H1N1 (swine flu) weekly highlights: August 25 to September 1

vaccineHere are this week’s H1N1 updates from the HealthMap team of the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program.

  • Angola reported its first confirmed H1N1 case.
  • WHO reports that swine flu is spreading at an “unbelievable” rate and has become the prevalent strain of flu. WHO is also warning of a severe form of flu that “goes straight to the lungs” and can leave healthy young people severely ill.
  • A soon to be published study reports that ~10% of New York City‘s residents (about 800,000 people) were infected with H1N1 in the spring.
  • With students returning to school for the fall semester, colleges across the US have already started seeing rises in swine flu cases.
  • The first doses of vaccine were delivered to the UK and France, although they cannot be used until the vaccine is licensed. In China, two vaccines passed safety evaluations.
  • In response to the H1N1 outbreak in Chilean turkeys last week, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated that turkey meat is still safe for human consumption, but that the disease could spread to other poultry farms in the world, and that the most concerning scenario would be if H1N1 were introduced to poultry populations where Avian Influenza (H5N1) is common.
  • An Egyptian man who had been to Saudi Arabia for the Umrah pilgrimage has tested positive for both avian and swine flu (H5N1 and H1N1), although initial reports did not indicate if both were active infections.

For more information on Flu (seasonal and H1N1) from Children’s Hospital Boston, visit http://www.childrenshospital.org/patientsfamilies/Site1393/mainpageS1393P385.html