Tag Archives: update

H1N1 UPDATE – MAY 18, 2009

The World Health Organization Health Assembly began today and will go through Friday, five days less than normally held because health ministers are monitoring H1N1 outbreaks in their own countries. 

As of Sunday, 8,480 persons have been ill from the virus in approximately forty countries.  Seventy-five deaths have resulted so far, most in Mexico.  Chile announced its first case Sunday.  Japan’s Health Minister confirmed more than 120 definite cases today. 

There have been 6 deaths in the United States: 3 in Texas, 1 each in Washington and Arizona. In New York City, a beloved Assistant Principal died last night.  He had had symptoms of the virus for a week before his school was closed last Thursday.  He was hospitalized and placed on a ventilator.  It is suspected that the virus, as well as complications all played a part in his death.

The World Health Organization’s main focus will be combating the outbreak of the virus as well as holding discussions on developing a vaccine.  In Southern Hemisphere countries, the annual flu season will soon begin.  If a new vaccine is to be developed for the H1N1 strain, production for seasonal flu would be switched to production for the H1N1 virus vaccine.

In the U.S., we are not hearing of as many cases, and school closings have slowed down.

However, we must remain alert to the symptoms of many types of flu:

  • High fever
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If symptoms persist, see your doctor, stay away from others, and wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol sanitizers.

Source: AP

H1N1 UPDATE – FRIDAY, MAY 15, 2009

Although the majority of confirmed cases of H1N1 have been relatively mild, persons need to still be careful if they come down with symptoms of flu, like high fever, coughing, sneezing, etc.  It was announced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday evening that three schools in Queens have been closed for a week, following the information that hundreds of students at Susan B. Anthony middle schools and one elementary school had been sent home sick this week.  Four students and an assistant principal have been diagnosed with confirmed cases of H1N1 virus.  Fifty-five year old assistant principal Mitch Wiener is in critical condition and on a breathing tube.  He is experiencing dehydration, kidney failure and a lung infection.  His case is the most serious illness in New York City since the beginning of H1N1 cases began in April.  The only underlying illness he has experienced before is gout, according to his sons.

The Susan B. Anthony schools are approximately two miles from St. Francis Preparatory School, where an estimated 1,000 students, their relatives and staff became ill following a trip to Mexico, taken by several of the students.  Most of the cases were mild and very similar to seasonal flu.

In a related story, the World Health Organization warned today against a false sense of security from the apparent mild and waning outbreaks, as the worst may not be over.  The WHO bases its alert scale on the way the virus is spreading in a sustained way throughout countries, not the severity of its effects.

Thus far, approximately 7,520 cases of H1N1 virus have been confirmed in 34 countries.  It contains a strain of genetic mixtures of bird, swine and human viruses.  Several countries are sharing samples of the cases in their areas with scientists in order for a vaccine to be developed that will be successful in preventing this virus, that spreads through coughs, sneezes, and air droplets, the same as seasonal flu.  Most persons suffer only mild symptoms and the many are able to recover without drug treatment.  Tamiful and Relenza have been effective against the strain.

We continue giving the same advice as major health organizations: wash your hands, cover your face when you cough or sneeze, and stay at home if you become ill.

Remain aware of the symptoms and don’t ignore them, just in case it could be something more serious.


The Texas Department of Health Services has reported the first death of a Texas resident from this virus:  a woman from Cameron County.  However, she also suffered from chronic underlying health problems as well.

The CDC has ceased recommending school closings, as the virus has resulted in less serious cases of the influenza as was first feared.  Numbers of confirmed cases have increased daily; however, the treatment of symptoms has been successful.  Problems of daycare and other issues have put a burden on parents of school children.  Local schools will make the final decision in regard to school closings.

Persons are still encouraged to take precautions to avoid catching or spreading this virus by continuing to take the common-sense approach, as is recommended by the experts:

  • Cover your mouth when coughing;
  • Cover your nose when sneezing; use your sleeve if you don’t have a tissue;
  • Stay away from crowds
  • Go to the doctor if you begin to have high fever and other flu-like symptoms;
  • Stay at home if you are sick.  Do not spread the germs at work or school;
  • Don’t use other persons’ phones, computers, or other equipment if they are ill.

H1N1 Influenza A Update – May 4, 2009

Dr. Richard Besser, Acting Director of Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, today appeared on some early morning television shows and reports that he is “precautiously optimistic” about the trends of the virus that are now surfacing.  He is hopeful that this strain is not more serious, as feared, than any ordinary flu.  “We’re not out of the woods, but we aren’t seeing severe cases that we had been concerned about”, Dr. Besser commented.

The Associated Press count is 274 confirmed cases in 35 states in the U.S.  CDC count is 226 confirmed cases in 30 states.  Time lapse in state reporting to the federal agency accounts for the difference.  Totals as of today are:

  • New York – 63
  • Texas – 43
  • California – 29
  • Arizona – 18
  • South Carolina -15
  • Delaware – 10
  • Louisiana, New Jersey, and Massachusetts – 7
  • Colorado – 4
  • Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia ,Wisconsin – 3
  • Connecticut, Kansas, Michigan – 2
  • Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah – 1

As of today, May 4, the state of Texas is reporting 13 counties have confirmed cases.  Texas has 254 counties.

Cautionary measures remain the same: cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, stay out of crowds, and stay at home if you are sick.  Do not attend work or school until your symptoms are gone.  Wash your hands often with soap and water, or alcohol sanitizing gel.