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Researchers from the MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling at Imperial College London, working in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and public health agencies in Mexico, have assessed the epidemic using data to the end of April. Their key findings are as follows:
The data so far is very consistent with what researchers would expect to find in the early stages of a pandemic.
The H1N1 virus strain causing the current outbreaks is a new virus that has not been seen previously in either humans or animals. Although firm conclusions cannot be reached at present, scientists anticipate that pre-existing immunity to the virus will be low or non-existent, or largely confined to older population groups.
H1N1 appears to be more contagious than seasonal influenza. The secondary attack rate of seasonal influenza ranges from 5% to 15%. Current estimates of the secondary attack rate of H1N1 range from 22% to 33%.
Beijing health authorities are seeking 147 passengers who were on a Tokyo-Beijing flight with a Chinese man who has become the mainland's first confirmed case of A/H1N1 flu,
Premier Gary Doer donned an apron at lunchtime to barbecue pork and demonstrate support for the province’s pork industry at an event on the south grounds of the Legislative Building.
The Canadian pork industry is concerned about international reaction to the so-called "swine flu," which has infected people in a number of countries around the world.
Medical experts say that it cannot be passed to humans through consumption of pork.
However, China barred pork from Alberta after the flu was recently identified in a swine herd in that province. And other countries have banned pork shipments from Canada as well.
At noon, Doer stood shoulder to shoulder at the barbecue with Baldur hog producer Karl Kynoch, president of the Manitoba Pork Council.
Kynoch and Doer’s government have sparred over a new provincial law limiting the growth of the hog industry in some parts of Manitoba. But today they were together handing out free pork sandwiches to a crowd that included Joel Kettner, the province’s chief provincial public health officer of health, pork industry officials, a number of MLAs and government employees.
Swine flu is spreading so far and fast in the U.S. that health officials may soon stop counting individual cases, a federal health official said Monday.
Viral shedding refers to the successful reproduction, expulsion, and host-cell infection caused by virus progeny. Once replication has been completed and the host cell is exhausted of all resources in making viral progeny, the viruses may begin to leave the cell by several methods.
Swine flu spreads easily enough and infects enough people to spark a global pandemic, according to a new analysis by the World Health Organization’s Rapid Pandemic Assessment Collaboration. That’s the news of the day, released early by the journal Science “because it contains important public health information.” The bottom line: We’re not safe yet, despite the Monday-morning feeling that swine flu is last week’s news. This may be just the first weeks of a three-to-five-year pandemic, with wave after wave of sickness and death.
More at Link...
New gene map shows big diversity in Mexico
Mon May 11, 2009 5:06pm EDT
WASHINGTON, May 11 (Reuters) - A new gene map of Mexicans show they are as diverse as their history suggests and could benefit from having their own, unique analysis when it comes to testing drugs and assessing disease risks, researchers reported on Monday.
They studied 300 mestizos -- people of mixed ethnic heritage -- and found many different genetic variations that pointed to Indian, European and African ancestry. They also compared these sequences to those found among 30 ethnic Indians.
"This study makes clear that Latin Americans with mixed ancestry are different enough from other people worldwide that a full-scale genomic mapping project would be wise both scientifically and economically," said Dr. Julio Frenk of the Harvard School of Public Health, a former Mexican minister of health.
"It would allow doctors to analyze fewer genetic markers when diagnosing the risk that a patient will develop a disease that depends on complex factors.