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

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posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 05:56 PM
New H1N1 flu resembles feared 1918 virus, study finds

WASHINGTON - The new H1N1 influenza virus bears a disturbing resemblance to the virus strain that caused the 1918 flu pandemic, with a greater ability to infect the lungs than common seasonal flu viruses, researchers reported on Monday.

Tests in several animals confirmed other studies that have shown the new swine flu strain can spread beyond the upper respiratory tract to go deep into the lungs — making it more likely to cause pneumonia, the international team said.

In addition, they found that people who survived the 1918 pandemic seem to have extra immune protection against the virus, again confirming the work of other researchers.

"When we conducted the experiments in ferrets and monkeys, the seasonal virus did not replicate in the lungs," said Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin, who led the study.

The H1N1 virus replicates significantly better in the lungs."

The new swine flu virus has caused the first pandemic of the 21st century, infecting more than a million people, according to estimates, and killing at least 500. The World Health Organization says it is causing mostly moderate disease but Kawaoka said that does not mean it is like seasonal flu.

"There is a misunderstanding about this virus," he said in a statement. "There is clear evidence the virus is different than seasonal influenza."

posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 05:58 PM
Nature 'lung lesions' study published today.

[edit on 13-7-2009 by JBA2848]

posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 07:13 PM
Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 briefing note

posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 07:37 PM
OTTAWA, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Canada is developing a complex preparation plan for a possible deadly A/H1N1 flu pandemic later this year, with measures focusing on how to distribute limited treatment resources, as well as training more professionals and buying more ventilators and other machines to treat seriously sick patients.

With the A/H1N1 flu continuing to spread at present, the primary fear of health officials here is that a more deadly and serious flu pandemic will return in autumn, rendering an approximate 200,000 people, or 0.6 percent of the total population, seriously ill.

Health experts believe that A/H1N1 flu may follow the same course as the Spanish flu, which arrived in a mild form in the spring of 1918 and then mutated into something far more vicious when traditional flu season returned in the fall of that year.

In the end, an estimated 50 million people were killed worldwide, including 50,000 in Canada, or 0.6 percent of the then population. If the 1918 experiences were replicated this year and 0.6 percent of the Canadian population fell seriously ill, that would be close to 200,000 people.

Although earnest efforts have been taken to produce effective vaccine in time for the possible autumn pandemic, and experts say there is a strong likelihood that a vaccine will be in place by November, they have also warned that the effectiveness of preventive medicine is by no means a certainty.

Production of a vaccine has already hit a snag, with manufacturers reporting a disappointingly low yield when the virus is grown in eggs, according to the World Health Organization.

With the above considerations in mind, health officials at various levels in Canada are earnestly preparing for the worst.

For one thing, the federal and provincial governments are developing a plan which stipulates, among many other things, that guidelines be developed to assist doctors in making tough choices about the allocation of scarce treatments. This means that for the first time in decades, doctors across the country will be given rules to help determine which patients get access to life-saving treatments and which not.

"There may come a point where there is definitely an overcrowding situation where triaging has to occur if you have limited resources," Theresa Tam, director general of infection disease and emergency preparedness for the Public Health Agency of Canada, told national newspaper "The Globe and Mail" in a recent interview.

Some of the work to develop the rules around triage has already been done, said Dr. Tam. A multidisciplinary group has been pulled together to analyze the potential situations as various issues, including legal issues, clinical issues and ethical issues, will all be involved.

With most diseases, it is the elderly and the infirm who are worst affected. But the H1N1 virus has a predilection for people in their prime.

"We may be faced with two young persons who may be competing for the same health-care resources, and those are some of the questions that we will be facilitating discussions on," Dr. Tam said.

Meanwhile, respiratory technicians say there are not enough members of their profession currently practicing in this country to care for patients during an influenza pandemic. Nor, they say, are there enough critical-care nurses.

The public health agency is looking at ways to bring health professionals out of retirement, getting students fast-tracked into the work force, and allowing credentials to be accepted across jurisdictions.

