Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu Updates Starting 4.26.09 ( Preparedness tips and Updates in the Comment Section as well)

*{first posted 4.26.09 at Noon}*
CDC Swine Flu Website
First Gibbs spoke, then Brennan ( he is Obama's Chief Security person), then Dr. Besser from CDC spoke and explained about how this is being handled, it sounds like it will be examined state by state. This is being declared a Public Health Emergency by the Dept of Homeland Security by Napoliteano. ( She said this is how any emergency is treated so that Funds can be released ).
Dept of Defense has 7 Million Tamiflu doses available.
(It is a shame that DHHS did not get Sebelius confirmed, as that dept needs leadership at this time.Obama might have to Emergency Appoint ?)
California 7 cases
Kansas 2 cases
New York City 8 cases
Ohio 1 case
Texas 2 cases
TOTAL COUNT 20 cases as of Sunday Eve.4.27.09
They did encourage hand washing, covering mouth with cough. Nothing was said about Wearing Mask or other precautions, or whether it is droplet spread, I will try to find more research on this. CDC FLU page is linked to the title.
Saturday 4.25.09 Updates:::
and there is more
USA Today has more.
BBC is also following closely.
LA Times Update 1PM Sunday 4.26.09::
Los Angeles Times | April 26, 2009 | 10:05 a.m. PT
Government declares public health emergency over swine flu
The U.S. is declaring a public health emergency to deal with the emerging new swine flu.
The precautionary step doesn't signal a greater threat to Americans. But it allows the federal and state governments easier access to flu tests and medications.Federal health officials say 20 cases of swine flu have been reported in five states so far. Officials expect more cases and more severe illness among Americans. About 12 million doses of the drug Tamiflu are being released from a federal stockpile so that states can get it if needed. The 20 cases reported so far are in New York, Ohio, Kansas, Texas and California.
Sunday Night NYT article explains symptoms and treatment really well.
Monday 4.27.09 2am
Very Thorough BBC Article has updates here that are helpful
And more from Mexico Update as of Sun.4.27.09 McCLatchey and Christian Science Monitor

BBC IN THE TRENCH REPORTS From Medical People in Mexico
*** Google Earth Mapping ***
Interesting Sidney Herald Article explains disease from Micro level with cell photos.
and the newest update 4.27 Monday Morn Boston Globe update
11AM Update::::
NYT reporting that Europe is urging halting travel to US and Mexico.
3 PM Monday 4.27.09
WHO is issuing a Report and Warning at 4PM.
Now the NYC Numbers has climbed ( varying reports 28-40 all related to the Highschool in Queens- One Cluster, although over 150 last week out of 2700 reported to the Nurse Sick). Mexico did have another 40 die during the night. MORE Updates in the Comments Section.

HLS HAS NOW ISSUED Travel Advisory about Mexico- NO Unneccessary Travel. ( Clinton was on earlier saying that Situation was being reviewed). Napoltaneo and Brennan are now giving presser at 3:15 PM ( right after Gibbs). Napolitano says that we are at Level 3. ( Level 6- is FULL Pandemic Level).
BBC video explains more...

1 PM Sunday 4.26.07.....I have to go to work. But I will update this when I get home, This post will be kept at the top and updated during the day.I will post articles down below with more information, I will also update in the comments as well. I don't know enough at this time, even though I have been reading. My concern is that the Situation in Mexico is serious, 1300 sick, and 81 deaths. I do think the past 8 years Health Issues have been handled in a deplorable manner ( ie the salmonella etc). So I am hoping that the Obama Administration is trying to be proactive on we don't have a Mexico Situation here.

Wash Hands Thoroughly and Often with warm soapy water, buy some of that Disinfective Gel, and Chlorox Wipes and even keep Lysol handy for cleaning surfaces and yes that means carry in car and briefcase, purse .....Wipe surfaces, ATM, phone, don't leave your coffee mug in the lounge with other mugs. If you share computer or phone with other workers wipe atleast twice a day. Also if religous- esp Catholic I would discourage taking Communion- it is not a coincidence that the Spike in the Cluster rose AFTER Easter ( this also happened with the SARS epidemic.). I also encourage people to check on your neighbors, especially those that might not have Cable or are elderly.

** And yes, I would encourage people to acquire MASKS or buy them now- as we might need them, and yes, I am serious. I think it is best we be prepared and informed and careful with this as it bears close monitoring , I say this as an RN with 20+ years including Community Health Experience, ER and Disaster Training. Stay Calm, Stay Informed.Be Prepared.


Fran said...

Looks like they have it now in Nova Scotia, Canada & New Zealand. People who have visited Mexico. Mexico city has closed all schools & universities.

Of great concern is Barack Obama’s trip to Mexico City on April 16. Obama was received at the anthropology museum in Mexico City by Felipe Solis, a distinguished archaeologist who died a week later from symptoms similar to swine flu.

Think we will be wearing masks sometime soon?

enigma4ever said...

Enigma thought:::
About Obama 's Visit, I don;t think he knew before he went- I do think his medical team figured it out quickly- and on another level- I wondered did his team notify WHO about the situation there....but I do think he should have been told before he went, and I am not sure he was. About What to do - I think within the week we will be issued Mask Warnings, and travel restrictions- but we shall see. I do think Obama's team is trying to be proactive.

From Diane::::
EXCERPT under 'Obama's Visit' section in story below:

"The first case was seen in Mexico on April 13. The outbreak coincided with the President Barack Obama's trip to Mexico City on April 16. Obama was received at Mexico's anthropology museum in Mexico City by Felipe Solis, a distinguished archeologist who died the following day from symptoms similar to flu, Reforma newspaper reported. The newspaper didn't confirm if Solis had swine flu or not. "

Mexico's Calderon Declares Emergency Amid Swine Flu Outbreak
By Thomas Black

April 25 (Bloomberg) -- Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared an emergency in his country's swine flu outbreak, giving him powers to order quarantines and suspend public events.

Authorities have canceled school at all levels in Mexico City and the state of Mexico until further notice, and the government has shut most public and government activities in the area. The emergency decree, published today in the state gazette, gives the president authority to take more action.

