During the month of May 2009, there were a total of 274 links to news items posted on Newsflash.
The top news areas included:
• Swine flu (later renamed novel influenza A (H1N1) was at the top of the news. Genetic studies indicated that it was likely to have originated in pigs, and was now evident in human to human transmission. There is no known vaccine at present, but such is now under development. The FDA approved a new influenza manufacturing facility. It was declared that there was no risk of acquiring this strain of flu through food. Toward the end of the month, more than 13,000 cases were reported in close to 50 countries.
• It was predicted that H1N1 will continue to circulate through the Summer and be a continued threat in the Fall.
Other noteworthy areas of interest include:
• It was found that many states did not have a large enough stockpile of antiviral medications on hand to handle a full blown outbreak of pandemic flu
• A research group indentified a number of genetic variants associated with hypertension
• A case of progressive vaccinia was reported in a military smallpox vaccinee
• Higher than normal level of seasonal influenza were reported in the US
• The Governor of Minnesota signed a dental therapist bill
• It was declared that infection control is urgently needed to stop the spread of XDR-TB among healthcare workers in South Africa
• Scientists developed a new basis for a H5N1 (bird flu) vaccine
• It was concluded that children who are not vaccinated against whooping cough are 23 times more likely to develop the disease