H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Case count, new deaths, phase 6 on hold, vaccine news, jump in Aussie cases, asthma as risk factor

first_imgJun 4, 2009US sees steady rise in novel H1N1 casesThe nation’s number of novel H1N1 cases rose to 11,468 today, up 414 from yesterday, an official from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today at a media briefing. The number of deaths reported by states to the CDC grew by 2 to 19. The number of hospitalizations climbed to 770, about 2.5% of the cases. Rates were highest in the 5 to 24 age-group and among children younger than 5.[CDC press briefings]Five states report new novel flu deathsConnecticut, Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Wisconsin are reporting new novel H1N1 deaths, according to media reports and health departments. The ones in Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin were adults who had underlying conditions. In Illinois, the patient was a 20-year-old Chicago woman who died after giving birth. New York reported its first outstate death, an adult with an underlying condition, and New York City reported two deaths in patients who were in their 40s and had risk factors.Chan says no final decision on alert level changeMargaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), told Bloomberg News yesterday that a final decision has not been made about raising the pandemic alert from phase 5 to 6. Sources close to the WHO have told Bloomberg that the WHO would raise the level within the next 10 days. Chan advised countries to review their pandemic plans and make revisions as needed based on the novel flu strain that appears much less lethal than the H5N1 strain upon which many plans are based.[Jun 4 Bloomberg News story]Novavax, NIAID to test novel flu VLP vaccineNovavax, a biotechnology company based in Rockville, Md., announced today that it has signed an agreement with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to evaluate the company’s virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine against the novel H1N1 virus. Novavax scientists produced the first batch of novel flu VLPs in May from an isolate from a California patient. VLPs are nearly identical to viruses but lack replication genes. The new method is designed to speed production.[Jun 4 Novavax press release]Novel flu cases rise quickly in AustraliaThe number of novel H1N1 cases is Australia climbed to 876 today, 243 more than reported yesterday, the country’s Department of Health and Ageing reported. The high concentration of cases (752) in the state of Victoria has led other states to impose quarantine rules on those traveling from Victoria, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. New South Wales, for example, is barring children who traveled to Melbourne from attending school for a week after their return.[Jun 4 Sydney Morning Herald story]Asthma leads risk factors in NYC novel flu hospitalizationsThe New York City Department of Health (NYCDH) yesterday detailed risk factors that were present among the 152 residents who were hospitalized for novel influenza. At least 85% had one or more underlying health condition. The most common ones were asthma (41%), being younger than 2 years old (18%), having a compromised immune system (13%), and heart disease (12%). Pregnancy, diabetes, and chronic organ system disorders were also reported among those who were hospitalized.[Jun 3 NYCDH press release]Barbados, Trinidad report first novel flu casesThe Caribbean countries of Barbados and Trinidad reported their first novel flu cases, according to media reports today. The patient in Barbados is a 19-year-old with no recent travel history, according to the Associated Press (AP). The patient in Trinidad is a woman who had recently traveled to other countries where the virus was reported. No other details were available about her illness or exposure.[Jun 4 AP story]last_img read more

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