H1N1 (swine flu) weekly highlights: August 21-24, 2009

Schedule change! The weekly updates will now be posted on Wednesdays. This issue includes includes highlights since the previous post on August 21st.

  • Chilean authorities announced that they have detected the H1N1 flu virus in turkeys, marking the first time the virus has been found outside of humans and pigs.
  • In a new set of guidelines, the WHO stated otherwise healthy people infected with H1N1 do not need antivirals like Tamiflu. This decision should increase availability of the drugs to those who may need them most, as the Northern Hemisphere prepares for asecond wave of H1N1 infections.
  • As SINOVAC Biotech Company reported a successful preliminary clinical trial for its A/H1N1 influenza vaccine, the WHO urged China to share its vaccine with needy countries.
  • While many countries hurried to make mass vaccination plans (particularly in the Northern Hemisphere), New Zealand has taken a "wait and see" approach.
  • In the US, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology urged the government to help drug companies expedite the supply of swine flu drugs and vaccines. They also warned that 30,00 to 90,000 Americans could die, almost 2 million be hospitalized, and 30% to 50% of the country could be infected.
  • French researchers reported that H1N1 was 100 timesmore likely to directly cause death than seasonal influenza in a study performed in Mauritius and New Caledonia.
  • In an effort to avoid a rapid increase in cases, theSultanate of Oman is waiting until December to resume classes.


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