The World Health Organization (WHO) has provided the latest update about H1N1 influenza numbers internationally. (People are still often calling this "swine flu", but it has yet to be found in pigs and is clearly being transmitted human-human now, therefore some have recommended it be called "Mexican flu" or "North American flu" instead. This also decreases the negative associations with pork products, which are totally unfounded because the virus is NOT a food safety concern). Regardless of the name, this pathogen continues to move across the planet. The WHO is reporting 148 laboratory confirmed cases. Ninety-one have been confirmed in the US with 26 confirmed in Mexico.
It’s important to remember that confirmed cases are very much the "tip of the iceberg". It’s likely that there are thousands of cases in Mexico, despite only 26 having been confirmed by laboratory testing. For a case to make this list, the sick person has to go to a doctor AND samples have to be collected for testing AND the testing has to be appropriate for identification of swine flu versus other types of influenza. Areas with more diagnostic testing capacity and public health infrastructure (like some places in the US) will end up reporting more cases, even if they actually have fewer sick people. So, we shouldn’t become complacent when reading about relatively small numbers of confirmed cases, and we must take care when comparing regional rates.
Confirmed cases have also been reported in Austria (1), Canada (13), Germany (3), Israel (2), New Zealand (3), Spain (4) and the United Kingdom (5). Deaths have only been reported in Mexico and the US, with the single (to date) US death being a child that was visiting from Mexico.