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News Reports for April 29, 2009

by: NewsDiary

Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 23:54:56 PM EDT


Australia
•  Australia approves new swine flu detention powers (Link)

Egypt
•  8 Egyptians infected with equine influenza  (Link)
•  WHO expresses the fear of transmission of swine flu in Egypt because of the farms (Link)
•  Egypt slaughtering all pigs to stop swine flu (Link)

France
•  Air France crew refuse to board flight to Mexico (Link)

Germany
•  Swine Flu Outbreak Escalates as Germany Confirms Three Cases  (Link)
•  Swine flu hits Germany, WHO calls emergency review (Link)

Mexico
•  From Édgar, 5, Coughs Heard Round the World  (Link)
•  Mexico's High Death Rate Poses Key Question on Virus (Link)
•  Mexican Doctor's Diary (Link)

New Zealand
•  Influenza bring in 14 cases of swine flu in New Zealand (translated) (Link)
•  Secret centre for flu patients (Link)

Peru
•  Peru has first confirmed case of swine flu  (Link)

Spain
•  Spain says one swine flu case not been to Mexico (Link)

United Kingdom
•  Hundreds of Brits 'will get swine flu in weeks'... and pandemic could strike 40% of us  (Link)
•  Swine flu: more cases in UK (Link)
•  Three More Swine Flu Cases Confirmed In The UK (Link)
•  Swine flu: three new cases in Britain as Mexican toddler dies in Texas (Link)

United States
•  Officials trying to reduce impact of swine flu (Link)
•  US wants ingredient in swine flu vaccine by May (Link)
•  No Cases Reported Yet in El Paso-Juarez Area (Link)
•  Chicago, Illinois - Swine flu case closes Rogers Park school (Link)
•  Texas - Swine flu claims first victim in US (Link)
•  Texas - United States Has First Swine Flu Death (Link)
•  Hartford, Connecticut - school districts closed over swine flu (Link)
•  Sebelius Confirmed as Health Chief, Completes Cabinet  (Link)
•  Probable swine flu closes Rogers Park school (Link)
•  CDC Public Service Announcements - Community Planning for Swine Flu (Link)
•  U.S. officials want 'swine' out of flu name  (Link)
•  Child dead of flu in US was from Mexico -official (Link)
•  Obama: Swine flu may close schools (Link)
•  CNN live congressional hearings on flu (Link)
•  Suspect Case in MN - 2 Schools Closed (Link)
•  Cleburne TX (just south of Dallas) schools closed for a week (Link)
•  More probable swine flu cases in Illinois  (Link)
•  Swine flu suspected in Schenectady County NY (Link)
•  Texas cancels all high school sports until May 11th (Link)
•  Swine flu confirmend in Agusta, Maine (Link)
•  US up to 91 cases, including 1 death [Updated: New England confirmed cases] (Link)
•  School closure in San Jose, California (Link)
•  9 probable swine flu cases in Illinois (Link)
•  Pittsburg , CA 9 possible cases (Link)
•  Milwaukee closes 4 public schools (Link)
•  El Paso - Mayor, hospital officials say zero EP cases of swine flu (Link)
•  California Marine Has Swine Flu; 30 quarantined (Link)
•  Swine flu drives demand for face masks (Link)
•  Kennebunk school, Arundel day care closed due to suspected swine flu cases (Link)
•  Probable case in the Kansas City, MO metro area (Link)
•  TX: Fort Worth schools closed (Link)

Commentary
•  Recombinomics: WHO Confirms Sustained Swine H1N1 Transmision in Humans (Link)

General News
•  More nations report flu (Link)
•  Swine Flu Threatens To Be Deadlier than Bird Flu, SARS (Link)
•  Swine flu: Tamiflu more accessible, death toll still at seven (Link)
•  Companies mine Web clues for signs of pandemics (Link)
•  Sanofi Says Swine-Flu Vaccine May Mean No Seasonal Flu Shot  (Link)
•  Swine Flu Extends Reach to Countries Outside Mexico (Update 4) (Link)
•  WHO Emergency Committee to reassess pandemic alert level (Link)
•  Country by country spread of new flu strain  (Link)
•  WHO Flu Chief Says Swine Flu Moving Toward Pandemic (Link)
•  Confirmed cases of swine flu in Michigan (Link)
•  WHO: Swine Flu Not Slowing Down, but Pandemic Alert Level Remains Unchanged (subscription required) (Link)
•  WHO: audio briefing (Link)
•  WHO set to raise pandemic alert within hours-sources (Link)
•  As Swine Flu Spreads, Its Chances to Mutate Increase (Link)
•  Federal Government Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Empolyee Guidelines (Link)
•  WHO warns flu pandemic imminent (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for April 29, 2009
News for April 28, 2009 is here.



Thanks to all of the newshounds! Special thanks to the newshound volunteers who translate international stories - thanks for keeping us all informed!
Other useful links:
WHO H5N1 human case totals, last updated Apr. 23, 2009
Charts and Graphs on H5N1 from WHO
Google Flu Trends (U.S.)
CDC Weekly Influenza Summary
Map of seasonal influenza in the U.S.
CDC Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report
CIDPC (Canada) Weekly FluWatch
European CDC Influenza News
Flu Wiki Main Page
Tags: , , (All Tags)
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More nations report flu
Isolated outbreaks of swine flu continue to be confirmed, with new cases reported yesterday in Canada, Israel, France, New Zealand, Costa Rica and South Korea. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proclaimed a state of emergency, and the White House asked Congress for an additional $1.5 billion to fight the outbreak.

Authorities said hundreds of students at a New York school have fallen ill, and federal officials said they expected to see U.S. deaths from the virus.

Cuba suspended flights to and from Mexico except in "exceptional cases," becoming the first country to impose a travel ban to the epicenter of the epidemic. Argentina announced a five-day ban on flights arriving from Mexico.

The mayor of Mexico City cracked down further on public life, closing gyms and swimming pools in the capital and ordering restaurants to limit service to takeout.

Swine flu is believed to have killed more than 150 people in Mexico, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the U.S. has 68 confirmed cases in five states, with 45 in New York, one in Ohio, one in Indiana, two in Kansas, six in Texas and 13 in California. "I fully expect we will see deaths from this infection," said Richard Besser, acting director of the CDC.
(Snip)
Keiji Fukuda, assistant director-general of the World Health Organization, warned against jumping to the conclusion that the virus has become firmly established in the United States.
(Snip)
Vaccine: Scientists hope to have a key ingredient for a vaccine ready in early May, but it still will take a few months before any shots are available for the first required safety testing. Using samples of the flu taken from people who fell ill in Mexico and the U.S., scientists are engineering a strain that could trigger the immune system without causing illness. Continued: http://www.timesdispatch.com/r...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


Swine Flu Threatens To Be Deadlier than Bird Flu, SARS
BANGKOK, Apr 29 (IPS) - When the World Health Organisation (WHO) raised the influenza pandemic alert from phase three to an ominous phase four warning this week, it went beyond the alarm associated with the killer avian influenza virus in Asia.

The global health body's warning came as the outbreak of a lethal strain of swine flu has killed more than 150 people in Mexico - the epicentre of the virus - and has also been detected in parts of the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

The WHO warning for a possible global pandemic emerging from avian influenza always remained a "phase three alert," says Peter Cordingley, spokesman for the WHO's Western Pacific division. "The difference now is that we have raised the pandemic alert to phase four." "This is WHO's way of saying [the lethal virus] has edged close to a pandemic situation," he added during a telephone interview from Manila, where the WHO's regional office is based. "It can spread internationally."
(Snip) "The current situation was, at least technically, what we were worried about at the height of the avian influenza scare," says Cordingley. "It was a situation we were always worried about: the virus going through pigs - the mixing vessel - and emerging as a new virus, infecting humans."
(Snip)
Worries that the new virus is more potent than the bird flu virus are not out of place. In the over six years since the H5N1 strain emerged in Asia and then spread to other corners of the world, there have been 257 reported deaths out of 421 cases. The worst affected country has been Indonesia, where 115 people have died out of the 141 infected.

Even the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which prompted concern in the region, did not trigger a pandemic alarm with the speed that the H1N1 virus has. SARS spread to humans from animals and was associated with flu-like symptoms, such as high fever, headaches and respiratory problems.

By the time it was contained, SARS had killed 774 people out of the 8,000 who had been infected in over 20 countries in Asia, Europe and the Americas. Continued: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.as...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


Re the question of whether this swine flu could meet up with H5N1
and undergo a reassortment or recombination that would increase its lethality....I wonder if any researchers are testing that possibility in a lab? Should be, I would think.

Always have a plan B.

[ Parent ]
I am officially pissed!
Did anyone watch the CNN gupta clip in Mexico City?

I do not beleive in conspiracies, but I am now starting to get frightened.

Please watch it and Listen to what he says first...  The good Dr Gupta says influenza normally starts in spring.  And then he shows us a Hosptial with no sick people. No Doctors. No Nurses....

I do not believe in conspiracies...

But I am now starting to get worried.  Did Dr. Gupta deliberately make a mistake in the beginning of his report to let his listners know that what he was reporting was a pack of lies?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Just rolling along, making waves and causing trouble...


Pablo
What mistake are you referring to? At first I thought the armed guards might be to keep people in but it looked relatively calm in the hospital and the guards did let Gupta in. Bad sign though that the hospital workers were not given any PPE.

Gupta is a doctor but he took his mask off while inside the hospital to do the report. If he really thought something strange was going on, I don't know if he would have taken it off. Granted, I have to believe that he is taking Tamiflu as a preventative.


[ Parent ]
Death toll slashed to 7 in Mexico by WHO!
I am starting to get worried.  Something's not right....

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/n...

Swine flu responsible for just seven deaths, WHO official claims  

A member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has dismissed claims that more than 150 people have died from swine flu, saying it has officially recorded only seven deaths around the world.

Vivienne Allan, from WHO's patient safety program, said the body had confirmed that worldwide there had been just seven deaths - all in Mexico - and 79 confirmed cases of the disease.

Mexican health authorities say the virus has killed 26 people and is suspected in 159 total deaths. They say it has infected nearly 2500 in Mexico alone.

Cases have also been been confirmed in the US, Canada, Scotland, Israel, and Spain, as well as New Zealand, where at least three people have been infected.

"Unfortunately that [150-plus deaths] is incorrect information and it does happen, but that's not information that's come from the World Health Organisation," Ms Allan told Australia's ABC Radio today.

"That figure is not a figure that's come from the World Health Organisation and, I repeat, the death toll is seven and they are all from Mexico."

Allan said WHO had confirmed 40 cases of swine flu in the Americas, 26 in Mexico, six in Canada, two in Spain, two in Britain and three in New Zealand.

Tourism impact

Prime Minister John Key today maintained New Zealand was still a safe place to travel, despite the confirmed cases of swine flu.

This morning, health officials announced 14 cases of influenza A had been confirmed in the Auckland region, including the three people who had the new swine flu strain of influenza A.

The Indian government has told people not to travel to New Zealand and "one or two" Japanese tourists have cancelled their trips to New Zealand.

"Also when the Sars virus came out the Japanese were particularly sensitive to those issues," Mr Key told a media conference this afternoon.

Mr Key was to meet with the Japanese Foreign Minister this evening and said the topic of swine flu "may well come up in the conversation".

"I'll just give him assurance that New Zealand is doing everything it can, that we've got a world class health system here, we've got large stocks of Tamiflu and that we're encouraging any New Zealander that shows any signs of influenza to seek the help of their doctor."

He said India was over-reacting and New Zealand remained a safe place to visit.

"Swine flu is going to be in a lot of countries around the world."

14 cases of influenza A

Twelve of New Zealand's influenza A cases are from a 25-person Rangitoto College group which returned from Mexico on Saturday.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) clinical director Julia Peters announced the new cases of influenza A at a Ministry of Health media conference in Wellington this morning.

Anyone who has travelled to Mexico or North America in the last seven days should contact Healthline (0800 611 116) for information. They should seek medical advice if they are displaying flu-like symptoms.


Just rolling along, making waves and causing trouble...


Not surprised
Recently I was looking at the updated 'cumulative numbers' data posted on the World Health Organization website for Bird Flu deaths, and noticed that as of April 29 2009, Egypt shows no deaths recorded for this year. Yet they've had at least two deaths that I'm aware of in 2009. Is the WHO aware of those cases, or are they picking and choosing which cases or death reports they'll recognize? I don't know the answer, and perhaps it was merely an oversight by the WHO and the figures will be updated soon. But if not, it has to make you wonder if there's been other unrecorded bird flu deaths the past.

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

[ Parent ]
The WHO is a fault on this
If TPTB have decided that the WHO is the only official source for confirming deaths, they should have enough laboratory space to do infinite tests to confirm.  Its crazy that outside labs cant confirm this.  Wouldn't it be more accurate to have maybe one or two false positives from other labs than to just discount all these cases.  When a fatal disease is involved shouldn't we be anticipating a worst case scerino and not a positive scenario.  That way at least your planning for and covered for the worst case.  This is retarded in my opinion, but not surprising in the least considering how they have handled this virus from the beginning.  You know, the best and the brightest do not end up working for the WHO.

