Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Nurse has a Favor to Ask Each of You....Please read this post and help me if you can as I try to cover the Swine Flu in each of our States ?

I have been in contact with people from 3 states that have had Flu Symptoms and have different Flu Experiences and how they are being treated and tested, it concerns me that their experiences have been different. Once the Feds Declared this an Emergency, there should be funds released to the States so that Surveillance ( ie Testing ) should be paid for by the State Health Departments.AS A FLU SUSPECT YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR TESTING OR EMERGENCY ANTI VIRALS, AND SHOULD BE TOLD HOW TO SELF QUARANTINE AND OFFERED MASKS AS THIS IS DROPLET SPREAD AS A RESPIRATORY INFECTION, EVEN THOUGH IT HAS GI SYMPTOMS.PEOPLE SHOULD BE BEING OFFERED TAMIFLU OR RELENTZA AS THE H1N1

Please check your local State Health Departments and see WHAT people are told to do and What they are told about Testing. Also CDC should be in charge of telling the States HOW people are to be tested and WHERE the tests are to be sent. I am going to investigate this for the next few days as this is important.

This Link explains that there is ONLY one test for this Rare Strain, and test kits are to be sent to the CDC for now.
This Reuters article explains more how complicated it is to test.

As a Nurse I am trying to get as much Information on this Pandemic, not to scare, but to Educate all of us....so I will keep posting much on this issue. ( and don't worry I will return to political issues of importance like Torture in a few days.)

Please Post below or email about WHAT is being told to you in your state, or by your Health Dept and your experiences.....thank you.
11PM CDC Numbers:::
California 10 cases
Kansas 2 cases
New York City 45 cases
Ohio 1 case
Texas 6 cases
TOTAL COUNT 64 cases
( 5 hospitalized).
11 PM Guardian Update 13 Cases in California.


enigma4ever said...

The Ohio swine flu Information Line is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please call 1-866-800-1404 for answers to your questions about swine flu.

( I am calling tomorrow and will let you know what I learn).

enigma4ever said...

More about the test::::

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The US Food and Drug Administration yesterday authorized the emergency use of a molecular diagnostic assay to identify cases of swine flu.

The test has not been cleared for marketing by FDA, but the agency granted the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the authority to use the multiplex panel to diagnose patients in the US. The rRT-PCR Swine Flu Panel is currently available through a small number of government labs.

"In authorizing an [Emergency Use Authorization] for the rRT-PCR Swine Flu Panel diagnostic test, the FDA has determined that it may be effective in testing samples from individuals diagnosed with influenza A infections, whose virus subtypes cannot be identified by currently available tests," FDA said in a statement. "This EUA allows the CDC to distribute the swine flu test to public health and other qualified laboratories that have the needed equipment and the personnel who are trained to perform and interpret the results."

FDA did not specify whether the test was internally developed at CDC or was developed by or in partnership with a commercial entity. FDA officials did not return a call to GenomeWeb Daily News seeking further information by the time this article was published.

Meanwhile, CDC has released a series of interim guidance documents related to the swine flu outbreak, which has sickened patients in at least 11 countries, with the number of confirmed cases in the US currently standing at 50. One of those CDC guidance documents relates to testing for swine flu — and CDC specifically recommended real-time PCR testing for influenza A, B, H1, and H3 at a State Health Department Laboratory.

"Currently, swine influenza A (H1N1) virus will test positive for influenza A and negative for H1 and H3 by real-time RT-PCR," it said in the guidance.

CDC also noted that confirmation of swine flu is currently performed at CDC, but it "may be available in state public health laboratories soon."

enigma4ever said...

Reuters UK article:::
By Michael Kahn

LONDON (Reuters) - Testing whether a person has swine flu is not easy and it can take days to confirm that suspected cases are actually caused by the virus, a health expert said on Tuesday.

The World Health Organization has confirmed 79 cases of a virus it said has spread from Mexico -- where it has killed up to 149 people -- into the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Europe, raising fears of a pandemic.

But officials suspect more than 1,600 people may have the infection -- a disparity explained in part because there is no quick test, said Andrew Easton, a virologist at the University of Warwick in Britain.

