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Europe has experienced more than two months of the first transmissions and outbreak of the 2009 pandemic of A(H1N1)v. This article summarises some of the experience to date and looks towards the expected autumn increases of influenza activity that will affect every country. To date the distribution of transmission has been highly heterogenous between and within countries, with one country the United Kingdom (UK) experiencing the most cases and the highest transmission rates. Most infections are mild but there are steadily increasing numbers of people needing hospital care and more deaths are being reported. An initial difference in practice between Europe and North America was over case-finding and treatment with some authorities in Europe using active case-finding, contact tracing and treatment/prophylaxis with antivirals to try and delay transmission. This article details the history of this practice in the past two months and explains how and why countries are moving to mitigation, especially treating with antivirals those at higher risk of experiencing severe disease.


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