H1N1 Influenza Update #3 from Department of Health & Social Affairs
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): May 8, 2009 - The Department of Health & Social Affairs has now submitted their third update to President Mori explaining the threat of the Influenza pandemic. The following is taken from the report:
"Since our last update to you on April 30th, 2009, the following have developed:
On Sunday, May 3, 2009, FSM received from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 25% of its allotment of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) which includes medicine for the H1N1 and other personal protective equipments (PPEs). All States will have received their shares by the end of this week. The remaining 75% share of the SNS is forthcoming. (NOTE: the Department was incorrectly informed that 100% of the SNS was coming on this first shipment as was noted in Update #1, sent out in press release 0409-46)
The Secretariat of Pacific Communities (SPC), through a letter from Dr. Thierry Jubeau, Public Health Division Manager, indicated that SPC will also support the members with additional Tamiflu, influenza rapid test kits and support for shipping of specimens for confirmatory testing overseas.
Screening of passengers at all airports in the FSM continues by Public Health Nurses throughout the FSM.
Three cases have been confirmed in Hawaii but all three have recovered and are no longer infectious. No new case in Hawaii is known.
The WHO Consultant is currently in Chuuk to set up the pandemic influenza surveillance system as done in Yap and Pohnpei. They will need to set up the same system in Kosrae after Chuuk.
FSM has not reported any case of H1N1. The public needs to be assured that while we have not encountered any H1N1 cases, we are doing what we can for them. We have Tamiflu, masks and other medicines in the event we have an outbreak in the FSM.
PPEs have been provided to airport officials, such as Immigration, Custom, and Port Security Officers, for use during port operations.
As of May 7, 2009, 24 countries have officially reported 2372 cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection. Mexico has reported 1112 laboratory confirmed cases of infection, including 42 deaths. The United States has reported 896 laboratory confirmed cases, including 2 deaths. Following are the countries that have reported confirmed cases with no deaths: Austria (1), Canada (201), China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (1), Colombia (1), Costa Rica (1), Denmark (1), El Salvador (2), France (5), Germany (10), Guatemala (1), Ireland (1), Israel (6), Italy (5), Netherlands (2), New Zealand (5), Poland (1), Portugal (1), Republic of Korea (3), Spain (81), Sweden (1), Switzerland (1), and the United Kingdom (32).
The WHO is not recommending travel restrictions related to the outbreak of the influenza A (H1N1) virus. Individuals who are ill should delay travel plans and returning travelers who fall ill should seek appropriate medical care. These recommendations are prudent measures which can limit the spread of many communicable diseases, including influenza.
In terms of the H1N1 Taskforce, we are contacting the relevant agencies and will update your office on our work later.
The Department closed their communication by saying that, "The pandemic threat remains serious and as cases are moving closer to the region, public health surveillance throughout all ports of entry remains a priority. Port authorities and airline officials need to take proper measures to ensure that incoming passengers from affected areas are screened upon arrival and those traveling abroad to be alerted and take proper infection control measures. For incoming passengers from affected areas, self-isolation for 7 days upon arrival is highly recommended.
The Department will provide another update as the need arises.
For further information on this release, please contact:
FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356