"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.

At least 20 deaths in Mexico from the disease are confirmed, Health Minister Jose Cordova said yesterday. The strain is a variant of H1N1 swine influenza that has also sickened at least eight people in California and Texas. As many as 68 deaths may be attributed to the virus in Mexico, and about 1,000 people in the Mexico City area are showing symptoms of the illness, Cordoba said.

Obama's Visit

The first case was seen in Mexico on April 13. The outbreak coincided with the President Barack Obama's trip to Mexico City on April 16. Obama was received at Mexico's anthropology museum in Mexico City by Felipe Solis, a distinguished archeologist who died the following day from symptoms similar to flu, Reforma newspaper reported. The newspaper didn't confirm if Solis had swine flu or not.

The Mexican government is distributing breathing masks to curtail the disease's spread. There is no vaccine against the new strain of swine flu, health authorities said.

Museums, theaters and other venues in the Mexico City area, where large crowds gather, have shut down voluntarily and concerts and other events canceled to help contain the disease. Two professional soccer games will be played tomorrow in different Mexico City stadiums without any fans, El Universal newspaper reported. Catholic masses will be held, the newspaper said, although church officials urged worshipers to wear breath masks and to avoid contact.

Schools will likely remain closed next week, Calderon said in the Oaxaca speech. The decree allows Calderon to regulate transportation, enter any home or building for inspection, order quarantines and assign any task to all federal, state and local authorities as well as health professionals to combat the disease.

"The health of Mexicans is a cause that we're defending with unity and responsibility," Calderon said. "I know that although it's a grave problem, a serious problem, we're going to overcome it."

Normal Airport Operations

Mexico City's international airport, which handles about 70,000 passengers each day, is operating normally, said Victor Mejia, a spokesman. Passengers are given a questionnaire asking if they have flu symptoms and recommending they cancel their trip and see a doctor if they do. The measures are voluntary, Mejia said, and no case of swine flu in airport passengers, workers or visitors has been confirmed.

Authorities throughout Central America have issued alerts to prevent the outbreak from spreading. Guatemala ordered tighter control yesterday of its northern border with Mexico, according to EFE. Gerberth Morales, who's heading the Guatemala government's response, said no cases of swine flu have been reported in his country, the Spanish news agency reported.

Brazil is intensifying vigilance in ports, airports and borders to check travelers' health, luggage, aircrafts and ships in a preventive action against the outbreak in Mexico, the Agency for Sanitary Vigilance said on its Web site.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Black in Monterrey at

enigma4ever said...

More from Diane:::

Swine flu fears as NZ students quarantined
Posted 6 hours 40 minutes ago
Updated 5 hours 54 minutes ago

A New Zealand school group has been quarantined after returning from Mexico with flu-like symptoms local health authorities said.

Three teachers and 22 senior students from Rangitoto College in Auckland, arrived back in the country on Saturday after a three-week trip to Mexico.

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service said some had symptoms of an influenza-like illness and were being kept in isolation as a precaution while tests to exclude or confirm swine influenza were carried out.

Health Ministry spokesman Michael Flyger told the New Zealand Press Association the results of tests were expected later on Sunday.

Three teachers and 22 senior students from Rangitoto College in Auckland, arrived back in the country on Saturday after a three-week trip to Mexico.

Health Ministry spokesman Greg Simmonds says the early stages of New Zealand's pandemic response plan have been activated and a national coordination centre set up.

"I understand that the emergency personnel in the ministry of health are manning that particular emergency operation centre," he said.

"But it has been stood up and there is communication between the various government agencies, including border agencies, over this issue."

A New Zealand-based animal diseases consultant, Professor Roger Morris, said the country had stockpiles of the medication Tamiflu, which he said appeared to work against the current strain of influenza.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared a "public health emergency of international concern" after the outbreak of a new strain of swine flu in Mexico.

Mexican authorities believe as many as 81 people have died and another 1,300 are infected with the disease.


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Kansas state health officials have confirmed two cases of swine flu, just minutes after New York health officials said they had eight probable cases, CNN reported on Saturday.

Health officials across the United States are testing for the new and unusual strain of H1N1 swine flu that is suspected of killing 68 people in Mexico and that has caused mild illness in at least eight people in the United States.

(Reporting by Maggie Fox)


Canada Issues Alert on Severe Respiratory Disease in Mexico
Recombinomics Commentary 02:22
April 23, 2009

The Public Health Agency of Canada has told quarantine services to be on alert for travellers returning from Mexico after a number of severe respiratory illnesses (SRI) were reported in some regions of the country.

PHAC, in an April 20 report, said Mexican officials informed the Canadian health agency that the "case-fatality rate was relatively high" and that most cases involved healthy adults between the ages of 25 and 44. A number of health-care workers were also affected.

Although no cause has been confirmed, some samples were positive for influenza A and B.

The above comments on an alert issued by Canada offer some insight into the situation in Mexico. The reports out of Mexico are decidedly mixed. Some reports describe an increase in influenza cases which is attributed to a late spike in influenza B, which when combined with influenza A, gives an abnormally high number of cases this late in the season. Other reports discuss revaccinating at risk groups with the current trivalent vaccine.

Samples have been sent to Canada for a comprehensive analysis.

The increased influenza-like illness and fatalities was announced as the CDC issued an MMWR dispatch on H1N1 swine flu. Two cases have been confirmed in children (9F and 10M) and family members had mild symptoms but were not tested. The precise location of the clusters in southern California has not been released, but one cluster is in San Diego Country, while the other is 100 miles away in Imperial County (see updated map). Additional suspect cases in Imperial County have been noted and it is likely that these cases are near the border with Mexico. Some media reports also note that some contacts have not been interviewed because they were in Mexico.

It remains unclear if these two outbreaks are related. All reported cases in California have been mild, and the two confirmed cases were influenza A positive, but failed to sub-type for seasonal flu. It is unclear if sub-typing failures have led to the confusing reports out of Mexico.

More information on these cases, and results of analysis in Canada, would be useful.

