Sunday, May 10, 2009
So here we are in London. I've missed several WHO updates, and the difference between today and Thursday is at least somewhat striking.
Worldwide, we continue to track below exponential levels, but the country breakdown has changed. Mexico is no longer Ground Zero for concern.
The USA is.
US cases roughly doubled in the last reported 12 hours, over Friday night to Saturday morning, jumping from almost 900 to over 1600, and crossing the exponential track from below. Apparently WHO isn't reporting over Saturday afternoon through Sunday, so we'll have to wait for their next update (Monday morning?) to see if this is a one-time leap or the beginning of a very scary trend.
Since deaths aren't tracking up any faster, I continue to believe that we are in pretty good shape for this phase even if the US jumps the exponential track on the high side, but it's something to be concerned about.
In addition, WHO is tracking a couple of active cases of A(H5N1) aka avian flu in humans (one in Egypt confirmed 6 May, one fatal in Vietnam on 22 April). Single cases of avian flu are not necessarily of epidemic concern, but the possibility of a transposant combination of A(H1N1) which spreads easily from human to human and A(H5N1) which has a 30-50% mortality rate is the basic human public health nightmare.