Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 activity continues despite declining clinical trends

During the period 21–27 December 2009, high influenza activity was reported in Georgia, Poland, Serbia and Ukraine, and regions of the Russian Federation. While influenza activity continues, clinical respiratory disease activity has declined over the past 3 weeks in 16 countries. As of 27 December 2009, the total number of deaths associated with pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus infection reported in the European Region since April 2009 was 2555. It is misleading, however, to compare the numbers of deaths associated with confirmed pandemic (H1N1) 2009 with those estimated for seasonal influenza to determine the severity of the pandemic. Different methods are used to measure deaths from confirmed pandemic (H1N1) 2009 and to estimate deaths from seasonal influenza, which are not limited to confirmed cases.

Testing pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus for antiviral resistance

Ten countries in the WHO European Region have tested isolates of the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus for resistance to the antiviral treatment oseltamivir. Of the 1312 cases tested, 26 (2%) were found to be resistant to oseltamivir. All viruses tested for resistance to zanamivir (346/346) were found to be zanamivir-sensitive.

Vaccines for pandemic (H1N1) 2009

By the end of December 2009, 30 countries in the European Region had started vaccination campaigns against pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza. Azerbaijan will receive a shipment of donated vaccine this week.