Among those updates is the Avian Influenza Report, which is currently at week 45. It puts animal and human cases together, and tracks them all the way back to December 2003. So in a single table you can see both the cumulative number of human cases in the past nine years (608) and the number in the past six months (one, an Indonesian man who died in August).
All told in 2012, 30 people have contracted H5N1 and 19 have died of it. That's by far the lowest number since the outbreak began late in 2003 with 4 cases, all fatal. It's only half the number of cases in 2011, though the case fatality ratio is a little higher this year (63.3% versus 54.8%).
The worst H5N1 year was 2006, with 155 cases and 79 deaths. Since then the trend has been erratic: 88 cases and 59 deaths in 2007, then a drop to 44 cases in 2008 (with an increase in CFR to 75% with 33 deaths), Then a spike to 73 cases in 2009 with the lowest CFR ever, 43.8%. Then a drop to 48 in 2010, the rise to 62 last year, and now 2012 is ending with very few cases indeed.
I would like to think that this is because H5N1 is just too dumb to learn how to migrate to humans. But I worry that somewhere it will mutate with just the right combination of changes, as we know it can.
Has anyone seen any scientific studies of this dropoff in human cases? Hong Kong is certainly paying attention, but some real analysis of trends in human cases would be very helpful.