2009 flu pandemic in Australia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
2009 swine flu outbreak in Australia
H1N1 Australia Type Map.svg
  Deaths
  Confirmed cases
H1N1 Australia Confirmed Map.svg
  5000+ confirmed cases
  500+ Confirmed cases
  50+ Confirmed cases
  5+ Confirmed cases
  1+ Confirmed cases
H1N1 Australia Death Map.svg
  1+ deaths
  5+ deaths
  20+ deaths

Influenza A H1N1 2009 swine flu outbreak evolution in Australia
Disease H1N1 Influenza (Human Swine Influenza)
Virus strain H1N1
Deaths 186[1]
Confirmed cases 36,991[1]
Suspected cases n/a
Suspected cases have not been confirmed as being due to this strain of influenza by laboratory tests, although some other strains may have been ruled out.

As of 21 October 2009, Australia has 36,991 confirmed cases of H1N1 Influenza 09 (Human Swine Influenza) and 186 confirmed deaths due to the disease.[1] The actual numbers are much larger, as only serious cases are being tested and treated. Suspected cases have not been reported by the Department of Health and Ageing since 18 May 2009 because they are changing too quickly to report.[10] On 23 May The federal government classified the outbreak as CONTAIN phase[11] except in Victoria where it was escalated to the SUSTAIN phase on 3 June.[12] This gives government authorities permission to close schools to slow the spread of the disease.[11] On 17 June 2009 the Department of Health and Ageing introduced a new phase called PROTECT. This modified the response to focus on people with high risk of complications from the disease. Testing at airports is to be discontinued. The national stockpile of antiviral drugs will no longer be made available to people with the flu unless there are more than mild symptoms or a high risk of dying.[13]

Australia has a stockpile of 8.7 million doses of Tamiflu and Relenza.[14] Under the earlier DELAY and CONTAIN phases Airlines were required to report passengers with influenza symptoms, and thermal imaging and nurses were deployed at international airports.[14] Passengers arriving were required to fill in a health declaration card.[15]

A large scale immunization effort against swine flu started on Monday 28 September 2009.

Context[edit]

There are on average 2,500-3,000 deaths every year as a result of seasonal influenza in Australia. An estimated 1 billion are infected seasonally, throughout the world. In Australia, 36,991 swine flu tests have given positive results and there have been 186 confirmed deaths of people infected with swine flu as of 21 October 2009.[1]

Reported cases[edit]

Queensland[edit]

On 9 May 2009, Australia confirmed its first case of swine flu in a 33 year old woman, when she touched down from a flight from Los Angeles to Brisbane. Although it was confirmed to be not infectious (coming out as a "weak but positive result"), family members and people who were sitting close to her during the flight have been contacted and urged to seek immediate medical attention if they began to show flu-like symptoms.[16] On 24 May Queensland confirmed its second case.[17] 41 deaths have been recorded in Queensland.[1] The first person to die in Queensland was a 38 year old woman who died on 15 July at the Mater Hospital Pimlico.[18]

Victoria[edit]

In Victoria there have been 2,440 cases,[7] including 24 deaths.[1] A 11 year old boy, and later his 2 brothers, were confirmed on 20 May to carry the virus.[19] Victorian health authorities closed Clifton Hill Primary School for two days on 21 May, initially, after the three brothers returned to the school from a trip to Disneyland.[20] A further case delayed the reopening of the school until Thursday 28 May 2009.[21][22] On 23 May about 22 year-nine students of Mill Park Secondary College were given anti-viral Tamiflu after one of their classmates was diagnosed with swine flu, the same happened for students in year 9 at the University High School in Parkville and also for the Melton campus of Mowbray College after a year 10 student contracted the virus .[21] A 35 year old man from Colac died on 20 June 2009 at Maroondah Hospital after going to Colac Hospital the previous day.[23] On 23 June 2009, the second swine flu related death in Victoria was reported, in that of a 50 year old woman at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.[24] A third death was reported on 25 June.[25] Two more death were reported on the weekend of 27 and 28 June.[26] Two more deaths were reported on 1 July, including a 3 year old.[27] Four more deaths were recorded on 8 July.[28]

The SUSTAIN phase in Victoria means that less effort will be given to tracing and testing, as there would be insufficient resources available to do this. Antiviral drugs in this phase are only available to confirmed cases or their immediate contacts.[12]

New South Wales[edit]

In New South Wales there have been 51 deaths.[1] The first confirmed death in New South Wales occurred on 29 June[29] and a second man died on 3 July.[30]

