Saturday, May 9, 2009
In Canada there have now been 214 confirmed cases of the swine flu. This death marks the first death of anyone outside of the U.S. and Mexico. One encouraging thing however is that all three deaths in the United States and Mexico were of people that were either young, elderly, or had underlying medical issues. This continues to show what we have believe all along which is that a large portion of the population should have minimal concerns of death in regards to the swine flu.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Yesterday the WHO also announced that if the swine flu continues to spread at its current rate it could end up infecting up to 1/3 of the worlds population (2 billion people). This announced set off quite the panic, which was not what we needed at this time. After making these comments the WHO realized the panic they had caused and they were sure to reiterate the fact that this was not a disease that they expect to kill 2 billion people.
The WHO pointed out that if 2 billion people end up with the swine flu half of them probably will have either no symptoms or such mild symptoms that they do not even realize that they have it.
With this announcement the WHO set off another round of panics among individuals world wide. A WHO official was quoted as say the following "If the situation continues to evolve and the virus does become established in other countries, and we do move into a pandemic, we would expect the virus to infect many people," said WHO chief Keiji Fukuda at a press conference today. "Perhaps a third of the world's population could be infected with this virus, based on previous pandemic."
This information is not information that anybody needed or wanted to hear. Despite the swine flu's quick spreading it has continued to show mild symptoms in most infected individuals and has caused a minimal number of deaths.
It is very important that everyone stay tuned to the news about the swine flu and educate themselves but it is also important that they not panic.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
|South Carolina|| |
|TOTAL (41)||896 cases||2 deaths|
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
|States||# of |
|South Carolina|| |
|TOTAL (41)||642 cases||2 deaths|
The model that was created accounted for a significant number of factors for how the swine flu virus could spread including air travel. Unfortunately with our society being so mobile these days results showed that closing borders and limiting air travel would help very minimally in reducing the spread of the swine flu.
The test also considered if some sort of thermal scanning of people would help determine who was infected so they could be quarantined but this also proved not to help all that much. The problem here is that once infected with a swine flu type virus people do not show symptoms for roughly 24 hours which means that they could have already passed the virus to other individuals before they even know they have it. In other situations people don’t show any symptoms so thermal heating scanning would never help with them.
The only things that the model showed to be conclusive in helping limited the pandemic spread of a swine flu like outbreak were the use of anti-viral drugs (such as Tamiflu in this case), and limiting contact between people. One of the best ways that they determined to stop a virus of the swine kind of virus was through the closing of schools. Wearing face masks and practicing general hygiene habits also showed to help reduce the spread of influenza
Health official world worldwide are now thinking that the swine flu outbreak will be able to be controlled with antiviral meds in the parts of the world that are entering the summer months but it will be tougher to control in countries that are just entering the “flu season”.
Two of the reasons that these drugs need to be used carefully are that there is a limited supply of the tamiflu drug and there is no need to deplete the supply if you do not need the drug. Tamiflu is also known for having quite the list of side effects, ones that nobody wants to potentially have to deal with if they do not need to.
Beyond these two reasons the most important reason for using the Tamiflu carefully is because that if they are overused they could lose their effectiveness and then we wouldn't have an effective drug for those that truly need the drug.
The H1N1 swine flu virus is already resistant to several influenza drugs and flu viruses are known for being able to mutate, adapt, and build up a resistance to drugs in a short period of time.
If you come down with the swine flu is would be best that you don't take any medication unless it comes absolutely necessary.
Officials also stated that they expect the flu to continue to spread to more states and that there will mostly likely be more deaths as a result of it, although most cases are involving very minor symptoms.
Brought To You By The Associated Press
As the new swine flu spreads, people have lots of questions about how it affects their day-to-day life. Here are some answers.
Q: How easy is it to catch this virus?
A: It's spreading as easily as regular winter flu, which infects millions each year. Early estimates are that 25 percent to 30 percent of family members are getting sick once a relative brings it home.
Q: How dangerous is it?
A: Nobody knows yet. Genetically, it doesn't share the same traits that made the infamous 1918 pandemic so deadly, nor does it seem as virulent as the bird flu that scientists have tracked for several years. While Mexico reported many deaths, the virus is causing less severe illness in the U.S. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most cases so far haven't needed medical attention.
