Global H1N1 flu count closes in on 30,000
The global number of novel H1N1 cases grew by 895 yesterday, reaching 29,669 from 74 countries, including 145 deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today. Much of the increase was from new cases reported by Canada (532), Spain (131), Argentina (87), and Japan (31). No new countries appeared on the list, though media reports said today that Morocco has reported its first case, in a woman who had studied in Canada.
[WHO update 48]
US novel H1N1 cases near 18,000
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today that the nation's count of novel flu cases has grown to 17,855, an increase of 4,638 from its last report on Jun 5. Deaths reported to the CDC over the past week rose by 18 to reach 45. Wisconsin, Texas, and Illinois have the most cases, while New York has reported the most fatalities (13).
[Current CDC numbers]
Novartis, CSL report vaccine progress
Novartis announced today that it has produced its first batch of novel H1N1 vaccine for testing. The company said it completed the batch weeks ahead of schedule by using cell-culture technology. Its production facility is in Germany, with another under construction in North Carolina. Meanwhile, CSL, an Australian company, said yesterday it would have its first vaccine batches ready in mid August, using a seed strain it developed for an egg-based vaccine, Bloomberg News reported.
[Jun 12 Novartis press release]
Cases mount in northern Canada
H1N1 cases in northern Canada's Nunavut territory increased by 47 to a total of 143 yesterday, according to CBC News. Significant outbreaks were reported in several communities in the western and central parts of the territory, but most of the patients have recovered or are recovering, the story said. Earlier this week the World Health Organization voiced concern about a disproportionate number of severe H1N1 cases in some groups of indigenous Canadian people, particularly in northern Manitoba.
[Jun 11 CBC News report]
Australia holds steady on alert levels following WHO move
Australian Health Minister Nicola Roxon said Australia would not raise its pandemic alert levels in response to the WHO's pandemic declaration yesterday, according to the Australian Associated Press (AAP). Most of the country is at the "contain" stage, but Victoria, which has 1,011 of the country's 1,336 cases, is at the "sustain" level, the story said. Roxon said the authorities would continue to try to delay community spread in areas that still have few cases.
[Jun 12 AAP report]
Incoming air travelers quarantined in Cairo
A dozen arriving airline passengers in Cairo were quarantined after two 9-year-olds were found to be feverish, according to the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA). One of the children arrived in Egypt from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and the other arrived from Dubai. Authorities quarantined the two children and their families, said the airport's quarantine director, Dr. Hasan Shaban. Meanwhile, classes at American University in Cairo, suspended this week after H1N1 cases were found, will resume next week.
[Jun 12 KUNA report]