Carry the torch, not to light the way, but to set your peers on fire!

[ Parent ]
Officials trying to reduce impact of swine flu
By LAURAN NEERGAARD (AP Medical Writer)
From Associated Press
April 29, 2009 2:21 AM EDT
WASHINGTON - With global anxiety spreading even faster than the new swine flu - and a vaccine still months away - health authorities are struggling to reduce the impact of an outbreak that can't be contained by simply shutting borders.

The world has no vaccine to prevent infection but U.S. health officials aim to have a key ingredient for one ready in early May, the big step that vaccine manufacturers are awaiting. But even if the World Health Organization ordered up emergency vaccine supplies - and that decision hasn't been made yet - it would take at least two more months to produce the initial shots needed for human safety testing.

We're working together at 100 miles an hour to get material that will be useful," Dr. Jesse Goodman, who oversees the Food and Drug Administration's swine flu work, told The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, health authorities are preparing for the worst. "I fully expect we will see deaths from this infection," said Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

full story
http://enews.earthlink.net/art...

United we stand: Divided we fall
www.flunewsnetwork.com


US wants ingredient in swine flu vaccine by May
By LAURAN NEERGAARD (AP Medical Writer)
From Associated Press
April 28, 2009 5:08 PM EDT
WASHINGTON - U.S. scientists hope to have a key ingredient for a swine flu vaccine ready in early May, but are finding that the novel virus grows slowly in eggs - the chief way flu vaccines are made.

Even if all goes well, it still will take a few months before any shots are available for the first required safety testing, in volunteers.

"We're working together at 100 miles an hour to get material that will be useful," Dr. Jesse Goodman, who oversees the Food and Drug Administration's swine flu work, told The Associated Press.

Using samples of the new swine flu, taken from people who fell ill in Mexico and the U.S., scientists are engineering a strain that could trigger the immune system without causing illness.

"We're about a third of the way" to that goal, Dr. Ruben Donis of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an interview Tuesday.

The hope is to have that ingredient - called a "reference strain" in vaccine jargon - to manufacturers around the second week of May, so that they can begin their own laborious production work, Donis said.

But, "this is biology, not mathematics," he cautioned.

To further speed the vaccine hunt, the CDC has shipped a raw sample of the new virus to one manufacturer - Gaithersburg, Md.-based MedImmune LLC, which sells the only flu vaccine given via a nasal spray instead of a shot. MedImmune thus uses a slightly different approach to creating influenza strains suitable for that spray, Donis explained.

full story
http://enews.earthlink.net/art...

United we stand: Divided we fall
www.flunewsnetwork.com


Companies mine Web clues for signs of pandemics
By JESSICA MINTZ (AP Technology Writer)
From Associated Press
April 29, 2009 1:19 AM EDT
SEATTLE - Weeks before the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization alerted the public to a growing number of swine flu cases, a startup based in Seattle's suburbs already had a hunch something was up.

Veratect Inc., a 2-year-old company with fewer than 50 employees, combines computer algorithms with human analysts to monitor online and off-line sources for hints of disease outbreaks and civil unrest worldwide. It tracks thousands of "events" each month - an odd case of respiratory illness, or a run on over-the-counter medicines, for example - then ranks them for severity and posts them on a subscription-only Web portal for clients who want early warnings.

The idea fueling Veratect and similar companies is that blogs, online chat rooms, Twitter feeds and news media and government Web sites are full of data that public health agencies could use to respond faster to problems like outbreaks of swine flu.

Veratect attracted attention in recent days by publicly posting a timeline of the outbreak and publishing short reports on Twitter, where more than 4,000 people signed up to receive updates.

But skeptics question whether these companies can reliably detect meaningful signals from all the noise online or whether they are mainly good at spotting patterns in hindsight. Complicating the picture, the companies are reluctant to disclose their sources and methods.

Veratect's chief executive, Robert Hart, says the company alerted clients to a potentially severe outbreak before the general public learned of swine flu. Veratect's computer systems, which troll the Web for reports that seem out of the ordinary, unearthed clues, and a team of about 30 analysts, many of them multilingual holders of public health degrees, chased down the ones that seemed most alarming.

full story
http://enews.earthlink.net/art...

United we stand: Divided we fall
www.flunewsnetwork.com


No Cases Reported Yet in El Paso-Juarez Area
http://www.elpasotimes.com/new...
By Diana Washington Valdez / El Paso Times, April 28, 2009
El Paso and Juárez health officials said swine flu has not shown up at the border yet, but they will continue to monitor for signs of the multistrain virus that has killed 150 people in Mexico.  Customs and Border Protection officials have put into place procedures to steer people at the international bridges who may be sick to medical professionals with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Tuesday, Roger Maier, spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, said, "Our officers have sent a few people to the CDC staff," but would not elaborate. "We're leaving it up to the CDC to provide any additional information."

Dr. Miguel Escobedo, who operates the CDC quarantine station in El Paso, was not available for comment.  The city of El Paso Department of Health plans to set up a hotline to answer questions about swine flu, and the University of Texas at El Paso created a swine flu task force to keep students and staff informed about developments.
Gabriela Rodriguez, 27, a Juárez native and graduate student at UTEP, received a message about the task force through the university's e-mail network.

"I'm worried about the swine flu, and I have relatives in the interior of Mexico in Jalisco state who are also worried," Rodriguez said. "I carry a hand sanitizer, and I might start wearing a mask. I'm taking other precautions, such as not kissing or hugging people when I greet them, which for us in Mexico is a cultural issue. I back off and tell people it's better to be safe." Mexican health authorities recommended that people refrain from kissing and hugging to prevent the spread of the flu that has sickened 2,000 people in Mexico.

UTEP has about 1,500 students from Juárez and other parts of Mexico. Other colleges and universities with international students include El Paso Community College and the University of Phoenix.  Robert Moss, director of environmental health and safety at UTEP, co-chair of UTEP's swine flu task force, said he has seen students on campus wearing surgical masks but he believes it's not possible to close the border.

"We are a community with a border that just happens to run between us," Moss said. "The university exists to serve both sides of the community."

The multistrain virus that contains swine flu, bird flu and human flu appears to have started as an outbreak in Mexico, but in less than a month has turned up in several countries.  The United States reported 68 cases of swine flu, including six in Texas, three in the Dallas area and three near San Antonio. None of the U.S. cases has resulted in death.  On Tuesday, officials announced additional precautionary measures in light of the flu, to include closing down swim pools and limiting visitors  to the Cereso prison to one person per inmate. Officials asked visitors not to bring children to the prison.

Dozens of people holding signs that said "we want to work" and "we want to eat" walked in front of the Chihuahua state office complex in Juárez to protest bar and nightclub closures. Authorities said schools, universities, movie theaters and nightclubs would be closed until at least May 6.  All schools and other facilities in El Paso remain open.
(more)

"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson


First death in US
A 23 month old toddler has become the first death in the US. Sky news.

Oh wow! Yes it is confirmed.
I'm watching it on the news right now. (sigh)

United we stand: Divided we fall
www.flunewsnetwork.com


[ Parent ]
Links? Anyone have links? n/t


[ Parent ]
Links below in same report n/t


Eat pudding first - who know's what might happen next! - Anon

[ Parent ]
Here BB.
http://www.wcbs880.com/America...

I'm having trouble accessing it.

United we stand: Divided we fall
www.flunewsnetwork.com


[ Parent ]
Swine flu hits Germany, WHO calls emergency review
By PATRICK McGROARTY (Associated Press Writer)
From Associated Press
April 29, 2009 4:55 AM EDT
BERLIN - Germany confirmed three cases of swine flu on Wednesday, becoming the third European country hit by the disease that has upended life in Mexico. New Zealand's swine flu total rose to 14 and the World Health Organization called for an immediate scientific review of the disease.

Germany's national disease control center, the Robert Koch Institute, said the three cases include a 22-year-old woman hospitalized in Hamburg; a man in his late 30s being treated at a hospital in Regensburg, north of Munich, and a 37-year-old woman from another southern town. All three had recently returned from Mexico.

Britain and Spain already have confirmed cases of the disease.

Swine flu is suspected of killing more than 150 people in Mexico and sickening over 2,400 there. WHO has confirmed 105 cases in seven countries, not yet including Germany. Over half of those are in the United States, but Mexico is the only country where deaths have been confirmed.

In Geneva, the U.N. health body was holding an emergency "scientific review" of the swine flu outbreak Wednesday to collect what is known about how the disease spreads,how it affects human health and how it can be treated.

full story
http://enews.earthlink.net/art...

United we stand: Divided we fall
www.flunewsnetwork.com


RE:Swine flu case closes Rogers Park school
A probable case of swine flu has prompted the closure of a North Side elementary school.

In an e-mail message this morning, CPS spokeswoman Monique Bond said the closure of Kilmer Elementary School, 6700 N. Greenview Ave., was "a result of the swine influenza."  But she would not say whether the closure was precautionary or if there were one or more reported swine flu cases.  

http://www.chicagobreakingnews...


Swine flu claims first victim in US
 Wed, 29 Apr 2009 11:03p.m.

US health officials say swine flu has killed a 23-month-old child in Texas, the first US death in the current outbreak and the first reported outside Mexico.

The flu death was confirmed Wednesday by Dr Richard Besser, acting director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. In an interview with CNN, he gave no other details about the child.

Link http://www.3news.co.nz/News/Sw...

Eat pudding first - who know's what might happen next! - Anon


Conn. school districts closed over swine flu

4/29/2009, 2:19 a.m. PDT
The Associated Press
http://www.oregonlive.com/news...

(AP) - HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Two Connecticut school districts have closed for the day amid concerns about swine flu and two probable cases elsewhere in the state have been reported.

Officials in East Haddam and in Wethersfield have canceled Wednesday classes.

In East Haddam, two students who recently returned from a family trip have become ill. The schools are closed so buildings can be cleaned and disinfected.

Wethersfield officials say an employee at Silas Deane Middle School recently traveled to Mexico and has flu-like symptoms.

State health officials have identified two probable cases of swine flu and have sent samples to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell says the cases involve adults in Stratford and Southbury who recently returned from Mexico.


those sample shopuld be ready today.


[ Parent ]
I heard yesterday
that physcians in my area experienced a spike in flu A cases last week (three different offices).  They thought it was peculiar, had already pretty much put away their test kits.  Then an unexpected spike last week.  A dance studio was closed here last week due to flu. Odd for April.  

[ Parent ]
Funny, same thing here at work in Naperville, IL
It was a nasty flu bug - two employees the 2nd exactly one week after the first - out for about a week.

Headaches, vomitting and diahrea.

Started just before our VP when on a vacation trip down South 3-4 weeks ago.  (I do not know if he was in Florida or Mexico.)

Anyhow, It went through here like gangbusters for a late-season flu bug.


[ Parent ]
Swine Flu Outbreak Escalates as Germany Confirms Three Cases
.
Germany Confirms Three Cases of Swine Flu; More Than 1,300 Hospitalized in Mexico

By AMMU KANNAMPILLY
April 29, 2009
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/S...

Governments around the world are racing to contain the swine flu virus, as Germany became the latest country to confirm cases of swine flu. The Robert Koch Institute, Germany's national disease control center, has confirmed three cases, including two women - a 37-year-old in Bavaria and a 22-year-old in Hamburg - and one man. All three are undergoing treatment at German hospitals.

[snip]

Virus Escalates in the U.S.

In the U.S., the outbreak has escalated, with the total number of cases confirmed in the United States jumping to 71 and spreading to two more states, health officials said. Experts expect that figure to keep rising.

"I do expect more cases and expect more states to be affected," Rear Admiral Dr. Anne Schuchat, interim deputy director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's science and public health program, told a Senate hearing today. "I think we need to be prepared that even if it starts to look a little better, it may get a little worse."

[snip]


Sanofi Says Swine-Flu Vaccine May Mean No Seasonal Flu Shot

By Albertina Torsoli
Last Updated: April 29, 2009 05:39 EDT
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/...

April 29 (Bloomberg) -- Sanofi-Aventis SA wouldn't be able to make shots against seasonal influenza, which kills as many as 500,000 people a year, if asked to develop a vaccine to prevent swine flu, Chief Executive Officer Chris Viehbacher said.

Swine flu, if it turns out to be less severe than its seasonal cousin, could deprive millions of people of a vaccine they need each year because drugmakers like Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline Plc don't have the capacity to produce shots against several flus at the same time.

"That will be a very difficult choice," Viehbacher said at a news conference today after the French drugmaker reported a 16 percent increase in first-quarter profit. "Clearly, if you make a swine flu vaccine and the pandemic doesn't actually occur, we could end up with no seasonal flu vaccine."

The number of worldwide cases of the virus reached by laboratory tests reached 112 today, the World Health Organization said. On April 27, the United Nations agency raised its global pandemic alert one notch to level 4, saying the disease is no longer containable. The level "does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is a foregone conclusion," according to the agency's guidelines. There are two higher levels on the WHO's scale.

