U.S. health officials on Thursday announced nearly 10,000 people in the U.S. had died from H1N1 (swine flu) since the virus was first reported in April, the New York Times reports. The latest numbers mark a “significant jump” from CDC’s estimate last month of 4,000 deaths in the U.S., the newspaper writes (McNeil, 12/10).
Pneumonia & Flu
Flu Vaccine Shortages In Developing Countries Could Destabilize Global Security, Says Former WHO Deputy Head
“Flu vaccine shortages in developing nations may destabilize global security should the H1N1 [swine flu] virus become more deadly â€¦ David Heymann, a former deputy head of the World Health Organization” said Monday, Bloomberg reports.
The German government is looking to sell over 2 million leftover doses of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine, the country’s health minister said Monday, Agence France-Presse reports. “A health ministry senior official in the state of Thuringia, Hartmut Schubert, said that the vaccines could even be donated and that there had been requests from Afghanistan and Eastern European countries including Ukraine,” the news service adds (12/7).
Two women have become the first to die from H1N1 (swine flu) in Gaza, health officials said Monday, Agence France-Presse/Inquirer.net reports.
Though there are signs the H1N1 (swine flu) has peaked in the U.S. and Canada, a WHO flu expert said Thursday it is too early to declare the pandemic over, Canadian Press reports. “‘In the Northern Hemisphere, we continue to see an up and down pattern by countries. And so what you see in one country is not necessarily what you are seeing in another country,’ Keiji Fukuda, special adviser to WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on pandemic influenza, said in a teleconference briefing,” the news service writes.
WHO Investigates Tamiflu Resistance, Updates Antiviral Recommendations For H1N1 Patients With Severely Compromised Immune Systems
Following recent reports of clusters of Tamiflu resistance, the WHO on Wednesday recommended that patients with severely weakened immune systems who become infected with the H1N1 (swine flu) virus receive additional antiviral treatment as needed throughout the duration of their illness, Agence France-Presse reports.
The number of H1N1 (swine flu) cases in the U.S. appears to be decreasing, the CDC said Tuesday, CQ HealthBeat reports. “Flu was widespread in 32 states by the end of the week of Nov. 21, a decrease from 43 states in the prior week and 46 states earlier this fall, according to the CDC,” the news service writes.
The WHO is looking into reports that patients with “severely suppressed immune systems” in Britain and the U.S. developed resistance Tamiflu, which is used to treat the symptoms of H1N1 (swine flu), a spokesman for the organization said Tuesday, Reuters reports.
Representatives of African countries are meeting in Abuja this week to discuss the procurement and distribution of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine, the Daily Trust/allAfrica.com reports (Rabiu, 11/23).
The H1N1 (swine flu) virus appears to be spreading eastward across Europe and Asia, after appearing to have leveled off in the U.S. and some western European countries, the WHO said Friday, Reuters reports.