H1N1 NEWS SCAN: Low global & US levels, effects on pregnant women

Apr 23, 2010

Worldwide H1N1 activity remains low
Pandemic H1N1 remains at low levels in temperate regions of the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) today, with the most active areas in parts of west and central Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central America. Seasonal influenza B has become the predominant circulating flu virus across East Asia, central Africa, and northern and eastern Europe. Seasonal H3N2 is still being detected in south Asia, Indonesia, and several countries of west Africa, and eastern Europe.
Apr 23 WHO update

Most key US flu indicators decline
In its weekly update, the CDC reports that most key US flu indicators declined slightly from the previous week and overall flu activity is low. Doctor visits and hospitalizations for H1N1 are at low levels, and no pediatric deaths were reported for the week ending Apr 17. The proportion of deaths for pneumonia and influenza was up slightly, but not higher than expected. For the first time since the week ending Dec 13, 2008, no states are reporting widespread or regional flu activity.
Apr 23 CDC report

H1N1 can lead to respiratory failure in pregnant women
A report in Obstetrics & Gynecology describes three H1N1-infected pregnant women, two of whom had no underlying conditions, who experienced acute respiratory failure but delivered healthy babies—twins for one woman and triplets for another. None of the patients tested positive for pandemic flu initially, but early oseltamivir was administered because of their clinical presentation. All required respiratory support and were discharged in good condition 12 to 77 days after hospitalization.
May Obstet Gynecol report

H1N1 far deadlier than seasonal flu in pregnancy
Another Obstetrics & Gynecology study determined that novel H1N1 causes far more deaths than seasonal flu in pregnant women. Researchers found that, between 1998 and 2005, 78 pregnant women died from influenza or pneumonia, according to CDC data, and 40 of these deaths occurred during flu season, for a rate of 5 flu-related deaths per year. This compares with 28 lab-confirmed H1N1 deaths in pregnant women for the first 4 months of the pandemic alone.
May Obstet Gynecol study

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