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Emergency Operations Center Update on Influenza A(H1N1) May 5

EOC Situation Report #12
Influenza A(H1N1)
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
6:00 pm

Summary

  • Today, the first case of Influenza A (H1NI) in Guatemala was confirmed. To date, the total number of confirmed cases of Influenza A (H1N1) in the Americas Region is 1,370 in 7 countries of the Americas (Mexico, United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Colombia, El Salvador and Guatemala).
  • From the WHO briefing today, it the Influenza (H1N1) virus seems to be similar across the different geographical regions, and that is responding to antiviral treatment.
  • The following countries outside the Americas have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Austria (1), China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (1), Denmark (1), France (4), Germany (9), Ireland (1), Israel (4), Italy (5), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (6), Portugal (1), Republic of Korea (2), Spain (57), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (27).
  • Today the WHO Director General, Dr. Margaret Chan, briefed international partners that form part of the UN Health Cluster, should this mechanism need to be activated in the future. She stressed that countries in the Southern hemisphere will be entering winter soon and are therefore at increased risk for influenza. She also highlighted the importance of ongoing surveillance, reporting and monitoring of influenza A(H1N1).
  • Investigative work in Mexico and USA is providing a clearer picture of the outbreak. In his press briefing on 4 May 2009, Dr. Jon Andrus stated “You are now seeing that work is paying off, with a clearer picture of the epidemic curve and how the outbreak is evolving within the country.”
  • Interagency coordination:
    • PAHO/WHO’s regional Emergency Response Office is based in Panama and this strategic location has enabled the Organization to coordinate closely with other UN humanitarian actors whose regional offices are also located in Panama. A consolidated list of all agencies’ Oseltamivir requirements was compiled and agencies discussed contingency plans for “worst-case scenarios.”  PAHO/WHO and UNICEF are working together to develop educational materials and PAHO/WHO was invited to brief 80 UNICEF communications experts on the health impact of influenza A(H1N1) and to jointly develop risk communications strategies.
  • Logistics:
    • The Pan American Health Organization has deployed 220,000 doses of Oseltamivir from the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot. The 6.5 tons of Oseltamivir represent a cost of $3.4 million and were sent to 21 PAHO/WHO country offices for distribution.
    • In addition to 21 public health experts already deployed, PAHO mobilized two additional experts to set up the LSS/SUMA system in Mexico (logistic support system). The LSS/SUMA system was set up in Mexico’s National Center for Epidemiological Surveillance and Disease Control. From this strategic command post, Mexico will monitor stocks of medicines for the treatment of A/H1N1.

Status of the Region

  • Mexico: 822 laboratory confirmed human cases of infection, including 29 deaths.
  • The United States has reported 403 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death.
  • Canada: 165 laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths
  • Costa Rica has confirmed 1 case of A (H1N1) with travel history
  • Colombia has confirmed 1 case A (H1N1) with travel history 
  • El Salvador reported 2 confirmed cases with travel history
  • Guatemala reports 1 confirmed case of influenza A (H1N1) with travel history
  • A daily epidemiological report is daily posted on the PAHO web site. 

Background Information

The WHO published a set of interim guidelines on 3 May on the use of masks in the community setting in Influenza A (H1N1) outbreaks. For the complete document, please refer to the website: www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/Adviceusemaskscommunityrevised.pdf

The WHO held a press conference today where several interesting topics where covered, for complete audio and written transcription, please consult the WHO website. (English)

For more information on frequently asked questions, please refer to the PAHO website

Map of at-risk areas

- Contact the PAHO EOC at +1 202 974 3399 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  -

 

See Situation Report  # 11 and earlier reports, as of Saturday, May 2, 2009, for additional information that remains valid. 

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