Aug 13, 2009
Canada develops business preparedness tools
Canada's health minister Leona Aglukkaq yesterday urged businesses to prepare for another novel flu surge, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. She said small- and medium-size firms lag behind larger corporations that have more resource for continuity planning. To help smaller companies prepare, the country's public health agency has contracted with two groups to develop tools to assist with such tasks as flu-related communications and staffing issues.
Aug 12 AFP story
EU issues school and travel pandemic recommendations
The European Union (EU) today issued two pandemic H1N1 policy statements, one on school closures and one on travel. The EU's health security committee said it doesn't see a need for mass preemptive school closures, but said that local closures when large numbers of staff and students are infected may help delay virus transmission. The travel advisory urges sick people to stay home but does not support restriction of individual travelers or movement of people across borders.
Aug 13 EU school closure and travel statements
WHO: pandemic H1N1 reported in 170 global sites
In an update on the novel flu pandemic yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the virus has now been confirmed in 170 countries and territories. Newly confirming first cases are Timor-Leste, Pakistan, Kirabati, Maldives, French Guiana, Falkland Islands, and Wallis and Futuna. Global deaths, as of Aug 6, rose to 1,462. Flu activity is waning in many southern hemisphere countries and is picking up in tropical regions.
Aug 12 WHO situation update 61
India urges restraint in media flu coverage
India's broadcast ministry has asked media organizations to avoid creating panic over the pandemic H1N1 virus that is quickly spreading in the country, Indo Asian News Service (IANS) reported today. The ministry, however, said it supports efforts to raise flu awareness. In other developments, Delhi province officials have ordered private hospitals with 200 or more beds to help diagnose and treat flu patients as a means of reducing burden on government facilities.
China, Singapore report Tamiflu-resistant H1N1
The WHO said yesterday that China and Singapore have found osteltamivir (Tamiflu)-resistant novel H1N1 viruses, according to a report from the Canadian Press. The story also said the WHO has informal information on a small, unspecified number of other oseltamivir-resistant viruses. The WHO has received formal notification of seven oseltamivir-resistant cases from Japan, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, and now Singapore. China has yet to file a formal report on its case.
Aug 12 Canadian Press report
Seven novel flu cases found in Peruvian tribe
Seven members of the native Amazonian Matsigenka tribe tested positive for pandemic H1N1 and have recovered, Peruvian health officials said yesterday, according to Reuters. But because the tribe lives near a reserve set aside for tribes that have limited contact with modern society, human rights groups fear the virus could spread to the more isolated native people who lack immunity to the disease.
Aug 12 Reuters story