Friday, May 8, 2009

CDC Daily Briefing

Case count: 2500 probable and confirmed cases in 43 states; 1639 confirmed cases:

  • 3.5% of cases (57) have been hospitalized (up form 13 reported yesterday)
  • Detailed info on 26 hospitalized cases: 58% had underlying conditions: most had asthma.
  • Respiratory infections can be a trigger for asthma attacks, so asthma sufferers should be in touch with health professionals if they believe htey have any flu or respiratory infection
  • Transmission continues around the country. Most people experience symptoms and severity similar to seasonal flu. Illness lasts less than a week. Unlike seasonal flu, a higher percentage seem to have vomiting and diarrhea.
  • In addition, younger adults represent a larger proportion of cases than we see with seasonal flu (which usually affects very young and old individuals). It's still unclear why this is the case - either greater contact through travel of younger individuals, elder immunity, or something else.
While transmission continues, the virus is expected to dissipate in the coming weeks. However, CDC expects a possible second wave in the fall.

What's being done to prepare for a potential second wave:

  • monitoring H1N1 as it circulates in the southern hemisphere during their seasonal flu season (monitoring for resistance to medications or mutations into a severe/milder form)
  • monitoring antigenic/genetic shifts
  • planning for containment and treatment protocols and guidance

  • make sure you have a communication plan for your faimliy
  • know what you will do if school/work is closed for an extended period of time
  • know what to do/how to handle social services disruption for a few weeks
See: for preparedness checklists for families, individuals, schools, and others.

No WHO Pandemic Alert Change:
Because we still have not seen sustained community level transmission outside of the US and Mexico, WHO will remain at a Phase 5 Pandemic Alert for now.

CDC will no longer be doing formal press briefings; as of tomorrow they will be doing telebriefings.

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