Colds and flu

01 February 2010

Swine flu declining

The H1N1 flu is still spreading in North Africa, parts of eastern and southeastern Europe and areas of Asia, but is generally declining, the WHO said last week.

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The H1N1 flu is still spreading in North Africa, parts of eastern and southeastern Europe and areas of Asia, but is generally declining, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said last week.

The pandemic virus is still the predominant influenza virus circulating worldwide, posing an increased risk to pregnant women and people with underlying medical conditions such as asthma, it said.

"Activity in general is decreasing," WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told a news briefing.

Flu peaked in North

Much of the temperate northern hemisphere passed a peak of influenza transmission between late October and late November, the WHO said in a weekly update.

But the H1N1 virus continues to transmit actively in North Africa, including Egypt, limited areas of eastern and southern Europe, and in parts of South and East Asia, including western India, according to the United Nations agency.

In China, the H1N1 pandemic virus has declined substantially since peaking last November, but other influenza viruses have been detected increasingly in recent weeks, the WHO said.

The virus has killed at least 14,711 people worldwide since emerging last April, it said.

The WHO has said it will take a year or two after the pandemic ends to establish the true number of fatalities. - (Reuters Health, February 2010)

 

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Flu expert

Dr Heidi van Deventer completed her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.
She has additional training in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) as well as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Dr Van Deventer is currently working as a researcher at the Desmond Tutu Tuberculosis Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

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