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Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Zealand : Pandemic Influenza H1N1 2009 (swine flu) - Update 203

The latest H1N1 update from New Zealand's Ministry of Health :

" Influenza H1N1 activity is continuing across the country, with variable rates of infection according to geographic region. Hawke's Bay has been experiencing the highest rates of influenza-like illness, with many people visiting their GP. Recent information suggests that some regions may be starting to see a decline in influenza activity, especially in the North Island where most activity has been occurring, however it is too early to tell whether this definitely the start of a downward trend.

The number of calls to Healthline is still higher than normal, and at a similar level to this time last year. Over the past week around a third of all calls to Healthline were from people seeking advice for influenza-like illness.

As at midday today, there have been 583 hospitalisations of lab-confirmed pandemic influenza H1N1 this year to date in New Zealand, including 13 people currently in intensive care with confirmed H1N1 (in intensive care at four hospitals in the North Island and two hospitals in the South Island). So far this year, there have been a total of 91 admissions of confirmed H1N1 to intensive care. These figures do not include influenza-like illness among people admitted to hospital without a positive H1N1 lab test result.

Pandemic influenza H1N1 is the most common strain of influenza circulating in the community, although most people will not be tested for it. For the majority of people it's a mild to moderate illness, but for some it can be serious.

So far this year there have been fifteen deaths reported as linked to swine flu. Eleven of these deaths have so far been confirmed as being due to swine flu. The five deaths reported since Monday's (23/8) update occurred in the Auckland and Waitemata DHB regions. Further information on these cases is available from Auckland and Waitemata DHBs websites."

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