"Many countries now will have several labs to carry this out," he told Reuters in a telephone interview. "You can't do this in the field."

WHO officials only report cases that have been confirmed by their own staffers, in their own labs, at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and a few other places.

Mexico, for instance, ships samples to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta or Winnipeg in Canada for testing.

While testing for seasonal flu is relatively simple, doing the same for H1N1 is far more complicated and none of the three techniques are widely available.

One way to confirm swine flu is with a test that involves growing a virus culture in a lab and then sequencing its genetic material. Testing increases of antibodies and a technique called real-time PCR are the other approaches. Continued...

View article on single page

Annette said...

Here's what is on my state's web site.. from my Gov.. He is on the ball it sounds like:

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Jay Nixon announced today that Missouri health officials are taking significant steps to deal with a new strain of swine flu that has prompted federal officials to declare a nationwide health emergency.

The Governor said that while no case of swine flu had been confirmed in Missouri, state health officials and the medical community have been on high alert since Friday because of the contagious nature of the new flu virus. The Department of Health and Senior Services, headed by Director Margaret Donnelly, is the lead agency in coordinating the state's preparation for possible influenza cases.

Missouri officials have stockpiled enough antiviral medications to treat more than 600,000 cases of swine flu. Over the weekend, Gov. Nixon directed state health officials to request Missouri's share of federal medical supplies.

In response, federal officials are providing additional doses of medicine, three million surgical masks to limit the spread of the virus and three million enhanced medical masks for medical workers and others who may be repeatedly exposed. These supplies augment significant private stocks of antiviral medication and other medical supplies in Missouri.

"Missourians should know that people, plans and protections are in place to do everything possible to prevent the spread of swine flu in our state," Gov. Nixon said.

The virus, which is blamed for killing scores of people in Mexico, has now sickened people in five U.S. states - California, Texas, New York, Ohio and Kansas. Federal health officials have determined that the virus is susceptible to two antiviral medications.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is working closely with local public health agencies and medical facilities to increase detection of any cases of swine flu in the state. If cases are found, officials will take steps to limit the spread of the virus. The state is putting into effect plans and tapping into resources put into place as part of its pandemic influenza preparedness efforts.

enigma4ever said...

Now we know Missouri...

( I posted the wrong article above...I meant to post about Ohio HD...)

enigma4ever said...

More Texas news:::

SAN ANTONIO — Texas health officials on Sunday were asking hospitals and doctors to take samples from flu patients so they could aggressively survey for a new strain of swine flu that has killed dozens of people in Mexico and sparked fears of a global pandemic.
Only two confirmed cases — both among students at a high school in Cibolo, near San Antonio — have been identified in the state. Officials were awaiting test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on eight possible cases, said Emily Palmer, a spokeswoman for the Department of State Health Services.
Palmer said five of the cases being tested were in the Guadalupe County area, where the two confirmed cases have been found. The other three possible cases are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
All the Texas cases have been mild. The pair of boys who had the first confirmed Texas cases recovered and returned to school last week, but officials decided on Saturday to close the campus and cancel extracurricular activities for at least the next week as a precaution.
Additionally, Dr. Sandra Guerra, the health official leading the Texas investigation, asked residents of Guadalupe County to avoid public gatherings and to stay home if they or a family member are ill.
Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Perry asked that 850,000 more courses of antiviral medication be placed in Texas as a precaution. The number is 25 percent of the CDC’s Texas allotment from the strategic national stockpile. Texas already has 840,000 courses of antiviral medication on hand after a purchase authorized by the Legislature and Perry in 2007.
Cases mild
“While the confirmed cases of swine flu in the U.S. have been mild, it is prudent that we take the necessary precautions in Texas to protect our citizens,” Perry said in announcing his request. “We will continue to work with our local, state and federal health officials to ensure public safety is protected.”
Palmer said the state was asking hospitals and doctors to do preliminary on-site tests to determine if patients with flu-like symptoms have the virus and to forward the samples of flu patients to a state lab. From there, any samples of unidentifiable flu viruses will be sent to the CDC, she said.
Because of the aggressive survey, officials expect more cases to be identified in Texas. Typically, mild cases of the flu might otherwise go unnoticed.
“We expect we probably will find more cases because we are into actively looking for cases,” Palmer said.
Health officials have begun interviews to help determine how the boys with the two confirmed cases contracted the illness, Palmer said. Neither of the boys, a pair of close friends, had been to Mexico or had contact with someone who did, according to them and their families, she said.
Because tests are still being done to determine the incubation period for the illness, it’s not clear how long the school will need to be closed or whether other nearby communities might also advise people to stay away from public gatherings, she said.
Meanwhile, public health officials along the border were carefully monitoring reports and asking health care providers to take respiratory samples from patients who appear to have the flu.
Dr. Hector Gonzalez, director of the Laredo health department, said staff members were at hospitals and clinics in Laredo all weekend looking for any possible flu cases. He also talked to his counterpart in Nuevo Laredo on Sunday to ensure they could share any information on possible outbreaks.
With the thousands of people who pass daily between the U.S. and Mexico in his community, Gonzalez said, the border region had to be considered a high-risk area. But by Sunday, no suspect cases had been reported.
“This is a perfect instance when we need to have immediate communication with our counterparts,” Gonzalez said. “This virus is not going to respect any border.”

