H1N1 NEWS SCAN: Global, US activity; vaccine news

May 7, 2010

WHO reports sporadic global H1N1 activity
The most active areas of pandemic H1N1 flu are parts of West Africa, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today. In the Americas, limited data suggest transmission in Guatemala, Cuba, and Peru, with Chile reporting evidence of low-level community H1N1 circulation, including some severe cases. Activity remains sporadic in other Southern Hemisphere regions. Seasonal type B flu was detected sporadically across Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.
May 7 WHO update

US flu activity remains low
Influenza activity across the United States continues to decline, the CDC reported today, with the proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza below the epidemic threshold. The proportion of outpatient visits for flu-like illness was 0.7%, below the national baseline of 2.3%. Of the eight influenza A viruses subtyped, all were novel H1N1. One pediatric H1N1 death was reported. Four states had local flu activity, and 30 states or territories reported sporadic activity.
May 7 CDC update

Australian state running low on seasonal vaccine
Supplies of seasonal influenza vaccine, which contains the pandemic strain, are running low in Australia's second most populous state, Victoria, according to the Melbourne-based Herald Sun. Australia's CSL, which makes most of the country's flu vaccine, rushed new doses to wholesalers to help meet demand, which has remained high even after the country banned use of the vaccine in those under 5 years old after some had adverse events. CSL warned that more shortages may loom.
May 8 Herald Sun article

Study shows ethnic variations in vaccine acceptance
A survey that explored ethnic differences among 1,025 Malaysians showed a high willingness to accept the pandemic vaccine, especially when vaccine safety and religious accommodations were ensured. About 70% of those surveyed late last year indicated a willingness to be vaccinated. For the Muslim Malay people surveyed, a halal vaccine (acceptable to Islam) was the main factor in deciding to get vaccinated, whereas vaccine safety was the main factor for Chinese and Indian participants.
May 6 Vaccine study

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