Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pandemic Flu Status Ahead of 12/21/12 'Apocalypse'

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Many apocalyptic predictions call for an apocalypse to occur in 2012.  The most specific doomsday countdown clock is predicted for the date of December 21, 2012 based on the Mayan calendar.  Other 12/21/2012 apocalyptic predictions are derived from Biblical, astrological, mythological or Nostradamus interpretations.

According to the most recent reports by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and the World Heath Organization, reports of influenza activity increased in North America, but remained at low to moderate levels ahead of the so-called Mayan calendar apocalyptic doomsday of December 21, 2012.  

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The influenza activity reported by state and territorial epidemiologists indicates geographic spread of influenza viruses, but does not measure the severity of influenza activity.

During week 49, the following influenza activity was reported:
  • Widespread influenza activity was reported by 18 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming).
  • Regional influenza activity was reported by 17 states (Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin).
  • Local influenza activity was reported by the District of Columbia and 11 states (Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Washington).
  • Sporadic influenza activity was reported by Guam and 4 states (California, Delaware, Hawaii, and Vermont).
  • Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands did not report.

During weeks 46 and 47, influenza activity increased in the northern hemisphere while remaining sporadic in the southern hemisphere. Globally, A(H3N2) viruses remains the predominant circulating subtype followed by influenza B and A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses.

Influenza activity continued to increase throughout the United States of America most notably in the southern region with A(H3N2) viruses predominant. In Canada, influenza A(H3N2) activity increased slightly. In contrast, activity in Europe has remained low with sporadic detections of A(H1N1)pdm09, A(H3N2) and influenza B viruses reported. 

In Central and South America, influenza activity has remained low. Influenza B viruses continue to co-circulate with A(H3N2) and A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses. In Honduras, a higher circulation of A(H3N2) viruses was reported while A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses continued to circulate in Cuba and Peru. 

In Asia, regional A(H3N2) activity was reported in Cambodia, with an increase in influenza B detections during week 47. Increased A(H3N2) activity was also reported from Sri Lanka. In general in the region, influenza B viruses predominated.

In Africa, influenza viruses continued to circulate in east and west Africa at lower levels while increasing in Algeria, in the north. 

A new case of A(H3N2)v was detected in Iowa, USA, bringing the total number of cases detected in 2012 to 307 .

SOURCE and Infographic Credit: CDC and WHO