enigma4ever said...

8 comments by Ginger Rough - Apr. 28, 2009 02:56 PM
The Arizona Republic
The Arizona Department of Health Services is awaiting laboratory results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on four influenza samples that are suspected swine flu, the agency said Tuesday.

If any of the specimens comes back positive for the H1N1 variant, they will be the state's first confirmed cases of the new flu illness that has sparked fears of a global pandemic.

“You could certainly call them suspected,” Will Humble, acting director of the DHS said Tuesday. All four samples were classified as “Type A” influenza, but state officials said testing showed them to be “un-subtypable.”

Agency officials said it was likely the state would hear back on at least one of the samples before the day's end.

No other information was immediately available about the individuals who had fallen sick, including ages or where in the state they live. But Humble did say that none of the samples were taken from patients who were gravely ill or hospitalized.

There are three different types of influenza, but only Type A strands can infect both humans and animals, including birds and pigs.

The news of the possible Arizona cases comes as health officials around the globed increased their efforts to contain the virus, which has spread to countries as far away as Scotland and New Zealand. The number of confirmed cases in the United States now stands at 64, but states and cities were reporting many more suspected infections.

Here in Arizona, Bureau of Customs and Border Protection Agents continued screening passengers for illness, both at the Arizona-Mexico border and at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, even as federal officials said it was unlikely that the disease could be contained.

Cuba on Tuesday became the first country to ban flights into Mexico, and Carnival Cruise Lines it would cancel ports of call in the country, which is the epicenter of the disease.

So, far no swine flu related deaths have been reported outside Mexico, but Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that could change.

Humble, of the health services department, said Arizonans should remain calm, despite the increase in cases around the country and the globe.

“Every day that goes by, we get into additional cases, but we also see that there aren't that many serious cases or hospitalizations,” he said. “What we see here is mild illness.

“The more evidence I see, the more I think this is probably going to end up being on the mild side.”

enigma4ever said...

2 Calif Deaths being Investigated....::::

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles County coroner's office on Tuesday was investigating the recent deaths of two men for links to swine flu. If confirmed, the cases would be the first swine flu deaths in the United States.

"What we have right now is there are a couple cases that are going to be brought in for examination for swine flu, but we have no confirmation that's what it is at this stage," coroner's Capt. John Kades told The Associated Press.

Kades released no details on the cases.

The Los Angeles Times said both deaths were reported to the coroner's office on Monday.

A Bellflower hospital reported the death of a 33-year-old Long Beach man who was brought in Saturday with symptoms resembling swine flu, coroner's spokesman Craig Harvey told the newspaper.

The man was taken to the hospital complaining of shortness of breath and lymphoma, a type of cancer, and doctors later diagnosed him with pneumonia, Harvey said.

