A two-year-old Lower Merion boy, 32-year-old Upper Merion woman and a 24-year-old Norristown man are the first three people in Montgomery County to succumb to influenza this season.

The above comments are from a press release issued by the Montgomery County Department of Health in Pennsylvania (Snip)  Although the serotypes are not given, the ages of the fatal cases strongly suggests that they are due to H1N1.  Montgomery County is just south of Lehigh County and just northwest of Philadelphia.  The Pennsylvania Department of Health previously announced an H1N1 outbreak in Lehigh Valley and two previously healthy young adults (45M and 28M) died within days of each other at Lehigh Valley Hospital, which represented the first two confirmed fatalities in Pennsylvania. Two more deaths were announced shortly after the first two, suggesting all four were from the Lehigh area.

In the week 52 report from Pennsylvania, the death toll has risen to eight.  Although the location of the fatal cases are not given, virtually all confirmed H1N1 cases are in the above counties or adjacent regions concentrated in the eastern portion of the state. This clustering of deaths in young adults and children raise concerns that a virulent H1N1 is emerging in a pandemic third wave.

Recent death clusters have been reported in Manchester and Liverpool in the United Kingdom, as well as Niijmejen in The Netherlands. These clusters, coupled with reports of vaccine breakthroughs suggest a new H1N1 wave has begun in the northern hemisphere. Continued:


•  German tourist dies of swine flu in Austria  (Link)

•  Flu flourishing in Ontario (Link)

•  WHO confirms 4 human H5N1 cases (Link)

•  Avian flu back in Egypt and Asian countries (Link)
•  Egyptians reluctant to accept a health law proposal (Link)

•  3 Confirmed Swine Flu (H1N) Cases in Greece (Link)

•  Swine flu hits Israel, hospitals swamped (Link)

•  Flu infections rise, but pharmacies report inadequate vaccine supplies (Link)

•  More cranes test positive for flu (Link)

•  Dr Chan: Don’t panic over H5N1 (Link)

•  Mexican flu claims another victim in Netherlands (Link)

•  CDGK establishes swine flu ICU in ASH (Link)

•  H1N1 claims second Palestinian life in month  (Link)

South Korea
•  Suspected bird flu cases reported in Yeongam County (Link)

•  S Korea confirms additional bird flu outbreak (Link)

•  Hospitals witness five-week rise in flu patients: CDC (Link)

United Kingdom
•  Did last year’s flu jab open the door to swine flu? (Link)
•  NHS laid low by flu as 18,000 staff call in sick in worst outbreak for a decade (Link)
•  New Crisis As Swine Flu Victims Fill Half Of Intensive Care Beds (Link)
•  Suffolk woman dies after catching swine flu  (Link)
•  Flu patients leave A&E stretched (Link)
•  Medway Maritime Hospital runs out of beds (Link)

•  Eight-month wait for more flu jabs as stocks run out (Link)
•  Flu vaccines shortage in some areas (Link)
•  Six dead from swine flu in past week in Scotland (Link)
•  Old pandemic flu vaccines may plug shortfall, PM says (Link)
•  Bewdley-born woman died on Christmas Eve (Link)

•  Flu patients in various wards (Link)
•  Merseyside hospitals cancel operations after surge of flu cases (Link)
•  UK’s surge in flu could stretch across Europe (Link)
•  Two die in flu outbreak (Link)

United States
•  Bird Flu Symptoms in Birds and 500 More Birds Fall Dead From Sky in LA (Link)
•  AR: Loud noise sent 5,000 Arkansas birds flying to their deaths (Link)
•  NY: Inundated with flu, snow-related injuries, Staten Island University Hospital asking staff to work longer shifts (Link)
•  AZ: Toddler dies from flu related illness (Link)

•  Widespread Flu Epidemic Taking Bite Out Of NYC

•  Cold weather wreaks havoc in northern region  (Link)

•  New mysterious dead bird find (Link)

•  Comment: NHS stretched to breaking point (Link)