South Australia[edit]

South Australia has recorded 28 deaths,[1] plus a 'clinical positive' where the test was inconclusive and, after swine-flu-like symptoms were reported, Tamiflu was administered, thus making a future positive confirmation unlikely.[31] Adelaide high schools Eynesbury Senior College and Blackfriars Priory School closed for a week.[32] The first confirmed death from swine flu in Australia was a 26 year old Aboriginal man from Kiwirrkurra Community in the Western Desert of Western Australia who died in Royal Adelaide Hospital on 19 June.[33]

Australian Capital Territory[edit]

The Australian Capital Territory has recorded two deaths and 920 confirmed cases by 28 August 2009.[2] Two of the earliest casualties contracted the disease while on the Pacific Dawn cruise ship.[34] The first death in the ACT occurred on 28 July 2009.[35]
During the last week of July 2009, Radford College's year 12 cohort was asked to stay home, after a spike of influenza through the year.

Western Australia[edit]

There have been 27 confirmed deaths in Western Australia.[1] The first person to die in the state was a 26 year old woman who died on 26 June 2009. A 26 year old Western Australian man died in Adelaide on 19 June.[33]

Tasmania[edit]

Tasmania has recorded seven deaths.[1] Public health authorities expected up to 200,000 Tasmanians could catch swine flu in the three months incoming from June.[36] The first person to die in Tasmania was an 85 year old woman who died in Royal Hobart Hospital on 5 July.[37]

Northern Territory[edit]

The Northern Territory confirmed the first infection of a person on 30 May 2009.[38] Six people have died in the territory so far.[1] The first person in the Territory to die from the current epidemic was a man in his early 50s who died at the Royal Darwin Hospital on 6 July.[33]

Overseas cases[edit]

The swine flu has also affected some Australians internationally:

Three Australians in London had confirmed cases of swine flu.[39][40]
Australians in quarantine:[41]

Pacific Dawn cruise ship swine flu scare[edit]

On 25 May, about 3 hours after going off the boat, a swine flu scare was reported on board. This shock has caused a spark in the number of cases, going up much more rapidly than before, and somehow causing "Case 1" (see above). The number of cases was around 20 before the scare, and due to this, the amount of cases have risen well over 15,000. This cruise ship caused almost half of the cases in SA, caused the WA case, and the TAS case. Also it caused a scare in New Caledonia.

Government travel advice[edit]

Borders have not been closed, and no restrictions have been placed on travel.[42] Travel to countries with confirmed cases of swine flu have not been reclassed to reconsider, as at 1 May 2009.

Measures to control an outbreak[edit]

Starting from 30 April thermal imaging was applied to passenger arrivals at international airports and arriving passengers were required to fill in a card. Customs officers checked aeroplane cabins prior to disembarkation of passengers looking for people with flu symptoms.[43]

On 23 May the government upgraded the flu alert level from "delay" to "contain", giving authorities in all states the option to close schools if students were at risk.[11] All states and territories have ordered students returning from countries where flu was widespread (Canada, Japan, Mexico, Panama and United States) not to return to school for a week after entering Australia.[44] States outside Victoria decided to prevent students returning to school for a week if they have visited Victoria.[45]

CSL Limited started to produce a vaccine to immunize against swine flu, and received an order from the Australian Government for ten million doses. The inoculations are expected to be ready around the end of July 2009.[46][47]

In Melbourne, seven special clinics for influenza opened on 29 May.[48]

There are now additional measures to control the flu outbreak encouraging students returning from Victoria to stay away from school and quarantine themselves for a period of up to seven days.

Preparations[edit]

The Australian Government had a stockpile of 40 million surgical grade face masks. However stocks of face masks in pharmacies were depleted due to personal purchases.[43] The World Health Organisation Influenza Centre in North Melbourne was attempting to develop a vaccine for swine flu, by growing the live virus as found in California, in chicken embryos.[49] The first one litre batch of vaccine was announced to be ready on 29 June 2009 by the University of Queensland, but would not be available for use until it was registered as safe with the regulatory authority.[50]

A Commonwealth Health hotline for Swine Influenza was set up on Australian phone number 1802007 by the Department of Health and Ageing.[51] The Australian Government set up a health emergency web site.[15] Daily tallies of suspected cases were given.[52]

The Tasmanian Government set up a Tasmanian Action Plan for Human Influenza Pandemic.[53]

