Global's H1N1 Update – 11/05/10

The next update will be on Thursday, May 13th, 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 May 2, 2010

International News

H1N1 may have been a milder pandemic than expected, but in populations affected by the disease, the impact has been profound.

In a meeting with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a statement saying that the two pandemic waves of H1N1 in America have claimed the lives of 317 patients under the age of 18.  Compared to the last five years, that amounts to over 3.5 times the pediatric mortality rate for seasonal influenza.  The average age for deaths was 9.4 years, older than the previous averages which were a little over 6 years.  Of the deaths, 65% (205) of the patients were in a high risk category for influenza-related complications due to underlying conditions such as obstructive pulmonary disease, neurological disorders, asthma, and heart disease.  In contrast, only 43% of those who died in the previous two seasons had these conditions.  CDC Flu Activity and Surveillance

Routine pediatric vaccination uptake on the decline in the US

A study released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that more American parents are refusing or significantly delaying vaccinations for their children.  Compared with parents who opted for vaccinations, those who declined were less likely to believe that their children were susceptible to vaccine-preventable diseases, that the diseases were a health concern, or that vaccines are safe and effective.  Children who are not immunized by 19 months of age risk being more vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases.  CBC News

Vaccine shortages in Australia

Australia’s supply of seasonal influenza vaccine, which includes protection from pandemic H1N1, is running low. In Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state, pharmacies have started waiting lists for people seeking immunizations.  Because of the unexpected demand, CSL, the company that makes most of the country’s vaccines, rushed a second batch to market but warns that there may be more shortages.  The Herald Sun

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