Some doctors have also suggested the problem of finding enough ventilators and enough isolation rooms.

Dr. Tam estimated that there are about 3,500 to 4,500 ventilators in Canada that could be used in a pandemic. The public-health agency is purchasing 370 of the regular ventilators to add to the federal stockpile of 130 that can be distributed to the provinces as needed.

Dr. Tam said the regulators will be selected with ease of transportation and operation in mind. The agency expects to spend about 10,000 Canadian dollars (8,500 U.S. dollars) per machine. But agencies such as the Respiratory Therapy Society of Ontario have questioned that choice, saying better machines, each costing at least fours times as the regular ones, are needed for the pandemic. Experts expect more debate is coming as the severity of the flu is assessed.

Canada has the third highest number of confirmed A/H1N1 flu cases in the world. There have been a total of 9,717 confirmed patients so far in the country, with 39 deaths, according to the latest figures from the Public Health Agency of

posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 07:43 PM
BANGKOK, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Thailand should consider temporally suspending classes at all schools in a bid to curb the rising A/H1N1 virus outbreak, Deputy Prime Minister Sanan Kajornprasart said on Monday.

Sanan said he personally believes it is now time to temporarily close all schools so as to control the new virus spread, the website report by The Nation quoted Sanan as saying.

"The suspension should last two to four weeks during which major cleanup operation would be conducted," he said, adding that after the temporary class suspension, schools can resume classes and arrange makeup classes.

Earlier, he said he will propose the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday to purchase face masks worth 10 million baht (293,430 U.S.dollars) for those, who need daily traveling by public transportation.

Sanan, who chairs the national flu A/H1N1 virus prevention committee, said he will also propose the cabinet meeting to endorsea budget worth 70 million baht (2.05 million U.S. dollars) to finance a public campaign to fight the new virus outbreak.

The proposals came amid the country's Monday report of three more death cases due to the flu A/H1N1 virus infection, which took the country's death toll to 21 since June 27.

The country also reported 329 more confirmed infected patients on Monday, bringing the country's total number of the patients to 3,883, according to the Public Health Ministry.

posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 07:44 PM
MANILA, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Two flu A/H1N1 patients in the Philippines have died, the Philippine health authorities announced Monday, which brought the country's death toll to three.

Aside from the flu, the two patients - a 19-year-old boy and a 74-year-old man - had also suffered asthma and emphysema respectively and the cause of their death can not be determined immediately, the on-line edition of the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted a senior health official as saying.

Arnel Rivera, head of the Department of Health operation center for A/H1N1 influenza, said more than 2,600 people in the Philippines tested positive for the A/H1N1 virus but 2,500 of them had recovered.

The Philippines reported its first flu A/H1N1-related death in June. The victim was a female employee of the Congress, who had also other health problems, the authorities sai

posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 07:50 PM
RIYADH: The Ministry of Education on Monday ordered the closure of an international school in Riyadh after 20 students tested positive for swine flu. Officials, however, declined to identify the school except to say it is “East Asian.” A dozen other unrelated cases have also been identified.

Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Khalid Al-Mirghalani told Arab News that health officials asked the Education Ministry to temporarily close the school to contain the spread of the virus. The ministry spokesman said officials reacted promptly and according to World Health Organization guidelines to avoid further infection among school staff and students.

“We have segregated the infected students and they are currently being treated in a Riyadh hospital,” Al-Mirghalani said, adding that all students, teachers and administrative staff of the school have been asked to see a doctor at the first sign of flu symptoms in the coming days.

Swine flu incubation can take up to seven days, though generally it is between 24 and 48 hours from initial infection. Anti-viral drugs work best if taken within 48 hours of the manifestation of

posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 07:54 PM
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The number of cadets with confirmed cases of the swine flu at the Air Force Academy has increased to 67.

The Gazette in Colorado Springs reported Monday that 121 freshmen with flu-like symptoms have been separated from the rest of the cadets. They were placed in a separate dormitory on the base near Colorado Springs late last week when they started showing symptoms.

