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Emergency Operations Center Update on Influenza A(H1N1) May 12

EOC Situation Report #18
Influenza A(H1N1)
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
6:00 pm

Status of Influenza A(H1N1) in the Americas

  • Cuba reported its first confirmed case, in Provincia Matanzas.
  • Confirmed cases reported in other countries in the Americas:
    • USA, 3,009 confirmed cases with 3 deaths;
    • Mexico has reported confirmed 2,282 cases, 58 deaths;
    • Canada, 358 confirmed cases with 1 death;
    • Panama, 16 confirmed cases;
    • Costa Rica, 8 confirmed case with 1 death; 
    • Brazil, 8 confirmed cases;
    • Colombia, 6 confirmed case;
    • El Salvador, 4 confirmed cases;
    • Guatemala, 3 confirmed case.
    • Argentina, 1 confirmed case.
  • The World Health Organization maintains pandemic alert of Phase 5. There is no evidence of sustained community level human-to-human transmission outside of the Americas.

Status of Influenza A(H1N1) in other Regions

  • 30 countries have officially reported cases of influenza A(H1N1) as follows:
    • The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Australia (1), Austria (1), China (2, comprising 1 in China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and 1 in mainland China), Denmark (1), France (13), Germany (12), Ireland (1), Israel (7), Italy (9), Japan (4), Netherlands (3), New Zealand (7), Norway (2), Poland (1), Portugal (1), Republic of Korea (3), Spain (95), Sweden (2), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (55).

PAHO/WHO Response

  • Dr. Mirta Roses, the Director of PAHO, and the regional director for the Americas of WHO, will attend the World Health Assembly in Geneva, beginning 18 May. Although the agenda for this year’s WHA was set many months ago, influenza A(H1N1) is sure to be an important topic. The WHA is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States.
  • To date, PAHO/WHO has deployed 29 experts to Mexico to provide support to health authorities.
  • Oseltamivir shipments continue to arrive in Member Countries. 
  • In a WHO press conference today, Dr. Nikki Shindo, a medical officer for the WHO, announced that the WHO will soon publish clinical management guidance to help doctors, nurses, and other people caring for patients who have or will be affected by this virus. The WHO is working closely with the Global Influenza Network to monitor the seasonal flu viruses circulating and provide the best option for medications.


  • PAHO/WHO recommends that countries continue to review their national influenza pandemic preparedness plans and address any gaps identified.
  • For those health care facilities in countries where cases of influenza A(H1N1) have NOT yet been reported, please refer to these general recommendations from Pan American Health Organization Office of the Assistant Director Health Systems and Services Area.


  • Today, WHO published an article on assessing the severity of an influenza pandemic. The report highlights the many factors that can influence the overall severity of a pandemic’s impact, including: the properties of the virus, population vulnerability, subsequent waves of spread, capacity to respond, and the assessment of the current situation. Some interesting findings are:
    • Influenza A(H1N1) appears to be more contagious than seasonal influenza.
    • In terms of population vulnerability, the tendency of the H1N1 virus to cause more severe and lethal infections in people with underlying conditions is of particular concern.
    • Outside Mexico, nearly all cases of illness, and all deaths, have been detected in people with underlying chronic conditions.
  • In Central America, a hand washing initiative was presented to members of the task force of the Council of Ministries of Health for Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA). Click here for more hand washing resources.
  • Pan American Health Organization website.
  • World Health Organization website.
  • For constant updates on the influenza A(H1N1) situation you can check the PAHO and WHO channels in Twitter.

- 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  - 

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