Global's H1N1 Update – 04/20/10

The next update will be on Tuesday, April 22nd, 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), as of April 4, 2010

National News

Canadian researchers have reported that patients who became severely ill with H1N1 swine flu last year often developed kidney failure, which worsened their illness and raised costs.  Doctors should be on the lookout for kidney damage in patients who are hospitalized with the virus, they told a meeting of the National Kidney Foundation.  “It’s concerning that so many people got some form of kidney injury, although it was reversible in the majority of them,” Dr. Manish Sood of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg said in a statement.  Sood’s team looked at the cases of 47 critically ill patients with confirmed H1N1 infections who were admitted to one of seven intensive care units in Manitoba.  National Post

International News

Just weeks before it hosts the World Cup, South Africa is reporting a shortage of H1N1 vaccine.  Doctors and pharmacies have run out of the vaccine, imported from Australia, and say no more is available.  The country received 1.3 million doses, which are being used for “front line” port-of-entry workers and certain HIV patients.  A further 3.5 million doses donated by the World Health Organization (WHO) will be used on pregnant women and others at high risk.  West Cape News

Health officials in Chile are concerned that only 600,000 of a hoped-for 4 million people have received the H1N1 vaccine in a country that saw 300,000 cases and 1,800 hospitalizations last year.  And this year a Feb 27 earthquake destroyed 5,000 hospital beds in the central region.  One university faculty member explained that getting the shot early is essential to prevent overloading of hospitals, because immunity takes about 2 weeks to build.  Santiago Times

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