pandemic

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Death by Human Extinction Far More Likely Than by Car Crash

We should be more afraid of asteroids, pandemics, and Terminators

(Newser) - Pandemics, super-volcanoes, nuclear war, climate change, asteroids, and murderous artificial intelligence. You're not more likely to die from any one of those things than in a car crash. But put all those things together, and, well, that changes things a bit, the Atlantic reports. According to the annual Global ... More »

Pa. Construction Worker Stumbles Onto Mass Grave

Bones probably date to 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic

(Newser) - A construction worker may have unearthed a mass grave while digging last week on private property in Schuylkill Haven, Pa. Local historians say the bones could very well belong to those who died during the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic, which wiped out 1,600 people in a month in this... More »

True Root of Black Death: Giant Gerbils?

Climate fluctuations suggest the plague entered European harbors from Asia

(Newser) - Much-maligned black rats and their fleas have long been blamed for spreading the Black Death that claimed millions of lives in Europe over the course of a few hundred years, but scientists now have a new critter they think was at fault. By studying tree rings to learn about precise... More »

HIV Pandemic Traced to 1920s African Metropolis

'Perfect storm' caused virus to emerge in Kinshasa

(Newser) - More than half a century before AIDS even had a name, the HIV virus was already spreading across Africa via the city now known as Kinshasa, researchers say. In the 1920s, the city was Leopoldville, capital of the Belgian Congo, and scientists say a "perfect storm" of conditions caused... More »

Lab Revives History's Deadliest Flu Virus

Scientists blast 'crazy' pandemic experiments

(Newser) - Researchers in a Wisconsin lab have created a mutant, highly infectious version of the "Spanish Flu" that killed around 50 million people in 1918—and if you think that sounds completely insane, there are a lot of scientists who agree with you. The University of Wisconsin researchers argue that... More »

Virus Experiments in Lab Could Unleash Pandemic

Researchers say there's a small but clear risk such tests could be catastrophic

(Newser) - Scientific testing is great—except when it has the potential to unleash a global pandemic. That's the word from a new study that warns experiments on mutant viruses could do more harm than good. Scientists around the world are creating new viruses or changing existing ones to better understand... More »

Here's How Earth Could Really End: Scientists

Global warming, pandemic, fungus ... a not-fun time for everyone

(Newser) - From Planet of the Apes to After Earth, Hollywood has depicted Earth's demise many a time—but scientists' fears of planetary catastrophe are just as scary, LiveScience reports. Here are a few Doomsday scenarios as imagined by scientific minds:
  • Global warming: Scientists call this the biggest threat of all.
... More »

Scientists Revive Bird Flu Research Amid Contagion Fear

But US funding not quite ready

(Newser) - Bird flu experts decided to shut down their research last year over government concerns that samples could cause contagion outside the lab. Now, some 40 scientists—in countries which have set up research guidelines—are set to dive back into their investigations, they say. The US hasn't established its... More »

Feds to Science Journals: Keep Lid on Bird Flu Details

Citing bioterror fears, it asks that details be kept out of upcoming articles

(Newser) - A precedent in the world of science that isn't all that comforting: A federal advisory board has asked the journals Science and Nature to censor parts of new research on a flu virus so bioterrorists can't start a pandemic, reports the New York Times . Researchers in the US... More »

Deadly TB Coursing Through Europe

Thousands will die unless authorities step in: WHO

(Newser) - Ominous news from WHO: Incredibly drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis are coursing through Europe, and will kill tens of thousands unless health officials intervene. WHO's regional director blamed the resurgence on complacency, noted that the disease "is evolving with a vengeance," and announced the creation of a plan... More »

WHO Exaggerated Swine Flu Pandemic: EU Reports

Watchdogs accuse WHO of colluding with drugmakers

(Newser) - Was the H1N1 pandemic exaggerated? European officials are putting heat on the WHO over its handling of the pandemic, alleging the organization caused unnecessary panic and wasted millions of dollars. Reports released by an EU watchdog and the British Medical Journal go even further: they accuse the WHO of being... More »

US May Toss 75M Doses of Swine Flu Vaccine

Unused shots are near expiration date

(Newser) - More than 71 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine purchased by the federal government to combat an expected flu pandemic will have to be discarded if they go unused, which seems increasingly likely. Those doses were packaged for individual use, which dramatically decreases their shelf life. Of the 229 million... More »

Thank You, Swine Flu: Seasonal Version No Big Deal

History, and this past spring, show novel strains 'crowd out' normal ones

(Newser) - A perfect storm of factors related to the swine flu pandemic have many experts predicting the usual seasonal flu viruses will be no-shows this season. First off, the rush for H1N1 vaccinations saw many patients being vaccinated for the seasonal varieties as well. And then there’s “crowding out,... More »

800K Swine Flu Shots for Kids Recalled

They lost effectiveness since being distributed

(Newser) - French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis has recalled 800,000 child doses of swine flu vaccine sold to the US because the preservative-free shots have significantly declined in potency since manufacture. The CDC says anyone already vaccinated with the syringes—intended for children 6 to 25 months—is safe, but doctors should return... More »

Swine Flu Hits 1 in 6

H1N1 has killed 10K Americans

(Newser) - Swine flu had sickened 50 million Americans, and killed 10,000 of them by mid-November, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates released yesterday. A sixth of the population has been infected and over 200,000 people with the H1N1 virus have been hospitalized. The number of deaths... More »

Flu Pandemic Slacks Off, But 'It's Not Over'

Tamiflu-resistant cluster crops up in NC; 3 of 4 patients dead

(Newser) - The swine flu outbreak is slacking off in some areas, but don't get complacent, officials say: Pandemics naturally fluctuate. "There can be multiple ups and downs over the season," says a CDC doctor. "We have many weeks ahead of us where disease is going to be circulating.... More »

Swine Flu Shrinks Nation's Blood Supply

Donor pool dries up amid absenteeism at schools, offices

(Newser) - America's blood supply is suffering from the H1N1 pandemic. Blood centers nationwide are seeing a drop in donations as school and businesses cancel blood drives because of absenteeism; they're also having to dump blood already donated as an increasing number of donors report flu-like symptoms after giving. Centers say they... More »

Swine Flu-Wary Telecommuters Could Floor Internet

Report finds surge in demand might make telecommuting unfeasible

(Newser) - Telecommuters hunkering down at home because of swine flu could overwhelm Internet networks in the coming weeks, a federal watchdog reports. The report earlier this week found that no guidelines are in place to deal with any surge in demand caused by a spike in workers telecommuting and students going... More »

Vaccine Scarier Than Swine Flu: Poll

Concern high and building, but 60+% don't plan to get a shot

(Newser) - Americans are spooked by the growing threat of swine flu but even warier of the vaccine. Half of respondents in a recent Washington Post poll are a “great deal” or “somewhat” worried they or a family member will catch H1N1, up from 39% in August. But more than... More »

Swine Flu Vaccine Starts for Kids

But expect long waits around the country amid high demand

(Newser) - Children around the country began receiving the first doses of swine flu vaccine, a day after hospitals and health care facilities began immunizing their workers. But medical facilities in only 14 states have so far received the vaccine—so far all as a nasal spray—and high demand means it... More »

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