H1N1 NEWS SCAN: Flu uptick in some areas, vaccine for developing countries, late pregnancy risks, highest shot rate in US

Mar 22, 2010

WHO: Central America, Caribbean see flu upticks
Limited data point to increasing pandemic flu activity in parts of Central America and the Caribbean, according to the latest weekly update from the World Health Organization (WHO). Other hot spots are parts of Southeast Asia and West Africa, including Thailand, Bangladesh, and Ghana. Though flu levels are declining in most of the Northern Hemisphere, influenza B is increasing in some European countries and is dominant in several Asian countries, Iran, Mongolia, and the Russian Federation.
Mar 19 WHO weekly update

WHO has sent vaccine to 17 developing countries
The World Health Organization (WHO) has delivered about 4 million doses of H1N1 flu vaccine to 17 developing countries so far, the Voice of America reported on Mar 20. WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said doses will be shipped to another 25 countries in Africa, Central America, and Eastern Europe in coming weeks. Doses have been requested by 95 countries, but each must have a deployment plan before it can receive a supply. On Mar 18 Togo became the first African country to receive the vaccine.
Mar 20 Voice of America report

Risk of severe H1N1 highest in late pregnancy
A study of pregnant women treated in intensive care units for pandemic flu in Australia and New Zealand last summer suggests that the risk of critical illness was greater during later pregnancy, when it was about 13 times higher than in nonpregnant young women, according to a British Medical Journal (BMJ) report. Indigenous women and those with chronic conditions such as asthma were at greater risk than other pregnant women. Most of the 64 women in the study needed mechanical ventilation.
Mar 18 BMJ study

Massachusetts claims highest flu vaccination rates
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says the state had the nation's highest rates of vaccination against both H1N1 and seasonal flu, the Boston Globe reported yesterday. The immunization rates in Massachusetts were 36% for H1N1 and 57% for seasonal flu, versus 21% and 37% nationwide. Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach credited government agencies working with local health departments, school systems, doctors, and hospitals. The report was based on US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
Mar 21 Boston Globe report

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