Similarly, a more precise location and number of confirmed and suspect cases in the United States would be useful.

enigma4ever said...

UK Times:::
A DEADLY strain of flu that combines elements of swine, avian and human viruses could spread around the world after emerging simultaneously in Mexico and the United States, experts warned yesterday.

Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organisation, declared the disease a “public health event of international concern” after an emergency meeting in Geneva last night. She said the disease had “pandemic potential” and urged all countries to keep a close watch for outbreaks of influenza-like illness.

A British Airways cabin crew member was taken to hospital with flu-like symptoms yesterday afternoon after falling ill on a flight from Mexico City to Heathrow. The Health Protection Agency said it was keeping a close eye on the situation.

Britons are not being advised to avoid travelling to affected areas, although anyone visiting those destinations or who has recently returned should consult a doctor if they experience flu-like symptoms.

Asian governments switch to flu crisis mode
NZ school children tested for swine flu
WHO on high alert as swine flu spreads
In Mexico up to 81 people have died from pneumonia caused by the swine-flu virus and more than 1,000 suspected cases have been reported.

Mexican soldiers distributed surgical masks and the authorities warned people to avoid shaking hands and kissing.

The mayor of Mexico City cancelled all public events, and schools, museums, cinemas and libraries were closed. Health workers were posted at airports and at stations to keep anyone showing symptoms off public transport.

US scientists said Mexicans had been dying for weeks before the virus - an animal strain of H1N1, the virus that killed 50m in the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 - was detected. Controlling people’s movements might not now keep it from spreading, they said.

“It is clear that this is widespread,” said Dr Anne Schuchat of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Swine flu has also been identified in isolated outbreaks across America. There have been seven cases in California, three in Texas and two in Kansas.

Eight New York schoolchildren have been infected with a flu virus that officials think is likely to be identical. Most of the American patients, except those in New York, have already recovered.

The British Airways crew member was taken to Northwick Park hospital in Harrow, northwest London, after flight BA242 landed at 2pm.

“The patient was admitted directly to a side room and the hospital is scrupulously following infection control procedures to ensure there is no risk to any other individual in the hospital,” the hospital said.

The Port Health Authority, the agency responsible for disease containment at the UK’s borders, is asking crew on flights into Britain from Mexico to report any passengers suffering from coughs and sneezes to medics.

Danger of hybrid viruses

People who are around pigs are most likely to be infected by the H1N1 virus, but the virus can spread from person to person.

Avian flu, which has killed 250 people since 2003 and sparked the last pandemic threat, is caused by influenza viruses adapted to infect birds. Swine flu is caused by viruses adapted to pigs. Big problems arise when human and animal flu viruses mix and mutate into new organisms that can spread through the population.

The fact that most of the Mexican dead were aged between 25 and 45 rather than being elderly or very young is seen as a particularly worrying sign. The first victims of the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 were also healthy young adults.

The symptoms of swine flu in people include fever, fatigue, lack of appetite, coughing and sore throat.

Michael Osterholm, a pandemic flu expert at the University of Minnesota, said new cases were probably already incubating around the world.

Tamiflu, an antiviral drug used against bird flu, is said to be effective against the new strain.

enigma4ever said...

My Question ::::
If Tamiflu works I would wonder WHY it is not being given en masse right now ? wouldn' that make sense ?

enigma4ever said...

single sneeze propels 100,000 droplets into the air at around 90 mph, landing on door knobs, ATM keypads, elevator buttons, escalator railings, and grocery cart handles. In a subway station at rush hour, according to British researchers, as many as 10 percent of all commuters can come in contact with the spray and residue from just one sneeze (or sternutation). That means as many as 150 commuters can be sickened by one uncovered achoo.

No wonder health officials are extremely concerned about the new strain of swine flu that has infected at least 20 Americans in five states, killed some 80 people in Mexico, and has traveled to the other side of the world in New Zealand. Understandably, US authorities - following the lead of the World Health Organization (WHO) - have declared a "public health emergency."

"This virus has, clearly, a pandemic potential," says Margaret Chan, director general of WHO. Why? The virulent new H1N1 swine flu strain spreads quickly and efficiently from human to human. It's "a completely novel virus," says the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). This latest variant is a mixture of human virus, bird virus, and pig viruses from all over the world. Experts say it's particularly worrisome because people are getting sick without any encounters with pigs. Even worse, young, healthy people (ages 20-40) are dying at a striking rate, a telltale sign of the worst flu epidemics.

Swine flu fears aren't new in the United States. In February 1976, a 19-year-old army private at Fort Dix, New Jersey, died within 24 hours of becoming infected with swine flu. Soon, 500 soldiers were afflicted and the US government began a controversial nationwide vaccination campaign. Ultimately, some 40 million Americans were inoculated. As a result, several hundred people developed Guillain- Barré syndrome, a serious neurological condition, and the immunization program was stopped.

What's going to happen this time? Without question, the disease will spread farther and wider. At this point, as the CDC says, it can't be contained or controlled. (The flu shot from last fall, for instance, won't combat this strain).

What can you do to protect yourself? "No single action will provide complete protection," the CDC notes, but taking a few steps can help reduce the likelihood of transmission.

1. Sanitize -- i.e. Wash Your Hands Frequently. It may sound obvious, but hand-washing with soap and water for around 20 seconds is the single best thing you can do (if you're going to go out into the world and interact with other human beings). The CDC estimates that 80 percent of all infections are spread by hands. If you can't wash your hands regularly, try hand-sanitizers with 60 percent alcohol content.

2. Avoid -- i.e. Engage in "Social Distancing." That's the fancy term for reducing unnecessary social contact, staying away from crowds, and avoiding people if you're sick or if you're concerned that they may be infected. It may not be especially practical when you have to go to, say, work, but experts believe it's worth repeating: Isolation and avoidance reduce your chances of getting infected or infecting others.

(Researchers in the UK - mentioned above and sponsored by a cold remedy company - found that 99 percent of commuters suffer at least one cold per winter. By contrast, 58 percent of people who work from home and 88 per cent of those who walk to work caught a cold last winter).