The "doolies," members of the incoming freshman class, are among about 1,300 recent arrivals for their first weeks of military training.

A possible outbreak of swine flu ended a summer youth camp early at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, where 10 students and three staffers showed symptoms Sunday.

posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 07:57 PM
A hastily organized count is underway to determine whether B.C. has enough of a specialized type of ventilator that may be critical to treating swine flu patients this fall when the pandemic is expected to intensify.

The advanced machines, known as oscillatory ventilators, are rarely used and typically in short supply at hospitals.

But infectious disease experts in Canada say victims here are tending to be younger and sicker than in the U.S. and more likely to require specialized ventilators to assist with breathing.

Some swine flu patients in eastern Canada are remaining on the machines for weeks, fanning fears that there may not be enough of the oscillatory ventilators if much larger numbers of people here come down with the H1N1 virus in the fall and winter.

Other provinces are now scrambling to buy more

posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 08:06 PM
A peak in respiratory illness and public panic about swine flu has led to significant waiting times in Chile’s public hospitals.

Five thousand surgeries were postponed this past week to free-up beds for flu cases that require immediate hospitalization. The number of delayed procedures could rise to 20,000 over the next few weeks as the influenza peak is expected to last up to eight weeks.

“The challenge that we are faced with is that once the emergency flu situation has passed, we need to be able to recover quickly to keep up with non-urgent surgery demands as we have been doing over the past few months,” said Health Ministry officials..

President Michelle Bachelet promised at the end of March that all patients wait-listed for surgery for 12 months or more will have their operations performed before Dec. 31. During the first three months of 2009 surgical delays were reduced by around 20 percent as part of the "90 Day Plan" that was initiated in order to improve Chile's public healthcare system (ST, March 31 ).

“Without a doubt this is a new challenge for the Ministry of Health,” said Health Minister Alvaro Erazo. “Currently we must concentrate on the pandemic and bring all of our resources to the situation. The challenge is to not allow surgery to become neglected. Our goal to reduce waiting times for elective surgery still stands and as soon as the pandemic is under control we will return to that commitment.”

In related news, the ISAPRE (private health insurance providers) Association announced on Wednesday that their members will not be raising their prices because of the pandemic. The Treasury has put aside around US$30 million to pay for the extra costs caused by swine flu

posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 08:25 PM
Today AP reported that Andy Burnham, the British Health Minister, said the UK could have up to 100,000 new cases of swine flu per day by the end of August. Currently we have seen only about 100,000 reported cases worldwide. If the cries of Andy Burnham are anywhere close to accurate, the world may be in for a huge health crisis. The UK won't be the only country that has big problems. The North American countries seem like a sure bet to join in. Japan is very worried. I'm sure many European countries, the former USSR countries, and China will get their share too.

As I understand it, there is a swine flu vaccine. However, the swine flu viruses they are using to make the vaccine provide only about half the normal usable active ingredients. This is apparently such a big problem that they do not think they can have the huge quantities of the vaccine needed by the world ready until the end of 2009. This would likely be too late to prevent much of the damage to both health and economies.

One solution (or ameliorating factor for this problem) may be to use adjuvants. The Japanese Institute of Health has been doing considerable research in this area lately. Japan seems likely to try this. Ampligen (from HEB), the same factor that is being put forth to combat CFS, has proven to be the most successful adjuvant in trials with flu virus vaccines. It has made the flu vaccines up to 100 times more effective. The Japanese seem likely to use it as part of their flu vaccine (i.e. so they can use less "flu material" per vaccine shot). The US might even be forced to use it, even though the FDA has approved no adjuvant for use with flu vaccines yet.

