Reported Cases of Mystery Flu in Ukraine Double in Two Days
November 4, 2009
The above numbers are from the latest update from Ukraine. The number of infected patients has almost doubled to just under ½ million, compared to the report two days ago (see map). Hospitalized patients also have spiked higher, to 24K from 15K. ICU cases are not listed, but 60 on ventilators are. However, most (37) of those on ventilators are Chernivisti Oblast, but Lviv, which has the most fatalities and cases, has none, suggesting the data is incomplete or there are significant shortages of ventilators. The number of dead has risen to 81, but media reports describe additional fatalities, include those in the Kiev Oblast.
The explosion of cases again raises concerns that the number of fatalities is significantly higher than the 81 listed. Media reports have described an equal number of pneumonia fatalities which were not considered flu related. The basis of these exclusions remains unclear. Similarly, anecdotal reports suggest the number of fatalities is markedly higher than the 81 in the table.
The rapid rise in reported infections, hospitalizations, and deaths in the past few days raise concerns that the virus is transmitting very efficiently. Spikes in cases have been reported throughout the northern hemisphere, but the spike in fatalities and the frequency in hemorrhagic cases in Ukraine have raised concerns.
Earlier media reports suggest that an update by WHO might be issued today and include preliminary analysis of samples sent to Mill Hill in London.
Daily updates on the rapidly evolving situation in Ukraine, including sequence analysis, would be useful.
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