The other death was a 45-year-old La Mirada man who died April 22 at Coast Plaza Doctor's Hospital in Norwalk, according to the Times. Doctors said the man died of pneumonia, but the county health department refused to accept the death certificate and referred the case to the coroner's office, the Times said.

Richard Besser, acting director of the federal Centers for Disease Control, said Tuesday at least five people were hospitalized with swine flu in the United States, including three in California.

"I fully expect we will see deaths from this infection," as swine flu cases are investigated, he said.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency Tuesday to help California agencies coordinate efforts in response to the outbreak of swine flu. However, he cautioned that "there is no need for alarm."

"We are taking strong and swift action to limit the spread of the virus and to minimize its effects," Schwarzenegger said at a news conference.

California has 11 confirmed cases of swine flu, said Dr. Mark Horton, director of the state Department of Public Health.

enigma4ever said...

I hate posting this , but here it is::: Quarantine information from CBS news::::

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has sent a memo to some health care providers noting procedures to be followed if the swine flu outbreak eventually makes quarantines necessary.

DHS Assistant Secretary Bridger McGaw circulated the swine flu memo, which was obtained by CBSNews.com, on Monday night. It says: "The Department of Justice has established legal federal authorities pertaining to the implementation of a quarantine and enforcement. Under approval from HHS, the Surgeon General has the authority to issue quarantines."

McGaw appears to have been referring to the section of federal law that allows the Surgeon General to detain and quarantine Americans "reasonably believed to be infected" with a communicable disease. A Centers for Disease Control official said on Tuesday that swine flu deaths in the U.S. are likely.

Federal quarantine authority is limited to diseases listed in presidential executive orders; President Bush added "novel" forms of influenza with the potential to create pandemics in Executive Order 13375. Anyone violating a quarantine order can be punished by a $250,000 fine and a one-year prison term.

A Homeland Security spokesman on Tuesday did not have an immediate response to followup questions about the memo, which said "DHS is consulting closely with the CDC to determine appropriate public health measures."

The memo from McGaw, who is DHS' acting assistant secretary for the private sector, also said: "U.S. Customs and Coast Guard Officers assist in the enforcement of quarantine orders. Other DOJ law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Marshals, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives may also enforce quarantines. Military personnel are not authorized to engage in enforcement."

Quarantines are hardly new: their history stretches at least as far back as the Bible, which describes a seven-day period of isolation that priests must impose when an infection is apparent. The word literally means a period of 40 days, which cities along the Mediterranean shipping routes imposed during the plague of the 15th century, a legal authority reflected in English law and echoed in U.S. law.

Congress enacted the first federal quarantine law in 1796, which handed federal officials the authority to assist states in combating the yellow fever epidemic. In response to the 1918 influenza epidemic, states levied quarantines and imposed mask laws – with the District of Columbia restricting residents to their homes and San Francisco adopting the slogan "Wear a Mask and Save Your Life! A Mask is 99% Proof Against Influenza." Public health authorities quarantined the entire campus of Syracuse University for two-and-a-half weeks in October of that year.

Until recently, the last involuntary quarantine in the United States was in 1963. Then, in 2007, Andrew Speaker, an Atlanta lawyer, was quarantined inside a hospital in Denver on suspicion of having extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. It turned out that the CDC was incorrect and Speaker had a milder form of the disease.

The CDC's error is one example of how quarantines can raise civil liberties issues. If a suspected swine flu patient is confined to a hospital isolation ward for a week or two, who pays for the bills? What if private businesses find their buildings requisitioned in an emergency? Or if hospital employees charged with enforcing the quarantine fail to show up for work?

McGaw's memo on Monday also said that the federal plan to respond to pandemic influenza was "in effect."

The Bush administration released the National Strategy For Pandemic Influenza in November 2005; it envisioned closer coordination among federal agencies, the stockpiling and distribution of vaccines and anti-viral drugs, and, if necessary, government-imposed "quarantines" and "limitations on gatherings."

A Defense Department planning document summarizing the military's contingency plan says the Pentagon is prepared to assist in "quarantining groups of people in order to minimize the spread of disease during an influenza pandemic" and aiding in "efforts to restore and maintain order."

enigma4ever said...

