The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Tag Archives: WHO

Ontario H1N1 Swine Flu Update June 11: 1,562 Total Cases, 10 in Hospital. Oh, and It’s a Pandemic.

B&W_AntigenicShift_HiResCropOntario’s update yesterday brought the total number of cases in the province to 1,562 with two deaths, both fatalities having been people with underlying medical conditions.  The number of people hospitalized has increased from 6 to 10 since our last update (no word on the turn-over in that number), some of whom do and some of whom do not have underlying medical conditions.

Notably, the World Health Organization finally gave up the ghost today and declared Swine Flu to be a Phase 6 pandemic (duh), but made sure to note that it’s not severe:

“At this early stage, the pandemic can be characterized globally as being moderate in severity,” WHO said in the statement. A spokesman added that the term pandemic was “measure of the spread of the virus, not the severity of the virus.”

So we have a historic, but not too scary, announcement.  I guess the delay allowed some desensitization to the idea of a Phase 6 pandemic declaration.  Meanwhile, lest you slip from panicked straight to complacent, here are the Ontario stats:

Ontario Swine Flu cases total June 10

Some leveling-off on new cases, maybe:

Ontario Swine Flu cases average June 10

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Ontario H1N1 Swine Flu Update June 3: Two Deaths, 894 Total Cases

B&W_AntigenicShift_HiResCropCoverage of Swine Flu has declined, but incidence of Swine Flu has not.  Yesterday, we got the report of a second swine flu-related death in Ontario. 

Although the press release goes out of it’s way to emphasize that almost all the cases are considered mild, there is an interesting tidbit here:

Six people who have the H1N1 flu virus were in hospital as of June 2, a number of whom have underlying medical conditions.

… implying that at least some of those hospitalized do not have underlying medical conditions — i.e., they actually have a fairly severe case of flu.

Also, swine flu is on the rise in the Southern hemisphere and WHO is seriously considering moving to level 6, but may add some kind of severity indicator.

Here’s the Ontario data:

Ontario Swine Flu cases June 3

what’s that word again? Oh, right … exponential.  Here’s the new case average count, which I’ve moved to a 7-day rolling average:

Ontario Swine Flu cases Average June 3

Keep carrying that sanitizer a little longer, I think.

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Human Swine Flu Ontario Update May 14: Tracking the Ontario Numbers Plus Vaccine Updates

Ontario reported 36 new cases of Swine Flu today.  All cases are still considered mild, although one patient was hospitalized for unrelated reasons. 

I thought this would be a good time to look back at the Ontario press releases and plot the number of new cases reported since Ontario started releasing numbers on April 28th.  When I did that, the plot was very erratic, so I took a 3-day rolling average.  Here it is:

Ontario Swine Flu cases

We’ll see where this goes over the next few days.

Meanwhile:

Human Swine Flu: Ontario Update and Other New Info

antigenicshift_hirescrop1There are five new confirmed cases in Ontario today, according to the press release following the 3pm call, bringing the total to 36.

Nature has a good scientific update, including the latest thinking on the basic reproductive rate, R0, “which is the number of new cases that an infected individual will give rise to,” and the generation time.

The WSJ Health Blog has its live blog posts on today’s CDC update call and WHO update call.

Here are our other (Canada-centric) posts on H1N1.

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Human Swine Influenza: Understaffed

The volume of Human Swine flu info has exceeded my ability to keep up.  I will try to post sporadically on interesting scientific, political or business implications.

In the meantime, I have added two widgets on the right side of this page:

  • Google news RSS for “swine”
  • Twitter RSS for #swineflu

That should help visitors keep up with the news and help me get back to my day/night job.

Also keep in mind:

  1. The CDC Swine Flu Page
  2. The WHO Swine Flu Page
  3. You can not catch swine flu by eating pork

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Human Swine Influenza Update: Canadian Cases Confirmed, Public Health Emergency Declared in U.S.

CDC transcript from today’s briefing.

White House Press Briefing transcript.

New York Times story:

  • Mexico data: 1,300 infected, 80 dead.
  • U.S. data: 20 infected, one temporarily hospitalized now recovered.
  • Canada data: 6 infected, all linked to travel to Mexico. 2 in BC, 4 in Nova Scotia.
  • No WHO decision on pandemic alert level until Tuesday.

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Human Swine Influenza Update: World Health Organization (WHO) Resources

The World Health Organization has a new page up collecting resources and news related to the Human Swine Influenza outbreak, including:

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Updated: Swine Flu Outbreak

This is not good news.  FierceBiotech says at least 16 of 57 dead in Mexico have been confirmed killed by swine flu and hundreds more have taken sick, and that “there is abundant evidence that the flu is being spread from person to person.”

The New York Times reports that the Mexico victims died from the same new strain of swine flu that sickened eight people in Texas and California.

Update and Resources: 

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