Monday, December 7, 2009

Cartoon: How to tell if you booked the wrong holiday flight...

Japan Today: 70% of Japanese see need to stock food if H1N1 flu spreads

About 70% of Japanese consumers believe it is necessary to stock up on food if the H1N1 flu spreads further and they are instructed to refrain from going outdoors, according to a recent government survey.

Of the 893 people who said food needs to be stocked in the poll, the largest number of respondents, or 33%, said they want about seven days’ supply, showed the findings by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Some 80-90% cited rice, canned food and wheat-based items such as instant noodles as the types of food they intend to buy if the need arises.

Japan Today: 70% of Japanese see need to stock food if H1N1 flu spreads

Friday, December 4, 2009

Montana's News Station: H1N1 e-mail scam making the rounds

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services is reporting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned the state about fraudulent e-mails referencing a CDC sponsored State Vaccination Program.

The scam asks recipients of the messages to register personal information if they received a 2009 H1N1 vaccine. But, the CDC has not implemented a state vaccination program requiring registration.

Users that click on the e-mail are at risk of having a malicious program code installed on their computer's operating system.

Montana's News Station: H1N1 scam making the rounds

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 recommended that patients with severely weakened immunesystems 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.

'Although the WHO said there was no evidence that the two clusters found in Wales and in North Carolina [U.S.] marked a wider public health threat, it reiterated calls for vigilance and modified treatment advice for the frontline flu drug,' the news service writes.

In addition to ramping up antiviral treatment, the agency advised physicians treating patients with suppressed immune systems who are not responding to Tamiflu be given the alternative antiviral, Relenza (12/2).
The WHO also announced an investigation into the Tamiflu-resistant cases of H1N1 in hospitals in Wales and the U.S. showed the virus had not spread among hospital workers and the community, the Canadian Press reports.

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WHO investigates Tamiflu resistance,
updates antiviral recommendations for H1N1 patients with severely compromised immune systems

AFP: Netherlands reports mutant swine flu death

Dutch authorities said Thursday a patient infected by a mutant strain of the swine flu virus had died, but added that this was not the cause of death.

Harald Wychgel, spokesman for the Dutch Institute for Health and the Environment, told AFP that there had been a 'minor change in the virus to make it resistant to Tamiflu,' a key treatment for influenza.

'He died not because the virus was resistant but because he was seriously ill and caught the Mexican (swine) flu,' Wychgel said.

The man, whose age had not been given, died Sunday in the northern city of Groningen, local health official Hans Coenraads said.

'We have carried out tests on the patient's associates to see if the mutation had spread but we found no such indications', he said.

Reports said that two more patients in the Netherlands had shown resistance to Tamiflu.

It is the fifth fatal case of mutated A(H1N1) flu in Europe, after two in France and two in Norway.

The World Health Organisation said last month that mutations had been observed in Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico, where the swine flu pandemic began, Ukraine, and the United States, as early as April.

Italy also reported a non-fatal case on Monday.

'The mutations appear to occur sporadically and spontaneously. To date, no links between the small number of patients infected with the mutated virus have been found and the mutation does not appear to spread,' a WHO statement said on November 20.

The WHO also underlined that there was no evidence of more infections or more deaths as a result, while the mutated virus detected up to that point remained sensitive to antiviral drugs used to treat severe flu, oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza).

Scientists fear that mutations in flu viruses could cause more virulent and deadly pandemic flu. The global health watchdog reiterated a call for close monitoring.

'Although further investigation is under way, no evidence currently suggests that these mutations are leading to an unusual increase in the number of H1N1 infections or a greater number of severe or fatal cases,' it added.

AFP: Netherlands reports mutant swine flu death

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Salt Lake Tribune - H1N1 spread continues to slow

Three more Utahns have died and 37 more have been hospitalized due to the H1N1 flu, according to the state's weekly update.

One person, between the ages of 5 and 24, died in the Weber-Morgan Health District. A woman older than 65 died in the Central Utah Health District, and a woman between the ages of 50 and 64 died in the Southwest Utah Health District. A total of 23 Utahns have died from causes related to the flu since its second wave in late August.

Nevertheless, the percentage of patients seen for influenza-like illness has dropped for the fifth straight week.

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Salt Lake Tribune - H1N1 spread continues to slow

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

CDC: Swine flu less widespread, down to 32 states

Swine flu infections seem to be dropping, but the number of children who died with the illness rose by about 30, according to a government report released Monday.

Widespread infections of swine flu were reported in 32 states as of Nov. 21, down from 43 states the week before, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said.

The CDC also said there were 27 new lab-confirmed swine flu deaths in children under 18, bringing the total to about 200 children. That’s the largest one-week tally for children since the pandemic started.

Since it was first identified in April, swine flu has sickened an estimated 22 million Americans, hospitalized about 98,000 and killed 4,000. It has proved to be similar to seasonal flu but a bigger threat to children and young adults.

The swine flu pandemic has so far hit in two waves in the United States: First in the spring, then a larger wave that started in the late summer.

In late October, 48 states reported widespread flu activity

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CDC: Swine flu less widespread in the USA, down to 32 states

AfricaNews - Swine flu causes deaths in Northern Africa - The AfricaNews articles of KingsleyKobo

The A/H1N1 influenza is currently causing havoc in northern Africa notably in Egypt, Morocco, Libya and Algeria, according to recent statements released by the health ministries of these countries.

After Algeria’s tragedy of three deaths over the weekend, Morocco announced its first swine flu victim – a 24-year-old pregnant woman from the northern city of Tangier.

She died on Sunday after contracting the H1N1 virus, the country’s health ministry said on Monday.

Eighty-three new cases of the disease were diagnosed over the weekend, bringing the total to 1,710 cases in Morocco.

Egypt reported one more death case of A/H1N1 flu on Monday, bringing the country's death toll from the virus to 21, Al-Ahram daily said.

AfricaNews - Swine flu causes deaths in Northern Africa First case of H1N1 influenza virus infection in dogs

Two dogs were reported yesterday to be infected with the H1N1 influenza virus, according to the China Daily news. The dogs were both located in Beijing, China.

While not confirmed, it is likely that the dogs became infected with the H1N1 influenza virus through contact with infected people.

Dogs are susceptible to their own form of influenza virus, called canine influenza. However, these are the first documented cases of the H1N1 virus strain infecting the canine species. The canine influenza virus is not known to be transmissible to people but can be passed easily from dog to dog. It appears that the H1N1 virus can be passed from people to dogs and likely from dogs to people as well.

Chinese health officials are trying to reassure people that their dogs are not a threat to them. They say that because the virus has been found in so many species (pigs, ferrets, cats and people), it is not surprising that that it has been found in dogs as well. First case of H1N1 influenza virus infection in dogs