Influenza Season Week 22 ending June 6, 2009

15 06 2009

CDC – Novel H1N1 Flu Situation Update

Summary of Situation
Updated June 11, 2009, 12:30 PM ET
A Pandemic Is Declared
On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 6 in response to the ongoing global spread of the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus. A Phase 6 designation indicates that a global pandemic is underway.

June 12, 2009, 12:30 PM ET
States reporting 52
17,855 confirmed cases
45 deaths

WHO – Influenza A(H1N1) – update 48
12 June 2009 — As of 07:00 GMT, 12 June 2009, 74 countries have officially reported 29,669 cases of influenza A(H1N1) infection, including 145 deaths.

Influenza Season Week 22

Influenza Season Week 22

Synopsis:

During week 22 (May 31 – June 6, 2009), influenza activity decreased in the United States, however, there are still higher levels of influenza-like illness than is normal for this time of year.

  • Two thousand six hundred eighty-one (40.2%) specimens tested by U.S. World Health Organization (WHO) and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) collaborating laboratories and reported to CDC/Influenza Division were positive for influenza.
  • Approximately 89% of all influenza viruses being reported to CDC were novel influenza A (H1N1) viruses.
  • The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was below the epidemic threshold.
  • Three influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported; two were associated with novel influenza A (H1N1) virus infection and one was associated with seasonal influenza A (H1N1) virus infection.
  • The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was below the national baseline. Two of the 10 surveillance regions reported ILI above their region-specific baseline.
  • Eight states reported geographically widespread influenza activity, nine states reported regional influenza activity, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 15 states reported local influenza activity, 17 states reported sporadic influenza activity, and one state did not report.




Influenza Season Week 19

23 05 2009

2008-2009 Influenza Season Week 19 ending May 16, 2009

Seasonal Influenza Report

Week 19 Seasonal Influenza Report

View Full Screen

View Week 19 Chart Data

During week 19, seasonal influenza A (H1), A (H3), and B viruses continue to co-circulate with novel influenza A (H1N1). Approximately 73% of all influenza viruses being reported to CDC are novel influenza A (H1N1) viruses.

The increase in the percentage of specimens testing positive for influenza by WHO and NREVSS collaborating laboratories may be due in part to changes in testing practices by healthcare providers, triaging of specimens by public health laboratories, an increase in the number of specimens collected from outbreaks, and other factors.





Novel H1N1 Flu Situation Update

23 05 2009

May 22, 2009, 11:00 AM ET
Map: Weekly Influenza Activity Estimates,
Including Novel H1N1 Flu

(Posted May 22, 2009, for Week Ending May 16, 2009)

Table. U.S. Human Cases of H1N1 Flu Infection
(As of May 22, 2009, 11:00 AM ET)
States* Confirmed and Probable
Cases
Deaths
Alabama
66 cases
0 deaths
Arkansas
3 cases
0 deaths
Arizona
520 cases
2 deaths
California
553 cases
0 deaths
Colorado
59 cases
0 deaths
Connecticut
81 cases
0 deaths
Delaware
94 cases
0 deaths
Florida
129 cases
0 deaths
Georgia
27 cases
0 deaths
Hawaii
33 cases
0 deaths
Idaho
18 cases
0 deaths
Illinois
877 cases
0 deaths
Indiana
106 cases
0 deaths
Iowa
71 cases
0 deaths
Kansas
34 cases
0 deaths
Kentucky**
22 cases
0 deaths
Louisiana
86 cases
0 deaths
Maine
9 cases
0 deaths
Maryland
41 cases
0 deaths
Massachusetts
197 cases
0 deaths
Michigan
176 cases
0 deaths
Minnesota
39 cases
0 deaths
Mississippi
7 cases
0 deaths
Missouri
24 cases
1 deaths
Montana
10 cases
0 deaths
Nebraska
29 cases
0 deaths
Nevada
32 cases
0 deaths
New Hampshire
23 cases
0 deaths
New Jersey
47 cases
0 deaths
New Mexico
97 cases
0 deaths
New York
327 cases
1 deaths
North Carolina
12 cases
0 deaths
North Dakota
5 cases
0 deaths
Ohio
14 cases
0 deaths
Oklahoma
50 cases
0 deaths
Oregon
101 cases
0 deaths
Pennsylvania
73 cases
0 deaths
Rhode Island
9 cases
0 deaths
South Carolina
36 cases
0 deaths
South Dakota
4 cases
0 deaths
Tennessee
89 cases
0 deaths
Texas
900 cases
3 deaths
Utah
122 cases
1 deaths
Vermont
2 cases
0 deaths
Virginia
25 cases
0 deaths
Washington
494 cases
1 death
Washington, D.C.
13 cases
0 deaths
Wisconsin
766 cases
0 deaths
TOTAL*(48)
6,552 cases
9 deaths