More on What ED's are being told::::
( truthout- ABC news)
Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., said doctors like him have been advised by the CDC and state health department to set up a system that would test patients with flu-like symptoms and help define how widespread this outbreak is. He said the severity of the virus is hard to gauge because of the wide discrepancy in how it has affected Mexicans and Americans, and because it is occurring in places that are warm, which is very unusual.

"The genetic make up of this virus has influenza experts scratching their heads," he said. "One of the things that has us worried is that could this be a virus that could continue to make mischief during the warmest parts of the year. That would be a big thing. For a respiratory virus to be active during the summer months" would be very unique.

Emergency Departments Make Swine Flu Preparations

The escalation in the swine flu situation on Saturday underscored concerns by international, federal and local health agencies over the threat of the new virus, even as government health officials said much remains unknown.

But if one thing is clear about the spread of this virus, it is that containment is no longer an option.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said broad spectrum of the illness is expected in the United States.

"It's clear that this is widespread," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, at a press conference Saturday afternoon.

"We do not think that we can contain the spread of this virus," Schuchat added. "Having found virus where we have found it, we are very likely to find it in other places. ... We are not at a point where we can keep this virus in just one place."

The cases further demonstrate that health officials do not know where else the virus might turn up. Details of swine flu's spread in Mexico also remain murky. A team sent by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now on the ground there seeking clues on the origin and spread of the disease.

"What we still don't know is how widespread it is," said Schaffner. "The question is: How long have things been going on in Mexico, and how attentive have they been in terms of what's going on in their country?"

Schaffner added that had it not been for the death cases in Mexico, the swine flu would have largely gone unnoticed in the United States.

"My observation has been, were it not for the problem in Mexico, this would have been on page 15 instead of page 1," he said. "Because each year we have dominant influenza strains but we also have occasional strains that don't fit the dominant patterns."

Anon-Paranoid said...


So sorry, this is off topic.

I was wondering if you saw my last post about the kitties.

There are photos of them and a short story of how I got them. There is also a pic of my home entertainment center I broke down and bought myself for Christmas.

After all I can't take it with me and I have very little so why not have something I can enjoy for awhile.

As to the flu there were supposedly two cases here where I'm at but they still aren't confirmed and they come from the mouse house area.

Anyway sorry for being off topic. You take care and...

God Bless you.

enigma4ever said...

Ohio News :::
NE Ohio ::
3 New Possible Cases, 2 Children and one 71 yr old man in hospital.

No results back yet tonight.

enigma4ever said...

AnonP dear...
I will write you an email right now- look for it..I hope I am using the right address...email me okay ?
you have my address right ?

I will be right over to see the Kitty post...

enigma4ever said...

From Seattle PI about Wash State::::
( from great Seattle reader...)

State to get 230,000 anti-viral courses as precaution to swine flu

Although Washington has no confirmed cases of swine flu, the state has
requested that 230,000 courses of anti-viral medication be sent here from
the federal Strategic National Stockpile. Health officials said the
shipment, expected next week, is only a precaution and includes gloves and
other supplies.

Tim Church, spokesman for the state Department of Health, said the
medication, most of which is Tamiflu, is a backup to anti-viral supplies in
pharmacies. He said the doses would only be given to people diagnosed with
the illness.

King County has the state's other considerable stockpile of Tamiflu, with
190,000 courses on hand and access to an additional 260,000 courses through
the federal stockpile, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and
Five American states have confirmed cases of the swine flu: Texas,
California, Ohio, New York, and Kansas.

"At this time, there are no cases in Washington, yet this is a serious
situation. It's a new virus and we're learning about it in real time," Mary>Selecky, secretary of the Health Department, said in a statement.

Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by a Type A influenza
virus. In rare cases, it infects humans who have close contact with pigs.

The virus being investigated now differs from typical swine flu, because it
is spread person-to-person. Health officials said there's no risk fromeating properly cooked pork and pork products. They continued to encourage
people to stay home if sick, cover coughs and wash hands often.

enigma4ever said...

