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New Cases of H1N1 Worldwide Up 24,000 In Two Weeks

The number of H1N1 (swine flu) cases reported in WHO regions worldwide has grown by at least 24,000 in two weeks to cross the 340,000 mark since the virus was first detected in mid-April, the CDC reported Monday, according to Agence France-Presse.

The agency also said there have been 191 deaths since September 20 — “a marked slow-down from last month, when the WHO reported nearly 500 additional deaths from swine flu in the space of a week” – to bring the total deaths from H1N1 to more than 4,100.

The increase in the number of new cases was “only the tip of the A(H1N1) pandemic iceberg,” the news service reports. “Many countries focus surveillance and laboratory testing only on people with severe illness,” according to the CDC (10/5).

The Herald examines the limited capacity of clinics in Zimbabwe to test patients for H1N1. According to the WHO, Zimbabwe will need $12 million in order to effectively fight the virus (Chipunza, 10/5).

Meanwhile, Cuban health officials on Monday requested the WHO and PAHO assist the country in accessing the H1N1 vaccine, AFP reports in a second story. “The new vaccine against the A(H1N1) virus, which has begun being administered in more developed countries, is highly effective, but also very expensive,” Health Minister Luis Estruch said (10/5).