FLU NEWS SCAN: H5N1 in Cambodia, 2009 H1N1 in Australia

Feb 27, 2013

Statement fills in details of Cambodia's 9th H5N1 case
Cambodia's health ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO) today issued a joint statement confirming the country's latest H5N1 avian flu death, a 35-year-old man whose case was reported yesterday by media outlets. The man from Kampong Cham province started having symptoms on Feb 8, which got worse on Feb 10. Local practitioners initially treated him, but he was transferred to a provincial hospital on Feb 13 when his condition continued to deteriorate. He was diagnosed as having pneumonia and was transferred to a hospital in Phnom Penh on Feb 23, where he died 2 days later despite intensive medical care, according to the statement. Poultry deaths were reported in the man's village, and he had contact with sick birds before he became ill. So far this year Cambodia has had 9 H5N1 cases this year, 8 of which were fatal, and 30 total, 27 of which were fatal. The health ministry's rapid response teams are identifying the man's close contacts and determining if there were any epidemiologic links among the nine cases.
Feb 27 WHO statement

Two thirds of early 2009 pandemic cases in Victoria, Australia, were in school kids
Two thirds of early-pandemic cases in Victoria state, Australia—where the 2009 H1N1 (pH1N1) pandemic spread first in that country—were in school-aged children, and limited, short-term school closures appeared to have no impact, according to a study yesterday in PLoS One. Australian researchers studied records from the first 1,000 lab-confirmed pH1N1 cases reported in the state from May 20 to Jun 5, 2009. Two thirds of the patients were age 5 to 17 years old, with cases in 203 schools. One school accounted for nearly 8% of the 1,000 cases, but it was not closed until 9 days after the first identified patient had symptoms. Of all patients, 2% were hospitalized. The median time from illness onset to lab confirmation was 4 days, with only 10% of cases identified within 2 days of onset and therefore eligible for oseltamivir (Tamiflu) treatment. The authors conclude, "These scenarios and lessons learned from them need to be incorporated into revisions of pandemic plans."
Feb 26 PLoS One study

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