Thursday, May 7, 2009

CDC Daily Briefing

During today’s CDC daily press briefing, Acting CDC Director Dr. Richard Besser presented new USA-specific probable and confirmed case counts of novel influenza A(H1N1). Although this is a dynamic situation and case counts are constantly changing with on-going confirmation at state public health laboratories, as of 11 am EDT, there were 896 confirmed cases in 41 states and 925 probable cases across the nation; a total of 2 deaths have been reported.

Dr. Besser stressed that the CDC is working to learn more about various aspects of the virus. A series of studies is being conducted to explore the following topics:
- Viral shedding in respiratory secretions and stool among various age groups of infected persons
- The impact of antiviral medications on viral shedding
- Household transmission of the virus
- Healthcare setting transmission of the virus
- Background levels of influenza-like-illness in communities
The results of these studies will be used to inform future CDC guidance and recommendations.

Dr. Besser also announced the release of three publications today:

The New England Journal of Medicine published two articles related to novel influenza A(H1N1); the first article describes the first 241 US cases, and the second article discusses 10 cases of swine-associated H1N1 infection. I did not see either of these articles in the electronic version of the Journal today, but I have put a request into CDC to obtain these articles.

CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published an article that presents the global picture of the current influenza A(H1N1) situation. View the article here:

CDC has developed a PCR diagnostic test kit to detect novel influenza A(H1N1) virus; 131 countries have requested test kits, and CDC has shipped kits to 78 countries so far. The provision of these test kits will increase testing capacity, and there likely will be an increase in the number of reported confirmed cases we see worldwide as a result.

CDC has yet to post the transcript of today’s press briefing; but when they do so, you can view the transcript and listen to the audio at: .

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