May 5, 2009

More than 1,000 H1N1 cases worldwide

The number of cases in the global H1N1 influenza epidemic is "very fluid" but does not appear to be headed to pandemic level, World Health Organization flu director Keiji Fukuda said Monday.

Fukuda said the number of cases worldwide has risen to 1,025 in 20 countries, with 26 deaths.
But he said the majority of cases continue to be reported in North America — Mexico, the United States and Canada. At least 226 cases of the viru
s have been confirmed in 30 U.S. states with one death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most cases in Asia, Europe and Latin America are infections related to travel from North America, Fukuda said.

Fukuda said the current outbreak represents an enormous shift in how epidemics are dealt with. For the first time, health officials are watching a global epidemic unfold in real time, something that was impossible with the technology and surveill
ance available 20 to 30 years ago, he said.

By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY

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