Note: Substantial material was added to this article at 6:15 p.m. US Central Time on the WHO's pandemic response and the role of public health going forward.
(CIDRAP News) The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) today declared the H1N1 influenza pandemic over, saying worldwide flu activity has returned to typical seasonal patterns and many people have immunity to the virus.
(CIDRAP News) Low levels of flu activity across the United States resemble a summer pattern, while globally only sporadic pandemic flu activity is occurring with the most active areas in parts of the Caribbean and Central America, according to updates today.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 331 cases of swine influenza H1N1 in 11 countries as of 6 a.m. GMT today. The case numbers by country are United States, 109 (1 death) (these are yesterday's totals); Mexico, 156 (9 deaths), Canada, 34; Spain, 13; United Kingdom, 8; New Zealand, 3; Germany, 3; Israel, 2; and 1 each in Austria, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. [WHO update 7]
(CIDRAP News) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plans to fund eight studies on whether simple measures such as handwashing, "cough etiquette," and face masks could help limit the extent of the next influenza pandemic.
The CDC announced this week it would provide a total of $5.2 million to research institutions, some outside the United States, to assess nonpharmaceutical measures for battling pandemic flu.