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Health Officials Gather In South Africa To Discuss H1N1 In Africa

On Tuesday, South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi cautioned that Africa might be hit harder by H1N1 (swine) flu than other parts of the world, the Associated Press reports (8/11). According to SAPA/iol.co.za, health officials from nearly all African countries gathered outside Johannesburg to discuss preparedness and prevention of H1N1 (8/11). The meeting was called by the WHO “to discuss the pandemic and its effect on Africa,” The Times reports (8/11).

“It is well known that this continent has always been worst affected by any outbreak of a communicable disease – whether it is HIV, tuberculosis, malaria or one of the haemorragic fevers,” Motsoaledi said during the three-day conference, according to BuaNews. “What is of advantage for us is that we can learn from the experiences of others,” he said (8/11).

Costa Rican President Tests Positive For H1N1

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias tested positive for the H1N1 (swine) flu Tuesday, “making him the first head of state known to have contracted swine flu,” Reuters/Washington Post reports. Though the president issued a statement from home Tuesday saying he anticipates a return to work Monday, the news service notes “Arias suffers from asthma.” Reuters/Washington Post writes: “While the vast majority of swine flu cases have not been serious, infected people who have other medical conditions are most susceptible to complications” (McPhaul, 8/11).

H1N1 Death Toll In Brazil Continues To Climb

Health Minister Jose Temporao announced Tuesday that the number of Brazilians who have died as a result of H1N1 flu has reached 192 – roughly “double the figure given by the health ministry last Wednesday,” Agence France-Presse reports. If confirmed by the WHO, “the new toll would mean Brazil — population 190 million — has overtaken Mexico to become the country with the third largest number of fatalities from the A(H1N1) virus, after the United States and Argentina,” the news service reports (8/11).

ABC News Explores Adjuvants In H1N1 Vaccine

ABC News examines the pending decision over whether or not adjuvants will be used to extend H1N1 vaccine supply. “[W]hile Americans may not face a shortage, [David] Fedson [former medical director for the pharmaceutical company Aventis Pasteur] said that not using adjuvants is a problem from an international perspective, although it makes getting the vaccine approved in the United States easier” (Stein, 8/11).

Editorial By Members of Obama’s Cabinet Addresses U.S. Preparedness For H1N1’s Fall Return

In an editorial appearing on Yahoo! News, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan write about U.S. plans to deal H1N1 in the fall (8/11).