Each week The Pulse showcases topical stories from around the world and from laboratories working on new cures, vaccines and treatments.

Japanese Encephalitis

Japanese Encephalitis is spread by insects,
birds and pigs
Japanese Encephalitis is spreading fast. It kills one in three of its victims and physically and mentally disables another third. 

A decade ago it was almost unheard of – now it is spreading fear as epidemics occur across Asia, killing thousands of people. It is spread by insects, birds and pigs – which make control very difficult. 

Treatment is even harder as there is no affordable and efficacious drug. Now a new vaccine from China is saving the lives of thousands of children in Asia. It is the first vaccine manufactured in a developing country for the developing world.

Abdullah Daar of Toronto University talks to us from the studio about new developments in Asia.

Avian Flu

The Pulse then looks at Avian Flu. It has taken a long time to arrive and infected birds have been found throughout Asia and even in northern and central Europe.

But is this the pandemic that never happened or a modern global health nightmare whose time has just not arrived yet?

Watch part one of this episode of The Pulse on Youtube

Watch part two of this episode of The Pulse on Youtube

Episode 10 of The Pulse aired from Monday, December 31, 2007

To leave a comment click on 'Send your feedback' at the top of the page

Watch Al Jazeera English programmes on YouTube

Join our debates on the Your Views page