Global’s H1N1 Update – 05/18/10

The next update will be on Thursday, 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 9, 2010

National News

H1N1 claims the life another Canadian

A Quebecois man who recently returned from a trip to Cuba has died after contracting the H1N1 virus. The man passed away in a Montreal hospital after transferring from Shawinigan, near his home. Quebec health authorities say the death does not mark the beginning of a third pandemic wave. “We know now that there are many flu cases in Cuba,” said Dr. Gilles Grenier, a public health director in the Shawinigan region. “The hypothesis is that he got the virus over there, so it’s really an isolated case.” The man, who was in his fifties, suffered from asthma and had not been vaccinated against H1N1. CBC News

International News

India approves its first H1N1 vaccine supplier

The Drug Controller General of India has approved pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadilia to market its own H1N1 vaccine. The nod makes Zydus Cadilia the first company in India to domestically to launch an H1N1 vaccine. The Ahmedabad-based company will use Vaxxicare, its preventative medication division, to sell the vaccine under the trade-name VaxiFlu-S. “With the development and launch of vaxiflu-s, Zydus now has proven capabilities in researching, developing, and manufacturing of safe and efficacious vaccines,” said Pankaj Patel, the company’s chairman and managing director. He went on to say that he expects Zydus Calilia to soon produce vaccines for other viral, bacterial and protozoal infections. Hindustan Times

Researchers say the benefits of H1N1 prophylaxis must be quantified against side-effects

A study published in the European science journal Eurosurveillance reports that side-effects are a significant factor in the dispensing of the anti-viral drug oseltamivir as a mass, preventative antiviral blanket. Of the students and staff at a British elementary school given the drug in June 2009 as a prophylactic measure, 42% reported adverse side-effects and 15% did not complete the course of oseltamivir due to adverse effects. The authors of the study call for an assessment of each patient’s likelihood of infection to avoid unnecessary treatment. Eurosurveillance

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