A pandemic could also end up sickening lots of people around the globe with something mild and causing few deaths, said Ian Barr, deputy director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Influenza in Melbourne.

'Tricky'

"The decision to switch over is a tricky one," said Martin Meltzer, an economist from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in an interview yesterday. "If this isn't the pandemic, you worry about the next flu season. If we have nothing because we switched to swine flu, that's not good."

At a time when scientists can tailor drugs to match a patient's genetic profile and people live longer than ever, the flu, first described by Hippocrates 2,400 years ago, still has the power to make millions bed-bound for a week and kill the very young, the elderly and those weakened by chronic disease.

The virus travels in the fine spray of the coughs and sneezes of infected people. The three main seasonal flu strains -- H3N2, H1N1 and type-B -- cause 250,000 to 500,000 deaths a year globally, according to the WHO.

Viehbacher today said Paris-based Sanofi, one of the world's biggest vaccine makers, has asked employees to avoid traveling to and from Mexico.

The drugmaker's 3,000 local workers have been given face masks and transportation to the workplace to avoid exposure to the virus through public transport, Viehbacher said.

[snip]

To contact the reporter on this story: Albertina Torsoli in Paris at atorsoli@bloomberg.net


UK: Hundreds of Brits 'will get swine flu in weeks'... and pandemic could strike 40% of us

By Daniel Martin
Last updated at 10:34 AM on 29th April 2009
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new...

[snip]

Hundreds of Britons can expect to be struck down with swine flu within weeks, a health expert has warned.

Professor Neil Ferguson, a member of the World Health Organisation's taskforce tackling the outbreak, sounded his warning as global concern intensified.

In Britain, where there are two confirmed cases, dozens of people were being tested for the potentially fatal bug.

Professor Ferguson warned that up to 40 per cent of the British population, or 24 million people - could become ill if the outbreak dragged on until the winter and became a pandemic.

[snip]


Sebelius Confirmed as Health Chief, Completes Cabinet
(Update2)

By Aliza Marcus
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/...

April 28 (Bloomberg) -- Kathleen Sebelius, the Kansas governor who sees her mission as overhauling U.S. health care, was confirmed today as secretary of Health and Human Services, the agency directing the government's efforts against swine flu.

The Senate voted 65-31 to confirm Sebelius..

[snip]


Swine Flu Extends Reach to Countries Outside Mexico
(Update2)

By Tom Randall
Last Updated: April 29, 2009 03:50 EDT
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/...

April 29 (Bloomberg) -- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said hundreds of students in his city are sick with suspected cases of swine flu, an indication the disease may be taking root in countries outside Mexico.

President Barack Obama asked Congress for $1.5 billion in new funding to brace for an outbreak, a White House spokesman said. New York accounts for 45 of the 65 confirmed U.S. cases in six states. New Zealand today confirmed 14 people have swine flu in Auckland city, the first cases in the Asia-Pacific region.

Mexico, where the virus toll is highest, said 159 people may have died from the malady, with seven of those verified by laboratory tests. Seven countries have confirmed swine flu, including the U.K., Canada, Israel, New Zealand and Spain, laying the seeds for a possible global pandemic, according to the World Health Organization. Officials in Bavaria said Germany confirmed its first case today.

"The zillion-dollar question is how long will this transmission activity last and what will be the evolving picture of disease severity," said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease and Policy at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. "If transmission continues and severe illness is documented, WHO will have to raise its pandemic alert level further."

The WHO, a United Nations agency based in Geneva, said it's watching New York to see whether the virus has become rooted in a second country, a finding that would boost the level of the pandemic alert system.

Hospitalization, Deaths

The U.S. can expect hospitalizations and deaths, and businesses and schools should plan for a pandemic, Richard Besser, acting head of the Atlanta-based CDC, said yesterday.

New York, America's largest city, has about 45 confirmed cases, most originating at St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens, Bloomberg said yesterday. At P.S. 177, a public school for autistic children, 82 students have called in sick and six students are being tested at Ascension school in Manhattan's Upper West Side, , he said. Most family and staff suspected of having the flu haven't been tested, the mayor said.

Two other people, a woman in Brooklyn and a boy in the Bronx, were hospitalized with suspected cases associated with travel to Mexico, Bloomberg said. Five patients with confirmed swine flu cases have been hospitalized in the U.S., Besser said.

Alert Raised

WHO raised its global pandemic alert this week, saying the disease is no longer containable and health authorities need to prepare for outbreaks. It's the first time the warning has been raised to a 4 since the six-step system was adopted in 2005. It had been at 3 since 2007, when it was elevated for an outbreak of avian flu.

A pandemic, rated 6 on WHO's alert system, is an unexpected outbreak of a new contagious disease that spreads from person to person across borders. In such cases, almost no one has natural immunity.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama requested more money yesterday to help build stockpiles of anti- viral drugs, work on vaccines and coordinate the U.S. response with other governments.

The money is meant "to ensure we have the resources available" at federal, state and local levels to deal with any wider spread of the virus, Gibbs said.

The biggest concern is whether the virus is establishing itself outside Mexico, Keiji Fukuda, WHO's assistant director- general for health security and environment, said on a conference call yesterday with reporters.

Speed, Ferocity

WHO is tracking the speed and ferocity of the New York- based transmissions with U.S. and state health officials to determine how the flu may spread in the future, Fukuda said.

"There is definitely the possibility that this virus can establish that kind of community-wide outbreak capacity in multiple countries," Fukuda said. "It's a very serious possibility, but it's still too early to say that it's inevitable."

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency to help the most populous U.S. state with 37 million people prepare for an outbreak. Health officials said yesterday they had confirmed an 11th case, though the added instance wasn't reflected in the CDC data. The state also has seven more "probable" cases, said Bonnie Sorensen, chief deputy director of the California Department of Public Health.

Travel Advisories

Schwarzenegger ordered state agencies to use whatever government personnel, equipment and facilities needed to help the health department. He also authorized the agency, along with the state's Emergency Medical Services Authority, to enter contracts with private companies without competitive bids.

The outbreak in Mexico City prompted the local government yesterday to order all 35,000 restaurants shut.

U.S. officials recommended that nonessential travel to Mexico be avoided and the European Union told travelers to avoid outbreak areas. Malaysia today asked the WHO to ban outbound travel from Mexico.

Japan suspended visa-free entry for Mexican nationals, countries including Australia, Singapore and South Korea are screening air passengers, and Taiwan advised against visiting Mexico.

Australia is testing 90 people for swine flu, and authorities are searching for 15 people who were on a plane from Mexico two days ago, Health Minister Nicola Roxon said.

Trade Curbs

South Korea will suspend imports of live hogs from North America starting today, the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said. Indonesia said April 27 it will destroy all imported pork and swine products and fumigate agricultural goods bought from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico as a precaution.

China, the world's top pork consumer, banned imports of swine products from Mexico and parts of the U.S.

The WHO isn't recommending travel restrictions and has said people can't get swine flu from eating properly handled pork.

"We're in a pre-pandemic phase and it's going to be hard to know until we're much further along what this is going to progress to," Besser said in an interview.

Scientists are trying to determine why swine flu, a respiratory disease of pigs caused by a type-A influenza virus, has been more severe in Mexico. The disease results in symptoms similar to those of seasonal influenza, such as fever, lethargy and coughing, and may also cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, according to the CDC.

Pandemic Alert

"In terms of defining a pandemic, there is no requirement that it cause severe disease," said Arnold Monto, a scientist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. "It doesn't have to be killing millions. The virus may be bad in terms of the likelihood of getting infected, but not necessarily in terms of severity."

[snip]


This is one way to avoid confirmation of community spread:
Most family and staff suspected of having the flu haven't been tested, the mayor said.

If you don't test it, you won't find it.

If you don't find it, you don't need to move to Phase 5.  

Just think, if we stop testing everybody everywhere right now, we might be able to prevent a Phase 6 pandemic.  ;-)


[ Parent ]
Chicago area school closed
A Chicago area school has been closed as a result of swine flu:

http://tinyurl.com/dmwf9w


From Édgar, 5, Coughs Heard Round the World

By MARC LACEY
April 29, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04...

LA GLORIA, Mexico - [snip]

The government has identified Édgar{5} as the first person in Mexico to have become infected with a virulent strain of swine flu, a notoriety that could raise questions about how Mexican officials reacted - or failed to react - to the early stages of what might become a global epidemic.

Édgar was one of hundreds of people in La Gloria who came down with flulike symptoms in an outbreak that federal officials say began March 9.

Local residents accuse public health officials of discounting the outbreak at the time, reassuring them that it was nothing grave.

Federal officials said they did respond quickly, though they acknowledged that they took the matter more seriously after the virus infected people in another part of the country, which was at least a week after Édgar developed symptoms.

Among the many unknowns about the flu that struck Édgar are whether it could have set off more alarms early on, and whether it could have been contained if it had.

La Gloria may not, in the end, be found to be the source of anything. The village has many immigrants in the United States. Mexican epidemiologists say one theory is that someone who had been in the United States brought the virus back to the community.

Before Édgar fell ill, another person in San Diego may have been affected, said Dr. Miguel Ángel Lezana, Mexico's chief government epidemiologist.

[snip]

Mexico remains the hardest hit. Late Tuesday, the Health Ministry put the number of suspected cases at 2,498, and the suspected number of deaths at 159.

In La Gloria, a town that has a major pig farming industry, two children died of the flu in March and early April, though the authorities said they had yet to determine whether it was the same strain that infected Édgar and spread widely to other locales. That and other questions have left residents here unnerved and confused.

[snip]

On Monday, the local physician who treated Mrs. Hernández told her that her son had influenza, but that it was not the swine flu virus, she said. But a few hours before, Gov. Fidel Herrera Beltrán walked right into her home to check on Édgar. He had said publicly over the weekend that Édgar had tested positive for swine flu, and Health Secretary José Ángel Córdova had confirmed on Monday that a boy from La Gloria, whom he refused to identify, had tested positive and then recovered.

"Shouldn't they tell the mother first?" Mrs. Hernández asked as her younger son, Jonathan, 3, let out a cough of his own.

In fact, it was not Édgar's case that tipped off health officials to the emergency. It was the case of a 39-year-old woman, who went into a hospital in Oaxaca with an unusual viral infection, that prompted Mexico's epidemiologists to act.

The woman, María Gutiérrez, had gone to the hospital after initially falling ill days before and visiting several doctors without getting help. After tests revealed an unusual illness, medical personnel isolated her and notified state and federal officials.

She died April 13. A week later, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta notified Mexican officials that swine flu cases had turned up in Southern California, and they sent samples from Ms. Gutiérrez, Édgar and a patient in Mexico City to a Canadian lab for testing.

The results came back last Thursday afternoon, and both Ms. Gutiérrez and Édgar were found to have tested positive for a new strain of virus.

"The situation changed dramatically," Dr. Lezana said.

[snip]

Mexico has acted swiftly since the new flu strain was confirmed.

But officials acknowledge that the country lacks enough health workers to do as much outreach as they would like, and that the country has been unable to even test for the new strain of virus.

It was only this week that two laboratories, one in Mexico City and one in Veracruz, obtained the reagents to do their own checks on the new virus, rather than having to rely solely on epidemiologists in the United States and Canada.

"We never had this kind of epidemic in the world," Mr. Córdova, the health secretary, responded testily to reporters this week when questioned about the handling of the crisis.

Epidemiologists are likely to have many leads to follow in determining how and where the flu originated.

La Gloria was not alone in experiencing a fierce outbreak in recent weeks. Public health officials in other parts of Mexico said they had noticed an unusual spike in cases in the beginning of April, when the normal flu season would usually be ending.

More than a month before the government confirmed the outbreak of swine flu, Verónica Ramos already knew something was amiss in La Gloria, where she is a teacher at the elementary school.

First, she said, a fourth-grade girl became sick; then more than half of that class had symptoms. The girl's sister came down with fever, a cough and aches. Soon, one-third of the school's 300 students were ill.

"Children get sick, I know that," Ms. Ramos said. "And they infect each other. But it's not common for so many to get sick so fast."

Donald G. McNeil Jr. contributed reporting from New York, and Elisabeth Malkin and Antonio Betancourt from Mexico City.


CDC Public Service Announcements
Hat-tip Sand at PFI:

http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/psa/

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Community Planning for Swine Flu
April 28, 2009 6:45 PM ET

Audio
Audio - Download MP3 file

Script
Health officials are concerned about a new influenza virus of swine origin that's spreading from person to person. Officials are acting to combat this threat, but the outbreak might grow. So be prepared.

Store a two-week supply of food and water. Have two weeks of your regular prescription drugs at home. Keep health supplies on hand, including pain relievers and cold medicines.

For more details, visit www.cdc.gov/swineflu or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

A message from HHS.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Swine Flu Preparedness

April 28, 2009 6:45 PM ET

Audio
Audio - Download MP3 file

Script
Health officials are concerned about a new influenza virus of swine origin that's spreading from person to person. Officials are acting to combat this threat, but the outbreak could grow. Prepare now.

Check with local leaders, schools, employers, and other community groups about their plans regarding an outbreak in your community. It's important for everyone to know what to do about swine flu.

