International battle with H1N1 continues
For the Nevada Appeal
Editor’s note; This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages throughout the flu season. Readers interested in knowing more about this topic are urged to visit http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu or http://www.flu.gov
Q: What’s going on with H1N1 outside the United States?
A: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), H1N1 activity is occurring all around the world in both hemispheres. As of Jan. 17, more than 209 countries/ territories/communities have confirmed H1N1 cases, including more than 14,100 deaths.
These laboratory-confirmed H1N1 cases represent a substantial underestimation of total cases in the world because most countries only test and report people with severe illness.
This season, H1N1 is the dominant influenza virus worldwide. For the most recent reporting period (Jan. 3-9), 74.6 percent of flu test results were type A, and 18.2 percent were type B. Of the type A viruses, 97.2 percent were H1N1.
From a global perspective, overall pandemic activity in the temperate Northern Hemisphere peaked between late October and late November 2009, and has continued to decline since.
In the temperate Southern Hemisphere, sporadic cases continue to be reported, but without evidence of sustained community transmission.
In the Americas, both in the tropical and northern temperate zones, overall pandemic influenza activity is low or declining in most places.
In Europe, there is still widespread H1N1 activity across western, central and southeastern Europe. The most intense transmission recently was in Poland, Austria, Estonia, Romania, Hungary and Moldova. In these countries, overall activity is declining with the exception of Romania, which had yet to reach its peak as of mid-January.
WHO reports widespread active transmission of H1N1 persisting in the northern and western parts of the subcontinent of South Asia, however in most places it has or appears to have recently peaked. India peaked in the north in December 2009; and in the west in early January 2010. Nepal is another exception: the trend there shows continuous increases since October 2009, with its peak yet to be observed.
In East Asia, pandemic influenza activity remains widespread but declining. Mongolia reported a very high intensity of respiratory diseases in early January 2010, but that activity level was significantly lower than their November 2009 peak. Despite a regional increase in activity in Okinawa in late December, Japan’s overall activity continues to decline. Likewise for China, Hong Kong SAR and Chinese Taipei, where activity remains widespread, but declining.
WHO actively monitors the progress of the pandemic through frequent consultations with the WHO Regional Offices and member states and through monitoring multiple sources of information such as the Global Influenza Surveillance Network (GISN).
Remember, flu season lasts until May. It is not too late for your vaccination.
CARSON CITY AREA H1N1 VACCINE CLINICS
There is no charge for H1N1 vaccinations at these clinics.
WHERE: Carson City Health and Human Services, 900 East Long St., Carson City
WHEN: Every Thursday 8:30-1:30 a.m. and 1-4:30 p.m. (Closed for lunch)
WHERE: Topaz Lodge and Casino
WHEN: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3
WHERE: In Douglas County at Fire Station 7, 940 Mitch Drive, Gardnerville Ranchos
WHEN: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6
WHERE Smith Valley Library, 22 Day Lane, Smith Valley
WHEN: 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8
WHERE: Mont Bleu Resort, 55 Highway 50, Lake Tahoe
WHEN: Noon-5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11
• Pam Graber is the public information officer for Carson City Health and Human Services.