Calgary Herald 11PM Total up to 13::::

OTTAWA — Canada stepped up its screening measures at airports Tuesday to check passengers returning from Mexico for swine flu symptoms amid news that the virus has now infected 13 Canadians in four different provinces.

Seven new cases were confirmed Tuesday — two in Alberta, four in Ontario and one in British Columbia — adding to six announced Sunday. All have links with travel to Mexico, where the illness is suspected of killing more than 150 people and of sickening more than 1,600.

Canadians who choose to maintain their travel plans to Mexico, despite a travel warning issued Monday by the Public Health Agency of Canada to delay trips if possible, will face questions about their health from customs officers upon their return. Border agents at airports have been directed to ask passengers if they have any of the swine flu symptoms — fever, fatigue, lack of appetite, coughing, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea — or if they have been in contact with anyone who has symptoms.

If anyone answers "yes" they will be assessed further and possibly referred to a quarantine officer who may then advise travellers to go home and self-isolate or to go to a hospital.


Add this article (below). Note: C-Span says no one can catch the virus from eating pork, beef, or any 'crop' - it has to be transmitted 'human to human'.

When I say C-Span, I mean all the people who've been talking for hours on this topic this evening (my time).

My doctor says I should come in May 4 because he'll have the proper medication for me then - not too many more days to 'suffer'......

I'm not sure if all this talk about not getting the virus from pork is more based on protecting the economy from a down-turn in pork sales, etc., or not.

But - this article seems viable:

The outbreak of a new flu strain—a nasty mash-up of swine, avian, and human viruses—has infected 1,000 people in Mexico and the U.S., killing 68. The World Health Organization warned Saturday that the outbreak could reach global pandemic levels.

Is Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork packer and hog producer, linked to the outbreak? Smithfield operates massive hog-raising operations Perote, Mexico, in the state of Vera Cruz, where the outbreak originated. The operations, grouped under a Smithfield subsidiary called Granjas Carroll, raise 950,000 hogs per year, according to the company Web site.

On Friday, the U.S. Disease-tracking blog Biosurveillance published a timeline of the outbreak containing this nugget, dated April 6 (major tip of the hat to Paula Hay, who alerted me to the Smithfield link on the Comfood listserv and has written about it on her blog, Peak Oil Entrepreneur):

Residents [of Perote] believed the outbreak had been caused by contamination from pig breeding farms located in the area. They believed that the farms, operated by Granjas Carroll, polluted the atmosphere and local water bodies, which in turn led to the disease outbreak. According to residents, the company denied responsibility for the outbreak and attributed the cases to “flu.” However, a municipal health official stated that preliminary investigations indicated that the disease vector was a type of fly that reproduces in pig waste and that the outbreak was linked to the pig farms. It was unclear whether health officials had identified a suspected pathogen responsible for this outbreak.

From what I can tell, the possible link to Smithfield has not been reported in the U.S. Press. Searches of Google News and the websites of the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal all came up empty. The link is being made in the Mexican media, however. “Granjas Carroll, causa de epidemia en La Gloria,” declared a headline in the Vera Cruz-based paper La Marcha. No need to translate that, except to point out that La Gloria is the village where the outbreak seems to have started. Judging from the article, Mexican authorities treat hog CAFOs with just as much if not more indulgence than their peers north of the border, to the detriment of surrounding communities and the general public health. Get this:

De acuerdo con uno de Los habitantes de la comunidad, Eli Ferrer Cortés, Los desechos fecales y orgánicos que produce Granjas Carroll no son tratados adecuadamente, lo que genera contaminación del agua y del viento en la region.

My rough translation: According to one community resident, the organic and fecal waste produced by Granjas Carrol isn’t adequately treated, creating water and air pollution in the region. I witnessed—and smelled—the same thing in Hardin County, Iowa, a couple of years ago, another area marked by intensive industrial hog production. The article goes on to say that area residents have long complained of “fetid odors” in the air and water, and swarms of flies hovering around waste lagoons. Like their counterparts who live in CAFO-heavy U.S. Areas, they also complain of respiratory ailments. Now, with 30 percent of the area’s residents now infected with the virulent flu bug, people are demanding that state and federal authorities inspect hog operations there. So far, reports La Marcha, the response has been: nada.

