1 May 2009
CABI today has announced free access to its specialist Global Health database, the definitive database for public health information, to assist in the battle against swine flu - www.cabdirect.org/globalhealth
Simultaneously CABI has developed a 'swine flu dashboard' that brings together up-to-the-minute information on the virus (http://www.netvibes.com/cabialerts). The 'dashboard' includes resources from CABI and critical advice from key health organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
"Our mission is to help people worldwide through the provision of scientific knowledge," said Dr Trevor Nicholls, CEO of CABI. "Today we are offering our most applicable resource, over the coming weeks, to help health professionals and others working on the front line."
In a fast changing sequence of events that has led to the rapid escalation of concern from WHO, and the reaction of national governments in considering their response to a possible influenza pandemic, release of the database is designed to give urgently needed support to those who need it most: scientists, medical professionals and health authorities investigating the causes and treatments of the disease and linkages to past outbreaks.
Influenza researchers urgently need to be able to refer back to previous scientific work in this area to understand the behaviour of previous strains of the virus and to research effective mechanisms for handling earlier outbreaks.
The Global Health database brings together global knowledge on every aspect of influenza since 1910. The knowledge it contains could provide a key weapon in health researchers' response in understanding and controlling the virus.
Much of the data in Global Health is derived from publications that have long since vanished. They tell us a great deal about past pandemics, from rates and patterns of transmission, duration, timing of epidemiological peaks, geographical distribution of the disease, government preparedness and quarantine provisions through to effects on different age and social groups, severity in developing versus developed countries, symptoms, causes of mortality (secondary problems, especially pneumonia, were devastating in the Spanish flu) and mortality rates.
By opening the door to a wealth of historical information on past pandemics, the Global Health database has the potential to reveal vital clues in the international fight against swine flu (influenza A – H1N1).
CABI Swine Flu Dashboard - http://www.netvibes.com/cabialerts
Global Health database - http://www.cabdirect.org/globalhealth
Media contact: Sarah Wilson, PR and Corporate Communications Manager, tel: +44 (0) 1491 829 361, mob: +44 (0) 7516 928 845, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CABI is a not-for-profit science-based development and information organization. Its mission and direction are influenced by member countries that help guide the activities undertaken. These include publishing; development projects and research; and microbial services. CABI produces key scientific information, including CAB Abstracts – the world-renowned bibliographic database covering agriculture and the environment. CABI also publishes multimedia compendia, books, e-books and full text internet resources aiming to further science and its application to real life. Our expertise includes animal and veterinary sciences, entomology, plant sciences, environmental sciences, human health, parasitology, mycology, crop protection, rural economics, rural development and leisure and tourism. For more information go to www.cabi.org
About Global Health
The Global Health database is published by CABI which has recorded public health and veterinary research since 1910. Global Health is the only specialist bibliographic abstracting and indexing database dedicated to public health research and practice. With more than two million records, Global Health is the definitive international public health database for academics, researchers, NGOs, policy makers, clinicians, healthcare professionals and students. The database covers all pathogens relevant to human health, including swine flu.