If you need to go someplace crowded, the CDC says, try to spend as little time as possible and try to stay six feet away from potentially infected people. Wearing a surgical or dental facemask - cleared by the FDA as a medical device - "can help prevent some exposures," the CDC says, but they're not foolproof.

3. Be Alert -- i.e. Recognize the Symptoms and Get Help. Swine flu symptoms are similar to regular flu: Fever, body aches, sore throat, cough, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. If you don't feel well, seek medical attention. So far, it's important to note, this swine flu is treatable (and absolutely survivable). It's resistant to two of four antiviral drugs approved for combating the flu: Symmetrel and Flumadine. But two newer antivirals - Tamiflu and Relenza - appear to work.

What are the chances of a global pandemic? "The situation is uncertain and unpredictable and likely to be a marathon more than a sprint," says Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We expect there to be a broader spectrum of disease here in the U.S.," adds Dr. Anne Schuchat, interim deputy director for the agency's Science and Public Health Program. "I do fear that we will have deaths here."

Swine flu will dominate news headlines in the days ahead. Every case around the world will be carefully tracked and tallied -- and deservedly so. It may not sound like much, but the best defense involves some very simple steps: Every sneeze should be covered -- preferably with the crook of an arm - and every hand should be washed ... and washed again.


For more information, the CDC has set up a toll-free hotline: 1-800-CDC-INFO. Or check out the CDC Website.

enigma4ever said...

St.Francis in Queens NY ( 2700 students) -
that is is where the cluster of 8 is-
they are recovering.

that school is closed and being cleaned.

Fran said...

Well hell! I am headed to an ATM machine-- I think I will bring along a Clorox wipe!

Fran said...

I did go to the ATm & did use a clorox wipe-- even though the metal buttons looked OK, when I swabbed them as I punched & after I was done punching- YUCK! parts of my Clorox wipe were black.

I don't want to be paranoid, but if I can avoid getting sick for taking precautionary measures, I'll do it!

enigma4ever said...

Here here fran...
yeah- at work we wiped everything tonight- wiping away- esp the buttons that everyone touchs....good for you that you brough wipes- I need to add that to the Post above- don't forget to get that Gel and Lysol to spray really works...also for cleaning I use ALOT of Windex- it kills germs nicely....

also I do think masks should be picked up this week- before they disappear..or run out- have on hand in case this gets worse....

enigma4ever said...

11 PM Sunday Worldwide Precautions Update::Geneva::::

( Please note I do not understand the Meat Bannings from Mexico, US to abroad- I thought it was not from pork ??? or meat ???? I don't get it.)


GENEVA — Canada became the third country to confirm human cases of swine flu Sunday as global health officials considered whether to raise the global pandemic alert level.

Nations from New Zealand to Spain also reported suspected cases, and some warned citizens against travel to North America while others planned quarantines, tightened rules on pork imports and tested airline passengers for fevers.

The six Canadian cases in Nova Scotia and British Columbia all had links to people who had traveled to Mexico, and all are the same swine flu strain. The six people have recovered, said Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada's chief public health officer.

But "these are probably not the last cases we'll see in Canada," he said.

The news follows the World Health Organization's decision Saturday to declare the outbreak first detected in Mexico and the United States a "public health emergency of international concern."

A senior World Health Organization official said the agency's emergency committee will meet for a second time Tuesday to examine the spread of the virus before deciding whether to increase the alert for a possible pandemic, or global epidemic.

The same strain of the A/H1N1 swine flu virus has been detected in several locations in Mexico and the United States, and it appears to be spreading directly from human to human, said Keiji Fukuda, WHO's assistant director-general in charge of health security.

Story continues below

Mexico's federal health secretary says the disease has killed 103 people and likely sickened more than 1,600 since April 13. U.S. officials say the virus has been found in New York, California, Texas, Kansas and Ohio, but no fatalities have been reported.

Governments including China, Russia and Taiwan began planning to put anyone with symptoms of the deadly virus under quarantine.

Others were increasing their screening of pigs and pork imports from the Americas or banning them outright despite health officials' reassurances that it was safe to eat thoroughly cooked pork.

Some nations issued travel warnings for Mexico and the United States.

WHO's emergency committee is still trying to determine exactly how the virus has spread, Fukuda said

"Right now we have cases occurring in a couple of different countries and in multiple locations," he said. "But we also know that in the modern world that cases can simply move around from single locations and not really become established."

Raising the pandemic alert phase could entail issuing specific recommendations to countries on how to halt the disease. So far, WHO has only urged governments to step up their surveillance of suspicious outbreaks.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan called the outbreak a public health emergency of "pandemic potential" because the virus can pass from human to human.

Her agency was considering whether to issue nonbinding recommendations on travel and trade restrictions, and even border closures. It is up to governments to decide whether to follow the advice.

"Countries are encouraged to do anything that they feel would be a precautionary measure," WHO spokeswoman Aphaluck Bhatiasevi said. "All countries need to enhance their monitoring."

New Zealand said 10 students who took a school trip to Mexico "likely" had swine flu, and on Monday it said three students in a second group had mild flu symptoms and were being tested. Israel said a man who had recently visited Mexico had been hospitalized while authorities try to determine whether he had the disease. French Health Ministry officials investigated four possible cases of swine flu, but three were found to be negative. In Brazil, a hospital said a patient who arrived from Mexico was hospitalized with some swine flu symptoms.

Spanish authorities said seven suspected cases were under observation.

Hong Kong and Taiwan said visitors who came back from flu-affected areas with fevers would be quarantined. China said anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms within two weeks of arrival from an affected area had to report to authorities. A Russian health agency said any passenger from North America running a fever would be quarantined until the cause of the fever is determined.

Tokyo's Narita airport installed a device to test the temperatures of passengers arriving from Mexico.

New Zealand health officials started screening passengers arriving at Auckland International Airport from the United States and other parts of North America. Bolivia said it would start on Monday to screen passengers coming from Mexico and the United States and isolate any found to be infected.

Indonesia increased surveillance at all entry points for travelers with flu-like symptoms _ using devices at airports that were put in place years ago to monitor for severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, and bird flu.

