H1N1 Human Swine Influenza Update July 24

first_imgCases of H1N1 (human swine influenza) continue to be reported in Nova Scotia. The province’s first death associated with the virus was confirmed by Capital District Health Authority today, July 24. The female patient was in her fifties with underlying health conditions. “I would like to express my deepest sympathy to family and friends at such a difficult time,” said Dr. Robert Strang, chief public health officer. “As sad as this news is, it’s important to remember that H1N1 and other flu-like viruses are very serious illnesses.” Cases of H1N1 involving severe illnesses and deaths are being reported in other provinces and outside Canada. “Each year thousands of Canadians die from the flu, and unfortunately we expected to see deaths associated with the H1N1 virus in Nova Scotia,” said Dr. Strang. The health care and public health systems continue to anticipate new cases, and are prepared to respond appropriately. “The Department of Health continues to work closely with our health system partners to respond and provide the best care possible to patients as this situation evolves,” said Dr. Ken Buchholz, senior physician advisor, Department of Health. “As a system, we are continuing to be vigilant and are preparing for more severe cases. Unfortunately, this sad event is a reminder of the severity of H1N1 and flu-like illnesses.” While the number of severe cases of H1N1 is increasing, the majority of H1N1 cases are still behaving like a typical flu-like illness. The total number of cases reported in Nova Scotia since the outbreak started is now 456. Ten people have been hospitalized since April 26. People are reminded that the best way to stay healthy is to take preventative action. That means washing hands thoroughly and often, using an arm to cover coughs and sneezes, and frequently cleaning and disinfecting common surfaces and items such as doorknobs and counters. If people have influenza-like symptoms they should stay home and minimize contact with family members as much as possible. If symptoms worsen, they should visit their physician or a walk-in clinic. It is important for Nova Scotians to understand that it is safe to go to work, participate in community activities and to socialize, if they do not have influenza-like symptoms. For more information on H1N1 (human swine influenza), visit -30-last_img read more

Iraq SARS cloud UN forecast of AsiaPacific regions economic growth

According to Ambassador Murari Raj Sharma of Nepal, who launched the report at UN Headquarters in New York, the survey, especially forecasts for 2003, was based on data for the first three quarters of 2002. By early March of this year, neither the war in Iraq nor the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) had occurred.”The impact of these events on the forecast made in the survey is still a subject of considerable debate and uncertainty,” he told a press briefing on the launch of the “Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2003,” which was compiled by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). The report highlights the performance of regional economies in the past year, provides a brief trend analysis and some projections for 2003.The report states that despite the weakening of the global economy, the region performed surprisingly well in 2002 – 2 per cent higher than the previous year – largely due to surging intra-regional trade, fiscal stimulus and low interest rates.While the survey had projected the 5 per cent growth to continue prior to the new domestic and global developments, it is now unclear how the economy will fare this year as it is tied to the intensity and duration of military action in Iraq and its ripple effects, particularly on energy prices. Asia-Pacific imports 40 per cent of its energy.Compounding matters further is the recent outbreak of SARS. In addition to the health challenges it is posing in the region, the illness is undermining the tourism and travel industry. Ambassador Sharma said there were fears that a prolonged outbreak could extend the damage beyond those two industries.How well Asia-Pacific withstands these stormy conditions also hinges heavily on how the economies of developed countries perform, especially the United States, Japan and the European Union, which together import half of the regions export products, Ambassador Sharma said. He also stressed that there was “no consensus on how the regional economy might be affected.” read more