Recombinomics Commentary 20:09
January 29, 2010

The CDC Week 3 influenza report has been released and once again there were no reported cases of seasonal influenza A. 2 cases of influenza B were reported and the vast majority of cases (98%) were pandemic H1N1, indicating seasonal influenza A has been crowded out in the US. The frequency of influenza detection has risen slightly and is at the highest level since week 50, signaling the end of the fall wave and the beginning of a winter wave. However, although the detection rate rose slightly, the P&I deaths spiked higher and are now well above the epidemic threshold and as high as it has been since the peak of the 2008/2009 season.

This dramatic jump in deaths raises concerns that the current H1N1 is more virulent and lethal than the H1N1 circulating in the fall. The early appearance of that virus dramatically increased the P&I, which then declined as the H1N1 levels declined. However, the current jump is well ahead of such a corresponding jump in H1N1, which would support a more lethal H1N1.

Recent reports from Tennessee have described a higher frequency of children with H1N1 entering the ICU as well as a higher percentage dying. These results are early, but mimic the increase in case fatality rate in eastern Ukraine in association with the release of sequences from Oct/Nov which had a strong association of D225G/N with fatal cases, who had significant lung damage.


•  Professor slams downplay of swine flu (Link)

•  Pig-cull increasingly viewed as gross mistake (Link)

•  4 city hospitals get notice for not reporting swine flu cases (Link)
•  Bird flu alert in Balasore (Link)
•  H1N1 The story of a vaccine (Link)

•  South Lampung residents worry as chickens die en masse (Link)
•  West Java: Bird Flu Positive, Hundreds Dead in Sukabumi Chicken sudden (Link)

Marshall Islands
•  Public health emergency declared (Link)

United States
•  KS: Third wave of H1N1 flu likely approaching (Link)
•  TX: Pneumonia outbreak – unknown cause (Link)

•  Acute diarrhoea reported in An Giang and suspected H5N1 cases in humans in Ha Tinh (Link)
•  One more A/H1N1 fatality confirmed in Quang Ninh (Link)

•  Swine flu: Global death toll rises to 14,711, says WHO (Link)
•  Study identifies key demographic and psychological factors that predict protective behaviour during pandemics (Link)