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Originally posted by cosmicpixie
Another rather sobering article , this time from the Telegraph, exploring the parallels of 1918 to this new virus and what we can potentially expect. Some interesting insights from scientists included :
Swine Flu : How Afraid Should we Be ?
Pandemics are the viral equivalent of perfect storms. In order to trigger an event on the scale of 1918, three things have to happen. First, a new influenza virus – one against which people have no or few antibodies – has to emerge from a “hidden” animal reservoir. Second, the virus has to make people sick. Both these conditions have already been met by the new H1N1 sub-type from Mexico. The third thing that needs to happen is that the virus must be able to spread efficiently between people, preferably via a cough, sneeze or handshake.
And then, as now, the first cases occurred in the spring, a highly unusual time of year for an outbreak in the northern hemisphere.
The last observation is particularly worrying and explains why scientists have been advising governments to activate their pandemic plans now, rather than waiting for the WHO to declare a level-six alert – the formal signal that a pandemic has started.
Once epidemiologists have a better handle on the true level of infections in Mexico and whether the deaths reported so far are due to H1N1 and not some other strain of flu, or even bacterial pneumonias, we will also be in a better position to gauge the attack rate and in which direction the virus is evolving. There is even a possibility that Mexican H1N1 could recombine with H5N1 when it reaches south-east Asia, thus becoming both highly transmissible and highly pathogenic, a combination that surely would be a formula for “Armageddon”.
Governor Rendell Announces Pennsylvania's First Confirmed Case of 2009 A/H1N1 Flu
NORRISTOWN, Pa., May 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced Pennsylvania's first laboratory-confirmed case of 2009 A/H1N1 in a 31-year-old man from Montgomery County.
Seven H1N1 flu cases confirmed in south Louisiana
Seven cases of H1N1 (swine) flu cases have been confirmed in south Louisiana.
Five of the cases are in Lafayette Parish and there are one each in Ascension and Orleans parishes. All of the people are being treated with antiviral medications at home.
CDC Confirms Initial Case of Novel H1N1 Virus in TN
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the initial case of the novel H1N1 Virus in Tennessee has been confirmed positive.
The Tennessee Department of Health identified the case in Williamson County on April 29.