For details, visit www.cdc.gov/swineflu or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

A message from HHS.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Hygiene Habits to Help Fight Swine Flu

April 28, 2009 6:45 PM ET

Audio
Audio - Download MP3 file

Script
Health officials are concerned about a new flu virus of swine origin spreading from person to person. To help fight swine flu, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue away. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Stay home if you're sick and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

To learn more, visit www.cdc.gov/swineflu or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

A message from HHS.


thank you, about time!
Store a two-week supply of food and water. Have two weeks of your regular prescription drugs at home. Keep health supplies on hand, including pain relievers and cold medicines.

Please pass this along to whoever you can think of. Emails, facebook, twitter, phone, snail mail, whatever.  People need to get this message.  Time is of the essence.  

One more person who gets this message may translate to many lives saved.  Thank you all!



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
It is about time!
Just posted this on blog. Hope to reach more people.

United we stand: Divided we fall
www.flunewsnetwork.com


[ Parent ]
can someone start a new diary for this
for visibility?  Sorry, I'm trying to do many things at the same time, trying to make best use of the limited time left to get the message out.

Thanks folks,.



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
Influenza bring in 14 cases of swine flu in New Zealand
.
New Zealand confirmed more new cases of swine influenza in Australia and the rules were tightened so that the authorities may detain persons suspected of being infected

Wellington Wednesday 29 April 2009
http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/...

06:41 New Zealand on Wednesday confirmed more new cases of swine influenza in Australia and the rules were tightened so that the authorities may detain persons suspected of being infected at a time when Asian countries, but still free of disease , prepared for the worst scenario but it looked hopeful that the epidemic did not progress.

The number of cases of swine flu infection in New Zealand rose to 14, health officials reported, and even included a person who was not among the group of students and teachers who returned recently from Mexico, the epicenter of the epidemic spreads throughout the world.

These first cases were confirmed in the Asia-Pacific region.

Health Minister Tony Ryall said that laboratory tests of the World Health Organization in Australia have confirmed three cases of swine influenza infection among the group that school showed symptoms of suffering from influenza, and another passenger who also recently returned from Northern America and possibly could also be infected.

The regional health officer, Dr Julia Peters, said Wednesday that the figure had risen to 14 cases during the night because two other estudnantes group and another traveler who recently returned from North America apparently are also infected.

"We see this as the swine flu identified 14 cases," said Peters, who said that 14 cases have responded favorably to treatment with antiviral drugs, and through voluntary quarantine in their homes.

New Zealand has 44 other possible cases are under review but in the laboratory.

Health authorities have indicated that the swine strain of influenza that affects students in New Zealand is the same that has killed 150 people sick and more than two thousand 400 in Mexico.

[snip]


Ironically, if the WHO criteria
were applied to the count in NZ, then the number of cases is officially 3!  Once 3 samples showed positive, as everyone was the same illness from same background etc, it was determined that the rest would also be positive.

At least NZ officials are not fudging the figures on this - hurrah!

Eat pudding first - who know's what might happen next! - Anon


[ Parent ]
more cases in UK
3 more cases confimed in UK

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/200...


What's in a name?
We're all familiar with the German Measles, Asian Flu, Hong Kong Flu and the Spanish Flu, and now we're faced with the question of the proper moniker for this strain of flu that threatens to become a pandemic. There is controversy raised by the pork industry about calling this the Swine Flu since the term appears to be demonizing sales of pork products. Yet such severe outbreaks have typically been labled according to the region or country of its origin (aside from the misnamed Spanish Flu). While it's true that everyone has generically been referring to the previous threat as the Bird Flu, that was probably because it hadn't become a pandemic threat with vast outbreaks and H2H transmission as this current virus has, nor has it had a single country of origin. Not so with this current threat

But with this one it seems that political correctness may keep this from being properly labled, perhaps out of fear of alienating hispanic voters or harming relations with our major supplier of sombrero's. So to date, Israel is the only country who's willing to follow tradition by aptly referring to this outbreak as the Mexican Flu.

http://www.alertnet.org/thenew...

U.S. officials want 'swine' out of flu name

WASHINGTON, April 28 (Reuters) - What's in a name? U.S. pork producers are finding that the name of the virus spreading from Mexico is affecting their business, prompting U.S. officials to argue for changing the name from swine flu.

At a news briefing, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack took pains to repeatedly refer to the flu as the "H1N1 virus."

"This is not a food-borne illness, virus. It is not correct to refer to it as swine flu because really that's not what this is about," Vilsack said.

Israel has already rejected the name swine flu, and opted to call it "Mexico flu." Jewish dietary laws forbid eating pork.

The Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health also objected to the name, saying the virus contains avian and human components and no pig so far has been found ill with the disease.

And there is growing sentiment in the farm sector to call it the North American virus -- although disease expert Anthony Fauci told a Senate hearing the "swine flu" designation reflected scientific naming protocol.

For U.S. pork producers the swine flu name has hurt, forcing government officials into the position of stressing that American pork is safe to eat and that other countries should not ban imports.

Pork, soybean and corn prices have fallen in the last two days, "and if this continues, obviously you have significant potential, which is why it's important to get this right," Vilsack said.

At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was also talk of stripping the "swine" from swine flu, which CDC acting director Richard Besser said was leading to the misapprehension that people can catch the disease from pork.

"That's not helpful to pork producers. That's not helpful to people who eat pork. It's not helpful to people who are wondering, how can they get this infection," Besser told a briefing.

The beatings will continue until morale improves.


doesn't this annoy you?
Can someone tell the pork people to chill out.  The first thing I ever saw on the main stream last week was that pork was ok to eat.  I am so sick of all the PC stuff, get over yourself.  

Carry the torch, not to light the way, but to set your peers on fire!

[ Parent ]
Swine and all
I understand why they want to change it - most people don't understand how the flu goes between species, and don't take the time to educate themselves.  

With bird flu, we've had years of news showing the mass slaughter of birds.  It's been all about the birds, contact with birds, birds birds birds.  It's an easy logical step to assume swine flu is all about the pigs.

H1N1 isn't quite right either, though, because it's more than just that.  Novel H1N1?  'cause won't people freak out if they notice they've been getting H1N1 in their vaccines for years, or that that's what was going around in 1918?

O my, that group that suggested Mexican flu...yikes!

What other ways have diseases been named in the past?  I don't think the regional way, like Ebola, is best in this situation.

Anyone have some ideas for non-offensive, catchy, yet still accurate names?


[ Parent ]
How about the date
Agree on a date when it started...ie 4-09 and call it that? Sort of like 9/11. Not very catchy maybe but it should be inoffensive.

[ Parent ]
How about what we have always done for everything else discovered.
We name it after the lucky (or unlucky) scientist that first found it or let him name it whatever he wants.  

Carry the torch, not to light the way, but to set your peers on fire!

[ Parent ]
How about the 9 flu n/t


To calm the wife buy cases of chocolate, to calm the husband buy cases of booze, and to calm the children...... heck the booze and chocolate should work.

[ Parent ]
Fluzy
As in

"Was it a bad pandemic?"
"Yeah, it was a fluzy. It really put itself about."


[ Parent ]
Crof said the moniker SIV was being considered, for Swine Influenza Virus I guess. n/t


Always have a plan B.

[ Parent ]
The art of naming . . .
Humans are partial to naming things - that way, from that point on, they only have to think of the name and can avoid thinking about the thing itself.


[ Parent ]
Obama on possible school closures
now on air at press conference.  (Sorry, no link - link should be available later on WH site but this is important information, so I think it should get out now).

President Obama:

"It's also the recommendation of our public health officials that schools with confirmed or suspected cases of H1N1 should strongly consider temporarily closing so that we can be as safe as possible. If the situation becomes more serious and we have to take more extensive steps, then parents should also think about contingencies if schools in their areas do temporarily shut down figuring out and planning what their child care situation would be. If we ended up having a school closure, a child was sick, just sending the child from the school to a daycare center is not a good solution so we would have to think through, and each parent I think would have to think through what options would be available to them in the event that this became more serious."



Obama: Swine flu may close schools
http://www.freep.com/article/2...

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama suggested today that school closings may be necessary, in an escalating global health emergency that claimed the first death in the United States - a 23-month-old Texas toddler. Obama said educators with confirmed swine flu infections should weigh shutting down classes if conditions worsen.
Advertisement

Giving an update on a raging health menace that has dominated public officials' time and caused universal anxiety, Obama said, "Every American should know that the federal government is prepared to do whatever is necessary to control this virus."

He said he wanted to extend "my thoughts and prayers" to the family of a young boy who died in Texas, the first confirmed U.S. fatality in a widening health emergency that has now also swept Germany onto the list of afflicted nations.

"It's also the recommendation of public health officials that schools with confirmed cases .... should consider closing if the situation becomes more serious," the president said. In that scenario, Obama said, "parents should also think about contingencies if schools in their areas should shut down ... . Just sending a (sick) child from a school to a day care center would not be a good solution."





All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
Egyptians infected with bird horses
8 Egyptians infected with equine influenza.

Hat-tip Helblindi at PFI:

29/Apr/09
http://www.alwafd.org/details....

Denied yesterday by Dr. Ibrahim BHANDARE director of preventive medicine General Authority for Veterinary Services of the Ministry of Agriculture reports about the presence of human cases of avian horses.

The professor, Dr. Muhammad Farooq diagnostic laboratory in the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Assiut confirmed the presence of 8 human cases of horse flu in the province, the lake. And warned of what he described as a real disaster.

Dr. BHANDARE by operations room body veterinarian's best to follow the daily movement of the virus in the provinces. The sampling of the lake and the oases of Kafr el-Sheikh and Wadi Natrun show integrity and denied. BHANDARE was echoed by Dr. Mohamed Farouk the possibility of transmission of influenza virus cats to humans through bird. He said that possibility does not exist. And Dr Mohammad Farooq to the spread of equine influenza virus in Egypt by 20% between horses.

He also pointed to the spread of the disease governorates in Lower Egypt, more than Upper Egypt, especially in provinces: West Lake, Alexandria, Dakahlia The rates of death due to influenza horses per 3% only.  


Pixie:
Can you check and post the link to this article again? I keep getting "Server Error." Thanks.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


[ Parent ]
trying to verify
this is potentially very bad.  i'm working on trying to find other sources for this story.

here is some background on H7N7-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...


[ Parent ]
Too early in AM for tin foil but
but I immediately thought about the 3 missing vials of Venesuelan (sp) equine encephalitis at Ft Dietrick (the investigation) - must assume this is distinct from H7N7 and not incorrectly reported in the media

[ Parent ]
Must be bad translation?
Avian horses?

I too cant get the page to load.  Equine flu would be something else again.


[ Parent ]
Yes, they are talking about equine influenza
There have been reports on equine influenza in the Egyptian press lately.

All Egyptian translations are bad translations!  

Carol, I'll see if I can fix the linky.  


[ Parent ]
The whole Al-Wafd site was down
They're back now - link is goood.  

[ Parent ]
Thanks Pixie!
It worked this time.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


[ Parent ]
Cartons of Pegasus? "...cases of avian horses."


Always have a plan B.

[ Parent ]
WHO expresses the fear of transmission of swine flu in Egypt because of the farms
 
29/Apr/09
Al-Masry Al-Youm
http://www.almasry-alyoum.com/...

World Health Organization expressed concern on the transmission of swine flu infection in Egypt, because of the proximity of pig farms of the population, said the regional office of the organization - based in Cairo - Egypt is currently free of swine flu, but the problem is the presence of pigs near the humans.

"There is, consequently, fear of infection,"said Dr Hussein Gezairy, Regional Director of the World Health Organization at a press conference yesterday: "the problem must be eliminated, either dispose of or transfer of pig farms to places far from population centers"

[snip]

For his part, Dr. Hassan Al-Bushra, regional adviser for the World Health Organization, the Organization according to the epidemic, was expecting more than two years since the epidemic "swine flu," which occurs on average between six and 20 years.

[snip]


Egypt slaughtering all pigs to stop swine flu

Apr 29, 8:36 AM EDT
http://www.google.com/hostedne...

CAIRO (AP) -- The Egyptian government says it has begun slaughtering all pigs in the country as a precautionary measure against the possible spread of swine flu.

The Health Ministry says the slaughter of the country's 300,000 pigs will begin immediately.

The ministry has stated several times that there are no cases swine flu in the country, however neighboring Israel has reported two.


[ Parent ]
If only...
...the virus were spread by pigs, that would be worthwhile.

[ Parent ]
Plus it's a Muslim country - how many pigs are there?!


[ Parent ]
Coptic Christians in Egypt eat pork n/t


[ Parent ]
WHO's recommendation instigated this, but why?
Recent studies by FAO seem to indicate that pigs are not currently a cause of this virus' transmission. They also - so far - are apparently not catching it from Humans.

However, there is all that rumor/evidence about it starting in the mega-pen down in el gloria Mexico, so perhaps they believe it could potentially mix back into the swine population at some point. And since they know that bf is endemic in Egypt and can also infect swine, perhaps they worry that the pigs would be a perfect mixing kettle for this swine flu and H5N1, leading to a recombination or reassortment that would make this pandemic more deadly.

