Tag Archives: flu virus

Indonesia reports first death from H1N1 flu

2009-07-26T100314Z_01_NOOTR_RTRMDNP_1_India-413182-1-pic0

Indonesia reports first death from H1N1 flu

Indonesia has confirmed its first death linked to the H1N1 flu virus after a 6-year-old girl suffering from severe pneumonia died in Jakarta, the health ministry said.

The girl was admitted to hospital with fever, coughs and respiratory problems, the ministry said on its website.

The World Health Organisation has confirmed 800 deaths globally from the H1N1 virus, which has spread to 160 countries.

But health experts say that figure does not reflect the true number of people killed by the virus. Flu can kill people in various ways, including by causing pneumonia, heart attack, stroke or multiple organ failure.

Indonesia has confirmed 343 people have been infected with the H1N1 flu strain as of July 24.

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H1N1 swine flu virus – Flu threat to economy mostly in the mind for now

2009-07-30T183133Z_01_NOOTR_RTRMDNP_1_India-414327-1-pic0

H1N1 swine flu virus – Flu threat to economy mostly in the mind for now

One of the few certainties about the H1N1 swine flu virus is that it would have to turn much deadlier than it seems right now to cause a major drop in global economic output.

A renewed rash of media headlines suggests the virus, the subject of a World Health Organisation (WHO) pandemic alert since June 11, could deliver the next big blow to the global economy. But there is no reason to take that for granted and experience shows the impact could just as easily be limited.

The fear factor on its own could reduce travel, tourism and leisure, but that demand-side decline could also be short-lived even if it is sharp, and followed by a sizeable rebound, as the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong in 2006 suggests.

Warwick McKibbin, the Australian designer of one widely cited simulation model, says the potential loss ranges from 0.8 percentage points of global GDP in his ‘mild scenario’ to 12.4 percent of GDP in the most extreme case of a virus more deadly than the Spanish flu of 1918-19, which killed 40-50 million.

The mild scenario is the most plausible right now, he says, given the WHO tally of 816 deaths for 134,503 confirmed cases.

“It’s a little bit worse but not a lot worse than a regular influenza cycle,” McKibbin, director of the Centre of Applied Macroeconomic Analysis at the Australian National University, said.

Even if a panic-driven drop in consumption did slow the pace of recovery from the current recession, the hit would probably be too small to derail it, as long as it is just a scare, says Marco Annunziata, chief economist at UniCredit bank.

“I can however imagine a worst case scenario where the panic is so intense and widespread that people avoid all crowded places for an extended period,” he says. “But I think in most plausible scenarios this (hit to the economy) would be temporary and contained.”


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Thai capital to close 435 schools to halt H1N1 spread

in.reuters.com

Thai capital to close 435 schools to halt H1N1 spread

BANGKOK – july 14 – The Thai capital will close 435 schools for five days to prevent the spread of the H1N1 flu virus, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Thailand has reported 4,057 cases of H1N1, commonly known as swine flu, since mid-May and 24 deaths from the virus, 10 of them people from Bangkok.

“We will conduct a thorough cleaning of the schools during the closure to prevent further outbreaks here,” Ponksak Semsan, permanent secretary-general of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, said in a statement, announcing the closure from Wednesday.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday that the H1N1 virus was “unstoppable” and gave drug makers full go-ahead to manufacture vaccines.

The WHO raised the global flu alert to the highest level on June 11, declaring a pandemic was under way from the H1N1 strain.

Although the new disease has so far caused only mild symptoms in most patients, more than 400 people have died globally and experts fear the death toll could surge without a widespread immunisation programme.

Thailand’s government agreed during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday to place an order for two million doses of a vaccine for H1N1, with delivery expected by December.

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