Hong Kong and South Korea warned against travel to the Mexican capital and three affected provinces. Italy, Poland and Venezuela also advised their citizens to postpone travel to affected areas of Mexico and the United States.

Symptoms of the flu-like illness include a fever of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius), body aches, coughing, a sore throat, respiratory congestion and, in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea.

The virus is usually contracted through direct contact with pigs, but Joseph Domenech, chief of animal health service at U.N. Food and Agriculture Agency in Rome, said all indications were that the virus is being spread through human-to-human transmission.

No vaccine specifically protects against swine flu, and it is unclear how much protection current human flu vaccines might offer.

Russia banned the import of meat products from Mexico, California, Texas and Kansas. South Korea said it would increase the number of its influenza virus checks on pork products from Mexico and the U.S.

enigma4ever said...

Sunday Night NYT article Symptoms and treatment:::::

All flus are passed by coughs and sneezes. Symptoms can included fever, fatigue, coughing, vomiting and diarrhea. Seasonal flus typically kill the old and young. New flus like this one can kill healthy people whose own immune reactions overwhelm them.

Officials do not know if the seasonal flu vaccine will protect against the A(H1N1) swine flu virus. In the laboratory, the antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza are effective against this new flu; amantadine and rimantadine are not.

The avian flu, A(H5N1), is found among birds and humans and is highly lethal but not very transmissible. Scientists believe this new flu is more transmissible but less lethal.

enigma4ever said...

Current News from Mexico City at 1am:::
WASHINGTON — The world's governments raced to avoid both a pandemic and global hysteria Sunday as more possible swine flu cases surfaced from Canada to New Zealand and the United States declared a public health emergency. "It's not a time to panic," the White House said.

Late Sunday, Mexico's health secretary raised the number of suspected deaths in that country to 103, and the number of cases to more than 1,600.

Mexico, the outbreak's epicenter, canceled some church services and closed markets, restaurants and movie theaters.
Enigma Note::::
Mexico City has 20 Million people- 2 times size of NY....and that this is where the flu clustered these past 3 with preparations- and education we should be able to monitor this.

enigma4ever said...

3am early monday morn:::
( a chuckle )

Gov. Rick Perry Saturday asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 37,430 courses of antiviral medications from the Strategic National Stockpile as a precaution after three cases of swine flu were confirmed in Texas.

*( much for secession..guess that got taken off the table....NOW....)

enigma4ever said...

Monday 5 am::::
Comments left on different Blogs:::

( I encourage anyone who speaks Spanish Please do this...)
"If you read Spanish, I urge you to read the Mexican newspapers on-line.

Many of the Mexican newspapers blogs swear the actual swine flu death toll is much higher than those officially reported in the corporate media.

The reason for this is, many Mexican nationals don’t die in hospitals or clinics. They’re poor and they die at home. There is no system in place in Mexico to track these deaths. The Mexican blogs say the actual number of deaths is closer to 2,000."

enigma4ever said...

5 AM Monday 4.27.09
wine Flu-Travel Health Notice Issued for Mexico


The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued a travel health notice to Canadians in response the recent outbreak of swine flu.

It reads:

The Public Health Agency of Canada is tracking clusters of human swine influenza (flu) with deaths in Mexico.

Since March 18, 2009, clusters of cases have been reported in multiple regions in Mexico.

Most of the cases involved previously healthy young adults between 25 and 44 years old.

Some health care workers have also been affected.

In addition, Mexico is currently experiencing a late influenza season that began in early March 2009.

To protect themselves from these risks, it is recommended that travellers follow the same precautionary measures as with seasonal influenza. These include receiving a seasonal flu vaccine, washing your hands often, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when ill.

Canadians who have recently travelled to Mexico and who develop symptoms of human swine flu, especially high fever, are advised to seek medical attention immediately.

Closer to home, Dr. Danuta Skowronski with the BC Centre for Disease Control is recommending people travelling to Mexico pay close attention to any posted advisories, "If you don't have to go to Mexico, maybe give it some thought, if it is a good time to go, or at least stay in touch with public health advisories."

The Public Health Agency's Travel Health Notice can be found at:

enigma4ever said...

5 AM Monday morn:::
Reporting from Los Angeles, The Times of London sounded this ominous note about some Americans on the border being told to get painter's masks from hardware stores:

North of the border, in the US, doctors were advising people worried about the illness to buy painters’ masks from DIY stores as a precautionary measure. Authorities across the globe were torn between the imperative of slowing the spread of a potential flu pandemic and the need to avoid bringing every big city to a grinding halt.

Last night the US authorities were still allowing people to cross the border from Mexico, where it is thought that the swine flu emerged. But customs officials at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa crossings were given protective clothing.

enigma4ever said...

More From Mexico:::
*** Points out that 400 of 1600 Infected are still in hospital and 100 died - that means that 500 of the 1600 known infected had serious infection- that means 33% had serious infection ( and not all of those were elderly, or immune compromised).

From Mexican health Blog:::::

"The World Health Organization has declared the flu a “public health emergency of international concern” that could become a pandemic, or global outbreak of serious disease. A pandemic would deal a major blow to a world economy already suffering its worst recession in decades.
The death toll in Mexico from an outbreak of a new type of swine flu has risen to 103 people, Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova said on Sunday. Cordova told Mexican television that around 400 people were in hospital out of a total of around 1,600 suspected cases.
The outbreak of a new strain of flu in Mexico in the last few days has stoked fears of a global epidemic as new cases cropped up in the United States and Canada. Possible infections are also being checked in Europe, Israel and New Zealand. “The most recent reports we have are of 1,614 cases, with 103 deaths, and we still have around 400 patients in hospital,” Cordova told the Televisa network, explaining that around two-thirds of the sick patients had recovered. Millions of Mexicans stayed indoors at the weekend or ventured out wearing surgical masks, especially in Mexico City where the government stopped public events and shut museums, bars and stadiums closed to try and contain the virus.

enigma4ever said...

