While the U.N. Health Officials met in Geneva on Thursday to discuss the H1N1 virus the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared a 2009 swine flu pandemic. This is the first such update in over 40 years – 41 years to be exact.
The severity of the virus world wide is rather moderate but the reason for the classification to pandemic is related to how quickly the virus has spread.
What to expect from here?
World wide awareness will continue to rise and the number of cases may double in the next few months. Some countries may devote an increased amount of funds to prepare and protect against the Swine flu.
Travel bans are unlikely and the hope is that fear does not cause rash panic.
Some countries have seen a deluge of individuals flooding emergency rooms and health clinics. Many countries will prepare for a potential second wave.
Check out http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1FLU/
Update: June 17th 2009
Utah has had an increase in the number of deaths related to Swine Flu – and recently reported in the Salt Lake Tribune that the death toll has reached 8. http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_12607907
New York continues to have a high number of deaths and is currently reporting 23 deaths which is the highest in the nation. http://www.newsday.com/news/printedition/longisland/ny-nyswin1712885390jun16,0,179533.story
Other states with deaths include: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Sanofi Aventis indicated and promised that they would donate more than 100 million doses of the vaccine to help fight against the Swine Flu. It will take time to get the vaccine synthesized, but the it is anticipated to be used to help protect against the H1N1 swine flu.
“”Exceptional times require exceptional responses. We need to act responsibly and we all have to play our part,” spoke CEO Christopher Viehbacher in a statement that was released by the Pacific Health Summit in Seattle.
Currently there is no recommendation for vaccination at this time. It is unknown the possible advantage or rather disadvantage that this specific virus will cause for pharmaceutical companies. Since this is a new virus it is speculation regarding the ease of making a new vaccine. It is anticipated that several companies will begin working on the vaccine within the next few weeks to months.
Other companies that make flu vaccine include Novartis AG, Baxter International Inc, GlaxoSmithKline and Solvay.
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