World Notes: World Health Organization cautions not to underestimate H1N1 virus

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GENEVA: The World Health Organization (WHO) expressed concern that some opinion is dismissing the H1N1 pandemic as a mild situation due to the self-limiting nature of symptoms generally observed in most who contract H1N1. As with seasonal influenza, WHO officials note that H1N1 transmission is highest during the winter season, and most people recover from the virus without medical intervention.

However, WHO officials cited patterns in H1N1 that are strikingly different from seasonal influenza. H1N1 has circulated at high levels during the summer months, which is unusual for influenza, and the majority of serious illness, complications and deaths has occurred in persons under the age of 65. In some countries, the surge in serious H1N1 cases has put pressure on intensive care units.

WHO indicated that there has been no widespread resistance in H1N1 to antiviral medications. Over recent weeks, WHO reports that H1N1 vaccination programs have been administered in 20 countries with no serious side-effects seen. Getting H1N1 flu vaccine to developing countries is a concern; 200 million doses have been pledged from donor countries and companies, none have yet been delivered.

Vitamin World

CIDRAP: WHO warns countries not to underestimate pandemic virus
WHO: Press Conference 5 November, 2009 – PDF file

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One Comment

  1. Shahid Jameel

    Pandemic flu cannot be controlled by just vaccinating entire populations of rich countries. The donation of 200 million doses to resource-limited countries is a start, but will make little difference. In the early part of last century, fire brigades only went to properties that had fire insurance. But if your neighbor did not have insurance, you would be at equal risk. Pandemic flu is like that.

    Posted November 11, 2009 at 10:00 pm | Permalink