21 February 2008

A SICKO roadmap

A detailed map highlighting the world's hotspots for emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) has been released.
Researchers from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), and the US-based University of Georgia and Columbia University's Earth Institute analysed 335 emerging diseases from 1940 to 2004.

They then used computer models to see if the outbreaks correlated with human population density or changes, latitude, rainfall or wildlife biodiversity.

Finally, the data was plotted on to maps to reveal the "hotspots" around the globe.

RELATED: A shot in the dark?
-- WASHINGTON -- Next year's flu vaccine is getting a complete overhaul to provide protection against three new and different influenza strains -- hopefully better protection than this year's version.

It's a highly unusual move: Seldom are more than one or two strains swapped out from one year to the next.

Now the question is whether vaccine manufacturers can make such a big change in time to produce more than 100 million doses by the fall.