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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Swine Flu: Pandemic Potential

[Update- 5/1/09]Confirmed cases in 19 states in U.S. and 11 countries.

[Update]4/30/09- CDC has confirmed US cases to 109.

[Update- 4/29/09] CDC reports 91 cases confirmed in the U.S..... update found here.

[Update]4/29/09, 64 confirmed cases in the US.

Most Recent Update 4/28/09- Number Of Swine Flu Confirmed Cases Continue To Rise.

[Latest Update 4/27/09]

[Update] U.S. Declares Public Emergency for Swine Flu.

(April 24, 2009: Women wear masks as they walk past a closed school in Mexico City.) Photo lifted from Fox News

Swine Flu in Mexico:

Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared an emergency over the rapid rise of Swine Flu that has hit Mexico, shutting down public events and canceling all levels of school.

“The federal government under my charge will not hesitate a moment to take all, all the measures necessary to respond with efficiency and opportunity to this respiratory epidemic,” Calderon said today during a speech to inaugurate a hospital in the southern state of Oaxaca.

According to that same report. the first case of Swine Flu was noticed on April 13, 2009 and on April 16, 2009, Barack Obama visited an anthropology museum in Mexico City. Also in attendence was Felipe Solis, an archeologist, who died the following day from flu like symptoms.

Those were the early reports, as of the most recent reports, Mexico has seen 81 deaths from Swine Flu and there are over 1,000 cases reported.

The World Health Organization (WHO)convened an emergency meeting to plan a response to what they are calling a "pandemic potential" of the new swine virus.

WHO is making information on what they are doing and pertinent information to Swine Flu, available at their website, found here.

WHO is coordinating the global response to human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) and monitoring the corresponding threat of an influenza pandemic. Information on this page tracks the evolving situation and provides access to both technical guidelines and information useful for the general public.

Due to some sort of communication issue, we find out the U.S. was slower to learn of this issue than Canada was and already the U.S. is seeing cases documented.

Swine Flu in the United States:

From the Center of Disease Control (CDC) we see there has been 7 cases documented in California, 2 in Texas and 2 in Kansas, but the figures on their page are expected to rise with word, via the New York Times, that eight students at a Queens, NY, high school have fallen ill and the likely cause is Swine Flu.

According to the general Director of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, "The situation is evolving quickly. We do not yet have a complete picture of the epidemiology or the risk, including possible spread beyond the currently affected areas." She goes on to assert "In the assessment of the WHO, this is a serious situation that must be watched very carefully. It has pandemic potential."

KWCH gives us a general overview of the symptoms, which are similar in nature to a seasonal flu:

* Fever greater than 100 degrees
* Body aches
* Coughing
* Sore throat
* Respiratory congestion
* In some cases, diarrhea and vomiting

Safety measures offered by the CDC include actions that can be taken to stay healthy and they recommend avoiding contact with sick people:

There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy.

* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

* Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
* If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed the U.S. cases and that acknowledged that it cannot be contained, via Fox News.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the virus has spread widely and cannot be contained, Reuters reported.

"It is clear that this is widespread. And that is why we have let you know that we cannot contain the spread of this virus," Reuters quoted the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat.

This will be updated as further news comes out today and tomorrow I will start a new thread if further reports continue to come in, as they are expected to.