H1N1 (swine flu) weekly highlights: Sept. 9 to 15

Here are this week’s H1N1 updates from the HealthMap team of the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program.
  • WHO reports 3,200 people have died from H1N1 around the world, and 23 cases of Tamiflu-resistant infection have been documented.
  • WHO stated that school closures can be useful in controlling H1N1 outbreaks, but only if closures are instituted quickly, ideally before 1 percent of the population falls ill.
  • Studies indicate that the H1N1 vaccines provide immunity to adults after only one dose, effectively doubling the number of individuals that can be vaccinated with the expected production. Still, vaccine manufacturers expect to sell all of their supply easily.
  • The FDA in the United States approved H1N1 vaccines by four companies, and Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius stated vaccinations in the US would likely start in October.
  • Research out of Imperial College London indicates that H1N1 may infect cells deeper in the lungs than seasonal flu can.
  • Research out of the Institute of Public Health in Quebec, Canada suggests that people infected with H1N1 may be contagious for over a week, much longer than with seasonal flu.

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