• DHS develops medical scanner-at-a-distance device

    The first task of first responders arriving on a scene of a disaster is quickly and accurately to sort the living casualties by priority order for medical care; new device assesses — from a distance — the medical condition of those injured in the disaster; it does so by using laser doppler vibrometry and a camera to measure pulse, body temperature, and muscle movements such as breathing

  • Artificial flower kills mosquitoes dead with poisonous nectar

    Georgia Southern University researcher develops artificial flower which lure disease-carrying mosquitoes with its bright colors and sweet smell — and then kills them with its poisonous nectar; Professor Thomas Kollars: “One man can’t defeat mosquitoes. They have killed more people than all wars combined. But I can start being part of the team that defeats them”

  • Eating your flu vaccine

    Researchers put flu vaccines into the genetic makeup of corn, allowing pigs — and humans — to get a flu vaccination simply by eating corn or corn products

  • PrimerDesign to develop DNA tests for Mexican strain of swine flu

    U.K. company races against the clock to produce the world’s first DNA test for the Mexican strain of swine flu

  • CDC shipping new flu test kit

    CDC is shipping new test kits to the states to expedite testing of people with flu-like symptoms; also, a lab with the new test has been set up in Mexico

  • Computer simulation of swine flu worst case in U.S. projects 1,700 cases

    Computer simulation of worst-case swine flu epidemic in the United States projects 1,700 cases in four weeks from now; affected locations largely correspond to major transportation hubs in the country

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  • Airport flu scanners as global health alert increases

    Australian government orders all airports to use thermal imaging systems to detect passengers who may be infected with swine flu; the scanners can detect if a passenger has a raised body temperature

  • Skin-patch deliver flu vaccine

    Researchers at Emory and Georgia Tech develop a microneedle skin patch that delivers flue vaccine; the patches contain an array of stainless-steel microneedles coated with an inactivated influenza virus

  • US-CERT warns of swine flu-related phishing scams

    The swine flu outbreak is about two weeks old, but criminals are already e-mailing millions of phishing e-mails which purport to offer the latest information about the disease

  • Lancet: Pandemic closer but not inevitable

    Prestigious British health journal said “The world has moved closer towards a pandemic, but it is not yet inevitable”

  • Travel ban will not meaningfully slow spread of epidemic

    Computer modelers say that travel restrictions will do more harm (economic damage) than good (slow the spread of the flu); prevention and treatment are better measures

  • Virulent H5N1 mistakenly mixed with H3N2

    Austrian branch of vaccine company Baxter sent a batch of ordinary human H3N2 flu to Avir lab, also in Austria; a Czech affiliate of Avir conducted tests on ferrets, which died; investigation shows that the H3N2 batch contained live virulent H5N1 virus

  • Mexico complains to Israel about new name for swine flu

    Israel’s deputy health minister suggests that, in deference to Muslim and Jewish sensitivities over pork, the name “swine flu” should be changed to “Mexican flu”; Mexico launched official protest with Israel, saying the the name Mexican flu was “bothersome and worrying”

  • Current swine flu is the inevitable result of modern farming methods

    The current swine flu outbreak is not yet two weeks old and conspiracy theorists already ascribe it to genetic engineering by clever bioterrorists; the truth is more prosaic: there are more than one billion pigs and more than 70 billion chickens raised every year for human consumption; modern, industrial animal farming methods make the creation of new virus types — what scientists call “reassortment” — inevitable

  • WHO: Swine flu could become pandemic

    The growing number of swine flu in Mexico, and the spread of the disease in the United States, lead the World Health Organization to declare the virus “a public health emergency of international concern”