Pandemic Influenza (H1N1) 09 Swine Flu: Update 153

Press Release – Ministry of Health

As at midday today two people are reported to be in hospital with Pandemic Influenza (H1N1) 09 or its complications.
Media Release

30 September 2009

Pandemic Influenza (H1N1) 09 Swine Flu – Update 153
As at midday today two people are reported to be in hospital with Pandemic Influenza (H1N1) 09 or its complications.

Since May 2009 the cumulative total of people in New Zealand who have returned a positive laboratory test for pandemic influenza (H1N1) 09 is 3163, compared with 3161 reported on Wednesday last week.

The number of deaths from Pandemic Influenza (H1N1) swine flu where swine flu was a primary cause is 18, following the death this week in Auckland of a 67 year old woman reportedly without the underlying health conditions that have been associated with more severe illness. Some deaths are still being investigated by the Coroner.

Border control:

The Ministry of Health intends to today suspend inflight cabin announcements around Swine flu, and return to the normal levels of health screening of flights in and out of New Zealand.

The reported level of influenza has declined to levels similar to the level at this time in the past two years. Influenza is still circulating, but this measure better reflects the reduced level of risk.

A public health presence will be maintained at international airports. Help is still available for passengers identified as potentially sick by aircrew or who self-identify. Anyone needing assistance will be assessed by a paramedic then transported to hospital or advised how to seek medical help.

Tamiflu:

Medsafe – the Ministry of Health unit responsible for assessing medicines and vaccines – has approved a two year extension to expiry dates currently shown on boxes of Tamiflu in New Zealand.

This extension follows Medsafe’s evaluation of data supplied by Roche, the manufacturer of Tamiflu, demonstrating that the product continues to meet its safety and quality specifications for two years beyond the original date. Medsafe reviewed this data and approved extending Tamiflu’s shelf life from five years to seven years, meaning two years can be added to the expiry date shown on packet and foil packs containing Tamiflu capsules.

The move follows a decision by regulatory authorities in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the US and the European Union which have also extended Tamiflu’s shelf life by two years.

Healthline Calls

The percentage of callers to Healthline with influenza-like symptoms is stabilising at a rate similar to last year.
GP Consultations

new Zealand swine flu – GP consultations over time
Click to enlarge

The number of GP consultations based on a sample of sentinel practices, continues to decline and is only a little higher than at the same time in the last two years.
The data are from the Institute of Environmental Science and Research’s (ESR) sentinel general practice surveillance system.
Australian Situation
For the number of confirmed cases in Australia, go to the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Ageing website at:

http://www.healthemergency.gov.au/internet/healthemergency/publishing.nsf/Content/updates

International Update from the World Health Organization

http://www.who.int/en/

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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