Always have a plan B.


[ Parent ]
Egyptian Christians riot after swine flu cull

April 29, 2009
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/t...

Egyptian leaders ordered the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of pigs today to help protect against swine flu, prompting angry protests from the poor Christan farmers who feed their animals with a country's food scraps. The decision was also criticised as a "real mistake" by a senior UN food expert.

The Arab world's most populous nation has been been badly hit by the H5N1 bird flu virus in recent years and the move to cull up to 400,000 pigs - seen by Muslims as unclean animals - was designed to calm fears of an impending pandemic.

But it left Egypt's large Coptic Christian minority up in arms, especially the slum-dwelling "Zebaleen" rubbish collectors who rely on the hogs for their livelihood. Scores of them blocked the streets and stoned the vehicles of Health Ministry workers as they arrived to carry out the government's order at pig farms on the outskirts of Cario this afternoon.

"Our pigs are healthy. They are our capital and they have no diseases," said Adel Ishak, who feeds his pigs from the rubbish he collects in Manshiet Nasser, northeast of Cairo.

"We remind Hosni Mubarak that we are all Egyptians. Where does he want us to go?" added 46-year-old Gergis Faris, another pig farmer. "We are uneducated people, just living day by day and trying to make a living, and now if our pigs are taken from us without compensation, how are we supposed to live?"

The decison to cull the pigs was announced by Hatem al-Gabali, the Health Minister, after a meeting with President Mubarak. "It has been ordered to immediately begin the slaughter of all herds of pigs in Egypt," he told reporters.

Mr al-Gabali said slaughterhouses were to begin the culling process immediately at the fastest rate possible. Further precautionary measures such as the launch of an awareness campaign and increasing production of protective masks would also be taken, he said.

Magdy Rady, a Cabinet spokesman, put the number of pigs that could be culled at between 300,000 and 400,000. "If you see the conditions of the swine farms in Egypt, they are not healthy at all. They are hazards in themselves, even without the swine flu. That's why people are really getting afraid," he told the Reuters news agency, even before the decision was taken.

Officials said that the farmers would be offered compensation of 1,000 Egyptian pounds (£120) per pig but there seemed to be little confidence that the money would ever materialise.

Mr Ishak said that his community receives 6,000 tonnes of organic rubbish every day, but if the pigs die there will be nowhere to put the waste. "What is the use of compensation? It will feed us only for several months, what then?" he asked.

Egypt has not had any confirmed cases of swine flu yet but government experts fear a pandemic flu strain could spread quickly through the country because most of its roughly 80 million people live in the densely packed Nile Valley, many in crowded slums in and around Cairo.

The World Health Organisation has repeatedly said, however, that the newly mutated H1N1 virus is not found in pigs - although the animals can be the vessels for the "genetic reassortment" that produces new strains - and that pork meat is safe to eat.

Joseph Domenech, chief veterinary office with the UN Food and Agriculture Officer in Rome, said the Egyptian order was "a real mistake".

"There is no reason to do that. It's not a swine influenza, it's a human influenza," he said.


[ Parent ]
Pigs in Egypt to be culled
Sky news reports ALL pigs in Egypt to be culled.

Pig, horse, bird
How concerned should we be about Egypt having avian, swine, and equine influenza that are infecting humans, all together in the same area?

Do we know what happens to humans who have contracted the equine virus, how bad it is?

I'm guessing I've missed this discussion on the boards - is there concern over our new H1N1 getting together with our current H5N1?  Does anyone have a link to info/discussion?

It's just a virus partytime these days!  Spring has sprung!


[ Parent ]
CHILD WHO DIED OF SWINE FLU IN TEXAS WAS MEXICAN WHO TRAVELED TO US FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT -HOUSTON HEALTH OFFICIAL
Hat-tip Helblindi at PFI:

29 Apr 2009 13:02:46 GMT
Source: Reuters

http://www.alertnet.org/thenew...


Interesting, and sad
In addition to the sadness of a child dying like this, I wonder whether this fatal case occurring in a U.S. hospital will enable better determination of exactly why some of the cases have been fatal and many not (just statistics, or something else?).

[ Parent ]
Public transport?
Didn't this child travel to the US on a commercial flight, thereby possibly infecting everyone on board, and all their contacts?


[ Parent ]
Jonathon, the wsj article cited about 7 entries below this has some good answers
but read the whole article.

Since the majority of victims in countries outside of Mexico have a direct link to Mexico and either caught it there or caught it from someone who caught it there, we can be pretty sure it's the same identical virus and not a "weaker strain". I don't buy the idea that the reason it's more virulent in Mexico is that it's been active longer there: since its the same strain with the same history, people who picked it up in Mexico and brought it to other countries are still part of that same H2H transmission chain, and any adaptation of the virus that resulted from being in Humans.

So I would think it has to have something to do with differences in health care, diet or some other factor related to locale. Or maybe we just haven't had enough cases in other parts of the world than Mexico yet. I don't think it's the result of the bad air and/or high altitude in Mexico City, since there are deaths in completely different parts of Mexico as well...including some of the first cases. Very puzzling.

Always have a plan B.


[ Parent ]
WHO Emergency Committee to reassess pandemic alert level

www.chinaview.cn 2009-04-29 20:53:12
http://news.xinhuanet.com/engl...

GENEVA, April 29 (Xinhua) -- As the swine flu situation continues to worsen, the World Health Organization's (WHO's) Emergency Committee will meet for a third time to reassess the pandemic alert level, a WHO spokesman said on Wednesday.

"I'm just trying to find out whether the committee will convene today or tomorrow," spokesman Gregory Hartl told Xinhua.

Some media reports said the committee, composed of international experts, will meet late on Wednesday, but Hartl declined to confirm the date.

Following an advice from the Emergency Committee, the WHO raised the alert level from Phase 3 to Phase 4 on Monday, indicating a significant increase in the risk of a pandemic.

A further rise to Phase 5 will mean a pandemic is imminent.

Meanwhile, a scientific review is underway in the WHO on Wednesday in response to requests from the scientific community for more detailed scientific information on swine influenza.

Experts from the affected countries, including Mexico and the United States will provide an update on the current situation and discuss what is known about the disease from a virological, epidemiological and clinical perspective, a WHO statement said.

A report from the review will be posted on the WHO swine influenza page shortly after the meeting.


as well they should! n/t




All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
Three More Swine Flu Cases Confirmed In The UK
Three more cases of swine flu have been confirmed today in Britain, taking the number of those treated for the disease to five.

A 12-year-old girl is among those who have contracted the virus after visiting Mexico, Prime Minister Gordon Brown confirmed.

Two adults - one from Redditch, Worcs and one from London - are also being treated, along with two other cases, previously confirmed, in Scotland.

The schoolgirl attends Paignton Community and Sports College, in Paignton, Devon, which has been shut for a week. All pupils in her year have also been given anti-viral drugs as a precaution.

The announcement came as American health officials announced a 23-month-old child died of swine flu in Texas - the first fatality outside Mexico from the H1N1 strain
http://www.4ni.co.uk/northern_...

Be Prepared


CNN live congressional hearings on flu
http://www.cnn.com/video/flash...

"This is not a media exaggeration, this is a crisis."


Country by country spread of new flu strain
.
22 countries hit

Reuters
29 April 2009 14:58
http://www.moneyweb.co.za/mw/v...

(Reuters) - A government official confirmed the first U.S. death from the new H1N1 swine flu on Wednesday, a 23-month-old child who died in Texas. It is the first death from swine flu reported outside Mexico, the country hardest hit by the influenza outbreak.

Germany confirmed its first cases of swine flu on Wednesday, the eighth country where the virus has been confirmed nearly a week after the threat of a pandemic emerged. Here are details of the latest number of cases country by country:

COUNTRY DEATHS - CONFIRMED CASES - SUSPECTED CASES

MEXICO 159 26 2,500*

UNITED STATES 1 64 0

CANADA 0 13 0

NEW ZEALAND 0 3 11

GERMANY 0 3 5

SPAIN 0 2 32

ISRAEL 0 2 2

BRITAIN 0 2 23

AUSTRALIA 0 0 91

CHILE 0 0 24

BRAZIL 0 0 20

FRANCE 0 0 20

DENMARK 0 0 11

SWITZERLAND 0 0 9

SOUTH KOREA 0 0 6

AUSTRIA 0 0 4

COLOMBIA 0 0 4

GUATEMALA 0 0 3

COSTA RICA 0 0 2

EL SALVADOR 0 0 2

NORWAY 0 0 1

SOUTH AFRICA 0 0 2

NOTES:

* MEXICO:

-- Mexico's death toll figure is for deaths that authorities suspect were caused by swine flu.

-- The country's figure for confirmed cases of the disease is the figure given to date by the World Health Organization.

-- The number of suspected cases has been given by the Mexican Health Ministry.


HHS Sebelius press conference
http://www.businesswire.com/po... permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20090429005728&newsLang=en

April 29, 2009 09:57 AM Eastern Daylight Time

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will hold a press conference to update on the H1N1 flu situation

--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Department of Health and Human Services

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will hold a press conference to update on the H1N1 flu situation.

Credentialed press only in the auditorium. Others may view the presentation via closed circuit television in the Humphrey Building Great Hall.

WHEN:
11:00 a.m.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

WHERE:
Humphrey Building
200 Independence Ave., SW
Auditorium (credentialed press only)
Great Hall (live monitor for non-press)

CONTACT:
HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

LIVE WEBCAST:
This briefing will also be video Webcast.
To watch LIVE online, please visit:
www.hhs.gov

OUTBOUND FIBER:
VYVX: 100355

AUDIO ONLY
The listen-only audio portion of the briefing will be available via teleconference.
Dial-in: 1-800-621-8607
Passcode: HHS


Mexican High Death Rate Poses Key Question on virus
Hard copy and online in teh WSJ today:  

http://online.wsj.com/article/...

Theories include: patients wating longer to seek treatment, being mis-diagnosed, etc.  Questions whether pollution/high altitude played a factor.  Also, many Mexicans avoid the healthcare system because "it is broken."  


Suspect Case in MN - 2 Schools Closed
http://minnesota.publicradio.o...

St. Paul, Minn. - Minnesota's first probable case of the swine flu was announced today by Governor Tim Pawlenty.

As a result of the probable case, the Rocori Middle School and St. Boniface School in Cold Spring, about 60 miles northwest of Minneapolis, have been voluntarily closed for the day by local officials.

...
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is characterizing the case as "probable", meaning that the MDH has confirmed the virus as type A influenza, but the strain cannot be identified using lab tests available to MDH.

Additional testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be needed to determine if the patient had the unusual new strain of influenza that has made people sick in Mexico and six other countries.



ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain
 


Probable case in Minnesota
Officials today reported the first probable case of swine flu in Minnesota, prompting two schools to close. Gov. Tim Pawlenty said during a news conference this morning that the state is "well prepared."

By BOB VON STERNBERG, Star Tribune
Last update: April 29, 2009 - 9:44 AM

Officials today reported the first probable case of swine flu in Minnesota, prompting two schools in Cold Spring to close today.
At a news conference this morning, Gov Tim Pawlenty mentioned the first death in the U.S. caused by the virus as evidence "this is a situation that can become more serious. It is a sign for concern. It is not a sign for panic."


Sorry for the duplicate - I was a little to slow!


[ Parent ]
No need to apologize....
I have done the same thing.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


[ Parent ]
Better 2 than none
One thing to do if drafting a post is taking longer than expected (interruptions etc) is open up FW again on a second tab or window to check for posts.

I have done that when delayed in posting - though yours was not that much later so probably unavoidable.  

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain
 


[ Parent ]
Cleburne TX (just south of Dallas) schools closed for a week
http://www.corsicanadailysun.c...

All Cleburne ISD campuses closed for week because of probable swine flu cases

By Pete Kendall/reporter@trcle.com

School is out in Cleburne ISD.

Within hours of a preliminary decision Wednesday morning to shut down­ Cleburne High, TEAM School and Phoenix (formerly J.N. Long Elementary), CISD decided to close district-wide as a precautionary measure after four students exhibited symptoms of swine flu.

No cases had been confirmed, high school principal Monte Pritchett said, as he turned away cars Wednesday morning in the CHS parking lot.

Cleburne ISD's decision was prompted by a recommendation of the Texas Department of State Health Services, based on reports of four probable cases of swine flu involving CHS students, CISD spokeswoman Lisa Magers said in a prepared statement that quoted Superintendent Dr. Ronny Beard.

"We won't receive confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control of whether these students actually have swine flu for two to three days," Beard said prior to the decision to close all campuses. "Dr. James Zoretik, regional director of TDH, recommended we close the high school as a precaution. After talking with him, we decided to cancel classes at TEAM School and Phoenix as well because they all serve high school students who are in contact with each other even though they are on different campuses."

...


Swine flu: three new cases in Britain as Mexican toddler dies in Texas

From Times OnlineApril 29, 2009
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/t...

