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Mysterious U.S. Swine Flu Probe Widens as Mexico Finds Swine Flu *updated*

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posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 08:38 PM
H1N1 Flu Cluster: Bay Area Pregnant Women

CBS 5 has learned that at least five pregnant women have been hospitalized in Bay Area intensive care units due to complications of the H1N1 swine flu.

Sources said two of the five women are no longer in ICU, but they remained hospitalized. All the fetuses appeared to be fine, the sources indicated.

This may be the first reported cluster of pregnant women infected with H1N1 in the country. One obstetrician who was consulted on all five cases told CBS 5 that he had never seen anything like this before.

All the pregnant women are or were in their early third trimester. Some required intubation or help breathing, sources said.

Some of these women were perfectly healthy, while others had underlying health conditions. While the doctor could not divulge what other health conditions these pregnant women had, the Centers for Disease Control said respiratory conditions such as allergies or asthma or even heart disease, may put a person at a higher risk.

The CDC and the World Health Organization also warned that pregnancy itself may be a risk factor for contracting H1N1.

CDC officials said they don't know why pregnant women may be at a higher risk for contracting swine flu or for complications following a swine flu infection. However, pregnant women, in general, have lowered immune systems.

The doctor interviewed by CBS 5 believes that with infected pregnant women who are in their third trimester, the enlarging fetus in the uterus may be pushing up and against a woman's diaphragm to such a degree, that she can no longer breathe as deeply, and may be at higher risk for pneumonia.

posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 08:39 PM
f a cell is infected with two different influenza viruses, the RNAs of both viruses are copied in the nucleus. When new virus particles are assembled at the plasma membrane, each of the 8 RNA segments may originate from either infecting virus. The progeny that inherit RNAs from both parents are called reassortants. This process is illustrated in the diagram below, which shows a cell that is co-infected with two influenza viruses L and M. The infected cell produces both parental viruses as well as a reassortant R3 which inherits one RNA segment from strain L and the remainder from strain

posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 08:59 PM
Zsa Zsa Gabor Hospitalized With Flu Symptoms

Zsa Zsa Gabor has been hospitalized for six days but is back at home recovering from a flu-like illness.

Her husband, Prince Frederick von Anhalt, said Monday the 92-year-old actress was treated at a hospital and released, but did not provide details on her condition

posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 09:12 PM
Uruguay reports first death from swine flu

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay—A 60-year-old woman who died Monday in Uruguay became the country's first swine flu fatality, the ministry of public health said.

"Late today a woman died in Montevideo with multiple organ failure and tests confirmed the presence of the A(H1N1) virus," the ministry said in a statement.

Uruguay has 195 confirmed cases of swine flu, including 12 requiring hospitalization, according to the ministry.

posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 09:16 PM
Scientists investigating the genetic make-up of flu viruses have concluded there is a high probability that the H1N1 strain of influenza "A" behind the current pandemic might never have been re-introduced into the human population were it not for an accidental leak from a laboratory working on the same strain in

posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 11:38 PM
Hawaii has 1st swine flu death; officials say elderly patient had previous medical condition

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii is reporting its first swine flu death.

The state Department of Health says an adult over 60 years old with an underlying medical condition died June 19 at Oahu's Tripler Army Medical Center after contracting the H1N1 virus.

Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said Monday the swine flu was not the patient's primary cause of death, but a secondary cause.

The department isn't releasing further details, including patient's gender or medical ailments, because of federal laws and concerns for the patient's privacy.

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 06:19 AM
Drug Resistant Swine Flu Seen in Danish Patient

ATLANTA — For the first time, a case of swine flu has proven resistant to Tamiflu — the leading pharmaceutical weapon against the new virus, international health officials said Monday.

The resistance was seen in a patient in Denmark, who has recovered.

"The goods news is they just found one," said Dr. Carolyn Bridges of the U.S. Centers for Disease control and Prevention.

It appears the strain developed in a patient who was taking the drug to prevent illness, and it has not spread to others. That's a much better scenario than if the patient had not been taking Tamiflu and picked up a drug-resistant strain already spreading through the public, said Bridges, associate director for science in the CDC's influenza division.