The Mexico City daily La Jornada has also made the link. According to the newspaper, the Mexican health agency IMSS has acknowledged that the original carrier for the flu could be the “clouds of flies” that multiply in the Smithfield subsidiary’s manure lagoons.

I’ll be in touch with contacts in Mexico as this story develops —and I’ll be curious to see whether the U.S. Media explores the link with Smithfield’s Mexico operation.

Note: In the original version of this post, I had called production at Granjas Carroll “nearly equal to Smithfield’s total U.S. Production.” I had been confusing total production at Granjas Carroll—950,000 hogs produced in fiscal 2008—with the number of sows, or breeding pigs, kept by Smithfield in the United States. According to my source—“Concentration of Ag Markets, 2007” (PDF) by Hendrickson and Heffernan—Smithfield keeps 1.2 million sows. Actual hog production is much larger—thus Smithfield’s total U.S. Hog production is much larger than Granjas Carroll’s. I regret the error.

Grist food editor Tom Philpott farms and cooks at Maverick Farms, a sustainable-agriculture nonprofit and small farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

enigma4ever said...

Nevada ::
You know I am here for you- ready to call YOUR HD...
You Need tamiflu NOW....
and your HD should supply it or tell you where you can get..

May 4th is WRONG...
you must be treated now...while sick...

And for ANY of us that have Fever and symptoms and have been tested and are postive or have ALL the sympoms they must OFFER MEdication NOW- it has been freed up and Should be there in your state- NOW if Tamiflu is NOT in your state yet- that is another WHOLE matter and if that is the case-
we need to call Senators and Others and raise HELL>...

About Smithfield- Dr Gutpa did tell about it tonight on CNN- yes, really.....

( I am still focused on the Waste Stream from that Farm as the Source...)

I am ready to help - let me know-

( Ironically I took off this week to work on the Free Health Care Fair here in Ohio- that has now been canceled)....

So THIS is ALL I am Focusing on- and as far as I know I am the ONLY RN covering this in Blogland....
I am committed to trying to keep us safe, getting care and educated.....but mostly taking care of us...all of us....

Fran said...

Oregon County Public Health~ Excerpts

"While humans have built up immune systems to fight more common strains of the flu, this strain of swine flu hasn’t been encountered before and makes humans more susceptible to catching it, Meredith said.

State public health officials track disease in Oregon through a network of about 100 “sentinel” physicians who routinely send specimens from sick patients to the state laboratory for testing, Hedberg said. State officials also partner with the Kaiser Permanente health system, which tracks how many phone calls and office visits are for flu-type symptoms.

Hospitals across the state are on alert for patients showing up with flu-type symptoms, especially people who have traveled to areas where swine flu has been detected, she said.

While this new strain of influenza is being called swine flu, its genetic make-up indicates it’s a mix of swine and avian influenza, Hedberg said.

“It’s a new strain of flu we have not seen before,” she said.

Disease detectives from WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are in Mexico now trying to get a handle on the outbreak, she said.

Meanwhile, local hospitals are on alert and prepared to activate pandemic plans if necessary. Both hospitals are part of the Health Alert Network, which provides immediate updates on public health issues.

In the event of a local outbreak, the hospitals would cancel all elective surgeries to free up beds, said Dr. Joy Cresci, assistant administrator for emergency, trauma and critical care for PeaceHealth’s Oregon region. PeaceHealth operates the Sacred Heart hospitals in Eugene and Springfield.

PeaceHealth would open several floors at Sacred Heart, University District, provided it could find enough doctors and nurses to staff the beds, she said.

Surveillance — that is, checking and testing patients with flu-type symptoms — is key in an outbreak, as is communication with medical professionals and the community, she said.

“The big thing is we want to be able to recognize when there is an outbreak and isolate it so it doesn’t spread,” Cresci said.

“We don’t know yet how bad this flu’s going to be.”

enigma4ever said...

thanks for this.....

appreciate this....

so we have updates from Cali, Oregon, texas, Nevada, Arizona, Ohio.....I will keep adding to this tomorrow.