U.S.A. US declares swine flu 'emergency' The White House said the president signed the proclamation concerning the 2009 H1N1 outbreak on Friday evening. It increases the ability of treatment facilities to handle a surge in H1N1 patients by easing the implementation of emergency plans. Source: BBC
During the week of October 11-17, 2009, influenza activity continued to increase in the United States as reported in FluView. Flu activity is now widespread in 46 states. Nationwide, visits to doctors for influenza-like-illness are increasing steeply and are now higher than what is seen at the peak of many regular flu seasons. In addition, flu-related hospitalizations and deaths continue to go up nation-wide and are above what is expected for this time of year. Visits to doctors for influenza-like illness (ILI) increased steeply since last week in the United States, and overall, are much higher than what is expected for this time of the year. ILI activity now is higher than what is seen during the peak of many regular flu seasons. The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) based on the 122 Cities Report has increased and has been higher than what is expected at this time of year for two weeks. In addition, 11 flu-related pediatric deaths were reported this week; 9 of these deaths were confirmed 2009 H1N1, and two were influenza A viruses, but were not subtyped. Since April 2009, CDC has received reports of 95 laboratory-confirmed pediatric 2009 H1N1 deaths and another 7 pediatric deaths that were laboratory confirmed as influenza, but where the flu virus subtype was not determined. Source: CDC
Europe ECDC has now stopped publishing numbers of confirmed cases reported from EU/EFTA member states – as well as from other countries around the world – in its Daily Update. This is due to the fact that most European countries are now recommending laboratory confirmation only in certain population groups, such as the risk groups. ECDC will continue to monitor the evolution of the pandemic within Europe mirrored by the number of fatal cases by country and through the Weekly Influenza Surveillance Overview which is published on Fridays. For the countries outside of Europe, we will monitor the number of fatal cases by country and monitor the surveillance reports of selected non-European countries. It must be emphasized that the numbers of fatal cases per country associated with pandemic influenza are likely to be gross underestimates. Daily Updates will be produced by 09:00hrs every morning Monday to Friday. No updates will be produced during weekends and the Daily Update published on Monday includes the weekend’s information. Source:ECDC
Comment The outbreak is continuing and the number of cases are on the rise in several countries in Europe. The vaccine starts to arrive and people belonging to risk groups should contact the health authorities or their general practitioner to make sure they are immunized as soon as possible.