Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu 2009: First Time WHO Raised Disease Alert Level; and a News Video

The 2009 swine flu outbreak in spreading from human to human: which prompted public health people in Indiana to recommend no shaking hands in the state.

A video from WISH TV had quite a bit of evidence of common sense in the state: including a plea to employers to be smart, and make it possible for employees to stay home, instead of coming to work and infecting the entire staff.

"One confirmed case of swine flu in Ind."

wish, YouTube (April 28, 2009)
video 5:14

And two men, age 33 and 45, died in the Los Angeles area. It's possible that swine flu was involved, but the tests for that particular virus aren't back yet.

[UPDATE April 28, 2009: "...Los Angeles County public health officer Dr. Jonathan Fielding said Tuesday during a news briefing that news reports of two possible deaths there were initially 'misreported.'

"The Los Angeles County coroner's office ruled out swine flu as the cause of one those deaths. Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter said Tuesday that swine flu was not found in a La Mirada man. Winter says lab testing is pending in the case of a 33-year-old Long Beach man but swine flu is now not suspected...." (FOX News)

What's odd about this disease is that it seems to hit people with healthy immune systems particularly hard.

I still think there's a chance this can be stopped before it turns into a pandemic.
  • "In US, there's anxiety over swine flu but no panic"
    Reuters (April 28, 2009)
    • "ATLANTA, April 28 (Reuters) - Americans are expressing anxiety about swine flu but there are few signs of panic, although sales of flu medication and items like protective face masks are up in some places where cases have been confirmed...."
  • "Two L.A. County deaths possibly related to swine flu, coroner says [Updated]"
    Los Angeles Times (April 28, 2009)
    • "The Los Angeles County coroner's office is investigating two recent deaths that officials say could be related to the recent global swine flu outbreak. However, no tests have come back positive for the swine flu, and medical examiners have not officially determined what caused the deaths.
    • "[Updated at 9:30 a.m.: Coroner's spokesman Craig Harvey said his office would collect specimens from the deceased and send them to the county public health department, which would determine whether either person died from the swine flu. If so, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be notified, Harvey said.]..."
  • "World keeps wary eye on swine flu"
    Los Angeles Times (April 28, 2009)
    • "As more details emerged Monday on the origins of the swine flu outbreak, the World Health Organization raised its infectious disease alert level for the first time ever, and U.S. authorities warned against unnecessary travel to Mexico.
    • "In that country, authorities ordered all schools closed nationwide, and officials disclosed that the outbreak began much earlier than thought, near a pig farm in the Veracruz municipality of Perote.
    • "And, it was revealed, the first confirmed fatality worked as a door-to-door census-taker in one of Mexico's poorest states...."
  • " 'Hundreds' in NYC sick at school hit by swine flu"
    The Associated Press
    • "NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City official says "many hundreds" of students are sick at school hit by a swine flu outbreak.
    • "Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said Tuesday that the cases are not confirmed as swine flu. But the students have the same symptoms as the confirmed cases...."
  • "World battles swine flu as death toll rises"
    CNN (April 28, 2009)
    • "Governments and health officials around the world continued to take steps Tuesday against the outbreak of swine flu that has killed scores of people in Mexico and spread to the U.S., Europe and possibly Asia.
    • "By early Tuesday, the swine flu outbreak in Mexico was suspected in 152 deaths and more than 1,600 illnesses, its health minister told reporters...."
    • "...The symptoms are similar to common flu. They include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, coughing, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea...."
    • "...'When you think about the flu, the seasonal flu, the flu that we're accustomed to, it typically tends to have the worse ramifications in people that don't have developed immune systems -- the elderly and the very young. They can't fight it off,' said Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent.
    • " 'What's counterintuitive with this particular virus, it's in the people who have robust immune systems. As their body starts to respond, to try and fight off that virus, they produce tons of inflammatory cells. Those inflammatory cells can sort of flood the lungs....' "
List of posts relating to Swine flu 2009; and list of background resources:

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