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 07:40 AM
Maryn McKenna * Contributing Writer

Jun 29, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Novel H1N1 influenza can cause severe respiratory illness, profound lung damage, and death even in patients with no underlying conditions to make them vulnerable, a team of physicians from Mexico report in a rush article published online today by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

The analysis of 18 patients hospitalized with H1N1 (swine) flu at the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases (INER) in Mexico during the pandemic's earliest days reveals that fewer than half had underlying medical conditions, but more than half needed mechanical ventilation within a day of admission. Seven of the 18 died.

In a companion article, also published in advance online today, a multi-national team from Mexico and the United States document the age distribution of the first month of the H1N1 pandemic in Mexico, where the disease appears to have struck first, and confirm its unusual pattern of severe pneumonia among younger patients. Matching the pattern to those of earlier pandemics, the team speculates on the "biologic plausibility of partial protection" in older people exposed to mid-20th century strains of seasonal flu.

The case series of 18 patients, written by researchers from INER, the Mexican Secretariat of Health and BIRMEX, Mexico's state-owned vaccine-production laboratories, documents the severe illness of the first patients admitted with lab-confirmed H1N1 infection and x-ray–confirmed bilateral pneumonia during the pandemic's first wave.

The 18, of whom 7 died, are a subset of 98 patients hospitalized at the institute with pneumonia or influenza-like illness between March 24, the presumed onset date of the first known case, and April 24. Those 98 were a subset of 214 patients who came to the institute's emergency room with influenza-like illness or severe respiratory distress.

The 18 patients were evenly divided by gender but ranged widely in age, from 9 months to 61 years, with a median age of 38. They were all at least moderately ill, with fever of at least 38°C (100.4°F), cough, and difficulty breathing; 4 of the 5 children had diarrhea.

Most had bloodwork findings that indicated acute viral infections, inflammation and cardiac distress. Half had low blood pressure that persisted after emergency treatment, and 10 of the 18 needed to be put on ventilators within 24 hours of arrival at the hospital.

Eight of the 10—5 of the 11 survivors and 3 of the 7 who died—had a pre-existing medical condition: asthma, sleep apnea, diabetes, or high blood pressure. (In the United States, "The vast majority of the fatalities … do occur in people with underlying conditions," Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a press briefing Friday. "It's not 100%. It's more on the on order of three-fourths.")

"We did not find a factor that, before the onset of illness, predicted a worse outcome or death among our patients," the researchers said.

In a finding that is likely to fuel an ongoing debate, the researchers found that none of the 18 patients had concomitant bacterial pneumonia, a finding that has been replicated in the United States and that differs from cases recorded during the 1918 pandemic. However, 9 of the survivors and 4 of the deceased received antibiotics during outpatient visits before they reached the institute, and 17 were given antibiotics after admission there, making it unlikely that any bacterial infection would be discovered.

Fourteen of the 18 received the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu), either at admission or within a few days of being admitted—in all cases, many days after the 2-day window when flu antivirals are most likely to have an effect.

The patients had a difficult course, with renal failure in 1 survivor and 5 of the deceased and multi-organ failure in all 7 of the dead. Pathological examination of the lungs of one of the dead patients showed severe damage to lung tissue, but, with no bacterial infection evident, the researchers ascribed it to the primary viral pneumonia caused by the new flu. No evidence was found of co-infection with any other virus.

And as evidence of the way the novel H1N1 took Mexico and the world by surprise, the researchers found that the 18 patients passed the flu to their families, with 82 people potentially exposed and 20 ill. Four required hospital treatment, and 1 died. Plus, 22 of the 190 healthcare workers who came in contact with the first 3 patients admitted to the institute also came down with the novel flu, but were sent home with oseltamivir and were only mildly ill.

Like the first set of patients, the healthcare workers and family members who fell ill in the second generation of cases were primarily younger, a situation mirrored in the second paper published today in NEJM. The analysis is by scientists from Arizona State University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the US National Institutes of Health, along with the Mexican Ministry of Health and National Institute of Public Health.

They found that, out of 2,155 reported cases of severe pneumonia and 2,582 lab-confirmed samples of the new flu submitted in Mexico during the pandemic's first month, 71% of severe pneumonias and 87% of deaths occurred in those between the ages of 5 and 59. That pattern is unlike any observed during seasonal flu in Mexico but matches records from the three pandemics of the 20th century, they said.