How does this effect Ampligen for CFS approval? Ampligen has proven reasonably safe for use to combat CFS. It has also been shown to be effective. If the FDA approves Ampligen for use against CFS, it will be much easier for the US (if it has to) to approve the use of Ampligen with flu vaccine. It is my understanding that Ampligen can make the flu vaccine approximately 100 times more effective. If this is so, flu vaccine providers could use much less "flu material" to make up the vaccine (say 1/5 or even 1/10 as much). This would make the vaccine material the US received early go a much longer way. This might help avert a major pandemic. From the HEB studies for Ampligen for CFS, Ampligen is safe. From the Japanese studies, Ampligen is safe; and it is effective as a flu vaccine adjuvant. There does not appear to be a good reason not to use it.

If the FDA denies Ampligen approval for CFS, they will have a hard time approving it for use in a flu vaccine. If the Japanese use Ampligen successfully in their flu vaccines, the US will look extremely foolish if US citizens in the 100,000's or millions get swine flu because they were unable to get a vaccination in time. The FDA will likely want to leave their options open. This latest news from the UK Health Minister should tip the scales in favor of Ampligen approval for CFS (if there was a question in the first place).

There is very limited downside to Ampligen approval. It is apparently safe. It is reasonably effective. The only gripe that I have heard is the price. The FDA should realize their decision is not cast in stone. They can always re-evaluate. They should realize that they may be taking a bigger risk by not approving Ampligen for CFS.

Already there is an 80% chance of aproval for drugs that make it as far as Ampligen for CFS has. It will be an orphan drug. This pushes the odds of approval still higher. The need for Ampligen near term as a flu virus vaccine adjuvant may push Ampligen approval for CFS odds to nearly 100%. The approval decision is overdue by many weeks. The FDA should take action soon. Plus HEB will soon get a big step up in the use of Ampligen as a flu vaccine adjuvant. Both of these things should make HEB a lot more profitable in the very near future. This should positively impact the stock

posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 09:25 PM
Nanopatch Technology Joining the Fight Against Swine Flu

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) researcher Professor Mark Kendall heads a team testing the potency of mass vaccinations using only a fraction of the standard dose.

The project also targets cross-protection by delivering the seasonal vaccine to protect against challenge from the swine A H1N1 influenza virus.

Professor Kendall said this research used new nanopatch technology which does away with the needle and syringe and stimulated a potent immune response with a reduced dose.

"By accurately and reliably delivering the vaccine to the abundant immune cells, which are located just under of the surface of the skin, we are able to initiate a rapid and powerful immune response from the body, while using considerably less vaccine," Professor Kendall said.

"The beauty of the nanopatch is that it could enable large-scale rapid vaccinations in a cost effective manner that is currently not available with the needle and syringe.


posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 09:29 PM
Brazil confirms third A/H1N1 flu death

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Health authorities of Brazil's southern state of Rio Grande do Sul on Monday confirmed the third death caused by A/H1N1 flu in the country.

The victim, a nine-year-old boy from the state's capital Porto Alegre, died on July 5, three days after being admitted to a hospital, news reports quoted the authorities as saying.

The boy suffered from chronic diseases, which collaborated to worsen his condition, officials said.

It was the second child to die from A/H1N1 in Brazil. Last Friday, the Health Ministry said an 11-year-old girl died from A/H1N1 on June 30 in Osasco, a city in the southeastern state of Sao Paulo.

In both cases, the diagnosis of A/H1N1 was made by postmortem examination.

The Porto Alegre case was also the second death by A/H1N1 flu in Rio Grande do Sul. Brazil's first victim of the disease, a 29-year-old truck driver from the small town of Erechim, died on June 28.

posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 09:35 PM
Ecuador reports 3rd death of A/H1N1 flu

QUITO, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador reported on Monday the third death in the country of the A/H1N1 influenza, bringing the total to 213 in the country, according to Ecuadorian Health Ministry.

Ecuadorian Health Minister Caroline Chang told the press that the death of the patient was confirmed after reporting the first two deaths on Friday.

The third patient was a male of 72 years old who died on Sunday at 4:30 a.m. local time (0930 GMT) in the public Hospital of Riobamba.