More than 200 pupils at a school in Devon were being given anti-viral drugs today to prevent an outbreak of swine flu after a 12-year-old schoolmate tested positive for the potentially deadly flu virus - one of five cases now confirmed in Britain.

World Health Organisation experts were this afternoon preparing to update their pandemic alert as more cases were reported around the world.

The evidence that the outbreak is escalating is not clear-cut, however. American officials reported the first swine flu fatality outside of Mexico, but it transpired that a 23-month-old baby girl who died in Texas was a Mexican taken ill while visiting relatives in the town of Brownsville.

As Germany and Austria confirmed their first cases, Gordon Brown told MPs that three new cases had been identified in the UK, taking the total to five.

One was a 12-year-old girl from Paignton, on the "English Riviera" in Devon, who had flown back home from Mexico last week on the same plane as two Scottish honeymooners who were the UK's first swine flu cases. Iain and Dawn Askham are recovering well in an isolation ward at Monklands Hospital in Airdrie, Lanarkshire.

The other two British cases were a 41-year-old woman from Redditch and a 22-year-old man in London. All were responding well to treatment, said Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary.

Mr Johnson said that 230 children at the girl's school, Paignton Community and Sports College, were being given precautionary doses of the anti-viral drug Tamiflu, and that from today the school would be closed for a week to reduce the risk of a wider outbreak.

He also announced that the Government was increasing its stockpiles of Tamiflu to protect 50 million people - it already has 33 million doses in stock - and would be issuing the next week on a prophylactic or preventative basis to a million frontline staff in the NHS. "We'll make sure that we are as well prepared as any country in the world," the Health Secretary added.

[snip]


Mexican Doctor's Diary
...Patients continue to pour in with flu symptoms. Some have very serious pneumonia and need to be put on ventilators. I think the total number of deaths is far beyond the seven who have tested positive for the infection.

Even though the measures being taken are adequate, there is a lot of disorganisation...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/ame...


Is this just through the BBC
or is there a site where they post?

To calm the wife buy cases of chocolate, to calm the husband buy cases of booze, and to calm the children...... heck the booze and chocolate should work.

[ Parent ]
I'm not certain.
They send in their experiences to the BBC. I am not sure if the BBC is doing anything to verify that the individuals are doctors. However, since they made this a special section and the diaries are not automatically posted, I am assuming that there is some type of screening going on. Unknown as to whether it is 100% legit.

[ Parent ]
Spain says one swine flu case not been to Mexico
http://www.reuters.com/article...

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain has detected its first case of swine flu in a person who has not recently visited Mexico, Health Minister Trinidad Jimenez said on Wednesday.

Authorities have confirmed 10 cases of the disease and 53 other cases are under investigation. So far all had been of people who had recently returned from Mexico.

(Reporting by Raquel Castillo; writing by Jason Webb)


RE: more possible in illinois

More probable swine flu cases in Illinois
April 29, 2009 8:54 AM | 3 Comments
There are other probable swine flu cases in Illinois in addition to the one that prompted today's shutdown of  Kilmer Elementary School on Chicago's North Side.

But the Illinois Department of Public Health, which has been notified about the cases, would not say exactly how many there are or where.  
Details about the probable Illinois cases will be discussed during a 1:30 p.m. news conference.
http://www.chicagobreakingnews...


RE: Swine flu in chicago
Now I am really starting to worry.  This is hitting very close, which I expected, and my husband works near where this school was closed.  

WHO Flu Chief Says Swine Flu Moving Toward Pandemic
http://www.chron.com/disp/stor...
April 29, 2009
GENEVA -- The World Health Organization says the swine flu outbreak is moving closer to becoming a pandemic. WHO flu chief Dr. Keiji Fukuda told reporters today that developments in the disease are moving the agency closer to raising its pandemic alert to phase 5, indicating widespread human-to-human transmission.

He said the health body was monitoring the situation but was not yet ready to move the pandemic alert level up from its current level of 4, which means it is being passed among people. Phase 6 is the highest in the scale and is for a full-scale pandemic.  Fukuda said there was no evidence the virus was slowing down.

"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson


Australia approves new swine flu detention powers

Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:12am BST  
http://uk.reuters.com/article/...

(Reuters) - Australia's government has approved tough new powers to detain and disinfect people suspected of carrying swine flu as authorities await test results from 91 suspected cases.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon sought approval for the new laws late on Tuesday, but said she had no intention yet of forcibly detaining people, unless the threat of a pandemic escalated.

"We are not about to take those steps but we want to make sure that all the powers are there, that we are ready to act if this takes a dramatic turn for the worst," Roxon told reporters. "It is a sensible precautionary step for us to take."

The powers, approved by Australia's Governor-General Quentin Bryce, who represents Britain's Queen Elizabeth, also allow authorities to use disinfectant on planes or at port facilities.

Health authorities are also trying to track down 22 Australians who travelled on the same plane as three New Zealand students who contracted swine flu.

Test results on people tested after showing flu-like symptoms are expected in the next two days, Roxon said.

(Reporting by Rob Taylor; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)


Confirmed cases of swine flu in Michigan
Local news is reporting that the 2 suspected cases in Michigan are now confirmed and another suspected case is being investigated.  From wwj News Radio 950 radio station web site:

"As federal officials confirmed two cases of swine flu in Michigan, Woodhaven-Brownstown School District leaders are awaiting lab results to determine if a student has swine flu."

Here is a link:

http://www.wwj.com/Local-Stude...

Natural selection is at work all the time.


Swine flu suspected in Schenectady County NY
SCHENECTADY, NY - Two residents of Schenectady County have suspected cases of swine flu.

http://www.timesunion.com/AspS...

Glynnis Hunt, spokeswoman for the Schenectady County Health Department, said two samples from individuals have been sent to the state Department of Health's Wadsworth lab to confirm if it is the new strain of influenza that has public health officials on alert.

Hunt would not reveal any details about the individuals or why it is suspected they have the illness, referring all questions to the state Health Department.

Jeffrey Hammond, spokesman for the state Health Department, said information about suspected cases in other New York counties will be revealed at a press conference at noon today.


Texas cancels all high school sports until May 11th
Wow, this is a statewide shutdown of interscholastic athletics.

http://sports.espn.go.com/high...

Texas postpones HS sports until May 11

AUSTIN, Texas -- The swine flu outbreak has brought high school sports in Texas to a temporary halt.

The University Interscholastic League has postponed all high school athletic competition until May 11, the organization said on its Web site.

The move cancels the state's regional track championships -- though the state meet, one of the country's largest, is still on schedule for May 13-14 -- and suspends the high school baseball and softball seasons.

The state tennis and golf tournaments are also on hold until May 11, and interscholastic academic events are also being postponed or canceled.

"The health and safety of our student activity participants is of the utmost importance," the UIL's executive director, Charles Breithaupt, said in a news release announcing the decision. "Taking every possible precaution to prevent the further spreading of this disease is an important contribution to the welfare of our great state, and altering the schedule of our events is a way to keep our participants safe."


re:
At least it's not football season, or you would have riots.

To calm the wife buy cases of chocolate, to calm the husband buy cases of booze, and to calm the children...... heck the booze and chocolate should work.

[ Parent ]
Football
That is absolutely true. Luckily baseball is not as big.

Still, this is the first statewide closure/cancellation of anything I have heard of in the US.


[ Parent ]
Matt, as Texans you and I both know
that in Texas baseball is a sport but football is a religion.

"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson

[ Parent ]
NZ: Secret centre for flu patients
Hat-tip Sand at PFI:

By KIM THOMAS - The Press Last updated 05:00 30/04/09
http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/s...

A secret centre for assessing, testing and isolating potential swine flu victims is operating in Christchurch to prevent the virus spreading.

Canterbury's primary health sector set up the clinic on Monday and has treated about 40 patients, although by last night there had been no confirmed cases of swine flu in the South Island.

The Ministry of Health yesterday confirmed 14 people on Air New Zealand flight NZ1 from Los Angeles to Auckland last Saturday mostly pupils from Rangitoto College in Aucklamd had tested positive for the H1N1 strain of swine flu that has claimed lives in Mexico.

The people seen at the Christchurch clinic were either passengers on the flight with the infected pupils or those in close contact with the travellers since their return.

Officials are keeping the location of the clinic secret to avoid panic.

Pegasus Health spokesman Simon Wynn-Thomas said the assessment centre was set up to ensure people who may have swine flu got treatment without running the risk of them contaminating others when visiting a general practice.

Patients were referred to the centre by their GP or public health authorities, and it had treated about a dozen people a day.

None was in a serious enough condition to be sent to hospital, Wynn-Thomas said.

Christchurch Hospital this week set up a "red stream", where people suspected of having influenza A can be treated away from other patients.

Wynn-Thomas said that on arrival at the clinic, called a "screening network" by health officials, patients were given a mask and were isolated from other patients.

Canterbury District Health Board medical officer of health Dr Ramon Pink said there had been no confirmed cases of swine flu in the South Island.

Thirteen of the 15 unwell Canterbury people from flight NZ1 had returned negative tests results for influenza A, he said.

However, swabs were still being taken and Tamiflu administered for people who were unwell and had travelled in Mexico or North America in the past seven days, Pink said.

Twenty Nelson-Marlborough people have been in quarantine after their returned from the US on flight NZ1.

Nelson-Marlborough Public Health medical officer Dr Jill Sherwood said one of six people with flu symptoms had returned a negative test result for influenza A. Swab results from the other five people were being awaited last night.

Eleven people on a flight that stopped in Auckland yesterday en route to Australia were taken to hospital as they were suspected of having the virus. Five of the passengers were in transit, including Australian Alana Coulter.

She said she had been travelling for several months and was "desperate" to return home to friends and family.

She was frustrated to be detained for having "a bit of a runny nose".

She was sent to Middlemore Hospital for treatment and later transferred to a hotel.

More than 150 Kiwis remained in voluntary quarantine yesterday, although exact figures on those showing flu symptoms were unavailable.

A Ministry of Health spokeswoman said some regional public health authorities had "prioritised" treating suspected cases over updating figures.

Reports from Mexico, where the outbreak was first recorded, say 159 people have died from swine flu, but the World Health Organisation said Mexican authorities had confirmed only seven deaths from 26 confirmed cases.  


US up to 91 cases, including 1 death
http://tinyurl.com/c97bb9

The latest numbers of confirmed cases from the CDC were released about an hour ago. 91 cases have been confirmed, with the largest numbers in New York (51), California (14), and Texas (16). One new case has also been confirmed in Nevada, one in Indiana, one in Arizona, and 2 in Michigan; the other Ohio case I know of is still pending, apparently. Ongoing investigations are also taking place in multiple states, so expect the number to keep rising for the time being. [Update: 2 cases just confirmed in Massachussets]...


WHO at 5 ???
Does anyone have confirmation:

http://www.radionetherlands.nl...

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that the most recent research on swine flu has shown that the virus is not caused by pigs. The disease is now being referred to as Mexican flu or "2009 H1N1 flu". The WHO has moved the pandemic alert from four to five, the second highest. The first case of what was called swine flu was reported in Mexico and its first fatality was confirmed there two weeks ago. .........

Be Prepared


WHO: Swine Flu Not Slowing Down, but Pandemic Alert Level Remains Unchanged
The swine influenza outbreak shows no signs of slowing down, but, for now at least, the World Health Organization (WHO) has stopped short of increasing the pandemic alert level from phase 4 to phase 5.

"Phase 5 is a significant milestone, and we are trying to make absolutely sure that we are dealing with sustained transmission in 2 or more countries," Keiji Fukuda, MD, MPH, assistant director-general ad. interim for Health Security and Environment at the WHO, said during a press conference today.

Source
http://www.medscape.com/viewar...

 


[ Parent ]
not sure
Here's the audio for today's WHO briefing http://terrance.who.int/mediac...  I'm still listening.  If they raise the alert, it will be on this recording.



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
not yet, Fukuda said
we're moving closer to phase 5, not quite there yet.  Need to make absolutely sure that we are dealing with sustained transmission in at least 2 countries.




All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
what was the time
what was the time on that statement? was that today?

the netherland news item as at 18:04 UTC.
http://www.radionetherlands.nl...

Be Prepared


[ Parent ]
it's their daily briefing
check out the WHO page.  All the audios and transcripts are there.  Again, I'd be surprised that they would announce a change in any other way.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre...



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
There's suppose to be a WHO at 2000 GMT n/t


[ Parent ]
missed the key word announcement DOH! n/t


[ Parent ]
that's probably for the scientific meeting report n/t




All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
Susan:
When I click on this link I get this message:

Forbidden
You don't have permission to access /mediac on this server.
Apache/2.0.48 (Win32) Server at terrance.who.int Port 80  

Can you provide a link for the headline updates? Thanks.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


[ Parent ]
Works ok for me n/t


[ Parent ]
this is the main page
http://www.who.int/mediacentre... you can go from there



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
I was right it was 5
sorry - I just wanted to say I right about the level 5...  

Now my dumbquestion is about the 50 million doses of tamiflu in the US...
does anyone know how many doses it takes per person?
about how many people would 50M treat?


