World pandemic flu cases top 77,000
The world's number of pandemic flu cases rose to 77,201 today, including 332 deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported. Today's numbers represent 6,308 more cases and 21 more deaths than the last report on Jun 29. Countries included for the first time are the French overseas territory of New Caledonia, Kenya, Mauritius, Myanmar, and Saint Lucia. About a third of the new cases are from the United Kingdom. South American countries and Thailand also reported large increases.
[WHO update 56]
Argentina capital declares flu health emergency
Health officials in Argentina's Buenos Aires city and province yesterday, amid quickly rising numbers of pandemic flu cases, declared a health emergency, extending school vacations and giving the mayor the power to suspend sports and other entertainment gatherings, the Associated Press reported today. Public places remain open. Buenos Aires is the fifth province to declare a health emergency. Argentina has South America's highest number of pandemic flu cases, with 1,587, including 26 deaths.
Roche unveils Tamiflu discount program for poor nations
Roche, the maker of Tamiflu (oseltamivir), today launched a program to help developing countries buy the drug at a discount for their national stockpiles. The company will produce and store the drug at a significantly reduced price, with the cost spread over the drug's shelf life. Roche will ship the supplies whenever the country requests them. The price will depend on the length of storage time that the country requests. An international health group will likely coordinate the orders.
[Jul 1 Roche press release]
Bosnia, Guam report first novel flu cases
Bosnia's health ministry today announced the nation's first pandemic flu case, a 24-year-old woman who recently arrived from a South American country, the AP reported. She is recovering in isolation at the home of relatives. Meanwhile, the US territory of Guam confirmed its first pandemic flu case today, a woman in her 40s who just returned from Texas, KUAM, Guam's broadcast network, reported.
[Jul 1 AP story]
San Francisco doctor reports serious flu infections in pregnant women
NOTE: This item originally cited "San Francisco officials" as a source, but there has been no official confirmation of these cases nor any evidence they are related to each other.
A San Francisco doctor reported five cases of novel H1N1 infections in pregnant women in the city, according to KPIX, a northern California television station, in a story that referred to the cases as a "cluster." All five remain hospitalized, two of them in intensive care, all in their third trimester.