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Canadian Press Online reports first Albanian death

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  • Canadian Press Online reports first Albanian death


    The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

    TORONTO - Ontario remains far from its goal of vaccinating three quarters of its population against H1N1, Ontario's top health official said Friday.

    "To date about 30 per cent of the province's population has been immunized against H1N1," said Dr. Arlene King, Ontario's chief medical officer of health.

    TORONTO - The Public Health Agency of Canada says there have been 48 cases of a severe allergic reaction reported in people who have had H1N1 shots.

    The agency says that was as of the week of Nov. 20, when nearly 12.3 million doses of vaccine had been distributed across the country. The rate of anaphylactic reactions is 0.39 per 100,000 doses, which the agency says doesn't exceed the normal rate seen for the administration of vaccines.

    LONDON - The European Medicines Agency is warning that young children given GlaxoSmithKline's pandemic H1N1 shot may develop a fever after their second dose.

    In a statement issued Friday, the European drug regulator said data from the manufacturer shows a higher number of children aged six months to three years had a fever after their second dose of the Pandemrix vaccine, compared with the first.

    ATLANTA - Swine flu infections continue to wane in the U.S., just as vaccine is becoming plentiful enough that some communities are allowing everyone to get it, not just those in priority groups.

    Swine flu was widespread in only 25 U.S. states last week - mostly in the Northeast and Southwest, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

    It's too soon to think about consigning the H1N1 pandemic to the history books, the World Health Organization's top flu expert said Thursday.

    Dr. Keiji Fukuda said though flu activity caused by the pandemic virus appears to have peaked in the United States and Canada, that isn't true for other parts of the Northern Hemisphere. And he said it remains to be seen whether places will experience a third wave of infections. "In the Northern Hemisphere, we continue to see an up and down pattern by countries. And so what you see in one country is not necessarily what you are seeing in another country," Fukuda, special adviser to WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on pandemic influenza, said in a teleconference briefing.

    TORONTO - Canada's H1N1 death toll continue to climb.

    The Public Health Agency of Canada says 28 people across the country died from the pandemic flu in the past week. That brings the national total to 357 as of Thursday. The new deaths were in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

    FREDERICTON - A top health official in New Brunswick says the province's swine flu vaccination program has been a success and will only cost about half of the original estimate.

    Dr. Paul Van Buynder, deputy chief medical officer of health, says more than 300,000 New Brunswickers - or about 40 per cent of the population - have been vaccinated.

    HALIFAX, N.S. - Nova Scotia's chief public health officer is frustrated by misinformation on the Internet about H1N1.

    Dr. Robert Strang said Thursday that websites such as YouTube allow anyone to pose as an expert and it can be confusing when you're simply looking for answers to questions.

    LONDON - British officials say swine flu cases in England fell by more than half last week, with about 22,000 new cases.

    The week before, the government guessed there were 46,000 new infections, though the numbers have a big margin of error. The number of cases has been falling for weeks, but World Health Organization officials say it's too soon to say whether this wave of swine flu has peaked.

    TIRANA, Albania - Albanian health authorities have reported the Balkan country's first swine flu death.
    The victim was identified Thursday as a 57-year old man from Sukth, a town 19 miles (30 kilometres) west of the capital Tirana.

    TORONTO - Details of who H1N1 is sending to hospitals and who it is killing show how different this flu virus is from seasonal influenza, the head of the Public Health of Canada said Wednesday.

    Dr. David Butler-Jones said that where seasonal flu mainly kills the elderly, the pandemic virus is taking its worst toll on those far down the age spectrum.

    TORONTO - There is no evidence that Tamiflu-resistant viruses have spread beyond the walls of two hospitals where they caused clusters of cases among immunocompromised patients, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

    The Geneva-based global health agency said investigations into the outbreaks, in hospitals in Wales and the United States, have so far turned up no evidence the resistant viruses have spread from infected patients to the staff, to other patients in the hospitals or to the nearby communities.

    HALIFAX, N.S. - The Nova Scotia government says at the end of last week it had distributed enough H1N1 vaccine to inoculate almost 40 per cent of the province's population.

    Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief public health officer, says he doesn't know how many people have been vaccinated.

    REGINA - The number of people who have died from the H1N1 virus in Saskatchewan is up to 12 even as health officials believe the second wave of the flu is on the wane.

    Dr. Saqib Shahab, deputy chief medical health officer, says a middle-aged man with underlying health conditions was the latest person to die from swine flu.

    BEIJING - The number of swine flu deaths in China has more than tripled in two weeks with the onset of winter, the Health Ministry said late Tuesday.

    By Sunday, the Chinese mainland had recorded 178 deaths from the H1N1 virus - a threefold-plus jump from the 53 deaths announced Nov. 15, according to the ministry's Web site.

    WINNIPEG - Manitoba doctors can now give out the swine flu vaccine.

    Health Minister Theresa Oswald says the province has enough vaccine to make the shot more widely available. Up until now, the vaccine has only been available at mass immunization clinics. But there have been fewer people at Winnipeg's flu clinics and a handful of them have been closed.

    WARSAW, Poland - Poland's ombudsman has asked prosecutors to investigate the government for refusing to import swine flu vaccines, calling it an "unacceptable" failure that endangers public health.

    Janusz Kochanowski, the country's top official for defending civil rights, said he requested the investigation Tuesday. Prosecutors must now carry out preliminary fact-finding. They will decide later whether to open a full investigation.

    VANCOUVER, B.C. - Another eight deaths have been recorded in B.C. in the last week, bringing the provincial death toll to 42 since April.

    Health officials say five people who had the virus died last week and the other three deaths hadn't yet been reported from previous weeks.
    "I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much." - Mother Teresa of Calcutta