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Ukraine Dead Increase to 299 - Still No Sequences
Recombinomics Commentary 22:55
November 15, 2009

1,364,939 Influenza/ARI

75,862 Hospitalized

299 Dead

The above numbers represent the latest update for the Ukraine Ministry of Health.  Once again the number of dead increased by 17, but weekend numbers tend to be lower than weekday reports.  The 299 dead are almost double the 155 reported week ago.  The increased number of dead includes those from locations in central and eastern Ukraine.  Last Sunday 13 of the 27 reporting regions had not exceeded the epidemic threshold, but today only 5 regions remained below the threshold (see map).

There has been more recent media coverage which have suggested that the high number of fatal cases was linked to late treatment or a lack of Tamiflu.  However, at least 6 of the fatalities were healthcare workers and most of the reported deaths were after the warning was issued and schools were closed down, suggesting that many, if not most cases, were not due to late treatment.  The initial WHO report indicated the time between disease onset and hospitalization was 5-7 days, but the more recent report from Ukraine cited a 3-7 day lag, which again suggested that many die in spite of awareness, modest time differentials between symptoms and hospitalization, and appropriate treatment.

Moreover, 90 of the initial cases were describe as having a hemorrhagic component, which again raises concerns about small genetic changes, especially in the receptor binding domain. Answers to questions about such changes have been evasive, and the sequences have not been released by Mill Hill.

The sequence silence remains deafening, and erodes public confidence in agencies controlling these samples and sequences.

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