CDC: Swine flu less widespread, down to 32 states
Finally, some good news about the flu swine from the Centers of Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). It seems to be on the wane in the US. Infection was widespread in 48 states in October and in 43 states in early November. As of November 21, it was down to 32 states. Unfortunately, the number of deaths especially among children does not seem to be waning. There were 27 new lab-confirmed H1N1 deaths in the under 18 year olds on that week, the highest weekly toll so far. There are reports that the H1N1 flu activity in Canada is also easing. In most parts of Europe, the epidemic is just reaching its peak. Health officials at the CDC, however warns that it may not be over yet. They expect to see another peak right after the Christmas holidays when children go back to school.
H1N1 activity waxes, wanes: WHO
In fact, flu expert at the World Health Organization (WHO) Keiji Fukuda believes we may not be out of the wood yet. Reports show that the flu is peaking, even waning in some areas. “I think it’s a little bit early to begin those discussions now because we are still in a period where some countries are still increasing in terms of infections, even though in some countries, such as the United States and Canada, it looks like infections and cases are going down.”
FDA Approves Additional Vaccine for 2009 H1N1 Influenza Virus
The US FDA approved another vaccine against the H1N1 flu in November. This was the 5th vaccine to be approved in the US and is manufactured by ID Biomedical Corp. of Quebec, Canada, owned by GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK).
WHO approves Glaxo’s swine flu shot
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also certified one of GSK’s flu vaccine made in Canada for distribution in 95low-income countries. This vaccine contains an adjuvant which will boost the immune system.
A batch of the same vaccine was withdrawn last month due to the high incidence of allergic reactions.
Flu.gov on Twitter
To spread the flu news faster that the flu bug is spreading, health authorities in the US is using social media particularly twitter. The FluGov twitter bio says “One-stop access to U.S. Government H1N1, avian and pandemic flu information.” Check out the latest webcast in a briefing by CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden.
WHO: Clinical Management of Human Infection with Pandemic (H1N1) 2009: Revised Guidance
WHO also issued a revision of the H1N1 flu guidelines which included
- risk factors for severe disease
- signs and symptoms of progressive disease
- treatment, both outpatient and in hospitals, and
- clinical care for resource-poor settings.