GENEVA – THE World Health Organisation said on Saturday an agreement has been reached on sharing flu virus samples, hammered out after intense negotiations by a group on preparations for flu pandemics. The deal came four years after a working group comprised of representatives of member states was formed. It met this past week in Geneva with the goal of reaching a final accord.

‘They reached an accord this morning (Saturday) after a night of intense discussions,’ (Snip) The deal not only involves sharing flu virus samples but also sharing the benefits which come from using certain samples, Ms Chaib said. The negotiations began in November 2007 after the appearance of the bird flu virus which triggered worldwide fear.

The accord will be presented to the next WHO general assembly in May. The head of working group, Mexico’s ambassador Juan Jose Gomez Camacho said earlier this week that despite the experience of the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009, the world was still not properly armed against flu crises. (Snip)

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/TechandScience/Story/STIStory_657756.html

Australia
•  Call to be on flu alert (Link)

Canada
•  Nova Scotia: Flu closes 2 units at veterans hospital (Link)

Chili
•  More than one million Chileans have been vaccinated against influenza this year. (Link)

Ghana
•  Health Alert From Cholera And H1N1 (Link)

Mexico
•  Chihuahua: Guadalupe y Calvo dies in the eighth victim of influenza (translated) (Link)
•  Increases to 8 the number of deaths from influenza, there are 75 positive cases (translated) (Link
•  Durango state: Virus dwells among us (translated) (Link)
•  Mexico on alert for other influenza virus (translated) (Link)
•  Another H1N1 death – Total of nine in the state (translated) (Link)

United Kingdom
•  New information booklet and website to help Sussex residents prepare for emergencies (Link)

United States
•  CA: Legionnaires’ bug found in Playboy mansion hot tub after 123 fall ill (H1N1 may be responsible for outbreak) (Link)
•  NE: Nebraska finds H7 virus in three backyard flocks (Link)
•  SD: Flu counts going down in South Dakota (Link)

Venezuela
•  A baby is the second victim of H1N1 in Lara state (translate) (Link)

•  Ministra Sader confirma 1.594 casos de AH1N1 hasta la fecha (translated) (Link)
•  Seven new cases of H1N1 in Carabobo (translated) (Link)
•  Most cases of influenza A H1N1 is concentrated in Maracaibo (translated) (Link)

General
•  Global consensus to share influenza virus samples (Link)
•  CIDRAP: Children’s flu vaccinations starting earlier, slumping late (Link)

Commentary
•  Recombinomics: Spread of Chihuahua Novel H1N1 Across the United States (Link)

•  Recombinomics: CDC Silence On trH3N2 Match Is Deafening (Link)

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