27 April 2009

For a moment, a different pathogen: swine flu

Constant readers, some of you know that I have a long history of covering pandemic flu (I wrote the first story in the US media about avian flu back in 1997, and covered pandemic preparations for years). I've had that somewhat on the back burner while I worked on this MRSA project and handled some personal family matters, but with the book manuscript almost completed and the family stuff ending, looks like I will be covering flu again.

For now, let me direct you to some resources:
  • My colleagues at the news site of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy are doing yeoman work with very few resources. Some of you many know CIDRAP as home base of Michael Osterholm, PhD, advisor to several administrations on pandemics and disasters and pandemic-flu interviewee on Oprah. The CIDRAP site includes a series I wrote about 18 months ago now that explains why it will be so hard to achieve a flu vaccine in time for the start of a pandemic.
  • Helen Branswell of the Canadian Press is the most connected flu reporter on the planet; because she is at a wire service, there is no one page to send you to, but Google her name, or follow her on Twitter @diseasegeek.
  • My fellow global-health reporter Christine Gorman, formerly of TIME Magazine, has put up a thoughtful post with many links on her blog Global Health Report.
  • There are seriously good flu blogs (also in the blogroll) at Effect Measure, H5N1, Avian Flu Diary, Scott McPherson's Journal, A Pandemic Chronicle and the indefatigable preparation-conscious groups bloggers at ZoneGrippeAviare (in French and English).
  • University of Iowa epidemiologist and zoonotic-disease expert Tara Smith, PhD., is blogging thoughtfully at Aetiology.
  • Several years ago I helped conduct a conference at Nieman House at Harvard, the home base of the Nieman Foundation and fellowships, on understanding and getting ready to cover pandemic flu. The materials are here.
That's all for now. More soon, I expect on both MRSA and flu.


robyn said...

Glad to see you are back!

Lyne Robichaud said...

Merci beaucoup pour la référence à Zonegrippeaviaire! Nous sommes très honorés.

Anonymous said...

Maryn: Look forward to reading your pieces again. I am going to make use of your flu vaccine articles.
-- Gopal Raj

Amanda said...

People with regular exposure to pigs are at increased risk of swine flu. More than 1100 people worldwide have died from swine flu since it emerged in Mexico and the US in April, according to the latest figures from the World.