Be Prepared


[ Parent ]
5 million I think. n/t


Always have a plan B.

[ Parent ]
IIRC---there are 50 million courses...
not doses. There are 10 tablets in each course. 50 million courses = 50 million treatments.

[ Parent ]
WHO Phases Update
This is what I understand based on news stories and someone who listened to the entire call.

We are closer to Phase 5...WHO statement (news report)

They will meet again later today (news report)

If they decide to go to Phase 5 - they would not announce today.  Would not be annonced before 2pm tomorrow.  (from someone who listened).  Media apparently got quite frustrated with the statement that there would be no announcement before tomorrow.

(My comment,) the 2pm seems odd but could well make sense giving countries time to get things in place.

This is what I understand at this time.


Thanks spartan. Should they
move to phase 5, what will that mean as far as states and countries? Will anything take effect, closure of social places, ect.? Will this prompt schools to finally make a decision as to when they will close?  

United we stand: Divided we fall
www.flunewsnetwork.com


[ Parent ]
Reuters reports - Phase increase coming
Reuters is reporting WHO likely to announce an increase to Phase 5 "within hours".

http://www.alertnet.org/thenew...


[ Parent ]
As Swine Flu Spreads, Its Chances to Mutate Increase

April 29, 2009
http://blogs.sciencemag.org/sc...

TOKYO-Swine flu has reached Asia, with South Korea reporting its first suspected case yesterday. Like the vast majority of other cases outside Mexico so far, it is mild, but virologist Kennedy Shortridge warns that is no reason for complacency. He says that the farther the virus spreads, the more chance it will mix, or reassort, with other flu viruses in circulation and turn into something more lethal. "The prospects for change [in the virus] are considerable and worrying," he says.

Shortridge is a professor emeritus at the University of Hong Kong, where he led investigations into the initial emergence of H5N1 avian influenza in 1997, when it killed six of the 18 people it infected. The city squelched that outbreak by slaughtering all 1.4 million chickens and ducks in the territory. H5N1 re-emerged in 2003 and since then has claimed 257 lives while devastating poultry flocks throughout much of Asia and parts of Africa. He has long advocated global cooperation in the surveillance of circulating flu viruses to spot emerging new strains so public health officials could plan a response and drug companies could get a head start in making vaccines.

Shortridge was among the first to suggest that pigs might act as mixing vessels for new combinations of viruses. And the swine flu now spreading from Mexico "fits into the mixing vessel hypothesis," he says.

Analysis of flu specimens by Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg and at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, have found that the virus is made up of pieces of human, swine, and avian viruses from North America, Europe, and Asia. The mixture "gives an order of complexity we really don't understand at this point," Shortridge says.

In particular, he says he is concerned that this patched-together virus might not be stable and could easily reassort with other viruses encountered in a human or animal host. The virus has now spread to Asia, where the H5N1 virus is circulating. And he says that in many areas there are strains of human H1N1 in circulation that are resistant to Tamiflu, the drug of choice for treating the disease in humans. He speculates that swapping one or more genes among these viruses could result in a virus that is more pathogenic or more easily passed from person to person or both.

As a precaution, Shortridge suggests sequencing as many viral samples as quickly as possible to watch for any telltale changes in the virus-a massive job requiring worldwide cooperation. He says such cooperation seems to be off to a good start, thanks to the experience of dealing with the 2003 SARS crisis and recent efforts to prepare for an influenza pandemic. "There is a success story in this in that the world is alert" to the possibility of a pandemic, he says. Still, he adds, even better collaboration and communication will be required in the face of a threat that could change overnight.

-Dennis Normile


Potential instability of Complex Virus May Make it More Susceptible to Reassortment? nt


ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain
 


[ Parent ]
Confirmed case and school closure in San Jose, California
From the San Jose Mercury:

A student at Branham High School in San Jose has tested probable for swine flu, prompting school district and county health officials to close the school for one week.


Confirmed "Probable" - Guessing that CDC Has Not Yet Confirmed.
A student at Branham High School in San Jose has tested probable for swine flu, prompting school district and county health officials to close the school for one week.

Sounds like "probable" and "suspect" are being used to signify that local testing has produced an anomylous H1N1 that has been sent to CDC for confirmation of Human Swine Flu.  

They are closing schools based on the local generic "suspect" or "probable" findings.  

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain
 


[ Parent ]
Oh crap...that hits close to home...
Branham was my high school's arch nemesis!!!

[ Parent ]
Federal Government Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Empolyee Guidelines
The OPM has a swine flu banner and has posted some guidelines for federal agencies regarding employees.  

opm.gov

I'm sure these will be updated - you may want to bring these to the attention of your employer.  



Link? nt


ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain
 


[ Parent ]
Here
http://www.opm.gov/

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain
 


[ Parent ]
RE: illinois
9 probable swine flu cases in Illinois

http://www.chicagobreakingnews...


CNN will go live to Geneva for announcement
just reported they will broadcast live

press conference any moment now n/t




All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
NPR reporting alert being raised from 4 to 5
The WHO will raise pandemic alert level from 4 to 5 at 4PM ET, NPR's Joanne Silberner confirms, from a source in a direct position to know.

[ Parent ]
reuters on BBC ticker
WHO likely to raise to phase 5

BBC announcer also saying something about European union said WHO has raised to phase 5, didn't catch all of it




All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
RE: WHO
WHO will speak soon on CNN

it's 5
Margaret Chan annoucning it.  Also formally calling it a pandemic.



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


some points
- all countries should activate now their pandemic plans

- this change of higher phase of alert is a signal to governments, ministries of health, pharma industies, businesses that certain actions should be taken with increased urgency and accelerated pace



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
reached out to GAVI
flu vaccine manufacturers.  

Biggest question is how severe?  Especially now at start

possible full spectrum goes from mild to severe.

need to monitor and get more information, answer more precisely

- past experience, flu can cause mild disease in affluent countries, more severe disease in developming countries with higher mortality

- should treat this as window of opportunity to ramp up preparedness and response

- opportunity for global solidarity, to look for solutions, that will benefit

- all of humanity under threat



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
do not have all the answers
but we will get them, with the support of the states.



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
now taking questions. n/t




All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
tamiflu and relenza both effective
M Chan has talked to both companies about production capacity, whether they can make available at affordable price for developing countries.



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
WHO had 5 million doses for H5N1 donated before
some used up.  She thinks WHO has about 3.5 million doses.

Will make those available.  Clearly not enough, so will need to get more donations, to support countries in great need.



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
Doses vs complete treatment courses=HUGE DIFFERENCE!!!
It's important to remember he difference between doses and complete treatment courses.

The usual treatment course for an adult is one capsule twice a day for 5 days=total of 10 (TEN) capsules.

So if the WHO has 3.5 million DOSES=350,000 total treatment courses, if my puny brain is still capable of some thought processes at this point.

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.


[ Parent ]
courses, I meant n/t




All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
Doses
I heard her say DOSES quite a few times. Perhaps she had it wrong as not speaking in her native language.

[ Parent ]
many people say it interchangeably n/t




All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
BBC asks whether there is anything to reassure people
so that they do not panic (typical of BBC)

Chan - important to tell it like it is, take very seriously, track virus as it evolves, we should be anxious, I know the community is anxious, we know how they feel, which is why we worked at such pace

But must not overkill, manage in rational manner.



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
question in spanish
Chan - commend Mexican govt

- US and Canada experts, as WHO already on the ground to find out information for the world to understand

- they are working at breakneck pace, for many days without sleep

(more commending of Mexican govt)



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
Interesting that the U.S. Pandemic level...
...remains at zero.  Either someone is REALLY gunshy about raising that alert level, or they've forgotten about it, or perhaps they're waiting to see whether the bug causes a higher CFR.  Hmmm...

[ Parent ]
reuters - tell us more about basis of this decision (phase 5)
Chan - reasons why we move from 4 to 5 (also pay tribute to US govt)

- US govt - not only helping WHO, also support investigation in Mexico

- CDC. HHS, president Obama, have done everything required, dealt with this in serious robust manner, pitching response at the right level

- raise 4 to 5 - scientists have devloped indicators or benchmarks to distinguish.  Level 5 require  demonstrate sustained h2h causing community spread.  Seeing this indefinitely in Mexico.  As info emerge in US, also seeing that.  So that's 2 countries in one WHO region



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
a journalist wants to clarify whether we ARE in pandemic
part 2 on tamiflu - Roche has offered sub-license to different countries to manufacture.  If countries are members of the WTO, they can exercise their authority under WTO regulations.  But it is the countries decisoin

Fukuda to answer the first part - going from 3-4, h2h, sustained.

4 to 5 - based on continuing analysis of information as it becomes availabe.  5 is situation where pandemic is imminent or inevitable.  Going from country to country and is becoming established.  6 is later in the process where the virus is more established

Mostly mild in countries outside Mexico, but 1 death in US.  Therefore we know it can full spectrum.  How often that happens, the information will unfold as investigation continues



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
what does it mean
countries activating their plans?  What should countries do?  What should individuals do?

with H5N1 spreading etc etc, WHO helped countries develop pandemic plan.  eg surveillance is part of that.

Countries are prepared.  But it is fair for me to tell you, not every country has the same level of preparedness and sophistication.  We have to provide more attentino to developing countries to helop]

Fukuda - countries - make sure plans up to date, capacity, fill any gaps, eg lab, surveillance

- increase surveillance, disease severity

- communications - make sure population are informed, build trust with government, (people) can also look at other sources

- social distancing, school closings, canceling meetings, depends on severe or mild, impact how countries decide

- in hospitals, careful with infection control

- individual families - first make sure where there is good information, different sources to find out

- if you are sick, stay home (voluntarily preventing transmission)
- hand wash, good resp hygiene
-  



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
any signs virus is getting more severe?
very short time so far, viruses very similar

clinical symptoms - mild cases very similar to seasonal flu

severe cases - complications pneumonia

picture evolving, so far no unusual changes in course of illness



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
how much money needed from World Bank
what actions expected from pharma companies

Chan - can't give an answer on finance, depends on how severe

If the virus stops and not go to more countries, then the financial implications are differnt,

Having said that, pandemic virus is precarious, they can take us by surprise.

World bank proactive, identify possible financial support

Those are things we are doing proactively, we may not need the money, but we may

expectation of pharma company - move to making vaccine - private sector is private sector, right to make profit.  But under the current circumstances, I have spoken to them, I'm sure many are willing to meet corporate social responsibility.  Have not met one that refused.



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
question on time to confirm diagnosis
Chan - this is new virus.  At early days, you do not have right reagent to make diagnosis.  CDC is ramping up - make diagnostic kits for other countries, to reduce time to diagnosis

Fukuda - WHO network of laboratories, this system producing test kits and reagents, within days of identifying the virus, kits are being produced and sent out, kits like PCR, will be sent out

- lessons from H5 SARS need to move very quickly so countries can make rapid diagnosis



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
BNO News reporting WHO to raise level to 5
GENEVA (BNO NEWS) - The World Health Organization has decided to raise its pandemic alert level to a phase 5, declaring swine flu a global pandemic, BNO News has exclusively learned.

The new phase will be announced at 2000 GMT during an international telephone news conference, which was earlier announced by the World Health Organization. It is unclear if there has been an emergency meeting of the committee tonight, but BNO News earlier reported that a meeting was expected either late today or early on Thursday. The announcement follows a WHO conference call with a group of scientists from around the world who gave their view on the new H1N1 virus.

It will be the first time the World Health Organization used phase 5 since they introduced the 6-phase system several years ago. According to BNO News sources at the World Health Organization, they do not know if they are dealing with "a very mild or a very severe pandemic." A number of actions to be taken will also be announced.

It will be the first influenza pandemic since the Asiatic Flu in 1989 which killed around 1 million people.

http://www.thaindian.com/newsp...


When do we tip the swan? n/t


Today.... ; > {


It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

[ Parent ]
at phase 6 it flips
thogh thos evening i may have to put it on its side.

I haven't mad eone of those.


[ Parent ]
like a croc death-roll?


It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

[ Parent ]
You been drinking? BBRWFK? LOL. n/t


[ Parent ]
LOL
borrowed laptop... hate these teeny keyboards.

[ Parent ]
That's a relief, I thought my dyslexia had gobe H2H ;-) n/t


[ Parent ]
WHO raisies to phase 5
press conference.

And here we go...
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200...

Carry the torch, not to light the way, but to set your peers on fire!

[ Parent ]
PANDEMIC Level 5
Margaret Chan announced Pandemic level 5 at 22h07 Geneva Time. Unknown is if pandemic will be mild or severe. Not enough Tamiflu. Labs to gear up for vaccine production. Countries must activate their pandemic plans.

...hmmm are you going to tip the swan's feet?

Let me be blind to wicked text, deaf to wicked words, mute to wicked comments.


Pittsburg , CA 9 possible cases
Suburb San Francisco - 2 schools

Nine students at a second Pittsburg elementary school have been referred to county health officials with flu-like symptoms, a day after the county decided to close Highlands Elementary for a week after three probable cases of swine flu were identified.

