Saturday, May 2, 2009

Swine Flu / Influenza A(H1N1) - WHO on Travel Restrictions, CDC Goals

I think "swine flu" is here to stay: the disease that's sweeping the world has been called H1N1 Novel Influenza and influenza 2009 H1N1, But I see that the WHO is settling on influenza A(H1N1).

Rather officially: "30 April 2009 -- From today, WHO will refer to the new influenza virus as influenza A(H1N1)." (WHO)

I'll try to remember the 'influenza A(H1N1)' moniker while it lasts. Just the same, I think "swine flu" is here to stay as a commonly-recognized name for this bug.

World Health Organization on Travel Restrictions

"No rationale for travel restrictions"
World Health Organization (May 1, 2009)

"WHO is not recommending travel restrictions related to the outbreak of the influenza A(H1N1) virus. Today, international travel moves rapidly, with large numbers of individuals visiting various parts of the world. Limiting travel and imposing travel restrictions would have very little effect on stopping the virus from spreading, but would be highly disruptive to the global community.

" Influenza A(H1N1) has already been confirmed in many parts of the world...."

Isolating Mexico from the world would probably have kept this new variety of H1N1 from spreading - if Mexico had been cut off before the new influenza virus had been identified. As it is, by the time we knew there was a new bug in town, it was already spreading across the world.

I suppose the 'swine flu' of 2009 could be used as an example of the 'Evils of International Trade and Dealing With Foreigners' - but I'm not even on the same street as that bandwagon - much less ready to hop on it.

Which Countries Have Had How Many Cases Today

"Influenza A(H1N1) - update 10"
World Health Organization (May 2, 2009)

"The situation continues to evolve. As of 18:00 GMT+1, 2 May 2009, 16 countries have officially reported 658 cases of influenza A(H1N1) infection."

"Mexico has reported 397 confirmed human cases of infection, including 16 deaths. The higher number of cases from Mexico in the past 48 hours reflects ongoing testing of previously collected specimens. The United States Government has reported 160 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death...."

The countries with confirmed cases of influenza A(H1N1) this morning were:
  • Austria (1)
  • Canada (51)
  • China
  • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (1)
  • Costa Rica (1)
  • Denmark (1)
  • France (2)
  • Germany (6)
  • Israel (3)
  • Mexico (397) (16 deaths)
  • Netherlands (1)
  • New Zealand (4)
  • Republic of Korea (1)
  • Spain (13)
  • Switzerland (1)
  • The United Kingdom (15)
  • the United States (160) (1 death)
The World Health Organization has a page on its website, "Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response (EPR)... Influenza A(H1N1)," with links to information about influenza A(H1N1).

Meanwhile, Here in America - - -

As of this morning, America has confirmed cases of influenza A(H1N1 in 21 states, a total of 160 cases, and only 1 death. It could be a lot worse.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a page, "H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu)," on its website with links and information of interest to Americans.

They also outline their goals, regarding this disease:
  1. Reduce transmission and illness severity, and
  2. Provide information to help health care providers, public health officials and the public address the challenges posed by this emergency.
I'll give the CDC credit: They're making information about the 'swine flu' / influenza A(H1N1) available to people who take the trouble to look for it.

List of posts relating to Swine flu 2009; and list of background resources:

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