Q: Could I have some immunity?
A: Since it's a never-before-seen mix of mostly pig but also human and bird viruses, the CDC has cautioned that's unlikely. But it is a member of the H1N1 family of flu viruses, which circulate widely. Flu specialist John Treanor at the University of Rochester says people born before 1957 spent their childhood repeatedly exposed to H1 viruses. So experts are withholding final judgment on that question.
Q: Is it treatable?
A: Yes, with the standard anti-flu drugs Tamiflu and Relenza. They lessen symptoms if taken within 48 hours of the first symptoms.
Q: Is there a vaccine?
A: No. The government is working to develop one and the earliest shots could roll out would be in the fall, if authorities decide the virus remains enough of a threat to offer those shots. Manufacturers are preparing regular flu shots for the fall, when routine influenza strains will start circulating regardless of swine flu.
Q: Why does CDC stress hand-washing?
A: Flu viruses do spread through the air, so cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or by sneezing into your elbow rather than your hand. But flu also can spread by touching your mouth or nose with unwashed hands. The viruses can live on surfaces such as doorknobs or handrails for a few hours, or be passed by a handshake.
Q: Do hand gels work better?
A: No, they're just an alternative, says Dr. Richard Besser, the CDC's acting chief. He keeps a bottle in his pocket. The bigger issue is to wash hands well enough to get rid of germs. Sing "Happy Birthday" or "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" to know you've scrubbed long enough, he advises.
Q: How long do I have to worry if I just got back from Mexico?
A: The incubation period is two days to seven days, regardless of where you were exposed.
Q: How long should I stay home if I get the flu?
A: Certainly call your doctor about bad symptoms or if you're at all worried, especially if you have any chronic condition, such as asthma, that makes you more susceptible to any kind of flu. But other than going out for medical care, stay home for seven days or for one day after symptoms end. The CDC also says family members should consider staying home or decreasing their contact with others in case they're incubating the infections.
Q: Why are so many schools closing?
A: It's not clear just how much good school closings do in slowing flu's spread. It doesn't help much if kids then gather at the mall or a friend's house or day care. But because children spread all kinds of viruses easily — they don't wash as well, have close contact in crowded classes, and sometimes are contagious for a few days longer than adults — the CDC has advised schools with cases to consider closing for at least 14 days.
Q: Can pets get sick?
A: Besser says there's no evidence that this flu affects anyone other than humans.
Q: Can flu spread on imported fruits and vegetables from Mexico?
A: No. It doesn't spread through any food, including pork.
Q: Is it safe to fly? How about the subway?
A: Yes, the CDC says. Just don't travel if you're sick — stay home.
Q: Do I need a mask in crowded areas?
A: The CDC hasn't yet recommended that anyone other than health workers use masks.
Q: Why hasn't the U.S. closed the border with Mexico?
A: By the time authorities detected the new virus, it already had spread here. That makes closing the border moot, the Obama administration says.
Q: I have a summer trip planned to a state with lots of cases. Should I cancel?
A: Not yet, just stay tuned, Besser advises. Doctors should know much more about this flu by then.
Q: Why did the government quit using the name "swine flu" this past week?
A: Because of concern that people thought they might catch the virus from pigs or pork — which is wrong. It is spread person to person.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
The swine flu has now been confirmed throughout much of the British Isles, according the the AP. There is also now 1 confirmed cases in Ireland.
There are now 15 confirmed cases of the swine flu in the UK and more than 600 other people that are in the process of being tested for it.
So far people from Newcastle, Merseyside, Devon, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, London and Central Scotland have been confirmed to be infected with the virus.
Despite the 15 confirmed cases and many other undergoing testing all of the cases in the United Kingdom have had very mild symptoms with almost nobody needing to be hospitalized.
Among most of the people infected worldwide nearly all of them still include people that visited Mexico, with very few cases resulting from people who did not spend any time there.
As a result the state has seen numerous school closings across the state with thousands upon thousands of children out of regularly scheduled classes.
Stay tune for more swine flu updates from our blog.
The virus is a form of the flu that originate in pigs but pork or pigs have nothing to do with the current problem that we are dealing with.
The pork industry and hog farmers were extremely upset with this disease being given the name swine flu and said that this is hurting their industry and creating an unnecessary bad perception of the pork industry.
