H1N1 (swine flu) weekly update: Nov. 4 – 10

fluNov11Here are this week’s H1N1 updates from the HealthMap team of the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program.

  • Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Slovakia, and St. Lucia reported their first H1N1 deaths, while Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, Latvia, and Armenia reported their 1st cases of H1N1.
  • Last week, Ukraine (population 46 million) saw a first wave of H1N1 begin. Since last week’s blog, the number infected has increased at least five-fold to 1.3 million sick and 174 dead. Neighboring Slovakia and Russia tightened their borders as Ukraine’s outbreak spread.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that H1N1 has become the dominant influenza strain around the globe, as the number of deaths due to the virus passed 6,000 worldwide. In addition, the WHO has emphasized the need for doctors and veterinarians to work together to monitor animals as well as farm workers for H1N1 infection.
  • A pet cat in Iowa tested positive for H1N1. The cat is believed to have caught it from its owners.
  • Cases of H1N1 virus showing resistance to antiviral drugs are ‘isolated and infrequent‘ according to the WHO.
  • Recent studies conducted by the California Department of Public Health have shown that H1N1 has disproportionately affected younger individuals, however people who are obese or elderly have a higher risk of death if they become infected.
  • A new study shows a benefit of combining H1N1 and seasonal influenza vaccines.

HealthMap is now providing Massachusetts state data for the new Google flu clinic finder.

For more information from Children’s Hospital Boston on the seasonal and H1N1 flus, visit our Flu Information Center.