*includes the District of Columbia

**one case is resident of KY but currently hospitalized in GA.

This table will be updated daily Monday-Friday at around 11 AM ET.

International Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection

See: World Health Organization.

NOTE: Because of daily reporting deadlines, the state totals reported by CDC may not always be consistent with those reported by state health departments. If there is a discrepancy between these two counts, data from the state health departments should be used as the most accurate number.

end of the line





Wed. May 20, 2009 CDC Flu Stats

20 05 2009

Novel H1N1 Flu Situation Update

May 20, 2009, 11:00 AM ET

Map: Weekly Influenza Activity Estimates, Including Novel H1N1 FlubrMay 20, 2009

Map: Weekly Influenza Activity Estimates, Including Novel H1N1 Flu May 20, 2009

For more details about the data in the map above, see the FluView Surveillance Report for the week ending May 9, 2009.

Table. U.S. Human Cases of H1N1 Flu Infection

(As of May 20, 2009, 11:00 AM ET)
States* Confirmed and Probable
Cases
Deaths
Alabama
64 cases
0 deaths
Arkansas
3 cases
0 deaths
Arizona
488 cases
2 deaths
California
553 cases
0 deaths
Colorado
55 cases
0 deaths
Connecticut
59 cases
0 deaths
Delaware
88 cases
0 deaths
Florida
122 cases
0 deaths
Georgia
25 cases
0 deaths
Hawaii
26 cases
0 deaths
Idaho
8 cases
0 deaths
Illinois
794 cases
0 deaths
Indiana
105 cases
0 deaths
Iowa
71 cases
0 deaths
Kansas
34 cases
0 deaths
Kentucky**
20 cases
0 deaths
Louisiana
73 cases
0 deaths
Maine
9 cases
0 deaths
Maryland
39 cases
0 deaths
Massachusetts
175 cases
0 deaths
Michigan
171 cases
0 deaths
Minnesota
39 cases
0 deaths
Mississippi
5 cases
0 deaths
Missouri
20 cases
1 deaths
Montana
9 cases
0 deaths
Nebraska
28 cases
0 deaths
Nevada
33 cases
0 deaths
New Hampshire
22 cases
0 deaths
New Jersey
22 cases
0 deaths
New Mexico
68 cases
0 deaths
New York
284 cases
1 deaths
North Carolina
12 cases
0 deaths
North Dakota
5 cases
0 deaths
Ohio
13 cases
0 deaths
Oklahoma
43 cases
0 deaths
Oregon
94 cases
0 deaths
Pennsylvania
55 cases
0 deaths
Rhode Island
8 cases
0 deaths
South Carolina
36 cases
0 deaths
South Dakota
4 cases
0 deaths
Tennessee
86 cases
0 deaths
Texas
556 cases
3 deaths
Utah
72 cases
0 deaths
Vermont
1 cases
0 deaths
Virginia
23 cases
0 deaths
Washington
411 cases
1 death
Washington, D.C.
13 cases
0 deaths
Wisconsin
766 cases
0 deaths
TOTAL*(48)
5,710 cases
8 deaths

*includes the District of Columbia

**one case is resident of KY but currently hospitalized in GA.

This table will be updated daily Monday-Friday at around 11 AM ET.

International Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection

See: World Health Organization.

NOTE: Because of daily reporting deadlines, the state totals reported by CDC may not always be consistent with those reported by state health departments. If there is a discrepancy between these two counts, data from the state health departments should be used as the most accurate number.





