Swine Flu

Egypt’s Poor Easy Victims of Quack Medicine

Magda Ibrahim first learnt that she had endometrial cancer when she went to a clinic to diagnose recurring bladder pain and an abnormal menstrual discharge. Unable to afford the recommended hospital treatment, the uninsured 53-year-old widow turned to what she hoped would be a quicker and cheaper therapy.

Transvestites and other artists at the Song for Life gala. Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

CUBA: Drag Queens and Volunteers Promote Safe Sex

Margot Parapar gets plenty of laughs from the audience with this joke: "Now the human body is divided into five parts: head, trunk, upper and lower limbs, and condom." Using his female stage name, Cuban drag queen, comedian and health promoter Oliver Alarcón includes HIV/AIDS prevention messages in his shows.

HEALTH: H1N1 Pandemic Is Over, But Vigilance Needed – WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is urging countries in Asia to remain vigilant about the spread of the H1N1 influenza virus, which the international body declared was no longer a pandemic a month ago.

HEALTH-EGYPT: Over the Top With Anti-Swine Flu Steps

As authorities consider suspending a whole academic year to check the spread of swine flu among school children there is a feeling that measures to contain the H1N1 virus - known to be less dangerous than the one responsible for seasonal flu - are going over the top.

HEALTH: Asian Countries Race to Produce Vaccine for H1N1 Virus

The race to mass-produce vaccines for the lethal H1N1 virus has attracted contenders from Asia’s developing countries, confirming a noticeable expansion of a field that has been dominated by flu vaccine production centres in Europe and North America.

HEALTH: Swine Flu Hits Ramadan Gatherings

Muslims marked the start of the fasting month of Ramadan Saturday, but the global H1N1 pandemic has put a damper on religious festivities throughout the Middle East.

Posters advertising Hajj tours in Peshawar Credit: Ashfaq Yusufzai/IPS

HEALTH: Swine Flu's Impact on 7 Billion Dollar Hajj Industry

A swine flu advisory issued by the Saudi government, banning the entry of pilgrims under 12 and over 65 years, is a blow for Hajj pilgrims as Muslims the world over prepare for Ramadan which starts this weekend.

INDIA: Swine Flu Tests Privatised Health Care

While the swine flu pandemic has not hit India too hard, it has sorely tested the country’s ailing health delivery system and its plans to remedy the situation through ‘private-public partnerships.’

Sign at Jul. 26 rally in Holguín: "Raúl, give Fidel a hug from his people". Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

ECONOMY-CUBA: New Budget Cuts in Store

The impact of the global financial crisis on the economy in Cuba was a major focus of a speech Sunday by President Raúl Castro, who confirmed that further "adjustments" will be made to this year's budget.

HEALTH-THAILAND: As H1N1 Spreads, Thais Take Cover Behind Surgical Masks

Pattadol Piboonsak was gripped with fear last week when he fell ill with a high fever, displaying the usual symptoms of influenza.

HEALTH-ARGENTINA: H1N1 Flu Puts Cheek Kiss Greeting on Hold

These days, people in the Argentine capital are largely avoiding the traditional greeting: a peck on the cheek. Doctor's orders, amidst the fast spread of the H1N1 influenza virus, otherwise known as swine flu.

HEALTH: ‘Global Response Needed for Global (Flu) Challenge’

Health ministers and representatives of 43 countries and the World Health Organisation (WHO) began to meet Thursday in the Mexican resort city of Cancun to discuss a common strategy to curb the spread of the H1N1 flu virus.

ARGENTINA: Experts Put H1N1 Flu Outbreak in Perspective

Doctors at the forefront of the battle against the H1N1 influenza virus in Argentina point out that the number of cases is far larger than the official figures reflect. But they also stress that the mortality rate, as a proportion of the much higher number of cases, is lower than people assume.

FIJI: Swine Flu Spreads to Vulnerable Pacific Island Nations

Fiji has become the second Pacific island nation to confirm cases of the H1N1 flu virus following two positive tests returned over the weekend.

HEALTH: Flu Pandemic Declared; Poor Countries at Highest Risk

The cautious tone taken by World Health Organisation (WHO) Director General Margaret Chan when she declared an H1N1 influenza virus pandemic Thursday was only modified when she expressed concern over the potential effects of the virus in developing countries, and among young pregnant women in particular.

HEALTH: Pigs Acted as Ideal Crucibles for New Hybrid Flu

On Mar. 28, one month before news of the swine flu outbreak headlined worldwide, a nine- year-old girl in Imperial County, California ran a fever of 104.3 degrees F.

HEALTH: Swine Flu – Caught Between Health and Profits

The first step towards a massive global health prevention mechanism, under which billions of people around the world could be vaccinated against the H1N1 influenza virus – while a handful of transnational pharmaceutical corporations raked in the profits – was taken Tuesday parallel to the World Health Assembly.

HEALTH: Voices of Alarm and Moderation at WHO Meet

World Health Organisation (WHO) Director General Margaret Chan issued a warning about the danger posed by the H1N1 flu epidemic, while health ministers from several countries recommended avoiding excesses when it came to remarks about a potential pandemic.

LATIN AMERICA: H1N1 Flu Spreading, but Mild

The H1N1 flu virus has begun its southward march in Latin America, carried by passengers travelling from areas hit by the outbreak. But the mortality rate is much lower than in Mexico, and there are no signs of "sustained domestic transmission" in the rest of the region.

The stressful environment in which the animals live makes them more susceptible to infections and illness. Credit: Baileynorwoodrocks

HEALTH: Flu Fuels Concerns about ‘Factory Farms’

While the swine flu virus does not appear to be as potentially devastating as first imagined, environmentalists and some public health activists argue that it should be considered a wake-up call to the public about the conditions in which much of our food is being produced.

HEALTH: China Battling to Contain Swine Flu

China is battling hard to contain the spread of the swine flu after stringent border checks and draconian quarantine measures of Mexican nationals failed to prevent the virus from entering the country.

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