FLU NEWS SCAN: H5N1 case in Cambodia, 2009 H1N1 preparedness

Apr 3, 2013

Cambodia reports 10th H5N1 case this year
Hospital officials have confirmed that a 6-year-old boy from Kampot province has H5N1 avian flu and is in serious condition, according to Xinhua, China's state news agency. "The boy was admitted to the Kantha Bopha Hospital in Phnom Penh on Mar 31 for severe pneumonia, and he tested positive for H5N1 at the Institut Pasteur on Tuesday," said Dr. Denis Laurent, deputy director of the hospital. The boy's illness is the country's 10th case of H5N1 flu this year, 8 of which have been fatal. Since 2005 the World Health Organization has confirmed 30 other H5N1 cases in Cambodia, 27 of which were fatal. Globally more than 600 cases have been confirmed.
Apr 3 Xinhua article

Preparedness efforts paid off early in 2009 H1N1 pandemic, study says
Significant US and global investment over the past decade into disease surveillance and notification systems appears to have made a difference at the start of the 2009 H1N1 (pH1N1) influenza pandemic, according to a study today in PLoS One. US and Mexican researchers conducted a systematic review of the literature, official documents, Web sites, and media reports to construct a timeline of events for the 2009 pandemic, including the emergence and spread of the virus, health officials' response, and notifications about events and their implications. Their analysis revealed three critical events: (1) pH1N1 in California was identified because of an experimental surveillance program, (2) Mexican officials recognized that separate outbreaks represented a single phenomenon, and (3) quick identification of a pH1N1 outbreak in a New York City high school was enabled by early pandemic awareness. "Analysis of the timeline suggests that at best the global response could have been about 1 week earlier (which would not have stopped spread to other countries)," the authors conclude, "and could have been much later." "I think taxpayers and policymakers want to know if the billions invested after 9-11 to prepare for a biological event is paying off," said author Michael Stoto, PhD, of Georgetown University in a news release. "I think the answer is 'yes.' We've made significant progress in a short time."
Apr 3 PLoS One study
Apr 3 Georgetown news release

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