Pandemic officially a year old
Today marks the passage of a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic of H1N1 influenza. WHO Director Margaret Chan declared phase 6 on Jun 11, 2009, about 7 weeks after the virus had surfaced. The WHO hesitated to take the step because of concern that it would cause undue alarm, given that H5N1 avian flu had led the public to associate "pandemic" with high death rates. Although H1N1 activity is now low in most of the world, the WHO has maintained the phase 6 alert.
Jun 11, 2009, pandemic declaration
Limited global pandemic cases continue
This week's flu surveillance report from the WHO indicates active but declining H1N1 flu transmission in limited tropical areas—specifically Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Cuba. As the Southern Hemisphere enters its winter season, early H1N1 activity has been noted in Chile and Uruguay, plus increasing but low levels of seasonal H3N2 and influenza B over South America and H3N2 in East Africa.
Jun 11 WHO update
Seroconversion with oseltamivir prophylaxis
Postexposure prophylaxis an effective way to mitigate pandemic flu outbreaks, says a study published today. The authors tested 237 military members in Singapore during and after oseltamivir prophylaxis. Infection occurred in 27 (11.4%), including 11 index cases and 16 people with a four-fold or more rise in antibody titers during treatment; 8 of these had symptoms and 8 did not. The authors say asymptomatic infections that occur during prophylaxis may confer protection against future infection.
Jun 10 BMC Infectious Disease report