Global’s H1N1 Update

The next update will be on Tuesday, May 18th, 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

Looking ahead: beyond H1N1

With the North American H1N1 pandemic looking more and more like it’s over, Global Consulting has partnered with Roche Canada to host a workshop aimed at helping groups and organizations carry their pandemic safeguarding measures beyond H1N1. Many organizations spent a lot of money and worked like yeomen preparing for the pandemic, and a lot of companies have gleaned new insights into their operations through their efforts. There’s no reason to scrap those resources just because the crucible they were forged in has cooled. There will be other infectious threats in the future, to be sure, but the benefits realized here can also be applied in areas well beyond the scope of emergency planning.

A number of speakers are confirmed for the workshop. Dr. Allan Holmes helped a lot of companies and government authorities develop their frontline response to the pandemic. He’s going to share his experiences in guiding the public through the threat. Dr. Graham Dodd, an emergency physician who worked clinically at Royal Inland Hospital during the outbreak, will talk about the impact H1N1 had on our health care system and the kinds of things it, and we, can expect in the future. Also, Gian Di Giambattista, one of Ontario Power Generation’s emergency planning chiefs, will give his perspective working at a utility few of us can do without, and, with three nuclear power plants on line, has little inherent tolerance for operational disruptions. All three men expect to give and come away with valuable insight gathered from each other and the attendees. Global Consulting

International News

WHO will take another look at its pandemic alert status

After the onset of the southern hemispheric winter, the World Health Organization’s Emergency Committee will meet to re-assess the status of the H1N1 pandemic. The 15-member panel will then recommend that the UN body maintain its current alert status, stand down to a “post-peak” level or declare the pandemic over. To date, there have been over 18 000 laboratory-confirmed deaths due to H1N1, but it will be a few years before we know the actual death toll. John Mackenzie, the committee chair and the only member known to the public, said that the casualty rate will prove to be high as the 1957 and 1968 outbreaks, which claimed lives by the millions. Identities of committee members are kept secret to insulate them from influence from drug companies or special interest groups. Reuters

EU Members of Parliament are miffed over their handling of H1N1

Over 200 deputies of the of the 736-member European Union’s Parliament have called for an investigation into the EU’s response to the H1N1 outbreak. Isabelle Durant, a Belgian MEP, described the EU’s management of the pandemic as having “seriously undermined the credibility of, and confidence in our institutions.” The proposal sent to the parliament asserts that the amount spent on vaccines was unwarranted, officials should have changed their response tactics early on, and that the EU relies too heavily on the World Health Organization. The Parliament

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