Influenza Statistis from the CDC

18 05 2009

CDC H1N1 Flu Update: U.S. Human Cases of H1N1 Flu Infection
Novel Influenza A (H1N1)
Cases by HHS Joint Field Office Coordination Groups

Novel H1N1 Flu Situation Update

May 18, 2009, 11:00 AM ET

Table. U.S. Human Cases of H1N1 Flu Infection

(As of May 18, 2009, 11:00 AM ET)
States* Confirmed and
Probable Cases
Deaths
Alabama
61 cases
0 deaths
Arkansas
3 cases
0 deaths
Arizona
476 cases
1 death
California
553 cases
0 deaths
Colorado
56 cases
0 deaths
Connecticut
53 cases
0 deaths
Delaware
65 cases
0 deaths
Florida
101 cases
0 deaths
Georgia
24 cases
0 deaths
Hawaii
21 cases
0 deaths
Idaho
8 cases
0 deaths
Illinois
696 cases
0 deaths
Indiana
81 cases
0 deaths
Iowa
66 cases
0 deaths
Kansas
34 cases
0 deaths
Kentucky**
14 cases
0 deaths
Louisiana
57 cases
0 deaths
Maine
12 cases
0 deaths
Maryland
34 cases
0 deaths
Massachusetts
143 cases
0 deaths
Michigan
158 cases
0 deaths
Minnesota
38 cases
0 deaths
Mississippi
3 cases
0 deaths
Missouri
19 cases
0 deaths
Montana
4 cases
0 deaths
Nebraska
28 cases
0 deaths
Nevada
30 cases
0 deaths
New Hampshire
19 cases
0 deaths
New Jersey
15 cases
0 deaths
New Mexico
68 cases
0 deaths
New York
254 cases
0 deaths
North Carolina
12 cases
0 deaths
North Dakota
3 cases
0 deaths
Ohio
13 cases
0 deaths
Oklahoma
32 cases
0 deaths
Oregon
94 cases
0 deaths
Pennsylvania
56 cases
0 deaths
Rhode Island
8 cases
0 deaths
South Carolina
36 cases
0 deaths
South Dakota
4 cases
0 deaths
Tennessee
82 cases
0 deaths
Texas
556 cases
3 deaths
Utah
91 cases
0 deaths
Vermont
1 cases
0 deaths
Virginia
21 cases
0 deaths
Washington
294 cases
1 death
Washington, D.C.
13 cases
0 deaths
Wisconsin
613 cases
0 deaths
TOTAL*(48)
5,123 cases
5 deaths

*includes the District of Columbia

**one case is resident of KY but currently hospitalized in GA.

This table will be updated daily Monday-Friday at around 11 AM ET.

International Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection

See: World Health Organization.

NOTE: Because of daily reporting deadlines, the state totals reported by CDC may not always be consistent with those reported by state health departments. If there is a discrepancy between these two counts, data from the state health departments should be used as the most accurate number.

~

To help put the flu season in perspective, the following chart from the CDC shows all cases of the flu that have occurred. As you can see, the Swine flu is only a small part of all the cases of flu that have occurred in the U.S.A

click on image to link to data

Link to larger view of chart

Synopsis:

During week 18 (May 3 – 9, 2009), influenza activity remained at approximately the same level as last week in the United States, indicating that there are higher levels of influenza-like illness than is normal for this time of year.

  • One thousand four hundred fifty-four (11.9%) specimens tested by U.S. World Health Organization (WHO) and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) collaborating laboratories and reported to CDC/Influenza Division were positive for influenza.
  • The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was below the epidemic threshold.
  • Three influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported.
  • The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was above the national baseline. Three of the ten surveillance regions reported ILI above their region-specific baselines.
  • Eight states reported geographically widespread influenza activity, 14 states reported regional activity, the District of Columbia and 15 states reported local influenza activity; and 13 states reported sporadic influenza activity.




Info and Links on Swine Flu

30 04 2009

There has been a lot of panic and controversy over the current virus to be loosed on the world. I have searched for the most current and verifiable information that I can find on the Swine Flu. I post this information here for you benefit so you will know what is happening and what to do about it.

It looks like this Flu Season is far from over.  Normally the flu is only dangerous to the very young and the very old or persons with weakened immune systems. Since this is a new strain of the Swine Flu, no one has any immunity to it.

I heard on TV last night that they are collecting data to generate a new batch of flu shots for the Swine Flu, but that takes time. If Mexico is any evidence of what this season is going to be like, this flu may spread pretty rapidly. Hopefully they will not make the same mistakes they did in 1976 with the vaccine. Of course there is no way to predict how far a head this Swine Flu will spread before the first vaccines are available.