CNN Wire 1 AM Monday 4.27.09::::

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CNN) — Health officials around the world worked to contain what appears to be a spreading swine flu outbreak early Monday, while one out of every five residents of Mexico’s most populous city wore masks to protect themselves against the virus.

Mexico seems to be the epicenter of the outbreak, where as many as 103 deaths are thought to have been caused by swine flu, the country’s health minister said. An additional 1,614 reported cases have been reported in the country.

So far, however, only 18 cases have been confirmed by laboratory tests in Mexico and reported to the World Health Organization.

The United States stepped up preparations for a possible epidemic of the virus after 20 cases were confirmed, and Canada announced its first cases of the virus Sunday — six mild cases.

Russia banned all meat imports from Mexico and the southern United States, and said it would screen incoming passengers from those two countries for swine flu by taking their temperatures.

The WHO has called the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern.”

Researchers are trying to determine how easily it can jump from person to person. And Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s assistant director-general, said it was too early to predict whether there will be a mild or serious pandemic.

Mexico City closed all its schools and universities until further notice because of the virus, and military troops passed out 4 million filter masks in the city of 20 million residents.

Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said he is wearing a mask, “in order to promote to people to use” it.

“The potential damage for the city is very high,” Ebrard said.

The streets of Mexico City were eerily quiet Sunday afternoon — a time when families are usually out strolling.

Officials have talked about shutting down the bus and subway system, and incoming international passengers at the country’s airports are asked on a form whether they have various symptoms that might indicate that they’re carrying the virus.

Mexican Finance Minister Augustin Carstens said Sunday that the World Bank was lending his country $205 million to deal with the outbreak.

In the United States, the largest number of cases was in New York City, New York, where the CDC confirmed cases in eight students at preparatory school.

“Given the reports out of Mexico, I would expect that over time we’re going to see more severe disease in this country,” said Dr. Richard Besser, the CDC’s acting director.

In Washington, the government declared a public health emergency — a step Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said, “sounds more severe that really it is.”

“This is standard operating procedure and allows us to free up federal state and local agencies and their resources for prevention and mitigation,” she said.

Napolitano canceled a trip to the Czech Republic scheduled for this week in order to monitor swine flu preparations and response, two Obama administration officials said Sunday night.

Meanwhile, Israel, New Zealand and Spain were investigating unconfirmed cases of swine flu.

Concerns about the virus prompted Canada to issue a travel health notice and South Korea to say it will test airline passengers arriving from the United States.

Japan is expected to convene a Cabinet meeting Monday to come up with measures to block the entry of the virus into the country.

In New Zealand, officials said 22 students and three teachers, who returned from a three-week-long language trip to Mexico, might have been infected. The group remains quarantined at home, and Health Minister Tony Ryall said 10 students tested positive for influenza A — the general category of strains that includes the H1N1 swine flu.

In Spain, six people — all recently returned from Mexico — were being isolated in hospitals, the country’s health ministry said. And in Israel, doctors are running tests on a man who recently returned from Mexico with light flu symptoms.

The H1N1 strain of swine flu is usually associated with pigs. When the flu spreads person-to-person, instead of from animals to humans, it can continue to mutate, making it harder to treat or fight off.

Symptoms of swine flu include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, coughing, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, the CDC said.

Common seasonal flu kills 250,000 to 500,000 people every year.

But what worries officials is that a new strain can spread fast because people do not have natural immunity and vaccines can take months to develop.

In 1968, a “Hong Kong” flu pandemic killed about 1 million people worldwide. And in 1918, a “Spanish” flu pandemic killed as many as 100 million people.

– CNN’s Sanjay Gupta, Ariel Crespo, Ted Rowlands, Al Goodman and Jeanne Meserve contributed to this report.

enigma4ever said...

From Paki's Corner ( UK/aussie update):::

The international community is better prepared than ever to deal with the threatened spread of a new swine flu virus, a top UN health chief has said. As the UN warned the outbreak might become a pandemic, Dr Keiji Fukuda said years of preparing for bird flu had boosted world stocks of anti-virals.
However Canada is the latest country to confirm cases after as many as 103 deaths in Mexico and 20 cases in the United States. H1N1 is the same strain that causes seasonal flu outbreaks in humans but the newly detected version contains genetic material from versions of flu which usually affect pigs and birds. It is spread mainly through coughs and sneezes.

1918: The Spanish flu pandemic remains the most devastating outbreak of modern times - infecting up to 40% of the world's population and killing more than 50m people, with young adults particularly badly affected
1957: Asian flu killed two million people. Caused by a human form of the virus, H2N2, combining with a mutated strain found in wild ducks. The elderly were particularly vulnerable
1968: An outbreak first detected in Hong Kong, and caused by a strain known as H3N2, killed up to one million people globally, with those over 65 most likely to die.

The Canadian cases were recorded at opposite ends of the country: two in British Columbia in the west, and four in the Atlantic province of Nova Scotia. Suspected cases have been detected beyond Mexico, the US and Canada. Ten New Zealand students from a group which visited Mexico have tested positive for Influenza A, making it "likely" they are infected with swine flu. In France, a top health official told Le Parisien newspaper there were unconfirmed suspicions that two individuals who had just returned from Mexico might be carrying the virus. Spain's health ministry says three people who returned from a trip from Mexico with flu symptoms are in isolation and being tested. In Israel, medics are testing a 26-year-old man who has been taken to hospital with flu-like symptoms after returning from a trip to Mexico. Two people in Queensland, Australia, are being tested in hospital after developing flu-like symptoms on returning from Mexico

enigma4ever said...

6:30 AM :::
BBC "In the trenches Reports"""::::

"Alarming Flu Reports From Mexico
By Paul Hsieh @ 12:01 AM
BBC News has posted a number of "in the trenches" readers' reports on the swine flu epidemic in Mexico. Here are two disturbing excerpts from Mexican physicians:
I'm a specialist doctor in respiratory diseases and intensive care at the Mexican National Institute of Health. There is a severe emergency over the swine flu here. More and more patients are being admitted to the intensive care unit. Despite the heroic efforts of all staff (doctors, nurses, specialists, etc) patients continue to inevitably die. The truth is that anti-viral treatments and vaccines are not expected to have any effect, even at high doses. It is a great fear among the staff. The infection risk is very high among the doctors and health staff.

