Intended for healthcare professionals


In brief

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 29 September 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:714

US doctors' group backs down: The American Academy of Family Physicians has announced that it will allow the activist group No Free Lunch to rent an exhibit booth at its annual convention in San Francisco later this month. The academy was criticised after it denied space to the group while allowing the fast food company McDonald's and drug companies to exhibit (BMJ 2005;331: 653, 24 Sep).

Avian flu outbreak kills six: The H5N1 avian flu in Indonesia has killed six people since the first death in July. A further 20 people who show symptoms of the disease are under observation. All cases are linked to infected birds. The World Health Organization is helping the Indonesian authorities to stockpile the antiviral drug oseltamivir as protection against a mass outbreak.

E coli breaks out in Wales: At least 117 people, mostly children, have been affected by an outbreak of Escherichia coli O157 in south Wales. The Food Standards Agency Wales has issued a food alert for action over the outbreak, which has led to 25 people receiving hospital treatment. A meat supplier linked to the outbreak is withdrawing its whole range of cooked meats.

MMR vaccine uptake in England rises slightly: The percentage of children aged 2 years in England who had received the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine rose from 80% in 2003-4 to 81% in 2004-5, Department of Health figures show. It is the first year on year increase since 1995-6. See

Mbeki attacked over AIDS policy: Speaking at the congress of the Treatment Action Campaign (South Africa's HIV and AIDS pressure group) the trade union leader Zwelinzima Vavi accused President Thabo Mbeki and the health ministry of a “failure of leadership” for the lack of adequate treatment for people with HIV and AIDS. (See

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