At today’s (May 22) closing session of the World Health Organization’s week-long annual congress, WHO chief Margaret Chan stated that countries need to be prepared for the H1N1 flu virus.  It is being closely watched in the southern hemisphere, where winter season is starting.

She stated that because it is a subtle, sneaky virus, it could mix with seasonal flu and mutate in “unpredictable ways”.  It is an airborne virus the same as the common flu, and is still showing up in new countries on a daily basis.  The latest totals show approximately 11,000 people have contacted the virus in 42 countries.  The largest groups now are Japan – 294; Spain – 113; and Britain – 112.

In a related press release, the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia reported that various tests have shown that persons over 60 seem to have a built-up immunity to the virus.  Cases in the United States have affected younger persons, up to ages 50+.  Much more research will need to be done regarding the theory about the over-60 age group.

The CDC says we are not “out of the woods” yet, and still need to be vigilant in watching this virus.

Source: Reuters
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention