H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: US case count; newly affected countries; UK, Argentina situations; flu summit next week; more antiviral resistance

Jul 2, 2009

US cases rise to almost 34,000
The United States' number of pandemic flu cases climbed to 33,902, with 170 deaths, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today. The new totals reflect 6,185 more cases and 43 more deaths than last week. In its new surveillance report today for the week ending Jun 27, the CDC said flu activity decreased but is still higher than normal for this time of year. The New York/New Jersey area is still reporting elevated activity, as is the Pacific Northwest.
[Current CDC numbers]

Malta, Uganda report first novel flu cases
Authorities in Malta today confirmed the country's first two pandemic flu cases, two 26-year-old men who had recently traveled with a group to Spain, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported. Others from the group also have flu symptoms. Before today's confirmation, Malta was the only European Union country that had not reported a novel flu case. Elsewhere, Uganda today reported its first case, a 40-year-old British man who had recently arrived from Kenya, Xinhua, China's state news agency, reported.
[Jul 2 DPA article]

Paraguay, China report first pandemic flu deaths
Paraguay's health ministry today reported the nation's first novel flu death, a man in his 60s, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. No details were available about any preexisting conditions. Meanwhile, China's state media said a woman who was hospitalized with a novel H1N1 infection was found dead yesterday in a hospital bathroom, according to the Associated Press. She was reportedly recovering and her death is under investigation.
[Jul 2 AFP story]

UK moves away from flu containment measures
The United Kingdom is moving from a novel flu containment strategy to focus more of its resources on more vulnerable patients, AFP reported yesterday. Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the change yesterday, noting that case numbers spiked by 2,000 over the past week and that a "more flexible and local approach" will be used in hard-hit areas. Media reports say hot spots include London, the West Midlands, and Glasgow.
[Jul 1 AFP story]

Argentina authorities criticize government's flu response
Some health officials in Argentina are criticizing the government for rejecting calls to postpone the nation's recent election, a move they say could have avoided the virus's spread at crowded polling places and focused the public's attention on pandemic issues, the New York Times reported yesterday. The officials said the health minister who just resigned was among those who recommended postponing the election. Increased flu cases prompted an emergency declaration in Buenos Aires.
[Jul 1 New York Times article]

Obama convenes flu summit for next week
President Obama has called a "flu summit" on Jul 9 to discuss the nation's pandemic flu preparedness plans for the fall, CNN reported yesterday. The meeting will be held at the National Institutes of Health and be led by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. On Jul 30 Obama met with federal officials who helped manage the 1976 influenza outbreak to discuss lessons learned from their experience.
[Jul 1 CNN story]

US to supply Tamiflu to Latin America, Caribbean
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that the country will supply 420,000 treatment courses of oseltamavir (Tamiflu) to the Pan-American Health Organization to fight novel H1N1 flu in Latin America and Caribbean countries. She announced the effort while attending a series of meetings in Cancun, Mexico, for health ministers throughout the Americas.
[Jul 2 HHS statement]

Japan reports its first antiviral resistant novel flu case
Japan's health ministry today confirmed the country's first instance of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) resistance in a novel flu virus, Reuters reported. The patient, from Osaka prefecture, was sick with the new H1N1 virus in mid May and has since recovered. A health ministry spokesman said the patient's sensitivity to the drug has not been tested yet. Danish officials reported the world's first oseltamivir-resistant novel flu case Jun 29.
[Jul 2 Reuters article]

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