Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 regional update 02 Oct 2009

Report
from Pan American Health Organization
Published on 02 Oct 2009 View Original
Summary of the situation reported during the last week

- 8,869 new confirmed cases (146,016 cumulative cases in 35 countries).

- 158 new confirmed deaths (3,292 confirmed deaths in 25 countries).

- 98.9% of the influenza A viruses that were subtyped were pandemic (H1N1) 2009.

- South America experienced low intensity and a decrease or unchanged trend

- North America experienced an increasing trend despite low intensity of acute respiratory disease everywhere except for Mexico

- Central America experienced low or moderate intensity and a decreasing trend.

- The Caribbean experienced low or moderate intensity and an increasing trend.

The information in this report was obtained through the official sites of the Ministries of Health of the countries in the Region as well as official reports submitted by the International Health Regulation (2005) National Focal Points. It corresponds to the period of 18 April to 2 October 2009.

I - Evolution of the pandemic by subregion

North America

The greatest increase in confirmed cases and deaths was reported in this sub-region during the past week. Mexico reported a large increase in activity of the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus during the month of September based on the number of confirmed cases.

In the United States, another increase was observed in the percentage of influenza like illness (ILI) consultations, which continues to be above the national baseline. A total of 26 states reported widespread geographic activity of the influenza virus.

In Canada, a large increase in the percentage of ILI consultations was also observed, above the range expected for this time of year. Two outbreaks of influenza were reported, one in a school and one in a long term care facility.

Central America

In Central America, an increase in the number of confirmed cases was observed, reaching a peak in the month of July. A gradual and slow decrease has since been observed. No changes in activity have been recorded since the previous week. The trend in El Salvador changed from decreasing in the previous week, to increasing. Belize is the only country that reported a high intensity of respiratory disease.

Caribbean

Some countries in the Caribbean are experiencing outbreaks in influenza as well as a general increase in activity. Cuba and Dominica changed their indicator for geographic spread (Cuba increased from regional to widespread geographic spread and Dominica, which was not experiencing activity, has reported localized distribution).

South America

In the tropical areas of South America, a peak in respiratory diseases was observed during the months of May and June, subsequently in the majority of the region. In general for the majority of these countries respiratory disease activity began in the capital cities before spreading to the rest of the country. Paraguay was experiencing an increase (EW 37) but is now experiencing a decrease in ILI as well as severe acute respiratory infections (SARI).

In the Southern Cone countries of South America, the epidemic is steadily decreasing after having peaked during epidemiological weeks 26 (Argentina, Chile and Uruguay) and 31 (Brazil).