The Queensland Government had an action plan prepared in 2008[54] and a business continuity plan in 2006.[55] The Australian Capital Territory Chief Medical Officer, Dr Charles Guest, claimed that procedures and systems were very good to detect and respond to the disease outbreak.[56] South Australia has nominated eight hospitals to handle flu: Royal Adelaide, Flinders Medical Centre or Women's and Children's Hospital, Berri, Mount Gambier, Port Lincoln, Whyalla or Port Augusta.[57] The Victorian Government Department of Human Services had a nurse on call to answer questions on the topic.[58]

Hygiene recommendations[edit]

The Tasmanian government published a warning poster[59] and a series of recommendations to health professionals on protective equipment, hand washing and sterilisation.[60]

Statistics[edit]

Information accurate as of 1200 EST on 21 October 2009.

  • 36,991 individuals infected[1]
  • 4,886 have been hospitalised since beginning of epidemic[1]
  • 186 deaths: 51 in New South Wales, 24 in Victoria, 41 in Queensland, 27 in Western Australia, 27 in South Australia, 7 in Tasmania, 6 in the Northern Territory and 2 in the ACT.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "National tally of confirmed cases of H1N1 Influenza 09 (Human Swine Influenza) As at 12pm, 21 October 2009" (PDF). Department of Health and Ageing. 21 October 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Influenza Pandemic (H1N1) 2009". 29 September 2009. Archived from the original on 13 October 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2009. 
  3. ^ "Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Influenza Update". 3 September 2009. Retrieved 3 September 2009. 
  4. ^ "H1N1 Influenza - Human Swine Flu". Northern Territory Government Department of Health and Families. 25 September 2009. Archived from the original on 12 October 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2009. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Pandemic in Queensland 2009 weekly report 38". 21 September 2009. table 1. Retrieved 27 September 2009. 
  6. ^ "Stopping the spread of Flu starts here". 29 September 2009. Archived from the original on 29 September 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2009. 
  7. ^ a b "H1N1 Influenza 09 (Human Swine Flu)". 30 September 2009. Archived from the original on 7 October 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2009. 
  8. ^ "Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 - Human Swine Flu". Government of Western Australia. 29 September 2008. Retrieved 2 October 2008. 
  9. ^ Australia - Department of Health: Update bulletins for influenza A H1N1 09 (human swine influenza)
  10. ^ Nicola Roxon, Minister for Health and Ageing (Australia) (27 May 2009). Press conference (Television production). Australia: Network Ten. Event occurs at 2:55. Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  11. ^ a b c "Rudd defends swine flu threat upgrade". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 23 May 2009. Archived from the original on 27 May 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2009. 
  12. ^ a b Ryan, Siobhain (3 June 2009). "Victoria raises swine flu risk alert to sustain". The Australian. Archived from the original on 20 June 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  13. ^ Nicola Roxon (17 June 2009). "New Pandemic Phase Protect". 
  14. ^ a b "70 Australians tested for swine flu". Melbourne: AAP. 29 April 2009. Archived from the original on 30 April 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2009. 
  15. ^ a b "Health Emergency–H1N1 Influenza 09 (Human Swine Influenza)Outbreaks". Healthemergency.gov.au. Archived from the original on 2 May 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  16. ^ "First confirmed case of swine flu in Australia". News.com.au. 9 May 2009. Archived from the original on 11 May 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2009. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Australia confirms 17th case of swine flu". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 24 May 2009. Archived from the original on 27 May 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2009. 
  18. ^ "More deaths in Australia". Department of Health and Ageing. 15 July 2009. Archived from the original on 15 July 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  19. ^ Cooper, Mex; Miller, Nick (20 May 2009). "Swine flu: Three brothers test positive". The Age Melbourne. Archived from the original on 21 May 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009. 
  20. ^ "Swine flu outbreak closes school". smh.com.au. 21 May 2009. Archived from the original on 23 May 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2009. 
  21. ^ a b "Classmates treated as swine flu spreads". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 23 May 2009. Archived from the original on 30 May 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2009. 
  22. ^ "School re-opens after swine flu outbreak". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 28 May 2009. Archived from the original on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  23. ^ "Second H1N1 Influenza 09 related death – Victoria". Department of Health and Ageing. 23 June 2009. Archived from the original on 24 June 2009. Retrieved 23 June 2009. 
  24. ^ "Second death in Victoria". Department of Health and Ageing. 24 June 2009. Archived from the original on 24 June 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2009. 
  25. ^ "Fourth swine flu victim dies". Australian Broadcasting Commission. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  26. ^ "Two more H1N1 Influenza 09 deaths in Victoria, brings national total to seven". Department of Health and Ageing. 24 June 2009. Archived from the original on 1 July 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2009. 