Perez-Padilla R, de la Rosa-Zamboni D, Ponce de Leon S et al. Pneumonia and respiratory failure from swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) in Mexico. N Engl J Med 2009 (published online Jun 29) [Full text]

Chowell D, Bertozzi S, Arantxa Colchero M et al. Severe respiratory disease concurrent with the circulation of H1N1 influenza. N Engl J Med 2009 (published onlin

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 07:47 AM
three provinces, two more deaths reported. Excerpt:

Argentine provinces of Santa Fe, San Luis and Santiago del Estero decided to suspend classes due to the outbreak of the H1N1 influenza.

Two more deaths were reported due to the H1N1 virus, with one professor and one student as victims. Both were from the University of Buenos Aires.

The crisis committee created to confront the advance of the H1N1 virus in Argentina will meet today and could decide to declare a sanitary emergency after the 29 registered deaths and more than 1,500 registered cases of the virus.

The committee, headed by Cabinet Chief Sergio Massa, will meet at 7pm and will host ministers and representatives from different health care organizations. The committee's decree could lead to a mass closure of different institutions, such as educational facilities, sports centres and shopping centres.

However, Buenos Aires Health Minister Claudio Zin said that such a decree does not always imply these drastic measures.

In another story, the paper reports that Health Minister Graciela Ocaña has resigned, in part over disputes about how to handle the H1N1 pandemic. The new health minister is Dr. Juan Manzur, currently lieutenant governor of Tucumán province.

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 07:51 AM
The young woman seriously ill with H1N1, who yesterday gave birth by Caesarian section, died this morning in Gregorio Marañon Hospital. She was the first fatal victim in Spain and the fourth in the European Union. Two other grave cases in Madrid have been announced today by the councillor for Health Madrid, Juan José Güemes, in addition to the case of the man hospitalized in Tarragona.

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 07:54 AM
[edit on 30-6-2009 by wizardwars]

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 07:58 AM
Canada: Severe H1N1 cases worry officials
Today's must-read comes from the blog Canadian Medicine: Recent severe cases of H1N1 flu worry health officials. Excerpt (but read the whole thing):

Dr David Butler-Jones, the government's Chief Public Health Officer ... said that although the vast majority of the 7,775 cases detected in Canada so far ... have been mild and have resulted in full recoveries, the anticipated "second wave" of infections this fall has been preceded already by the mysterious appearance in recent weeks of a small number of "severe" infections.

According to Dr Butler-Jones, the reason or reasons for the emergence of this new set of "severe" cases in Canada has not been determined, though epidemiologists with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada have been dispatched to study the matter.

Possible explanations, he explained, could include: genetic variations that result in either too little or too great an immune response in infected patients, a mutation in the H1N1 virus (which would augur potentially very serious consequences in the general population over the months to come, it would seem), or some combination of factors.

He warned that we should expect to see more cases in Canada over the coming months, including more severe cases, and more deaths.

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 08:10 AM
Parents have been warned not to take their children to "swine flu parties" in the hope they will catch the disease now and build up immunity.

Although no firm evidence has emerged of such events taking place, family website has witnessed discussions over whether parents should take steps to ensure their children acquire immunity before the main flu season in the winter, when some people expect the virus to be more potent.

British Medical Association expert Dr Richard Jarvis warned against taking such an approach.

His warning came the day after news emerged of the first death of a child with swine flu in the UK. Sameerah Ahmad, who had underlying health problems, died at Birmingham Children's Hospital on Friday evening.

She is the third person with swine flu to die in the UK since the start of the outbreak, but it is not yet known if the disease contributed to her death.

The West Midlands has been declared a hotspot for the disease, with 2,104 confirmed cases so far, more than a third of the UK's total and more than two-fifths of all the cases in England.

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that she had heard rumours of "swine flu parties" taking place. "There is an awful lot of discussion from people who have come up with a fairly rational conclusion that it might be better to pick this up now, given that we all think it might mutate to a more virulent strain in the winter," she said.

"We have heard of people saying 'Can we come round to your house when you get it?' There's definitely a prevailing view that it might be better to get it now and some people are not despairing if there is a case in their school."

