Persusing the mainstream news this morning I found this from msn (not msm) news. Obviously it could still turn really bad and who knows what's really
true but certainly for the moment the message they are wanting to convey is that this virus isn't as bad as they feared and is not proving to be
very hardy, creating only small clusters of outbreaks rather than running rampant.....so they say anyway....
Scientists looking closely at the H1N1 virus itself have found some encouraging news, said Nancy Cox, flu chief at the federal Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. Its genetic makeup doesn’t show specific traits that showed up in the 1918 pandemic virus, which killed about 40 million to
50 million people worldwide.
The swine flu outbreak that has alarmed the world for a week now appears less ominous, with the virus showing little staying power in the hardest-hit
cities and scientists suggesting it lacks the genetic fortitude of past killer bugs.
President Barack Obama even voiced hope Friday that it may turn out to be no more harmful than the average seasonal flu.
In New York City, which has the most confirmed swine flu cases in the U.S. with 50, swine flu has not spread far beyond cases linked to one Catholic
school. In Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak, very few relatives of flu victims seem to have caught it.
A flu expert said he sees no reason to believe the virus is particularly lethal. And a federal scientist said the germ’s genetic makeup lacks some
traits seen in the deadly 1918 flu pandemic strain and the more recent killer bird flu.
Still, it was too soon to be certain what the swine flu virus will do. Experts say the only wise course is to prepare for the worst. But in a world
that’s been rattled by the specter of a global pandemic, glimmers of hope were more than welcome Friday.
“It may turn out that H1N1 runs its course like ordinary flus, in which case we will have prepared and we won’t need all these preparations,”
Obama said, using the flu’s scientific name.
The president stressed the government was still taking the virus very seriously, adding that even if this round turns out to be mild, the bug could
return in a deadlier form during the next flu season.
New York officials said after a week of monitoring the disease that the city’s outbreak gives little sign of spreading beyond a few pockets or
getting more dangerous.
All but two of the city’s confirmed cases so far involve people associated with the high school where the local outbreak began and where several
students had recently returned from Mexico.
More than 1,000 students, parents and faculty there reported flu symptoms over just a few days last month. But since then, only a handful of new
infections have been reported — only eight students since last Sunday.
'A relatively minor annoyance'
Almost everyone who became ill before then are either recovering or already well. The school, which was closed this past week, is scheduled to reopen
Monday. No new confirmed cases were identified in the city on Friday, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the outbreak in New York had so far proved to
be “a relatively minor annoyance.”
In Mexico, where swine flu has killed at least 16 people and the confirmed case count is nearing 400, the health secretary said few of the relatives
of 86 suspected swine flu patients had caught the virus. Only four of the 219 relatives surveyed turned up as probable cases.
As recently as Wednesday, Mexican authorities said there were 168 suspected swine flu deaths in the country and almost 2,500 suspected cases. The
officials have stopped updating that number and say those totals may have even been inflated.
Mexico shut down all but essential government services and private businesses Friday, the start of a five-day shutdown that includes a holiday
weekend. Authorities there will use the break to determine whether emergency measures can be eased.
In the Mexican capital, there were no reports of deaths overnight — the first time that has happened since the emergency was declared a week ago,
said Mayor Marcelo Ebrard.
“This isn’t to say we are lowering our guard or we think we no longer have problems,” Ebrard said. “But we’re moving in the right
The U.S. case count rose to 155 on Friday, based on federal and state counts, although state laboratory operators believe the number is higher because
they are not testing all suspected cases.
Worldwide, the total confirmed cases neared 600, although that number is also believed to be much larger. Besides the U.S. and Mexico, the virus has
been detected in Canada, New Zealand, China, Israel and eight European nations.