Aug 11, 2009
Flu picks up in Asia with monsoon season
Novel H1N1 influenza is spreading in India, Thailand, and Vietnam with the onset of Asia's monsoon season, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today, according to Reuters. The regular flu season has started in those countries, and both H1N1 and seasonal flu are being detected, said WHO spokeswoman Aphaluck Bhatiasevi. But the spread of pandemic H1N1 appears to have peaked in parts of the southern hemisphere, including Argentina, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand.
Aug 11 Reuters article
Disease expert notes fever-free flu cases
In his clinical observation of novel flu cases in the United States and South America, Richard P. Wenzel, MD, former president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, has noted that some patients are afebrile, even some with serious infections, and lack of fever might underestimate case totals, the New York Times reported yesterday. He said diarrhea seen in a portion of patients suggests a need for stool testing to assess transmission and the role of better hand hygiene.
Aug 10 New York Times article
School nurse shortage could slow ID of sick kids
School nurses are expected to be at the frontlines of detecting and fighting novel flu when schools resume this fall, but the ratio of nurses to students in many states falls well below the levels suggested by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USA Today reported yesterday. The CDC recommends a workload of 1 nurse per 750 students, but the newspaper's analysis of census data puts the national average at 1 per 971 students.
Aug 10 USA Today story
IOM holds meeting on protective equipment for novel flu
The Institutes of Medicine's (IOM's) Board on Health Sciences Policy is convening a meeting today through Aug 13 on pandemic influenza and personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. Today's agenda includes a call to the committee, with panel discussions starting tomorrow. Topics include the science and clinical experience with novel H1N1, infection control guidelines, risk assessment in health workers, and data on the effectiveness of PPE.
IOM meeting home page