The city of New York now has the most confirmed cases of the Swine flu with the number at over 50 including infections in a Roman Catholic high school (one faculty member has been confirmed to have the swine flu here) and several other public schools. Besides confirmed cases there have been multiple instances where flu symptoms are being reported but swine cases have yet to be confirmed.
As I have suspected all along, the swine flu appears to be in full force and spreading quickly. Despite this there is no reason to panic because we have only seen 1 confirmed death in the
A timeline of events in the swine flu outbreak (Brought to you by the Associated Press)
_ December 2005 to January 2009: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention receives reports of 12 cases of human infection with swine flu. Five of these 12 cases occurred in patients who had direct exposure to pigs and six reported being near pigs. Exposure in one case is unknown.
_ March 28: Believed to be the date of the earliest onset of the swine flu cases in the U.S., Dr. Nancy Cox of the CDC said in an April 23 press briefing.
_ April 2: A 4-year-old boy contracted the virus before this date in Veracruz state, Mexican Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova later said citing test results. A community in Veracruz has been protesting pollution from a large pig farm.
_ April 6: Local health officials declare a health alert due to a respiratory disease outbreak in the Mexican town of La Gloria in Veracruz state. Health officials record 400 cases of people who sought medical treatment in the previous week in the town. About 60 percent of the town of 3,000 are affected.
_ April 17: CDC determines that two children in adjacent counties in southern California had illnesses caused by infection with swine flu. Both children became sick in late March.
_ April 22: CDC confirms three additional cases of swine flu in California and two in Texas, near San Antonio.
_ April 22: The Oaxaca Health Department indicates that 16 employees at the Hospital Civil Aurelio Valdivieso have contracted respiratory disease.
_ April 24: Mexico's Minister of Health confirms 20 deaths from swine flu, but 40 other fatalities were being probed and at least 943 nationwide were sick from the suspected flu. Mexico City shuts down schools, museums, libraries, and state-run theaters across the capital.
_ April 26: The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. climbs to 20 in five states. Mexico reports suspect clinical cases have been reported in 19 of the country's 32 states. Canada confirms six cases.
_ April 27: The World Health Organization raises its pandemic alert status to Phase 4, meaning there is sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus causing outbreaks in at least one country.
_ April 28: Cuba suspends flights to and from Mexico, becoming the first country to impose a travel ban. Argentina suspends flights from Mexico for five days.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Officials in Mexico have announced that the number of suspected swine flu deaths has been dropped from 75 to 101. This announcement comes just shortly after they made an announcement that they now believe that the swine flu virus is not as deadly as they thought.
The Mexican government is fighting the swine flu virus by requiring a 5 day shut down of the whole city and many citizens are now walking the streets in breathing masks.
The swine flu acts just like the regular human influenza as with seasonal flu vaccinations, they are required to be made months in advances and they take time to produce.
The WHO and CDC are hoping that the tamiflu and relenza anti-viral medications can hold over as an effective treatment until a vaccine is available and under mass production.
So far in
The health minister of
Despite it continuation of rapid spreading health officials have noted that among families where one member is infected the rate of infection for other members of the family has seemed to be quite low. It was also announced that the swine flu does not seem to be as deadly as once thought.
The trend of most of the infected people being ones that were in Mexico continues to follow the pattern that we have seen worldwide up to this point with very few swine outbreaks among people that haven’t been to Mexico.
The group of students infected with the swine flu virus that originated in
This among many other similar situations points out the pandemic threat that the Mexican flu could bring. These students were in
Tony Ryall confirmed that each of the swine virus infected individuals has been quarantined to their home and that they are being treated with Tamiflu, an antiviral drug. The good news however is that all of the infected people are said to be in good condition and recovering without any complications.
Beyond these eleven cases Ryall voiced his concern to the
Other regions where suspected cases of the swine flu are include
In order to help prevent infected people from entering the country New Zealand health officials are now screening all patients that arrive from the Americas by giving them a medical examination and requiring that they leave contact information in case they are found to have been in contact with other infected individuals.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
As more and more cases of the swine flu have appeared worries about eating pork have risen so high that some countries have banned pork imports from the
The problem with this is that people do not realize that there is no way to contract the swine flu from eating pork. You can only contract swine from another human being or pig that has the rare human to human or pig to human mutated strain of the swine virus.