  27. ^ "Two further deaths in Victoria". Department of Health and Ageing. 1 July 2009. Archived from the original on 1 July 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009. 
  28. ^ "Victoria records 4 more swine flu deaths". Australian Broadcasting Commission. 8 July 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  29. ^ "First NSW death". Department of Health and Ageing. 2 July 2009. Archived from the original on 3 July 2009. Retrieved 2 July 2009. 
  30. ^ "Second death in NSW". Department of Health and Ageing. 5 July 2009. Archived from the original on 8 July 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2009. 
  31. ^ AAP (24 May 2009). "SA boy 'clinical positive' to swine flu". 9 News. ninemsn.com.au. Archived from the original on 27 May 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2009. 
  32. ^ "10th swine flu case confirmed". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 25 May 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2009. 
  33. ^ a b c "First Northern Territory death". Department of Health and Ageing. 6 July 2009. Archived from the original on 8 July 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2009. 
  34. ^ "More swine flu cases inevitable: Gallagher". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  35. ^ "First Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza related death in the ACT". Department of Health and Ageing. 1 August 2009. Archived from the original on 6 August 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2009. 
  36. ^ "40 per cent of Tasmanians predicted to contract swine flu". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 3 June 2009. Archived from the original on 14 June 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2009. 
  37. ^ "First death in Tasmania". Department of Health and Ageing. 7 July 2009. Archived from the original on 8 July 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  38. ^ "NT records first swine flu case". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 31 May 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2009. 
  39. ^ AAP (4 May 2009). "Third Aussie tests positive for swine flu in London: report". SMH (Fairfax). Archived from the original on 5 May 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  40. ^ AAP (2 May 2009). "Two Australians test positive for swine flu in London". The Australian (News Limited). Archived from the original on 5 May 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  41. ^ Nicola Roxon, Minister for Health and Ageing (Australia) (27 May 2009). Press conference (Television production). Australia: Network Ten. Event occurs at 8:50. Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  42. ^ Travel Bulletin: Health : Swine Influenza
  43. ^ a b "Flu fears spark rush on pharmacies". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 1 May 2009. Archived from the original on 3 May 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  44. ^ "Australian swine flu cases rise to 31". Sydney Morning Herald. 26 May 2009. Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2009. 
  45. ^ Ryan, Siobhain (4 June 2009). "Victoria placed on swine flu blacklist". The Australian. Archived from the original on 6 June 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2009. 
  46. ^ Simeon Bennett (26 May 2009). "CSL to start making swine flu vaccine next week for human tests". Bloomberg. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  47. ^ Alison Caldwell, Nicola Roxon (28 May 2009). "Government orders vaccines as swine flu cases 100". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  48. ^ "Seven swine flu clinics open in Melbourne". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 12 June 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2009. 
  49. ^ Brown, Rachael (30 April 2009). "Melbourne lab joins race for flu vaccine". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 5 May 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  50. ^ Josh Bavas (29 June 2009). "Qld uni unveils swine flu vaccine". ABC News. Retrieved 29 June 2009. 
  51. ^ "Smartraveller: The Australian Government's travel advisory and consular assistance service". Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 4 September 2003. Archived from the original on 3 May 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  52. ^ "Update bulletins". Health Emergency. Archived from the original on 3 May 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  53. ^ "Tasmanian action plan for human influenza" (PDF). Tasmanian Government. Archived from the original on 28 May 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  54. ^ "Avian influenza action plan" (PDF). Queensland Government. 2008. Archived from the original on 30 May 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  55. ^ "Business continuity plan" (PDF). Queensland Government. 2006. Archived from the original on 30 May 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  56. ^ "H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu)". ACT Health. Archived from the original on 5 May 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  57. ^ "Stopping the spread of flu starts here". Department of Health South Australia. Archived from the original on 27 May 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  58. ^ "Swine influenza–influenza A (H1N1) virus". Communicable Disease Control, Public Health Branch, Rural & Regional Health & Aged Care Services Division of the Victorian State Government, Department of Human Services. Archived from the original on 28 May 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  59. ^ "Protect yourself from pandemic influenza" (PDF). DHHS Tasmania. Archived from the original on 28 May 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  60. ^ "Planning for a Pandemic". Tasmanian Government. Archived from the original on 5 May 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 

External links[edit]