Workers test chickens at a market in Thailand.

The social life of infectious diseases: a new impact story from STEPS

A new multimedia story, ‘The social life of infectious diseases’ is the first in a new series of impact stories from the STEPS Centre. It traces how our thinking on avian flu, Ebola and other infectious diseases has evolved over the last ten years, and how we have engaged with debates, policy-making and practical action….

AVIAN FLU BIO-TERROR FEARS

By Julia Day Researchers in a Dutch University laboratory have mutated the H5N1 strain of avian influenza so that it can be transmitted betweem humans through the air via coughs and sneezes, according to a UK newspaper report this morning. The US Government is worried the ‘super strain’ may escape the lab and cause a…

MONTREUX: ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE AND HEALTH RISKS

By Michael Loevinsohn, STEPS Centre member On Wednesday I chaired a session on New Directions in Health-Environment Research: Implications for Health Systems. The topic is a bit off the beam of the Symposium’s thrust: it’s one of 13 concurrent sessions, and about 20 people attend. Setting the stage, I describe the methodological challenges researchers are…

NEW BOOK: AVIAN INFLUENZA: SCIENCE, POLICY AND POLITICS

Our new book, Avian Influenza: Science, Policy and Politics, edited by Ian Scoones, is out today. Earthscan books is offering a 20% discount (see link below). Buy from Earthscan (20% discount)Buy from Amazon This new book lays out the lessons from the international avian influenza response, and suggests a way forward based on ‘One World,…

SWINE FLU: SOME EMERGING LESSONS

By IAN SCOONES, STEPS Co-Director Read a short version of this piece, published in The Guardian.The back-story of the swine flu outbreak is gradually seeping out. There are some vitally important lessons that can be learned. Here I outline five: 1. Risks, uncertainties and mortalities A favourite media narrative in the face of a potential…

BOY ‘WAS FIRST TO GET SWINE FLU’

From the BBC News website following the authorities in Mexico saying they think they have pinpointed where the swine flu virus began. The video features ABC News’ Jeffrey Kofman speaking to a boy who is believed to be the first sufferer, in La Gloria, Mexico.

SWINE FLU: GOVERNING GLOBAL HEALTH IN AN AGE OF EPIDEMICS

By IAN SCOONES, STEPS Centre Co-Director More than 150 deaths in Mexico, a public emergency declared in the US, China banning imports of pigs from the USA and Mexico, health authorities across Asia and the Pacific on red alert, stock market prices for agriculture and travel industries down, while pharmaceutical stocks rise. These are just…

NEW AVIAN FLU PUBLICATIONS FOCUS ON SE ASIA

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member As participants gather for the major international meeting in Winnipeg Canada this week to discuss ways forward on the One World, One Health initiative, a series of new papers have been published, documenting country-level experiences of HPAI responses in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia (papers and presentations. Photo credit:…

EPIDEMICS: UNDERSTANDING DISEASE DYNAMICS

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member Uncontrolled outbreaks of disease have always had the power to terrify. In recent years, such fears have grown to include the spectre of pandemic influenza, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and virulent hemorrhagic fevers. Globally, changes in land use, migration, food production, and human/animal interaction are contributing to a startling rise…

AVIAN FLU: EXTRA $949M BUT ‘WORLD STILL UNPREPARED’

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member Some success has been achieved in reducing avian influenza outbreaks in poultry and humans, but the world must still be prepared to tackle an influenza pandemic, experts were told at the sixth International Ministerial Conference on Avian and Pandemic Influenza in Sharm El Sheikh, Eqypt this weekend. Photo: avian…