As you can guess the pork industry has reacted strongly against this virus being called the swine flu. There argument was that even though it originated in pigs the name “swine flu” gives the general public the perception that pork is the problem when instead the real issue is influenza. Nobody within the pork industry is denying the fact that the swine flu passed through pigs and mutated to a human to human strain but they are upset about the false perceptions that have been created. The pork industry continues to point out that health and medical officials have stated repeatedly that pork, when cooked properly, has absolutely no chance of spreading the swine flu.
Despite reassurance from health officials regarding the safety of eating pork some countries have reacted strongly by banning or limiting pork or all meat imports. In the
American officials have said that once the swine flu spread to
I myself find the confusion about pork to be quite disturbing and the ban by governments as a political move in causing the confusion to be worse. One woman who use to buy pork but has since stopped was quoted by the New York Times as saying. “People in
The CDC is now officially recommending that all schools that are experiencing swine flu infections close. The CDC has determined that children seem to be experiencing worse symptoms than adults and since schools are one of the main ways that the virus is spread they decided that it is best that all schools that have infected students should close.
The CDC also recommend that these schools with swine infections close for at least 2 weeks as opposed to 1, since children seem to take long to get over the virus.
Officials announced Friday that there have now been over 400 school closings that have nearly a quarter of a million students out of regularly schedule school.
|States||# of |
|South Carolina|| |
|TOTAL (30)||226 cases||1 death|
|States||# of |
|South Carolina|| |
|TOTAL (21)||160 cases||1 death|
Saturday, May 2, 2009
The swine flu virus is still spreading at a very quick pace and it will likely be a worldwide pandemic soon. Although a pandemic is eminent it is important to note that this only means that it is spread worldwide to many people and many countries and pandemic does not in any way describe the severeness of the disease, which has proven to be quite mild for most people.
The AP also noted that their sources have revealed that there have now been confirmed swine flu cases in 15 different countries. With swine flu spreading so rapidly it is likely that the WHO will soon raise this to a level 6 pandemic from its current phase 5 alert.
Key developments on swine flu outbreaks, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and government officials:
_Deaths: 19 confirmed in Mexico and one confirmed in U.S., a 21-month-old boy from Mexico who died in Texas.
_Confirmed sickened worldwide, 790: 454 in Mexico; 197 in U.S.; 85 in Canada; 15 in Spain; 15 in Britain; six in Germany; four in New Zealand; two in Israel, France and South Korea; one each in Costa Rica, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Hong Kong, Denmark and the Netherlands.
_U.S. confirmed cases: New York 50; Texas 28; California 24; Arizona 17; South Carolina 13; Delaware 10; Massachusetts eight; New Jersey seven; Maine six; Wisconsin three; Ohio three; Indiana three; Illinois three; Kansas two; Colorado two; Virginia two; Michigan two; Missouri two; Connecticut two; Florida two; New Hampshire one; Utah one; Rhode Island one; Iowa one; Kentucky one; Minnesota one; Nebraska one; Nevada one.
_President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon spoke for 20 minutes Saturday by phone "to share information about each country's efforts to limit the spread" of the flu strain, the White House says.
_The World Health Organization says it has sent 2.4 million treatments of anti-flu drug Tamiflu to 72 developing countries, taking the drugs from a stockpile donated by Roche Holding AG.
_U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about a third of the confirmed U.S. cases of swine flu are people who had been to Mexico and likely picked up the infection there.
_ Mexico has taken extraordinary measures against the epidemic, ordering all nonessential government and private businesses to shut down for five days.
_The U.S. government says schools with confirmed cases should close for at least 14 days because children can be contagious for seven to 10 days from when they get sick. More than 430 U.S. schools had closed, affecting about 245,000 children in 18 states.
_Chicago Public Schools officials say students who come to school with a cough and fever starting Monday will be sent home and required to stay there for at least seven days.
_Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa complained that China had isolated several Mexicans without reason — and urged Mexicans not to travel to China until the situation was resolved.
_All 176 weekend soccer games in Mexico — from the first division to the lowly third — were shuttered to fans. The games went on behind closed doors.
_The U.N. and World Trade Organization say there's no justification for any anti-pork trade measures as a result of the swine flu epidemic since there is no evidence the virus is spread by food.