Chang said that the patient was assisted by a private doctor, but since he did not improve his condition he was taken to the intensive care unit of Riobama hospital, where he was diagnosed with the H1N1 flu.

"Despite the doctors gave him Tamiflu for many days, the patient did not resist. The patient also had cancer," Chang said.

Ecuador reported its first confirmed case of H1N1 flu on May 15. The most affected province continues being Guayas with more than 100 confirmed cases.


posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 09:37 PM
A/H1N1 flu death toll reaches 26 in Chile

SANTIAGO, July 12 (Xinhua) -- The death toll caused by the A/H1N1 flu in Chile reached 26, the country's Public Health Agency said on Sunday.

The latest death case was a 48-year-old man identified as Omar Bernardino Uribe Reyes, a resident in the southern city of Puerto Montt, said a statement of the agency.

Uribe had been hospitalized for 10 days at a clinic in Chile's capital after a medical center in Los Lagos, some 700 km south of Santiago, diagnosed his illness.

As of Saturday, 9,549 people have been infected with the A/H1N1 virus, 406 of them in serious condition, said the agency.


posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 09:38 PM
Costa Rica reports fifth A/H1N1 flu death

SAN JOSE, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Costa Rica confirmed the country's fifth death case caused by the A/H1N1 flu on Sunday.

The dead, a 25-year-old woman, was 22-week pregnant with a pair of twins, Costa Rican Deputy Health Minister Ana Morice told local media.

She miscarried a few hours before she died Saturday at a hospital in the capital, Morice said.

Costa Rica has confirmed 351 cases of flu infections so far, and the government was worried about the rising trend of spreading, said Morice, noting that the authorities would strengthen preventive measures consequently.

Costa Rica reported its first A/H1N1 flu death on May 9.


posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 09:39 PM
Cause for concern:

UPDATE: New cases today 2,815, total cases 118,904. Deaths total 604 and infected countries 132. Overall CFR= 0.51% #swineflu #h1n1

this is from peter osborn, he is keeping track of the numbers globally.

Now he states that the overall infection rate is low and not really a major player as far as infections go, the mortality rate has typically been around .40% and now is nudging upwards and though most people don't see that as major it is actually moving from 3x the seasonal flu rate of death and getting closer to 4x the mortality rate. Understanding that we are medically more advanced than in 1918 as very positive the negative is we are much more mobile and that is a major problem.

posted on Jul, 14 2009 @ 05:29 AM
HEALTH experts fear the state's swine flu death toll could soar with six young, healthy people in Sydney fighting for their lives on last-resort cardiac bypass machines because their lungs are too damaged or diseased for regular mechanical ventilation.

The surge in the number of people with swine flu needing life-saving treatment has forced NSW Health to consider closing elective surgery at some big hospitals to allow staff to redirect

posted on Jul, 14 2009 @ 05:39 AM
WELLINGTON, July 14 (Xinhua) -- The number of confirmed deaths from influenza A/H1N1 in New Zealand reached to nine on Tuesday, up two since Monday, the Ministry of Health said.

A 56-year-old man died in Wellington and a 79-year-old woman died in the Hutt Valley last week. Both of them had underlying health conditions.

The total number of confirmed cases of influenza A/H1N1 was 1984, up from 1779 on Monday.

A total of 113 people were reported to be in hospital with influenza A/H1N1 or complications stemming from the virus, and 23 of them were in intensive care, the Ministry of Health said.

posted on Jul, 14 2009 @ 05:40 AM
HOUSTON, July 13 (Xinhua) -- The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) on Monday announced the deaths of two more people linked to the A/H1N1 flu in the state, bringing the total to six.

The latest victims involved a 13 year-old boy and a 64 year-old adult, both from the Worcester County, according to a news release from the department late Monday.

The boy died last week with a number of underlying health conditions that put him at greater risk of complications from the flu, the department said, while the old resident died over the weekend and also had a series of underlying health conditions.

"It is with great sadness that we have learned of two more deaths including the first pediatric death of a Massachusetts resident related to

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