H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Global count tops 35,000, first death outside Americas, cases grow in New Zealand & Australia, Novartis won't supply free vaccine

World novel flu count exceeds 35,000
The global number of novel flu cases swelled to 35,928 cases, including 163 deaths, from 76 countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today. The total surpasses the last report on Jun 12 by 6,269 cases, many of which are new US cases, now added to the tally only once a week. Countries new to the list are the West Bank/Gaza Strip and Morocco. Croatia reported its first case today, in a man who had traveled abroad, Reuters reported.
[WHO update 49]

UK reports first novel flu death outside Americas
Health officials in the United Kingdom reported Europe's first novel flu death, in a 38-year-old Glasgow woman who reportedly had underlying health problem and died yesterday, Scotland's Daily Record reported today. The death was described as the first outside the Americas. The woman died 2 weeks after giving birth to a premature baby, who died today, according to other media reports. Scotland's tally of novel H1N1 cases stood at 496 yesterday, the government said.
[Jun 15 Daily Record story]

Confirmed cases grow in New Zealand, Australia

New Zealand's health ministry reported today that the number of novel flu cases has more than doubled, from 35 to 86, since Jun 12, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) reported. The country's health minister said New Zealand is still in a containment phase of response, but he expects more confirmed cases, given reports of 17 probable infections. Australia's case count grew to 1,823, the national health department reported. Victoria has the most (1,210), followed by New South Wales and Queensland.

[Jun 15 DPA story]

Student infections drive Thailand's novel flu surge
Thailand is reporting a spike in its novel H1N1 cases, as the total grew by 51 today to 201 confirmed infections, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Health Secretary Prat Boonyavongvirot said 38 of the new cases are in students and that the number is likely to rise, especially in schools and factories.
[Jun 15 AP story]

Novel H1N1 strikes another First Nations community
The novel H1N1 virus has been detected in another of Canada's First Nations communities, Sandy Lake, located 310 miles northeast of Winnipeg, Canwest News Service (CNS) reported today. Ten cases have been confirmed in the community so far among 120 people who were treated recently for flulike symptoms. About 10 people have been airlifted to hospitals, and residents have been asked to avoid large gatherings to control the spread of the virus.
[Jun 15 CNS story]

Canadian suspected of spreading virus to pigs was never infected
Serologic tests have shown that a carpenter who was suspected to have spread the novel H1N1 virus to pigs in Alberta was never infected, according to a Jun 14 Canadian Press (CP) report. Howard May of Alberta Health and Wellness said that someone else must have passed the virus to the pigs, but authorities may never find out who it was. The carpenter had just returned from Mexico when he did some work at the farm on Apr 14. The infection was confirmed in the pigs in early May.
[Jun 14 CP report]

Novartis won't supply free H1N1 vaccine to poor countries
The Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis will not supply free H1N1 vaccines to poor countries but will consider offering discounts, according to a Jun 14 Reuters report based on a Financial Times story. "If you want to make production sustainable, you have to offer financial incentives," Novartis Chief Executive Daniel Vasella was quoted as saying. Margaret Chan, head of the World Health Organization, has urged drug companies to help developing countries fight the virus.
[Jun 14 Reuters report]

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