[health-vn] Pause in deaths from influenza A(H1N1), infections climb to 2,500 – UN agency
vern.weitzel at gmail.com
Sat May 9 06:03:40 EST 2009
Pause in deaths from influenza A(H1N1), infections climb to 2,500 – UN agency
8 May 2009 – Although the number of influenza A(H1N1) infections jumped by over
400 worldwide in the last day with two more countries reporting cases of the
virus, there were no new deaths from the disease, the United Nations health
agency announced today.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that as of 16:00 GMT, Brazil and
Poland have been added to the list of countries with verified cases of the new
flu strain since yesterday morning, with the total number of laboratory
confirmed infections rising to 2,500 in 25 countries.
Despite the increase in the number of cases, WHO Global Influenza Programme
Director Sylvie Briand noted that the agency’s global pandemic alert remains at
phase 5 on its six-point warning scale, which means that sustained
human-to-human transmission of the disease on a community level is restricted to
one of the agency’s geographic regions, in this case North America.
“We have new cases. Most of them are imported cases from travellers, returning
travellers or close contact of these people,” Ms. Briand told reporters at the
daily WHO briefing in Geneva.
Meanwhile, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan told a gathering of Asian health
ministers to remain vigilant in monitoring avian flu, H5N1 influenza, in an
address to a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in
Bangkok today. She noted that the virus is widespread in poultry in parts of the
region and the agency does not know how the infection will behave if spread to
Paying tribute to the region’s leaders for monitoring the virus and largely
keeping it under control for five years, Ms. Chan stressed that the world is
“better prepared for an influenza pandemic than at any time in history.”
Ms. Chan noted that avian flu has “conditioned the public to equate an influenza
pandemic with very severe disease and high mortality.” She explained that such a
disease pattern is not inevitable during a pandemic. “On the contrary, it is
More information about the health-vn