Recent news from WHO
- WHO and other UN partners said it was too early to recommend male circumcision services as part of HIV prevention programmes. They were responding to unpublished findings of clinical trials in South Africa presented on 26 July at the 3rd International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Results of the trials suggested that male circumcision could reduce HIV infection.
- WHO emergency teams were still receiving reports of possible cases of Marburg haemorrhagic fever and investigating these, WHO said on 28 July. Clinical specimens from possible Marburg cases were being shipped to the Special Pathogens Program, Public Health Agency of Canada, for testing. By the end of July, Angola's health ministry reported a total of 368 cases and 323 deaths from Marburg fever.
- The Indonesian Ministry of Health has been monitoring more than 300 people who came into contact with the country's first laboratory-confirmed H5N1-positive human case of avian influenza, WHO said on 29 July. The man in question died on 7 July.
- The Chinese Ministry of Health reported on 1 August an outbreak of a mystery illness on 22 July in China's Sichuan Province, WHO said. The Ministry reported 181 possible cases and 34 deaths that may have been caused by infection with the Streptococcus suis bacteria from pigs. Sporadic cases of human S. suis infection are known to occur worldwide, usually through occupational contact with pigs.
- WHO's Regional Office for South-East Asia convened an informal consultation on avian influenza on 12 August in Bangkok, Thailand. Representatives from Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam reviewed the pandemic avian influenza threat and the availability and use of antiviral drugs and vaccines.
- WHO said on 2 August it had been helping Niger's Ministry of Health respond to the famine in the African country. A 12-member emergency task force is being assembled for deployment to Niger to support the WHO country offi ce. According to the latest available fi gures, an outbreak of cholera has affected 61 people and killed 10 in the district of Bouza.
- WHO is seeking broad consultation on next year's World Health Report on human resources for health via the internet and email. A draft outline will be posted on the internet by the end of October. WHO is encouraging schools for health professions to national, international donors and the general public to give their feedback. The report, subtitled "working for health", will be launched on World Health Day, 7 April 2006.
For more about these and other WHO news items please see: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/events/2005/en/index.html