I’m usually pretty good about missing or ignoring important H1N1 developments. The last couple days this has been more difficult:
There is a big H1N1 summit today. This is one valiant attempt to keep us (in the U.S., at least) from becoming complacent about H1N1 during the dog days of summer. The announcement all the media outlets are touting is that our government is going to pump billions into an H1N1 vaccine program slated for October. IF an effective vaccine can be made in large enough quantities by then, state and local public health authorities will need to coordinate a massive campaign—meaning our own hospital seasonal flu campaigns will be occurring in parallel with this H1N1 campaign. We’ll see if hospitals will be distributed enough of this yet-to-be-produced H1N1 vaccine to deliver to our healthcare workers along with the seasonal vaccine.
Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) resistant strains of H1N1 have been isolated on 3 continents—the spread of oseltamivir resistance will further complicate H1N1 treatment and response.
Finally, the new NEJM has several H1N1 related pieces that are worth reading, one about managing uncertainty during the evolving pandemic, one about using commercial airline flight itineraries to predict H1N1 spread (a product of the Bio.Diaspora Project that was begun in response to the SARS experience), and one describing the origin of the H1N1 pandemic strain.