A lack of “surge” capacity plagues pandemic flu preparations around the world, as public health officials, scientists, and pharmaceutical industry scientists work to streamline vaccine production as well as improve surveillance, communication, and other public health practices before the next new ailment hits.
With a new flu virus appearing in China in April and a new SARS-like respiratory ailment appearing in the Middle East, the Gazette sat down with Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch to talk about the upcoming flu season.
Harvard researchers are challenging the popular portrayal of Ebola and other viral hemorrhagic fevers. In a new paper in Science, researchers present evidence that the diseases may be more common — and much older — than previously thought.
While questions still remain about the H1N1 flu’s potential virulence in the coming months, there is little doubt that this particular viral strain will return.
Harvard AIDS researchers detailed recent advances in the fight against the ongoing global pandemic, including new vaccine strategies, insights into the disease’s progression in the world’s hardest-hit regions, and new knowledge about the body’s immune response against infection.
Let’s pretend. The first cases of a deadly new strain of avian influenza appear in Eastern Europe. In a few days, the wave of a building pandemic sweeps westward to London, skips across the Atlantic to New York — then shows up in Boston. Day by day, as the crisis multiplies, when and how does Harvard react?
Marc Lipsitch has been promoted to professor of epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). He first joined the School’s faculty as an assistant professor in 1999, becoming an associate professor in 2004.
The scientist who revolutionized the study of cholera paid a visit to Harvard this week. On March 6, microbiologist and oceanographer Rita R. Colwell, a Johns Hopkins University public health researcher, delivered the last in a series of science talks in the 2006-2007 Dean’s Lecture series at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
Recently released U.S. government guidelines for combating a potential avian flu pandemic closely resemble response strategies that have been under development by Harvard planners since October 2005. Both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines - available online at http://www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/community/community_mitigation.pdf - and Harvard's ongoing "what-if" planning say that the best protection against a flu pandemic would be "social distancing," or limiting contact with people who are sick, and attending to personal hygiene, in particular, hand washing.