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H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Case counts, when to declare a pandemic, WHO meeting, H1N1 in Tokyo

November 18, 2020

first_imgMay 21, 2009Global H1N1 case count exceeds 11,000The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) tally of novel H1N1 influenza cases reached 11,034 with 85 deaths early today, an increase of nearly 800 since yesterday. The numbers include 3,892 cases with 75 deaths in Mexico, 5,710 cases and 8 deaths in the United States as of yesterday, 719 cases and 1 death in Canada, and 20 cases and 1 death in Costa Rica. The number of affected countries stayed the same, at 41.[WHO update 35]Chan vows to be bold but flexible on pandemic declarationDr. Margaret Chan, head of the WHO, said she would not hesitate to declare a pandemic if the novel H1N1 flu virus starts spreading globally, according to a Reuters report. But she signaled that she may stray from the WHO’s formal definition of a phase 6 pandemic alert by considering the severity of the disease and whether it is spreading in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Pandemic phase 6 is officially defined as community-level spread of a novel virus in more than one global region.US case count edges higherThe count of confirmed and probable novel H1N1 flu cases in the United States today stood at 5,764, up from 5,710 yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported. The death toll rose to 9 with the death of a 21-year-old Utah man. The CDC number did not include the death of a 13-year-old boy in Arizona, which was reported today by the Associated Press. Cases have occurred in 47 states and Washington, DC.[Current CDC numbers]Groups criticize focus on H1N1 at WHO meetingSome health organizations and developing countries have complained that the emphasis on H1N1 flu has pushed other major diseases off the agenda at the WHO annual meeting, the Associated Press (AP) reported today. For example, Medicines Sans Frontieres criticized the postponement of discussions on Chagas disease, while cancer and diabetes groups said those diseases need more attention. WHO spokesman Thomas Abraham said the novel virus is not taking up the majority of the meeting agenda.[AP report]Two high school students bring H1N1 to Tokyo areaTwo high school girls who live in the Tokyo area were found to have the novel H1N1 flu yesterday, 2 days after they returned from a trip to New York City, according to the Japan Times. Their cases are the first in the Tokyo area, the story said. Japan has 267 confirmed cases, most of them in Osaka and Hyogo prefectures, and thousands of schools have been closed.[Japan Times story]last_img

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