Pittsburg school district Superintendent Barbara Wilson has been in continuous contact with the Contra Costa County health department this morning, adding the county is planning to get contact information for the nine ill students from Marina Vista Elementary.

Marina Vista Principal Lynne Plunkett said the nine students are from different classes, and include a couple groups of siblings.

http://www.mercurynews.com/bre...


No TV coverage...
except for CNN. Everyone else is doing Obama's 100th day. Am I missing something? I would think that announcing that a pandemic is probably imminent would be a huge story. Instead, we get a big yawn from the networks. Really? There are cases frickin' popping up everywhere today.  

I posted almost everything, above nt




All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
press conference still going on
but BBC is switching to interviewing experts.  So no more reporting here.



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
Many thanks for the running report! n/t


[ Parent ]
you're welcome
press conference now finished.

And I will go back to my cold dinner...



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
Fox News has been pretty good
I saw the coverage on Fox News. I think they are talking more about it then MSNBC or others or maybe I just caught it at the right time. Hard to tell.

[ Parent ]
Ratings?
The American public is bored with the story already.

[ Parent ]
FoxNews had it. n/t


[ Parent ]
WHO
Why can't I access the WHO website? Maybe they're updating it?

could be
there's a lot to update.



All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...


[ Parent ]
Air France crew refuse to board flight to Mexico
http://www.breitbart.com/artic...

An entire Air France crew and several individual flight attendants have refused to board flights to Mexico since Saturday because of the outbreak of swine flu, airport sources said Wednesday.  

To calm the wife buy cases of chocolate, to calm the husband buy cases of booze, and to calm the children...... heck the booze and chocolate should work.


Milwaukee closes 4 public schools
Milwaukee officials just announced the closure of 4 public schools due to 2 "probable" cases. This was reported in a press conference aired on local television.

Also announced was a third "probable" case elsewhere in the state.


Milwaukee further detail
further detail...

MILWAUKEE -- The city of Milwaukee Health Department is reporting that it has its first two probable cases of swine flu in the city -- one adult and one child, Milwaukee Health Commissioner Bevan Baker said Wednesday night.

The child and adult are not believed to be related.

The Health Department has also identified a number of children who have symptoms identified with swine flu. The children attend several schools in Milwaukee.

He has ordered the following schools closed until further notice:

# Mitchell Street School
# Riverside High School
# Clement Avenue Grade School
# Rodgers Street School

A third case has been identified in Adams County., HS State Health Officer Dr. Seth Foldy said.

http://www.wisn.com/health/193...


[ Parent ]
El Paso Dept of Health News Conference
West Texans (probably just me) and Southern New Mexicans can go to the following link for the local KVIA news conference:

http://www.kvia.com/global/Sto...

"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson


Anecdotal but
I have just been told that local schools have been buying up face masks - a workplace that needs them for their work cannot get any ....

BTW, this is in NZ.

Eat pudding first - who know's what might happen next! - Anon


California Marine Has Swine Flu; 30 quarantined
California Marine has swine flu; 30 quarantined
Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:09pm EDT

By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - About 30 Marines on a Southern California military base, the nation's largest, have been quarantined after one became the first U.S. serviceman known to have contracted the swine flu virus, the Marine Corps said on Wednesday.

The case at the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, the principal U.S. training facility for Marines and sailors deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, was confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the base said in a statement.

Occupying about 935 square miles (2,420 square km) in the California desert, not much smaller than the state of Rhode Island, Twentynine Palms is the largest military base in the United States with some 8,000 active-duty personnel.

The ill Marine, the first member of the U.S. armed forces reported by the military to have contracted the H1N1 virus, is being treated as an outpatient at the base and will remain isolated at his barracks.

"He is doing well, and his condition continues to improve," the base statement said.

About 30 other Marines who had been "active socially" with him are being quarantined as well, the statement said. They will be permitted to return to full duty after five days if they display no flu-like symptoms, it added.

[snip]

http://www.reuters.com/article...


rings a bell
...it was a H1N1 strain in 1918 that brought WWI to a screeching halt. Wonder if this H1N1 can stop the two ongoing wars.

Times change, people don't.

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.


[ Parent ]
Peru has first confirmed case of swine flu
First case of swine fever detected in Peru

LivinginPeru.com
Israel Ruiz

On Wednesday afternoon, Peru's Health Minister Óscar Ugarte confirmed that the first case of swine fever had been detected in the Andean country.

It was reported that an Argentine woman entering Peru was placed under observation after she was found to have had a high fever during her flight.

After undergoing extended observation, authorities reported she was indeed infected with the virus despite the fact that preliminary tests had revealed she did not have it.

27-year-old Alejandrina Coche is currently being seen at Daniel Alcides Carrión Hospital in Callao.

Ugarte stated that two other patients were currenlty under observation in the highland region of Cusco and the rainforest region of Loreto.

http://www.livinginperu.com/ne...


Colorado- Five Suspected Cases of Swine Influenza Under Investigation.
via veratect twitter, will post news source when i find it.

http://twitter.com/veratect

personal aside, woke up with i'm hoping is just a bad cold today, i live in queens, ny.  staying home to play it safe, but bad timing for my project, sigh.


WHO Confirms Sustained Swine H1N1 Transmision in Humans
Recombinomics Commentary 23:53
April 29, 2009

http://www.recombinomics.com/N...

Apr 27, 2009 (CIDRAP News) - The World Health Organization (WHO) today raised its official pandemic alert level from the current phase 3 to phase 4 on its 6-phase scale, saying the newly identified swine influenza virus has made a pandemic more likely but not inevitable.
===================================

The above comments describe the phase increase from 3 to 4, which left little doubt that the phase would be raised to 6 within a few days because of the spread of H1N1 swine flu out of Mexico (see updated map). The earlier definitions used sustained transmission as the definition of phase 6. This change was due in part to limited human to human transmission of H5N1. The repeated reports of smaller clusters dictated a change from 3 to 4, but such a change was linked to significant increases in pandemic preparedness.

The new definition, that required sustained transmission, made it clear that the progress of phases from 4 to 6 would just be a matter of days as noted in yesterday's lengthy interview. http://www.wpxi.com/video/1931...

The pandemic is quite predictable, as detailed in the video above, has much in common with the 1918 outbreak, including the start in the late spring as a mild infection, the targeting of previously healthy adults, and the origin as swine H1N1. Over the summer the swine H1N1 will proliferate in the southern hemisphere and recombine with H1N1 seasonal flu, leading to a much more virulent H1N1 in the fall.

Active surveillance and the developing a vaccine that targets the predicted product is critical. Tamiflu resistance will almost certainly develop in swine H1N1, leading to a heavy reliance on a well matched vaccine.

The CDC has been quickly released swine H1N1 in humans. Similar release of seasonal flu H1N1 in the southern hemisphere, as well as the private swine sequence database maintained by WHO consultants should also be made public immediately

Phase 6 should be announced within the next few days.

It is time for serious vaccine targeting of emerging sequences.


RE: mexico
BREAKING NEWS
updated 16 minutes ago

MEXICO CITY - Mexico's government is temporarily suspending all nonessential activity of the federal government and private business as the number of confirmed swine flu cases jumped.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30...


Swine flu drives demand for face masks
http://www3.signonsandiego.com...

WASHINGTON - Two leading makers of respiratory masks said Wednesday they are ramping up production as reports of swine flu surged to nearly 100 people in 10 states across the U.S.

Diversified manufacturer 3M Co. and consumer product maker Kimberly-Clark Corp. both said they are increasing manufacturing to keep pace with orders from pharmacies like Rite-Aid and CVS, which are reporting heavy sales of the tight-fitting masks.

"We have increased our production, which includes adding shifts and increasing the number of manufacturing lines to meet demand," said 3M spokeswoman Jacqueline Berry.

[SNIP]
The Centers for Disease Control is not recommending that people wear the masks, saying there is limited evidence that they effectively prevent the spread of the disease. The agency's Web site states that "very little is known about the benefits," of wearing masks during a pandemic, and the top preventive measures remain hand washing and covering one's mouth when coughing or sneezing.

But the government's tepid endorsement hasn't blunted consumer demand. Drugstore chains including Walgreen and CVS are working with suppliers to keep masks and other protective items on store shelves.

"Sales are brisk for items like hand sanitizers and protective masks, particularly in markets where there is swine flu," said CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis.
[CONTINUES]  

To calm the wife buy cases of chocolate, to calm the husband buy cases of booze, and to calm the children...... heck the booze and chocolate should work.


Kennebunk. Maine School & Daycare Closure / 2+ probable cases
Probable case in the Kansas City, MO metro area
http://www.kansascity.com/news...

JEFFERSON CITY | Gov. Jay Nixon says the Kansas City area has a probable case of the swine flu, the first in Missouri.

Nixon announced the suspected case involving a Platte County resident this evening at a hastily called Capitol news conference.

With a likely case recorded, health officials announced they will begin dispersing flu medication to local health agencies across the state, beginning with Platte County.

The drugs will be allotted to counties based on a formula, and Nixon expressed confidence that the state had enough in reserve to meet its needs.

The state has not, however, declared a public emergency or activated the state's emergency management agency.

"I want the people of Missouri to understand this is a situation that could become more serious," Nixon said. "While this is cause for concern, it is not cause for alarm."

The probable case was discovered earlier Wednesday during lab tests on samples sent to the state health lab. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta will determine if the case is swine flu. Nixon's office said those tests currently are taking about two days.

[Snip]

The governor's office released no information about the Platte County resident because notification is still pending. It was not immediately clear if the Platte County resident had traveled to Mexico.

The person will be asked to remain home for seven days after symptoms first appeared to avoid spreading the illness.

[Snip]


NZ - Catholic church urges social distancing at mass, communion
Thu, 30 Apr 2009 2:06p.m.

New Zealand's Catholic bishops have issued hygiene recommendations for church services in preparation for a swine flu pandemic.

The bishops are stopping parishioners receiving communion wafers on the tongue, communion wine from the chalice and from shaking hands at the sign of peace at masses in New Zealand.

In a statement, the bishops, who are meeting in Palmerston North, said the restrictions were precautionary.

The bishops said they hoped they would not have to take stronger action, and reinforced the need for priests and other clergy working for the church to practise good hygiene procedures.

The number of confirmed swine flu cases in New Zealand is currently 13, but 104 are suspected of being infected.

These include people who have returned from Mexico where dozens of people are thought to have died from swine flu.

Link http://www.3news.co.nz/News/Ca...

Eat pudding first - who know's what might happen next! - Anon


FWIW - Letter I sent to NC and Gaston County, NC School Superintendents
NOTE: Please forgive the poor wording... I wrote this quickly:

Superintendent McGlohon and Superintendent Atkinson,

I am writing to ask you to consider shutting down the Gaston County Schools, and indeed all North Carolina public schools, as an important step in protecting our children from the current developing novel flu situation.  The CDC has excellent resources pertaining to schools and virus spread:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/school/...
In addition, there is an article addressing school closure policies across the nation (http://www.cdc.gov/eid/content/13/2/344.htm).  I would ask you both to consider stepping up and taking the lead to reduce and slow the inevitable spread of this virus.  There is probably no way to prevent the spread of the influenza virus, but we can certainly slow its spread.  If you read this paper, http://www.cdc.gov/eid/content... you will see that "studies have suggested that early school closures can help reduce influenza illness in the community and among school children, especially during a pandemic. However, surveillance systems that rely on school absenteeism or deaths would likely provide information too late during the outbreak for school closure to effectively reduce influenza transmission."  I urge you to read this entire article.  It not only bears out the effectiveness of closing schools, but the importance of closing them before the disease strikes.

If there is no way to prevent the spread then why would I be interested in slowing it?  The two biggest reasons are one, to prevent or mitigate the onslaught of patients to our hospitals and doctors' offices.  The second is the slower the virus spreads, the longer time we have to develop, test and distribute a vaccine.

I know you are and will continue to be in contact with the CDC, the Start Department of Health and other pertinent agencies in seeking advice on how to address this current situation.  I respectfully ask you to consider the material I have presented above and to do some independent research of your own.

Regards,

David


FORT WORTH, TEXAS
fort worth isd is closing all schools.  

Please post new news stories to...

News Reports for April 30, 2009

Thank you!

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


Great job today folks!
Thank you for all your coverage of the news. We had 8,914 visits today.  

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


[ Parent ]
In addition to all Fort Worth, Tx schools,
UIL competition suspended because of swine flu

04:13 PM CDT on Wednesday, April 29, 2009

By BRIAN DAVIS / The Dallas Morning News

The University Interscholastic League has suspended all athletic activity throughout Texas until May 11 because of the swine flu outbreak.

The agency also suspended non-athletic events, including the Academic State Meet and the Texas State Wind Ensemble festival.

"Taking every possible precaution to prevent the further spreading of this disease is an important contribution to the welfare of our great state, and altering the schedule of our events is a way to keep our participants safe."

The decision was based on the recommendation of the Texas Department of Health Services and in consultation with the Texas Education Agency, the UIL said.



 



"History never looks like history when you are living through it." ~John W. Gardner


Moving this to April 30 diary (n/t)


[ Parent ]
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