FLU NEWS SCAN: US flu activity picks up, WHO changes reporting of H5N1 cases

Nov 21, 2012

CDC reports jump in flu activity
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that flu activity increased last week, with the first state—Mississippi—reporting widespread geographic activity, according to an update today. It said states in the south central and southeastern areas are seeing elevated flu activity levels, and it urged people who haven't already been immunized against flu to be vaccinated now. The number of respiratory specimens that tested positive for flu rose to 13.2% from 7.5% the previous week. Meanwhile, the percentage of doctor visits for flulike illness rose slightly, from 1.2% to 1.6%, and the percentage of deaths from pneumonia and flu rose slightly but was still below the epidemic threshold at 6.6%. One pediatric flu death was reported, attributed to an H3 virus and raising the season's total to two. Six states (Alabama, Colorado, Maine, Mississippi, New York and Ohio) reported regional geographic spread, an increase from four reported the previous week.
Nov 21 CDC flu update
Nov 21 CDC flu situation update

WHO announces new reporting plan for human H5N1 cases
The World Health Organization (WHO) is changing the way it reports human cases of H5N1 avian influenza, the agency announced today. Cases will be included in a monthly report titled Influenza at Human-Animal Interface—Monthly Risk Assessment Summary. Cases will not be reported in WHO's Disease Outbreak News, as they previously were, unless they are unusual or associated with potential increased risks. The requirement of WHO's member states to report human H5N1 cases continues unchanged, the agency said.
WHO notice

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