reed says of her blond, blue-eyed 14-month-old.
August 25, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano on Thursday called for the creation of a council including U.S. and Mexico border states to help prepare and respond to a pandemic flu outbreak. The council would create and test joint emergency plans. The governors of Baja California and Sonora have expressed interest in joining the council. The proposal was made at the annual Border Governors Conference being held in Austin, Texas.
June 4, 2007 | Marc Siegel, Special to The Times
"Pandemic," the Hallmark Channel, May 26. The premise: On an island off the north coast of Australia, as surfer Charley Williams begins to cough, he is unaware that several dead seagulls and a dead dog lie near him. They are infected with a new form of flu virus, later determined to be an H3N7 mutated variant named "Riptide." Fellow surfer Ames Smith leaves the island and boards a plane to Los Angeles. While on board, he develops a high fever, coughs up blood and dies.
January 11, 2006
Re "Dr. Bush's flu flim-flam," Current, Jan. 8 Is a flu pandemic a real danger? Absolutely. Is it inevitable and overdue? Not at all. This is the twisted logic of the ill-informed all-night gambler perched on a stool at the roulette wheel. He tells himself that because double-zero hasn't materialized in the last eight hours, its appearance is now "inevitable and overdue," and he bets accordingly. Nuclear war hasn't occurred since the first atomic bomb went off in 1945. Is it overdue?
June 12, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
The World Health Organization on Thursday acknowledged what many health experts have been saying for weeks: The outbreak of the novel H1N1 virus is a pandemic. "The world is now at the start of the 2009 influenza pandemic," Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the WHO, said in a Geneva teleconference. "This virus is now unstoppable."
November 21, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
The U.S. is unprepared for the next flu pandemic, lacking the manufacturing capacity to provide 300 million doses of a vaccine for three to five more years, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said. "We're not as prepared as we need to be," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "We will not have enough for everyone." A strain of a bird flu that has killed 67 people in Asia has sparked concerns of a super-flu that could kill millions worldwide, and U.S.
November 3, 2005 | Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Charles Piller, Times Staff Writers
The Bush administration's $7.1-billion flu pandemic plan cannot succeed without the cooperation of many players, from local health departments to foreign governments in remote corners of the world. And in most cases, they are already spread thin. "You have to have public health people available to identify the cases, put them on antivirals and track down their contacts" with other people, said Dr. Warner Hudson, a flu expert at UC Davis Medical Center.
March 22, 1997 | From Associated Press
By analyzing viral genes from lung tissue preserved for 79 years, researchers have determined that the 1918 flu epidemic that killed 20 million people worldwide was caused by a virus from American pigs. In a study published Friday in the journal Science, researchers at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology said they found the virus traces in tissue taken from the autopsy of an Army private who died of the flu in 1918.
October 20, 1987 | LARRY GREEN, Times Staff Writer
Ygal Baruch couldn't punch the numbers into his pocket calculator fast enough Monday. In the electronic milliseconds it took to ignite the bright red diodes with a total, the price of a Standard & Poors 500 futures contract fell another $1,000 on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. "Can you believe that? I don't know what's happening," said Baruch, who normally trades the S&P 500 contract, the industry's most popular stock-index futures contract.
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