But Dr Jarvis, the chairman of the BMA's public health committee, told Today: "I think parents would want to take into account that the flu - although this particular strain is relatively mild for the most part - is something that will knock people off their feet for a few days and we are seeing appreciable morbidity, severe side-effects and sadly the occasional death.

"My advice to parents would be to take this into account before taking any child along to a flu party

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 08:17 AM
More on Kenya's first H1N1 case
Via the Daily Nation: Alert over Kenya's first case of H1N1 flu. Excerpt:

Kenya's health officials have stepped-up surveillance at airports and other points of entry following the confirmation of the first H1N1 flu case in the country.

On Monday, Public Health and Sanitation minister Beth Mugo said tests carried out on samples of a 20-year-old British student at the Kenya Medical Research Institute and National Influenza Centre had tested positive for Influenza A (H1N1) popularly known as swine flu.

The student, who was in group of 34 British students, arrived in Kenya via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on June 21. On arrival, the student and his colleagues, later travelled by bus to Kisumu where they are undertaking field studies.

“Two days later on arrival in Kisumu, the medical student developed a headache and joint pains where his samples were taken at a local facility before they were flown to Nairobi for testing on Sunday,” Mrs Mugo said.

Public Health and Sanitation ministry officials had quarantined the group of British students who are staying in a Kisumu hotel.

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 11:54 AM
Pregnant women and those with underlying risk conditions, such as chronic heart or lung disease, should avoid crowds to reduce the risk of being exposed to human swine flu, federal health officials said

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 11:57 AM
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posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 11:59 AM
June 30 (Reuters) - A 19-year-old woman who contracted swine flu during her pregnancy became the first person on Tuesday to die from the virus in Spain, radio reports said.

Britain said on Monday that a girl, suffering underlying health problems, died after contracting H1N1, its third virus-related death.

Kenya said it had detected its first case of the new H1N1 influenza virus on Monday as did Nepal.

The WHO has declared an influenza pandemic and advised governments to prepare for a long-term battle against the virus.

Here are some details about the spread of the new H1N1 flu, a mixture of swine, bird and human viruses and which has infected nearly 73,000, according to the latest World Health Organisation and local health authority tallies.


CONFIRMED CASES: The number of confirmed cases of H1N1 is now at least 72,90

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 12:01 PM
New Jersey reports 6th swine flu death

The Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. - Six people have died from swine flu in New Jersey.

The state Health and Senior Services Department says the latest victim is a woman in her 40s from Bergen County who had underlying health conditions.

The five others in New Jersey who have died from the H1N1 virus include a 79-year-old Hudson County woman, a 36-year-old Union County man, a 15-year-old Somerset County boy, a 10-year-old Sussex County boy and a 49-year-old northern New Jersey man.

There are 609 confirmed cases of swine flu in every New Jersey county but Salem and Cape

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 12:03 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia confirmed 14 new cases of A/H1N1 flu here on Tuesday, bringing up the total to 158 in the country.

Of the 14 new cases, three was locally transmitted cases, said Malaysian Health Ministry's Director-General Mohd Ismail Merican.

He said that so far, 47 A/H1N1 patients were still receiving treatment at the hospitals in the country and all of them were in good conditions without any complication.

posted on Jun, 30 2009 @ 12:07 PM
Two more Phila. deaths from swine flu confirmed

Two more Philadelphia residents have died of complications related to swine flu, officials with the city Department of Public Health said last night.

Both patients - a man and a woman - were described only as middle-aged adults with underlying medical conditions whose infections were confirmed posthumously late last week.

The deaths in Philadelphia, only one of which was included in yesterday's update by the state Department of Health, were the fourth and fifth in Pennsylvania attributed to influenza A(H1N1). and the third in Philadelphia.

Six people have died in New Jersey, all in the northern part of the state.

Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware were among 12 states with widespread influenza, a measure of geographic spread that does not indicate severity or type of flu, for the week ending June 20, the latest surveillance report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A CDC official estimated on Thursday that as many as one million Americans had been infected with swine flu, with rates as high as 6 percent in some urban populations.

Like those with seasonal flu, most patients with H1N1 have not been formally tested. - Don

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