Global’s H1N1 Update – 04/15/10

The next update will be on Thursday, April 15th, at 0830 hrs PST.

The WHO Pandemic Alert level remains at Phase 6

Influenza A (H1N1) Cases and Deaths*

*Cases reported by The World Health Organization (WHO) are as of April 4, 2010

National News

The premature expiry of a batch of adjuvanted H1N1 vaccine has prompted the Alberta government to ask manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline for a refund.  The vaccines were supposed to last for 18 months, based on scientific evidence at the time; however, Health Canada has announced a new expiry date of only six months, after tests found the vaccine’s potency declined after that time period.  Alberta has around 650,000 to 700,000 doses of the affected vaccine, worth $2.2 million.  CBC

International News

U.S. researchers recently presented a study at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting that showed reports of Guillain-Barré Syndrome associated with H1N1 vaccination in the U.S. were extremely low.  For every 10 million H1N1 vaccinations administered in the U.S. last year, officials received about six reports of people developing Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder.  But memories of problems during a 1976 immunization campaign and public anxiety during last year’s H1N1 pandemic stoked fears that mass inoculation using a new vaccine would result in a rash of serious side effects, health problems and even deaths.  Now that the peak of the pandemic has passed and researchers are looking back at the response, signs indicate many of those public fears were exaggerated, or even unfounded.  Globe and Mail

The American College Health Association (ACHA) has said that flu activity at U.S. colleges has dropped to its lowest level since August when surveillance began.  The increases seen in southeastern states in February and March are also easing.  The attack rate last week was 1 case per 10,000 students, a decrease of 38% from the previous week.  No hospitalizations or deaths were reported, and the ACHA saw no evidence of sustained transmission. Vaccine uptake held at 8%, where it has been for several weeks.  ACHA

A laboratory in Namibia recently confirmed the country’s first pandemic H1N1 case, a patient who had traveled with a group to Thailand.  The illness is also suspected in a second patient who was with the group.  Namibia’s health minister expressed disappointment that the finding was first reported in the media before the case was reported to health officials.  The country expects to launch its vaccine campaign in May with 220,000 doses from the WHO.  Nambian

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