Navigation Links
WHO Declaration of Swine Flu Pandemic Looks Imminent
Date:6/9/2009

H1N1's swift spread in Australia may meet criteria for full alert, agency says

TUESDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- A surge in cases of H1N1 swine flu in Australia may tip the balance and cause the World Health Organization to soon declare the first flu pandemic since 1968, agency officials said Tuesday.

Cases in Australia rose by more than 1,000 on Monday, with most occurring in the southern state of Victoria. Rapid spread of the virus in a region beyond North America has been considered a key factor in labeling the outbreak a pandemic.

"We are getting really very close to knowing that we are in a pandemic situation," WHO influenza chief Keiji Fukuda said in Geneva.

He said the agency was concerned about the possible "adverse effects" of moving the alert from its current status of phase 5 to the highest level, phase 6, indicating a full pandemic, the Associated Press reported. Fukuda cited concerns over possible panic among the public or inappropriate steps taken by governments.

However, "on the surface of it, I think we are in phase 6," said Margaret Chan, the WHO's director-general. According to Chan, it is crucial to verify that H1N1 has become established beyond North America before a pandemic is declared.

She said WHO was planning a conference call Wednesday with governments to verify various reports. "Once I get indisputable evidence, I will make the announcement," she said.

According to the latest WHO data, there are now 25,288 reported cases of swine flu infection across 73 countries, including 139 deaths. That includes 13,217 cases and 27 deaths reported as of last Friday in the United States by officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While the vast majority of infections and deaths have occurred in Mexico (the source of the outbreak) and the United States, person-to-person transmission in now being reported in Australia and Chile, as well as Great Britain, Spain and Japan, according to published reports.

But Fukuda also expressed concern Tuesday about reports of unusually large numbers of severe cases among Canada's Inuit population, according to AP.

The vast majority of swine flu cases globally have remained mild, but some of the deaths have occurred in otherwise healthy people, the WHO noted. "Approximately half the people who have died from this H1N1 infection have previously been healthy people," Fukuda said. He called that "one of the observations which has given us the most concern."

Since the outbreak started in April, health officials in the United States have also said that infections have been mild for the most part, and most patients recover fairly quickly. Testing has found that the H1N1 virus remains susceptible to two common antiviral drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza.

During the next few months, CDC scientists will be looking to see if the swine flu virus mutates or becomes resistant to antiviral medications, or is more easily spread among people.

U.S. health officials have said there's no way to tell now if the H1N1 virus will be more virulent when -- and if -- it returns to the Northern Hemisphere with the approach of winter.

A vaccine for the swine flu virus could be ready by October, if research and testing proceed on pace this summer. Candidate viruses have been shipped to vaccine manufacturers, agency officials said.

It's still not clear whether such a vaccine is needed. Any decision to move forward would be based on several factors, including the severity and spread of the virus and whether there's a safe and effective vaccine, the CDC has said.

U.S. Human Cases of H1N1 Flu Infection
(As of June 5, 2009, 11:00 AM ET)
States and Territories* # of
confirmed and
probable cases
Deaths
Alabama
94
 
Alaska
3
 
Arkansas
9
 
Arizona
547
4 deaths
California
973
 
Colorado
75
 
Connecticut
395
1 death
Delaware
142
 
Florida
247
 
Georgia
33
 
Hawaii
115
 
Idaho
16
 
Illinois
1357
5
Indiana
173
 
Iowa
92
 
Kansas
92
 
Kentucky
96
 
Louisiana
134
 
Maine
17
 
Maryland
89
 
Massachusetts
787
 
Michigan
298
1 death
Minnesota
82
 
Mississippi
40
 
Missouri
46
1 death
Montana
15
 
Nebraska
60
 
Nevada
128
 
New Hampshire
64
 
New Jersey
148
 
New Mexico
108
 
New York
858
8 deaths
North Carolina
30
 
North Dakota
23
 
Ohio
35
 
Oklahoma
93
 
Oregon
167
 
Pennsylvania
299
 
Rhode Island
18
 
South Carolina
60
 
South Dakota
10
 
Tennessee
104
 
Texas
1670
3 deaths
Utah
461
2 deaths
Vermont
9
 
Virginia
55
1 death
Washington
577
1 death
Washington, D.C.
24
 
West Virginia
6
 
Wisconsin
2217
 
Wyoming
25
 
Territories
Puerto Rico
1 case
 
TOTAL*(52)
13,217 cases
27 deaths
*includes the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

More information

For more on swine flu, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



SOURCES: Associated Press; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  


Related medicine news :

1. WHO Declaration of Swine Flu Pandemic Appears Imminent
2. National Advisory Board Issues Declaration for Independence: A Call-to-Action in Healthcare for Seniors and People with Disabilities
3. World Cancer Declaration sets ambitious targets for 2020
4. MedQuist Announces Declaration of $2.75 per share Dividend on Common Stock
5. Commentary in The Lancet on the Declaration of Istanbul Sees Organ Transplantation Worldwide Threatened by Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism and Commercialism
6. Telecommunications Carriers Respond To Congress Declaration of April as National 9-1-1 Education Month
7. New accurate diagnostic test for swine H1N1 influenza using RT-PCR technology
8. CEL-SCI Expands Testing of Its Vaccine to Determine Efficacy Against More Virulent Strain of H1N1 Swine and Other Influenza Viruses
9. Global Testing Shows No Variation in Swine Flu Virus
10. Report Gives U.S. Good Grades for Swine Flu Response
11. WHO Close to Declaring Swine Flu Pandemic
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
WHO Declaration of Swine Flu Pandemic Looks Imminent
(Date:2/11/2016)... , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... for nominations seeking candidates for the Board of Commissioners. Individuals interested in volunteer ... and experience with diversity of clinical practice settings and across allied health to ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... Greenfield Insurance Group in Orange ... assist the people of their local community. The agency pledges to select a ... Their hope is to bring awareness to important local causes with fundraising and ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... 11, 2016 , ... Duterte Insurance Group, serving the families ... new charity campaign to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities. On behalf ... . , Ronald McDonald House (RMH) is an internationally renowned nonprofit organization which ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... Be Well Medical Group (Be ... of Old Town at 108 South Columbus St, Suite 201, Alexandria, VA. Be Well ... medical care in the convenience of their homes, offices or at the practices’ local ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... CO. (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... people have become more actively engaged in health and wellness best practices in ... importance of riding this trend. February is American Heart Month, which acts as ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... -- AfterPill.com is reporting that this week,s Centers for Disease ... who are at risk of unintended pregnancy impacts 43 ... the risks of unprotected sex in particular.  ... the Guttmacher Institute, there are 43 million women in ... have sex without the intention of becoming pregnant.  Despite ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016  Proliant Biologicals is proud to announce ... (BSA) manufacturing facility.  The facility is located on the ... in Feilding. Boone , Iowa.  ... duplicate the systems in the U.S. facility, with critical ... U.S. installations.  --> Boone ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016 Brain Cancer ... treatment method at West Cancer Center . ... fields to inhibit cancer cell replication causing death of ... than a decade to show a significant extension in ... (GBM) patients. Currently, West Cancer Center is the only ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: