Toronto Public Health says it will no longer be notifying schools of confirmed cases of swine flu within their walls because most cases of the H1N1 virus are mild and similar in severity to the seasonal flu. “In the beginning, we were being more cautious because we didn’t know where it was coming from,” said Rishma Govani, a spokeswoman for Toronto Public Health. “It’s happening just like flu happens amongst the public. It’s not being seen more in children than it would be during the regular influenza season … and most of the cases have been mild.” Josh Matlow, a trustee with the public school board, pictured, said schools should continue receiving the notifications to allay any fears parents may have about the virus. “Because of its context in the public forum … the school needs to be able to respond with something factual.”
HOUSTON, June 1 (Xinhua) — All the 50 states in the United States reported cases of A/H1N1 flu on Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 10,053, according to the latest figures released by the federal government.
Until last week, Alaska, West Virginia and Wyoming were the last three states which had been free of the newly found virus, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday that the state of Wyoming had conformed its first case, and reported Monday that the states of Alaska and West Virginia had finally been invaded by the A/H1N1 virus.
Also on Monday, California health officials reported the state’s first two deaths from the new flu virus, bringing the nationwide total to 19 fatalities. Both victims were middle-aged people, a man from San Bernardino County and a woman from Los Angeles County, who had pre-existing medical conditions. The virus, which spreads easily and causes mostly mild disease, has been diagnosed in 17,564 people in 64 countries, killing 115, according to the World Health Organization.
HOUSTON, June 1 (Xinhua) — The U.S. government on Monday awarded a major flu vaccine contract to MedImmune, a Gaithersburg, Maryland-based pharmaceutical company. The Department of Health and Human Services placed an initial 90-million-dollar order for the vaccine, intending to use it on high-risk populations in the event of a flu pandemic later in the year.
The contract comes less than two weeks after the department officials said they were setting aside about 1 billion dollars to test and purchase vaccines for the national stockpile to fight the unusual virus strain, called A/H1N1. Under the deal, MedImmune will continue to make its seasonal flu vaccine, but will now also develop a vaccine targeted specifically at the A/H1N1 virus that has caused the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise the pandemic alert level to the fifth of six stages.
On Monday, the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a total of 10,053 cases in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with 17 deaths in 7 states, not including the latest two in the state of California. The agency has said in the past that confirmed cases of A/H1N1 flu represent about one in 20 of actual cases that means the total number of cases in the country is about 200,000. (Snip) Experts fear the virus, which has caused mostly mild flu cases so far, could become something more dangerous.
MedImmune’s vaccine differs from traditional flu vaccines. It is a nasal spray instead of an injection. Another difference is that the vaccine is formulated using live — but weakened – virus strains. (Snip)
3,000 under swine flu quarantine Down Under
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA; June 1, 2009 — Health authorities watching the speread of swine flu have wondered what would happen during the Southern Hemisphere flu season. They are getting some answers now.
The number of H1N1 cases in Australia is climbing quickly.
3-thousand people are now in quarantine, after a big increase in cases in the last 24 hours.
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Nicola Roxon, the country’s health minister says, “We have our chief medical officer assessing hour by hour or day by day.”
The South Morang Lions Football Club in Melbourne canceled its weekened games after 5 team members were diagnosed.
But the federal government says the virus isn’t widespread enough to shut down public transport and major public events.
Third person in Canada to die with swine flu was from Ontario
A third person with swine flu has died in Canada, a spokesman for Ontario’s health minister said Monday.
An unidentified person who had been hospitalized with swine flu infection died Sunday afternoon, Steve Erwin said. The person had a number of medical conditions, he said.
It’s unclear exactly how much the infection with the H1N1 flu virus contributed to the death, Erwin said.