European Swine Flu Update 7th May 2009 This report captures the situation update from Germany
, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Brussels and Scandinavia. It is compiled from official government and health protection agency sources as well as top line online sources where conversation is taking place on the topic. It seeks to be a brief but authoritative update on the European situation regarding swine flu. For further details please contact Kate Eden for healthcare related queries or Tom McLoughlin for digital related queries:
Kate Eden Tel: 00 44 203 047 2157
Tom McLoughlin Tel: +44 20 3047 2070 Email: Thomas.firstname.lastname@example.org
Brussels Health: • • • • • • 17 new confirmed cases reported from EU and EFTA countries; Poland and Sweden reported the first confirmed cases; To date, 142 confirmed and 4 probable cases are reported in 13 EU and EFTA countries; No sustained human-to-human transmission has been recorded so far in the EU; Outside of EU and EFTA countries, 2098 cases are reported, 2075 of which are confirmed; Mexico has reported over 1000 cases since the start of the outbreak.
Germany Health: • • No update from the 3-5 top official sources since yesterday Story not been taken up with new aspects by any lead media
Digital: • The topic has had no significant voice in social media or communities.
Italy Health: • Call center “1500”: since April, 28th until May, 6th : more than 35.000 calls; 1.075 calls yesterday
Digital: • • During the Question time in Parliament, Italian minister Francesco Zaia reported there is not risk in eating pork’s meat. http://tinyurl.com/ckqkkt Ferruccio Fazio, Welfare undersecretary, states there weren’t swine flu episodes born in Italy, all the suspected cases came from Mexico. http://tinyurl.com/c6n3or
France Health: To follow Digital: To follow
UK Health: Confirmed UK Cases as at 06 May 2009 32 • Cases currently under laboratory investigation as at 17:00 05 May 2009 390 *
Four new cases of swine flu have been confirmed in England late yesterday afternoon. The new cases are all adults associated with travel to Mexico. There is one case in each of the following areas: North West, East of England, East Midlands, and West Midlands. There are now 32 confirmed cases in the UK – 28 in England, 0 in Wales and four in Scotland. The DH commented that ‘It is right that we are preparing for the possibility of a global pandemic. The UK’s arrangements are continuing to ensure that we are well-placed to deal with this new infection.’
In Scotland, Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon yesterday updated Parliament on the latest position regarding Influenza A (H1N1).The Cabinet Secretary said there were currently 27 possible cases under investigation in Scotland.The number of confirmed cases remains unchanged at four and tests are still being carried out on a probable case in Grampian. Ms Sturgeon said: "While we are continuing to see new possible cases of A(H1N1) throughout Scotland, it is encouraging that we have not seen any further probable or confirmed cases today. All the possible cases currently under investigation are travel-related cases which indicates that our strenuous efforts to prevent person to person transfer are proving effective. I would once again stress that the risk to public health in Scotland remains low but it is right that everyone should remain vigilant as we work to disrupt the spread of the virus." A further statement on swine flu by the Health Secretary is expected in the Commons early afternoon
Digital: • • Britain's leading operators, including Thomson, First Choice and Thomas Cook have extended the suspension of all holidays to Mexico until May 12 due to the continued spread of swine flu. Link Delays in the release of information about Oxfordshire’s first confirmed case of swine flu have provoked accusations of secrecy against local health officials after news that a six-year-old Oxford girl had potentially become ill with swine flu was initially kept even from parents with children at the same school. Link
Spain Health: • There are currently 48 suspected cases and 81 confirmed cases of Swine Flu in Spain. Of the total number of people that have been diagnosed with the virus, only 1 remains in hospital. All cases have been diagnosed as mild and patients have responded effectively to treatment. One hundred and twenty-eight people first suspected as having the virus have been ruled out. All suspected cases receive treatment and are quarantined according to protocol with the objective of prevention and early treatment of the virus.
Digital: • The topic is losing interest for people on line, while some sceptical voices continue raising questions about the role that media has played in the management of information. The solution? More On line presence and engagement from Government says some A-List bloggers. • NY schools return to normality. El País article explains that diverse schools in NY that were closed as a precaution restarted the classes yesterday. The story puts its focus on a school in Queens that had 5 students infected. It also says that at least 2/3 of infected people in the USA are below 18 years old. This caused the closure of all the schools that were “suspicious”, more than 700 in 24 states (nearly 500.00 students). Taking into consideration the virus is not as dangerous as it was supposed, the
authorities asked the closed schools to return to normality. From now onwards, if there is someone suspicious of being infected, he will have to stay at home. LINK “Alert, Panic, Confusion and back to normal in only two weeks” says the headline of 20 Minutos newspaper In its update of the H1N1 crisis monitoring. The article makes a recap of the health crisis and remarks that things are going back to normal in Mexico and some other places around the world. The article counts with 91 comments where readers show criticism towards the role of media: “Panic? That’s what you the media have generated!” says one comment, while some others speculate with the idea of a “smokescreen to hide the consequences of economic downturn”. LINK Influential blogger Julio Alonso (Periodistas 21) who writes about citizen journalism remarks that on line tools far from contribute to a better understanding of the crisis may have spread panic through the Internet. Alonso makes a very comprehensive recap of the tools available through the Internet and concludes that Government and Official sources should be much more engaged in the on line conversation to avoid this. LINK
Scandinavia Health: • The first case of swine flu has now been confirmed in Sweden – a woman 50 yrs old who had visited the US. She got a mild form and has now recovered. The authorities are collaborating and updating news regularly.
Digital: To follow