Friday, November 13, 2009

ukraine dead increase to 239 - still no sequences

Recombinomics Commentary November 12, 2009

1,253,558 Influenza/ARI

65.615 Hospitalizations

239 Deaths

The above numbers are from the latest update from the Ukraine Ministry of Health. The number of deaths increased 26 to 239, so 50 new deaths have been reported in the past 2 days. Although the virus continues to spread (only 5 of the 27 reporting areas have not topped the epidemic threshold) many of the deaths are still being reported from the hard hit areas in western Ukraine(see map). However, the biggest jump in cases was 6.096 in Kiev to 89,339.

The steady increase in the high level of deaths continues to raise concerns about genetic changes in the H1N1. In this morning's press conference the WHO discussed the need for prompt treatment with Tamiflu, but did not address genetic changes in Ukraine. Only general statements on the stability of the H1N1 were made in response to questions on genetic changes in Ukraine. Today's conference is a week after the last comments on the Ukraine H1N1 sequences which indicated that there were no large changes, but an update would be forthcoming in a "few days". It has now been over a week and no updates on genetic changes have been forthcoming.

The release of the sequences from Ukraine is long overdue.