There is a sense of chaos in the other hospitals and we do not know what to do. Staff are starting to leave and many are opting to retire or apply for holidays. The truth is that mortality is even higher than what is being reported by the authorities, at least in the hospital where I work it. It is killing three to four patients daily, and it has been going on for more than three weeks. It is a shame and there is great fear here. Increasingly younger patients aged 20 to 30 years are dying before our helpless eyes and there is great sadness among health professionals here.

Antonio Chavez, Mexico City

...I work as a resident doctor in one of the biggest hospitals in Mexico City and sadly, the situation is far from "under control". As a doctor, I realise that the media does not report the truth. Authorities distributed vaccines among all the medical personnel with no results, because two of my partners who worked in this hospital (interns) were killed by this new virus in less than six days even though they were vaccinated as all of us were. The official number of deaths is 20, nevertheless, the true number of victims are more than 200. I understand that we must avoid to panic, but telling the truth it might be better now to prevent and avoid more deaths.

Yeny Gregorio Dávila, Mexico City
A few natural questions:

1) How will this affect border control policy?

Mexico has arguably been teetering on the edge of being a "failed state" for a few years now. If a flu pandemic causes the central government to lose effective control over the country, will we see a flood of desperate illegal immigrants seeking to cross into the US to escape the problems in Mexico? And given that some of those people may be infected, how will the US respond?

Although I support open immigration in the sense that Craig Biddle discusses in his article "Immigration and Individual Rights" from the Spring 2008 issue of The Objective Standard, I also completely agree with him that it is a legitimate function of government to prevent people with deadly communicable diseases from entering this country. In an emergency, this may require fairly drastic steps (such as deploying the US military along the border).

Hence, border security may become a big issue in the near future.

2) If the pandemic strikes the US, will this lead to a permanent increase in government control over our lives?

Again, in a mass casualty medical emergency, I think the government can legitimately impose controls that would not normally be justified. For instance, it might restrict normal commerce, assume temporary control of hospitals and health care facilities, impose quarantines/curfews on neighborhoods and cities, etc. One can argue over whether any specific proposed measures are justified for a given emergency, but the basic principle is valid.

But we also know that once government assumes "emergency" control over a sector of the economy, it rarely gives up that control after the emergency has passed.

Hence, a flu pandemic could lead to permanent new government controls over health care and/or other major sectors of the rest of the American economy, even after the immediate crisis has passed.

3) What would be the long-term economic effects of a flu pandemic on the US?

If there is significant loss of life, the individual tragedies will be bad enough.

But I expect this would be compounded by significant disruption of normal economic activity. In the present political climate, this could deepen our current recession, thus creating more pseudo-justification for further government controls over the economy, which would further worsen the recession, etc. How far could this downward economic spiral go?

We'll soon know the answers to these questions.

I also wish to emphasize that I am not taking an alarmist position. For instance, I think it's a huge positive that medical technology has advanced immensely since the flu pandemic of 1918.

If you want to read some good practical advice, take a look at this page from epidemiologist Dr. Tara Smith (not the Objectivist philosophy professor) written during the bird flu scare of two years ago. In short, she recommends:
Don't panic
Wash your hands
If you're sick, stay home
Don't touch your eyes/nose/mouth
Stock up on food, water, and other household necessities (i.e., standard prep for blizzard, earthquakes, or other natural disasters)
There is also recent research suggesting that Vitamin D may help strengthen your ability to fight off the flu. (The article doesn't specifically address swine flu, but my guess is that correcting any Vitamin D deficiency wouldn't hurt and would likely help against this new virus.)

[Note from DMH: As I've mentioned before -- here and here and here -- most Americans are deficient in vitamin D. For example, a recent study showed that 72% of men over 65 are deficient using 30 ng/ml as the cutoff. From what I've read, levels should be over 60 ng/ml. For some people, that can require thousands of IU supplementation per day.]

So don't panic, keep informed, and stay tuned for updates!

enigma4ever said...

( Since I had never heard of him and I got 3 emails asking::::)

When things get really, really bad is when we’ll need the CDC most.

Sure, the agency’s national surveys and frequent analyses give us a useful big-picture understanding of the state of the nation’s health.

But check out the dramatic possibilities of the strategic national stockpile, which CDC describes as:

a national repository of antibiotics, antiviral drugs, chemical antidotes, antitoxins, vaccines, life-supporting medications, and medical supplies that can be used to supplement state and local resources during a large-scale public health emergency

So there’s certain logic, in a post 9/11 world, to the announcement that Richard Besser — the CDC guy in charge of terrorism preparedness and emergency response (which includes the national stockpile) — has been named acting head of the agency.

Besser went to med school at Penn and did a pediatrics residency at Hopkins, but he’s gone pretty far afield in his research during his time at the CDC. Last year, for example, he co-authored a paper entitled “Improving cross-sectoral and cross-jurisdictional coordination for public health emergency legal preparedness.”

enigma4ever said...

More on Besser the CDC Acting head:::
( Scientific American 1.23.09):::
Pres. Obama late yesterday named bioterrorism and infectious disease expert Richard Besser interim director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Besser, 49, a pediatrician and longtime CDC researcher, will fill the slot—at least temporarily—vacated by Julie Gerberding, who headed the agency for six years during the Bush administration.

Besser, most recently director of the CDC's Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response, is an expert on biological and chemical weapons, and on preparing for and responding to public health emergencies. He studied food-borne illness in the agency's Epidemic Intelligence Service and led a nationwide campaign to prevent overuse of antibiotics, which as been blamed for a rise in drug-resistant infections.

Besser, who earned his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania and did his pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, has published scientific papers on topics related to biological and chemical weapons as well as on antibiotic resistance.

enigma4ever said...

7am Monday 4.27.09 Update from WHO after Emergency Meeting held in Geneva 4.26.09::::

( Reuters & Calgary Herald)::::
World ready to withstand potential pandemic: WHO


GENEVA -- The world is better prepared than ever to withstand a potential flu pandemic after five years of gearing up for bird flu, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Sunday.

