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* New mixture of viruses in flu never seen before
* Person-to-person spread raises fear of major outbreak
* Mexico says death rate has steadied, hands out masks
* WHO says Mexico, U.S. well-equipped to handle outbreak
The World Health Organization said the virus from 12 of the Mexican patients was the same genetically as a new strain of swine flu, designated H1N1, seen in eight people in California and Texas who later recovered.
The Mexican government said the flu had killed 20 people and it may also be responsible for 48 other deaths. In all, 1,004 suspected cases have been reported nationwide.
Canada: Flights to Mexico canceled due to swine influenza outbreak after Canadian citizen contracts "influenza virus."
To date, there have been more than 800 suspected cases with 60 deaths in the Mexico City area. -WHO
Queens: Several Students Affected with Influenza-Like Illness at St. Francis Preparatory School “Recently” Visited Mexico
WHO considering whether measures including travel advisories, trade restrictions and border closures will need to be enacted
Authorities distributed vaccines among all the medical personnel with no results, because two of my partners who worked in this hospital (interns) were killed by this new virus in less than six days even though they were vaccinated as all of us were. The official number of deaths is 20, nevertheless, the true number of victims are more than 200.
All masks have been used up, and we are waiting for new supplies.
To put a cherry on top all kind of crazy rumours are flying around - that they are going to quarantine Mexico City,
The lungs of infected monkeys were destroyed in just days as their immune systems went into overdrive after a Canadian laboratory rebuilt the virus. [...]
The preserved body of a flu victim buried in Arctic permafrost was exhumed, and they painstakingly extracted the genetic material needed to work out the structure of the H1N1 virus.
Then, in a maximum "biosafety" facility at Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory they reconstructed a fully functioning virus, and infected macaque monkeys to see what would happen.
However, it is not the virus that is directly causing the damage to the lungs - it is the body's own response to infection.
The new strain appears to be a recombinant between two older strains. Preliminary genetic characterization found that the hemagglutinin (HA) gene was similar to that of swine flu viruses present in U.S. pigs since 1999, but the neuraminidase (NA) and matrix protein (M) genes resembled versions present in European swine flu isolates. Viruses with this genetic makeup had not previously been found to be circulating in humans or pigs, but there is no formal national surveillance system to determine what viruses are circulating in pigs in the U.S.
On April 17, 2009, CDC determined that two cases of febrile respiratory illness occurring in children who resided in adjacent counties in southern California were caused by infection with a swine influenza A (H1N1) virus. The viruses from the two cases are closely related genetically, resistant to amantadine and rimantadine, and contain a unique combination of gene segments that previously has not been reported among swine or human influenza viruses in the United States or elsewhere. Neither child had contact with pigs; the source of the infection is unknown.
On December 19, 2008, CDC issued interim guidance for health care professionals on the use of influenza antiviral medications this flu season. The guidance was issued in response to early data from a limited number of states indicating that a high proportion of influenza A (H1N1) viruses are resistant to the influenza antiviral medication oseltamivir (Tamiflu®). Worldwide, the proportion of H1N1 viruses that are resistant to oseltamivir has been increasing so this development is not surprising.