Global’s H1N1 Update – 06/24/10

The next update will be on Tuesday, June 29th, 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 June 13, 2010

International News

H1N1 appears less contagious than past pandemics

A pair of studies release by Cambridge University suggests the H1N1 virus does not transmit well via secondary infection. One study examined boys who fell ill with the pandemic flu at summer camp in Florida. Among the 212 boys at the camp, the virus’ successful attack rate was 23%. Once they got home the infected boys had contact with 87 more people, but the attack rate fell to 3.5%. Researchers suspect the reason for the drop is the return home after peak infectiousness had passed the advance warning households received when the sick campers returned. The second study found that 13% of 511 students at a Hong Kong secondary school contracted H1N1, but only 5.9% of the people in the infected students’ households got sick. These findings support a December 2009 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that further noted secondary infection rates for the 1957 and 1968 pandemics were as high as 40%. University of Minnesota CIDRAP

Two members step down from the WHO’s pandemic review panel

To answer critics of the World Health Organization, the UN agency convened an independent panel of experts last month to begin reviewing and discussing the WHO’s pandemic response. The identities of the panels members has been kept secret to insulate them from outside influence, but two of the panel’s experts resigned this week. John MacKenzie and Dr. Tony Evans were involved in planning the WHO’s pandemic response and felt serving on the review committee could become a conflict of interest. Chair of the panel Dr. Harvey Fineberg said, “They each concluded it would be better to avoid the position as reviewer of their own earlier actions.” The WHO Director General Margaret Chan has promised to make the names of the remaining committee members public once the review is complete and the pandemic is over. CBC News

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