Keiji Fukuda, acting director-general for health security and environment, also said the WHO had begun preliminary work with laboratories to prepare a vaccine against swine flu if needed.

"I believe that the world is much, much better prepared than we have ever been for dealing with this kind of situation," Fukuda told a teleconference on the outbreaks of swine flu in Mexico and the United States.

"The past five years have put us in (the) best possible position to handle this kind of situation," he said.

The WHO had a stockpile available of 5 million treatment courses of the antiviral Tamiflu, by Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding which has proven effective against the virus, he said. Countries and regions also have stockpiles.

"If this situation escalates then I think that the demand for antivirals clearly will also escalate and then this will require both the stockpiles and probably increased production of this drug," Fukuda said.

There was "zero evidence" that people are getting infected with the new virus from exposure to pigmeat or pigs, he said in response to reports that some countries were banning imports of meat from Mexico.

Fran said...

I think Europe's advisory to avoid all but non essential travel & the ban on meat imports is smart & pro active in finding ways to stop the spread since the source is unknown.

Better they put up the wall of precaution, rather then the US lax approach, a kind of wait & see.

I'm sure the underlying theme is that this will hurt the economy. Hurt airlines & the travel industries- that are already hurting.... but for hells sake.... the bottom line is health & saving lives.... not making a buck .

People are dying ~ this is serious.

Human said...

Hi E. Contrary to the misinformation put out by CNN this strain has never been found in Swine. This is a 1st for "Swine Flu". I find that one recieves more accuate info ealth issues fron Non AMerican sites.
The CD lied about the Anthrax attacks. At the time my wife was a carrier for the USPS in the Metropolitan DC area. Also, for years, the CDC denied that the Mercury in Childhood vaccines was related to Autism. They recently admitted that indeed it does.
The fact that H1N1 is a "cocktail" ofviruses raises further suspicions that it could be a weoponized strain.
This from WHO-
"6 April 2009 -- As of 26 April 2009, the United States Government has reported 20 laboratory confirmed human cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 (8 in New York, 7 in California, 2 in Texas, 2 in Kansas and 1 in Ohio). All 20 cases have had mild Influenza-Like Illness with only one requiring brief hospitalization. No deaths have been reported. All 20 viruses have the same genetic pattern based on preliminary testing. The virus is being described as a new subtype of A/H1N1 not previously detected in swine or humans.

Also as of 26 April, the Government of Mexico has reported 18 laboratory confirmed cases of swine influenza A/H1N1. Investigation is continuing to clarify the spread and severity of the disease in Mexico. Suspect clinical cases have been reported in 19 of the country's 32 states.

WHO and the Global Alert and Response Network (GOARN) are sending experts to Mexico to work with health authorities. WHO and its partners are actively investigating reports of suspect cases in other Member States as they occur, and are supporting field epidemiology activities, laboratory diagnosis and clinical management.

On Saturday, 25 April, upon the advice of the Emergency Committee called under the rules of the International Health Regulations, the Director-General declared this event a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

WHO is not recommending any travel or trade restrictions."

My time is up at the library or else I would add more.
I tried to get my wife to stay home today. She is now a clerk at a station about 70 miles from DC.

enigma4ever said...

I agree with you on all fronts ( you and I could have a LONG talk on mercury,methlymercury and thimersol and What was done to our vaccines....) and I have tried to post Numerous Reputable Foriegn Sources on this Situation- I think it is VERY serious-and that is not about "panic"- that is about trying to educate people.

About 911- I have many questions - and that year- the anthrax ( Walter Reed strain) I have more questions - and it was handled in a horrible fashion.......

So I hear you....loud and clear. I was very serious about getting Masks etc up above...

the Death Rate has risen since I went out this am-
it is now up to 149, and I don't know the number of Actual Cases- as a Brit Doc there pointed out from the BBC Blog above- Mexico or WHO does NOT know as ONLY those that Have $$$$ and have sought MEdical Care are being counted at this point- this means of the 20 Million ( atleast 5 million are considered Impoverished- have not been assessed or counted- this is beyond serious....)

As we are SO CLOSE to this Epicenter, and there is much shared across the Borders it is Best that a Proactive Approach be taken and EARLY- like NOW....

Sadly - I have to say this- Much of the CDC and DHHS has not been cleaned yet of the Bushies- and has not been vamped up with a full Obama Team.....

This is very serious.....

Educate those around you.

enigma4ever said...

Worldwide Swine Flu::::
78, and 40 are US. as of 3PM. Monday 4.27.09

Chris over at From the Left had this WHO Pandemic Scale- worth Knowing before their presser::::
Here’s some food for thought:

The WHO’s pandemic alert level is currently at to Phase 3. The organization said the level could be raised to Phase 4 if the virus shows sustained ability to pass from human to human.

Phase 5 would be reached if the virus is found in at least two countries in the same region.

“The declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short,” WHO said.

Phase 6 would indicate a full-scale global pandemic.

Human said...

Hi E. I reclaimed the computer at the library for a few minutes.

It is odd that only those in Mexico have died. If there are no other deaths from this, save maybe those already infirm, elderly etc. then it further raises the suspicion in my mind. In that case maybe President Obama was the main target.
I read a few weeks ago an account given by President Obama on the occasion of his 1st meeting Bush. President Obama related how upon shaking hands Bush took out a hand cleanser and told President Obama that he uses it after greeting someone. He offered it to President Obama and he used it, adding that it's a good idea.

An interesting story if nothing else.


enigma4ever said...

I remember that too...very odd....but I also have heard Bush is very paranoid- traveled with food testers etc these last few I ruled it out as that...

to be honest I think it was Clinton and her team that might have raised the alarm on this mess....and then Obama's medical team noticed it there- according to the Brit docs there- the last two weeks have been obvious that there alot of sick people...I don't know- but this is a mess....if you read above in comments Obama did have contact with a man that died after they met...we are very lucky Obama traveled with a Medical team- and that he did not get sick...very very lucky....