World Notes: H1N1 influenza activity continues to decline in U.S. and Western Europe; virus remains active and intense in Eastern Europe and Central Asia zones

Recent CDC data reveal sharp declines in H1N1 activity in the U.S., however the virus remains geographically widespread. Deaths from influenza and pnuemonia, although still above epidemic levels, appear on a firm downward trend.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), H1N1 patterns across the rest of the world are uneven. While H1N1 activity is subsiding across Western Europe, H1N1 virus transmission is increasing across parts of Central and Eastern Europe. Within the Russian Federation, influenza activity has been described in some areas as “active and intense.”

Influenza-related disease is increasing in Central Asia, and parts of South Asia (specifically northwest India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka). Respiratory diseases are also increasing in Southern China and Japan. In the tropics, overall influenza activity has been declining except for focal zones in Jamaica, Venezuela, and Ecuador.

WHO expects to hold consultations with its Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on adjustments to H1N1 pandemic alert levels in January. WHO assesses the overall global impact of the H1N1 pandemic has been moderate.

Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 – update 77
WHO use of advisory bodies in responding to the influenza pandemic
WHO Virtual Press Conference (03 Dec) – PDF

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