CDC Telebriefing on Investigation of Human Cases of H1N1 Flu
May 21, 2009
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Operator: At this time, your lines have been placed on listen only until we open up for questions and answers. Please be advised that today's conference is recorded. I will turn the conference over to Mr. Tom Skinner.
Tom Skinner: Thank you, Lauren. Thank you all for joining us today for this update on H1N1. Today we have with us the deputy director of our influenza division, Dr. Daniel Jernigan who will replied a brief update for you and then open it up for questions. Dr. Jernigan.
Daniel Jernigan: Thanks a lot. The H1N1 continues to circulate in the United States. There are localized outbreaks that are ongoing in several states. Those include Arizona, California, Illinois, New York, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin that have reported the most activity so far. There is on our website regional influenza activity that folks can go and look up. In New York City and in surrounding areas, they are seeing increased levels of novel H1N1 influenza. Some schools in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are temporarily closing when there's evidence of unusually high and sustained number of flu-like illnesses. The New York City health department is an incredible health department, has been working nonstop and they have noted through their own surveillance systems some sharp increases in visits to the emergency departments for influenza-like illness. In terms of the global cases, there have been reported to W.H.O. over 10,000 confirmed cases in 41 countries. In Mexico, there is ongoing transmissions that overall possibly less activity being reported in some of those areas. The total probable and confirmed cases in the United States continues to rise. There are now reported eight fatalities. Of the viruses that have been collected through the surveillance systems in the United States, most of those viruses, about 78%, are the novel H1N1 influenza. We know the known confirmed and probable cases represent, again, only a portion of the number of people that are infected or ill from the virus and, so, there is likely to be increased numbers of cases out in the community. In the United States, as I mentioned, there were eight known fatalities. There are 247 individuals that have been hospitalized and over 70% of those are of those hospitalized patients have had underlying chronic medical conditions, including pregnancy. Asthma and heart disease are some of the most common. So far, we know that individuals that are being hospitalized, many of them are receiving antibacterial therapy or treatment with antibiotics. What we are seeing not as much of is the use of antivirals in H1N1 are being first being seen and being admitted of what are suspected to be H1N1 or suspected to be influenza, but, in addition, we know a number of the cases that have been hospitalized have presented with pneumonias and we want to be sure that those individuals do receive antivirals for pneumonia because that is one presentation that we're seeing with H1N1 hospitalizations. So far, the largest number of Novel H1N1 confirmed and probable cases, over 60% remain in the 5- to 24-year-olds. Of those that are hospitalized, 40% are in the 19- to 49-year-olds. So far, we continue to provide diagnostic kits to a number of countries around the globe and to many states. 44 of them are now able to do their own confirmations. In terms of a vaccine, the production of seasonal flu vaccine is nearly complete and will be completed hopefully as planned. Efforts to grow the candidate vaccines, viruses, for this Novel H1N1 vaccine are well under way. We are at CDC hopeful that we will have vaccine viruses ready to send to manufacturers at the end of may and we're working to speed up the process as fast as possible. As evidenced by recent state and city reports, H1N1 activity is likely to occur in different places at different times. We expect that this may continue over the summer. We're not quite sure what will happen in the fall, but we are being prepared for there to be an increase in the number of H1N1 cases later in the year. At this point, I'll open up for questions. Laura, we're ready for questions.