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  • 738 flu patients in intensive care

    Posted on December 31st, 2010 admin No comments

    The number of people in intensive care with confirmed or suspected flu in England has risen to 738.

    Statistics released by the Department of Health (DH) last Friday showed that 460 people were receiving intensive treatment for flu.

    There are now 738 patients receiving the same level of care including 42 youngsters under five, the DH has revealed.

    On Thursday Government advisers urged the vulnerable to be vaccinated against the virus.

    The advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) came as figures revealed the winter’s growing death toll – 39 people have died from the virus since October.

    The Health Protection Agency confirmed 12 more flu deaths this week and the Government announced it was relaunching the “Catch it, Bin it, Kill it” campaign, telling people to catch their sneezes and coughs and wash their hands.

    The Department of Health will launch its national flu vaccination campaign on Saturday.

    The move comes after Health Secretary Andrew Lansley defended the Government’s initial decision not to run the campaign earlier this week.

    Labour accused Mr Lansley of a U-turn after the decision to reinstate the campaign was announced.

  • Avian influenza – situation in Indonesia

    Posted on November 10th, 2010 admin No comments

    The Ministry of Health of Indonesia has announced two new cases of human infection of H5N1 avian influenza.

    A 35-year-old male from West Jakarta, Jakarta Province developed symptoms on 16 August, was hospitalized on 20 August and died on 27 August. Initial investigations into the source of his infection suggest a number of sudden chicken deaths occurred around the case’s house a week before onset.

    The second case, a 40-year-old female from Kota Depok, West Java Province developed symptoms on 9 September, was hospitalized on 12 September and died on 17 September. Initial investigations into the source of her infection suggest exposure at a live bird market.

    For both cases laboratory tests have confirmed infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus.

    Of the 170 cases confirmed to date in Indonesia, 141 have been fatal.

  • Officials Set Up Swine Flu Centres

    Posted on June 14th, 2009 admin No comments

    Health officials are setting up specialist swine flu centres as the number of cases soars.

    Health Minister Tony Ryall confirmed yesterday that Capital and Coast District Health Board had set up one of New Zealand’s first swine flu assessment centres at Wellington Hospital. Other district health boards were likely to follow.

    “It diverts people away who may have flu symptoms from hospital and emergency departments and GP clinics.”

    The number of nationwide swine flu cases doubled over the weekend, from 35 on Friday to 71 yesterday.

    Darren Hunt, the Health Ministry’s deputy director of public health, said the weekend’s rise signalled a new phase of the pandemic and the number of cases was expected to rise steeply.

    The ministry has moved its response to phase six, one of the highest health alert levels, opening the door for radical measures including the declaration of a national state of emergency. Restrictions could be placed on public gatherings, including sports events. During the Mexican outbreak, big football matches were played in empty stadiums.

    There were no plans to cancel Saturday’s second rugby test between the All Blacks and France, Dr Hunt said. However, anyone with flu symptoms should stay away. “It’s a prime opportunity for coughing and sneezing over a lot of people.”

    Wellington City Council will outline plans today to deal with the growing number of cases. Mayor Kerry Prendergast said options included closing buildings where large crowds gathered, such as libraries and swimming pools. “We are a long way from that, but you have to have these plans in place.

    “Senior council managers have been working out how we will cope if Wellington is greatly affected by swine flu.”

    Challenges included keeping essential services such as water supply and sewerage systems going if large numbers of people are off sick or stuck at home.

    Mr Ryall said that, although New Zealand’s swine flu cases had been mild and most people recovered at home, there was still potential for it to swamp hospitals and clinics.

    “If swine flu takes hold as is expected, that means a whole lot more people have flu, which means a whole lot more people might be turning up at emergency departments and GP clinics. Every day that we can delay it is another day that we might not grind the health system to a halt.”

    Swine flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also have diarrhoea and vomiting.

    Seventy-four countries have reported 29,669 cases and 145 deaths. Up to 30 per cent of the population might eventually contract swine flu, Dr Hunt said.

    WEEKEND DEVELOPMENTS:

    Swine flu cases doubled over the weekend, from 35 on Friday, to 71 yesterday. It is now spreading in the community, and not just among people who have travelled overseas.

    In Wellington, 12 new cases were reported, including a recruit at the Police College in Porirua. Other recruits were being treated with Tamiflu and isolated.

    The Health Ministry moved its response to phase six, opening the door for radical measures such as declaring a national state of emergency.

    Tamiflu given to 50 pupils at Burnside High School, Christchurch, after a 13-year-old confirmed with swine flu.

    Year 12s at Auckland’s Westlake Girls’ High School told to stay home after a fellow pupil is diagnosed.

    Australia has 1458 cases, with more than 1100 in Victoria.