H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: World count passes 94,000, more antiviral resistance, $1B needed for poor nations, public behavior and novel flu

Jul 6, 2009

Global novel flu total passes 94,000
The world's pandemic flu total reached 94,512 cases, 429 of them fatal, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today. The number is 4,591 more cases and 47 more deaths than the last report on Jul 3. Countries reporting their first cases include Cook Island, Croatia, the French overseas territories Guadaloupe and St Martin, Guyana, Libya, and Macedonia. Countries reporting the highest numbers of new cases are Argentina (898), Australia (730), and Thailand (662).
[WHO update 58]

Hong Kong finds antiviral-resistant novel flu strain
Public health officials in Hong Kong said they have detected their first oseltamivir (Tamiflu)-resistant novel H1N1 strain, which was isolated from a 16-year-old girl after she arrived from San Francisco, the health ministry said in a Jul 3 press release. Similar cases were recently reported in Denmark and Japan. The girl was isolated and treated at a hospital where she refused antiviral treatment. She was released on Jun 18. The sample was sensitive to zanamivir (Relenza).
[Jul 3 Hong Kong Department of Health statement]

UN director: $1 billion needed to help poor nations fight flu
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon today estimated that $1 billion is needed by the end of the year to help developing countries respond to pandemic influenza, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Speaking at a press conference in Geneva after a donor's conference, Moon said funding isn't coming in as expected. Margaret Chan, the WHO's director-general, said donor assistance is needed to help 49 developing countries stockpile antivirals and other drugs.

Study: Credible flu info linked to behavior changes
A British survey on the public's perceptions and behavior changes related to the novel flu outbreak revealed that just over a third had followed any advice to reduce their risk, the British Medical Journal reported on Jul 2. The survey of 997 adults showed that changes were associated with beliefs that the outbreak is severe, that good information is available, and that people can control their risk. Belief that outbreak reports are exaggerated was linked to less behavior change.

Traveler is Syria's first novel H1N1 case
Syria's health ministry confirmed the country's first novel flu case, a Syrian woman living in Australia who had flown back for a visit, the AP reported on Jul 4. The woman's family was tested, and all of the passengers on her flight were slated for testing. The woman had flown through Dubai on her way to Syria.

Three countries report first pandemic flu deaths
Peru, New Zealand, and El Salvador recently reported their first pandemic flu deaths, according to several media reports. Peru's fatalities include a 38-year-old woman and a 4-year-old girl, both of whom had underlying conditions and died last week, the AP reported yesterday. New Zealand reported three deaths: two men, ages 19 and 42, and a young girl. One of the men and the girl had underlying conditions. El Salvador's fatal case was a 9-year-old boy who died in the country's capital.

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