Influenza A (H1N1) swine flu update

As of 16:00 GMT, 3 May 2009, 18 countries have officially reported 900 cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection. Mexico has reported 506 confirmed human cases of infection, including 19 deaths.

The higher number of cases from Mexico in the past 48 hours reflects ongoing testing of previously collected specimens. The United States Government has reported 226 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death.

The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Austria (1), Canada (85), China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (1), Costa Rica (1), Denmark (1), France (2), Germany (8), Ireland (1), Israel (3), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (4), Republic of Korea (1), Spain (40), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (18).

WHO Status: Phase 5 (of 6 phases)

The World Health Organization (WHO) alert level remains at 5 (of 6 phases). Phase 6 requires the presence of community transmission in more than one WHO region. Health surveillance within all countries reporting the existence of Influenza A (H1N1) continues to be critical in order to identify if community transmission is occurring.

Further information will be available on the WHO website on a regular basis.

Number of confirmed and suspected cases in New Zealand
As at 3pm today

  • there are 5 confirmed cases of Influenza A(H1N1) - up one since yesterday

  • there are a further 12 probable cases - down one since yesterday

  • and 69 suspected cases - this is down 20 (from 89) yesterday afternoon.

  • In addition there are 335 people in isolation or quarantine and being treated with Tamiflu. This is down by 25 since yesterday afternoon. These are people who have developed symptoms of influenza within seven days of having been in the areas of concern or are close contacts of cases that have flu-like symptoms.

There is still no evidence of community transmission - that means that to date, all of the cases have recently returned from travelling in affected areas or been a close contact of a case.

The National Centre for Biosecurity and Infectious Diseases (ESR) is now able to report laboratory confirmed Influenza A (H1N1) and will continue to refer samples to the Melbourne WHO reference laboratory for re-confirmation as required under international reporting protocols.

These numbers will fluctuate as a result of more suspected cases being found, or suspected cases being ruled out.

Dr Fran McGrath, Deputy Director of Public Health

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