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Swine Flu Outbreak May Spark UN Agency Review of Pandemic Alert
Last Updated: April 25, 2009 04:51 EDT
WHO’s alert level is at level 3, meaning there is no, or very limited, human-to-human transmission of a potential pandemic virus.
April 25 (Bloomberg) -- The deadly swine flu outbreak that’s spread across Mexico and infected people in California and Texas may be declared an international health emergency.
The World Health Organization will hold a teleconference with flu experts at 4 p.m. Geneva time to decide whether the situation is “a public health event of international concern,” said Gregory Hartl, a WHO spokesman.
At least 68 have died and more than 1,000 have fallen ill with flu-like symptoms in the Mexico City region in the past month, Jose Cordova, Mexico’s Health Minister, told reporters yesterday. The country’s government has shut schools and distributed face masks.
Originally posted by haika
I'm guessing that it would be your basic flu vaccine.
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Key Facts about Swine Influenza (Swine Flu)
What is Swine Influenza?
Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Swine flu viruses cause high levels of illness and low death rates in pigs. Swine influenza viruses may circulate among swine throughout the year, but most outbreaks occur during the late fall and winter months similar to outbreaks in humans. The classical swine flu virus (an influenza type A H1N1 virus) was first isolated from a pig in 1930.
How many swine flu viruses are there?
Like all influenza viruses, swine flu viruses change constantly. Pigs can be infected by avian influenza and human influenza viruses as well as swine influenza viruses. When influenza viruses from different species infect pigs, the viruses can reassort (i.e. swap genes) and new viruses that are a mix of swine, human and/or avian influenza viruses can emerge. Over the years, different variations of swine flu viruses have emerged. At this time, there are four main influenza type A virus subtypes that have been isolated in pigs: H1N1, H1N2, H3N2, and H3N1. However, most of the recently isolated influenza viruses from pigs have been H1N1 viruses.
Officials announced and then quickly abandoned a vaccination campaign, saying the medicine is likely not effective against the current strain. Instead, they were stocking up on the flu medicine Oseltamivir, which they say has shown positive results.
WASHINGTON, Apr. 24, 2009
(AP) The Obama administration is considering sending more National Guard troops to keep order along the U.S.-Mexican border as drug-fueled violence increases in northern Mexico, defense officials said Friday.
Governors of Arizona and Texas have asked for more than 250 additional Guard troops this year, but no decision has been made. The administration has asked Congress for $350 million that could fund emergency military operations along the border but the money has not been approved, and no final choices have been made about how to spend it if it comes through, defense officials said.
Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the White house policy has not been set.
The $350 million request does not signal any imminent deployment of National Guard troops to the border, said an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly.
Originally posted by kosmicjack
Curious story about troops below - absolutely no mention of the flu outbreak but the dateline is yesterday. Funny how the Mexican drug-crime meme flared up and faded out, only to be replaced by the flu meme. I'd say border and immigration strategies are definitely percolating behind the scenes.
"Never let a good crisis go to waste"...
The head of the World Health Organization says the swine flu outbreak in Mexico and the United States could develop into a pandemic.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan says the outbreak involves "an animal strain of the H1N1 virus, and it has pandemic potential."
Chan says it is too early to say whether a pandemic will actually occur.
The global health body has advised countries around the world to look out for similar outbreaks following the discovery of related strains on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border.
Residents [of La Gloria, Perote Municipality, Veracruz State, Mexico] believed the outbreak had been caused by contamination from pig breeding farms located in the area. They believed that the farms, operated by Granjas Carroll, polluted the atmosphere and local water bodies, which in turn led to the disease outbreak. According to residents, the company denied responsibility for the outbreak and attributed the cases to ‘flu.’ However, a municipal health official stated that preliminary investigations indicated that the disease vector was a type of fly that reproduces in pig waste and that the outbreak was linked to the pig farms. It was unclear whether health officials had identified a suspected pathogen responsible for this outbreak.
WASHINGTON, April 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday it was too late to contain the swine flu outbreak in the United States.
CDC acting director Dr. Richard Besser told reporters in a telephone briefing it was likely too late to try to contain the outbreak, by vaccinating, treating or isolating people.
"There are things that we see that suggest that containment is not very likely," he said.
World Health Organization's director-general calls cases of swine flu "a serious situation" that "must be watched very closely."
The "Spanish flu", 1918–1919. First identified early in March 1918 in US troops training at Camp Funston, Kansas. By October 1918, it had spread to become a world-wide pandemic on all continents, and eventually infected 2.5 to 5% of the human population, with 20% or more of the world population suffering from the disease to some extent. Unusually deadly and virulent, it ended nearly as quickly as it began, vanishing completely within 18 months. In six months, some 50 million were dead; some estimates put the total of those killed worldwide at over twice that number. An estimated 17 million died in India, 675,000 in the United States and 200,000 in the UK. The virus was recently reconstructed by scientists at the CDC studying remains preserved by the Alaskan permafrost. They identified it as a type of H1N1 virus.
Originally posted by ChrisCrikey
I glad that the supermarkets are offering disinfecting wipes at the door and in the meat section. Too bad they don't have machines that sanitize paper currency like they do in Japan. Money is filthy! Please wash your hands, everyone and if you're are sick wear a mask. I need to stock up on surgical masks and hand sanitizer. If I think I've been expose or someone sneezes on me I use *Purell on my hands then breathe in the vapors before it dries. I wouldn't advise this to anyone....but it's what I do. That and emergen-C every morning.