_Pigs on a Canadian farm have been infected with the new swine flu virus — apparently by a farm worker back from Mexico — and are under quarantine, officials say. It is the first known case of pigs having the virus.
_U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Canada has taken the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the disease. He said there have been no reports of the virus in U.S. pigs and noted the sick Canadian swine have been quarantined.
_Hong Kong, where severe acute respiratory syndrome killed 299 in 2003, ordered a week-long quarantine of a downtown hotel where a Mexican tourist was confirmed to have the illness, trapping 350 guests and employees inside._The U.S. Meat Export Federation, which represents pork and beef interests abroad, estimates that U.S. pork exports have dropped about 10 percent since the swine flu scare
In Mexico health officials now have 397 confirmed cases of the swine flu and roughly 15 confirmed deaths. Officials did say that there are most tests on the way and they expected infections and deaths to rise sharply once all test results are in. Mexican officials have said that out of those reporting to hospitals with Swine flu virus like symptoms the death rate was only about 1%.
Unfortunately, according to most health experts pigs are not the concern here but instead the concern is for human to human transmission. Just because there might have been a few pig to human transmissions in
The H1N1 swine flu virus has only been shown to be spread by people and is not present in any Egyptian animals so why the slaughtered all their pigs was beyond me. Health officials have stated that the slaughtering of
At this point countries such as the U.S,
In my opinion the travel restrictions will continue to grow over the next several weeks to month but by then restrictions to and from
The five schools that have closed so far include St. Francis, Saint Brigid’s,
At this point there have been over 50 confirmed swine flu cases in
The school closings are mainly precautionary measures imposed by school officials after parents began expressing their concerns when students at the school were either confirmed to have the swine flu or began showing flu-like symptoms.
It is not currently known when these schools will reopen but they are expected to be closed at least through the weekend.
Elsewhere, In Seoul, the health ministry has confirmed that they are looking to five possible swine flu infections, citing probably cause as the reason for checking into it.
The Korean Center For Disease Control said that most, if not all of the people that suspected to be infected has traveled to
The plan for these school districts is to spend the next 11 days sanitizing the schools from any potential swine flu infection and also allow any students that might have the swine flu to get better during this time off. The CDC has continually stated that one of the best ways to avoid spreading the swine flu is to avoid large social setting or crowds and this is exactly what the
The decision was made to close down the Comal school district after the Comal County Health Department recommended that school districts in the area close. At
Despite there being little or no Swine flu cases reported at these schools officials decided to take the cautious route and go ahead and close school. Officials feel that a little bit of missed school would be better than spreading the swine flu virus around and potentially costing some their life.
The WHO made it clear in there statements that any influenza pandemic, of any kind should be taken very seriously and measures should be taken by all countries in order to help reduce its impacted. It also confirmed that deaths should be expected with the swine flu, as with any flu outbreak but that for most people a fairly quickly recovery should be expected.
Those most as risk include young children, senior citizens, the elderly, and people will already weakened immune systems.
Although this swine flu outbreak appears that it will affect a large amount of people our world has never been better prepared for an outbreak of this kind.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Health Officials, like in so many other states, are awaiting confirmation testing from the Centers For Disease Control (CDC).
The swine flu cases are believed to be limited to the Middlefield and Stratford Southbury areas at this time.
All seven individuals have only experience minor symptoms and seem to be in good condition.
For the residents of
Sick: Nearly 3,000 people worldwide are suspected to be infected with the swine flu including the following confirmed cases; Mexico – 99, US – 93, Canada – 19, Spain – 10, Great Britain – 5, Germany – 4, New Zealand – 3 , Israel – 2 , and one in Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands.
The CDC has confirmed swine flu infections in 11 different states including
The WHO raised its pandemic alert to a phase 5 level which is the second highest on its 6 level scale.
The Obama Administration publicly announced that it is against closing the U.S – Mexican border at this time. They stated that it would provide very limited benefits but would be a huge task.
School Closings reach nearly 100 schools in the
The Mexican government officials suspend all nonessential business activity until May 5th. It also cancels all public events and begins handing out masks to citizens.
Texas Governor Rick Perry releases a disaster declaration and the state athletics association suspends all sports competitions until at least May 11th
The largest providers of respiratory masks in the