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Vegas Boy, 6, Most Serious Swine Flu Case
28 Confirmed Cases In Nevada
LAS VEGAS -- Health officials said seven more people have been infected with swine flu virus in the Las Vegas area, including a 6-year-old boy who was hospitalized with mild symptoms.
The new tally brings the number of confirmed cases in Nevada to 28.
The state Health Division said there haven't been any deaths in Nevada from the H1N1 virus, and the severity of illness for those affected has generally been mild.
Southern Nevada Health District spokeswoman Stephanie Bethel said that other than the boy, none of the other patients - males ages 16, 19, 24 and 35, and women ages 25 and 53 - were hospitalized.
As of May 15 2009, a total of 496 laboratory-confirmed cases of H1N1 Flu Virus have been reported in 9 provinces and 1 territory in Canada.
More at Link...
Preliminary study findings suggest Mexicans may be genetically susceptible to the H1N1 virus
Wed May 13, 2009
In a landmark study conducted by Mexico's National Institute of Genomic Medicine (INMEGEN), researchers examined the genetic composition of 300 Mexican Mestizos - people of mixed European and Amerindian ancestry who represent more than 80 percent of Mexico's population - from six geographically distant states in Mexico. They also looked at 30 members of Amerindian descent from the indigenous Zapotecas group in the state of Oaxaca. As they discovered, the genetic make-up of these two populations is significantly different from three other known human genetic subgroups documented through the historic International HapMap Project.
The goal of the research was to determine the "comparability of Latino genomes to others in the global search for health-related genes throughout humanity." While their findings are preliminary, the results of the study may one day help explain why the H1N1 flu was deadlier in Mexico. Says Dr. Gerardo Jimenez-Sanchez of INMEGEN, who led the research team, "It is not possible today to say genetic variation is responsible for the unique H1N1 Influenza A mortality rate in Mexico. However, knowledge of genomic variability in the Mexican population can allow the identification of genetic variations that confer susceptibility to common diseases, including infections such as the flu." And he adds, "It will also help develop pharmacogenomics to help produce medicines tailored to people of a specific genetic group, to the creation of drugs that are both safer and more effective."
BSE found in Alberta dairy cow
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed a case of mad cow disease in an older dairy animal in Alberta, the 16th case detected since 2003.
More at Link...
Mild U.S. Swine Flu Cases May Exceed Official Tally
The real number of swine flu cases in the United States could be “upwards of 100,000,” a top public health official estimated on Friday — far higher than the official count of 7,415 cases confirmed by laboratories.
The official, Dr. Daniel Jernigan, head of flu epidemiology for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a news conference that the official number gave an inaccurate picture of the outbreak because so few mildly sick people were being tested.
He added that flu was more prevalent than usual, “something we would not normally expect at this time of year.” But he emphasized that most cases were mild. There have been only 173 hospitalizations and 5 deaths reported to the disease centers.
A New, New H1N1 in Mexico?
May 15, 2009
This odd exchange took place at today’s press conference with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
David Brown, The Washington Post: There’s a report that there is yet another new H1N1 virus that has been found in the states of Durango, Zacatecas, and Jalisco that is distinct from both this swine H1N1 and the seasonal Brisbane H1N1. Have you heard of this and can you tell us anything about this?
Daniel Jernigan, CDC’s deputy director of influenza division: We’ve heard of some reports about that, but I’ve not had any direct information about the specifics of that case. There’s ongoing dialog between us and the folks that are in Mexico, and as we know more about that, we’ll be able to let people know.
ScienceInsider is investigating but has yet to learn anything substantive. It was aired in a public venue, though, and likely will receive media attention, regardless of whether it turns out to be false.
Update (6:44EDT, 15 May): “We heard a rumor but think it may be a misinterpretation of some lab data by a non-lab person,” Nancy Cox, head of CDC’s influenza division, tells ScienceInsider. “We are following up.”