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Swine Flu Infections, Deaths Surge In Recent Days

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The United States leads countries that have seen a dramatic increase in the number of swine flu cases since Friday, the World Health Organization said Monday.

Since Friday, 7,873 more people worldwide were reported infected with the H1N1 virus and 51 more deaths were noted, for a total of more than 52,000 people infected and 231 dead in the pandemic, Agence France Presse reported.

The United States has reported 3,594 new cases since Friday, for a total of 21,449 with 87 deaths, the WHO said. Mexico was stable (7,600 cases and 113 deaths), while there were 805 new cases in Canada (5,710 cases and 13 deaths).

Figures that have yet to be incorporated into the WHO's official statistics may drive the worldwide number of infections and deaths even higher. The disease has now been reported in 100 countries and territories, AFP reported.

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EmpowHER Guest

I am concerned that the CDC is now providing guidance to doctors that says that a person who is suspected of having swine flu (H1N1-Type A) should not be tested unless they need to be hospitalized. This will tremendously understate the actual number of cases in the U.S.

CDC Guidelines for testing patients.

Which patients should be tested for novel influenza A (H1N1) virus
Clinicians should test persons for the novel influenza (H1N1) virus if they have an acute febrile respiratory illness or sepsis-like syndrome. Certain groups may have atypical presentations including infants, elderly and persons with compromised immune systems. Priority for testing includes persons who 1) require hospitalization or 2) are at high-risk for severe disease (as listed above). To test for novel H1N1 influenza virus, upper respiratory specimens, such as a nasopharyngeal swab or aspirate, nasal swab plus a throat swab or nasal wash, or tracheal aspirate should be collected. Persons who perform nasal and tracheal aspirate collections on ill persons require appropriate personal protective equipment. Specimens should be sent to the state public health laboratory. Not all people with suspected novel influenza (H1N1) infection need to have the diagnosis confirmed, especially if the person resides in an affected area or if the illness is mild. Recommendations on who to test may differ by state or community. Clinicians should be aware of local guidance on testing and should use their clinical judgment in addition to this guidance for deciding when to test for novel influenza A (H1N1). View the Interim guidance on specimen collection, processing, and testing.

June 25, 2009 - 11:28am
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