Best recommendations that I’ve heard to date to stay healthy is to wash your hands frequently and especially after touching any surface that could be contaminated. Do this before eating any food or touching your face with your hands. It also helps to make sure that you eat healthy and get plenty of exercise. if nothing else, this will give you a much better chance of fighting off the flu if you get it. Also it’s been proven scientifically that eating hot chicken soup or a similar hot soup really does help. Always be sure to get enough liquids, even if you have problems keeping food down. Influenza is different from the stomach flu, but the rules to taking care of yourself are still pretty much the same. Also apparently they do have antiviral medicines now to help you get over the flu faster so if you do get sick, be sure to go see your doctor.

In this video, Dr. Joe Bresee with the CDC Influenza Division describes swine flu – its signs and symptoms, how it’s transmitted, medicines to treat it, steps people can take to protect themselves from it, and what people should do if they become ill.

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I got to wondering about what the normal year flu statistics are so I would have some comparison to this year. This is what I came up with.

I typed in “flu statistics” in Google and found a webpage with the following information. Kind of scary when you think about it, but then it puts the current flu bug in perspective.

FluFacts.com

INFLUENZA STATISTICS

The flu isn’t always thought of as a serious or life-threatening illness. Because of the dangers and complications it can have in older people, children, and people with health problems, the perception of flu severity is changing.

In the U.S., an estimated 25 to 50 million cases of the flu are currently reported each year, leading to 150,000 hospitalizations and 30,000 to 40,000 deaths yearly. If these figures were to be estimated incorporating the rest of the world, there would be an average of approximately 1 billion cases of flu, around 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness, and 300,000–500,000 deaths annually.

Flu-related deaths can result from pneumonia and from exacerbations of cardiopulmonary conditions and other chronic diseases. Deaths of older adults account for more than 90% of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza.

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WHO: World Health Organization

Centers for Disease Control

Seasonal Flu Information

Swine Influenza (Flu) Information
Swine Flu website last updated April 29, 03:30 AM ET

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What You Can Do to Stay Healthy

There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy.

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

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

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

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Antiviral Drugs and Swine Influenza

Antiviral Drugs
Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) with activity against influenza viruses, including swine influenza viruses. Antiviral drugs can be used to treat swine flu or to prevent infection with swine flu viruses. These medications must be prescribed by a health care professional. Influenza antiviral drugs only work against influenza viruses — they will not help treat or prevent symptoms caused by infection from other viruses that can cause symptoms similar to the flu.

There are four influenza antiviral drugs approved for use in the United States (oseltamivir, zanamivir, amantadine and rimantadine). The swine influenza A (H1N1) viruses that have been detected in humans in the United States and Mexico are resistant to amantadine and rimantadine so these drugs will not work against these swine influenza viruses. Laboratory testing on these swine influenza A (H1N1) viruses so far indicate that they are susceptible (sensitive) to oseltamivir and zanamivir.
Benefits of Antiviral Drugs

Treatment: If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious influenza complications. Influenza antiviral drugs work best when started soon after illness onset (within two 2 days), but treatment with antiviral drugs should still be considered after 48 hours of symptom onset, particularly for hospitalized patients or people at high risk for influenza-related complications.

Prevention: Influenza antiviral drugs also can be used to prevent influenza when they are given to a person who is not ill, but who has been or may be near a person with swine influenza. When used to prevent the flu, antiviral drugs are about 70% to 90% effective. When used for prevention, the number of days that they should be used will vary depending on a person’s particular situation.
CDC Recommendation

CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with swine influenza viruses.

* Oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu ®) is approved to both treat and prevent influenza A and B virus infection in people one year of age and older.
* Zanamivir (brand name Relenza ®) is approved to treat influenza A and B virus infection in people 7 years and older and to prevent influenza A and B virus infection in people 5 years and older.

Recommendations for using antiviral drugs for treatment or prevention of swine influenza will change as we learn more about this new virus.

Clinicians should consider treating any person with confirmed or suspected swine influenza with an antiviral drug. Visit: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/recommendations.htm for specific recommendations.

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Questions & Answers
Swine Influenza and You

What is swine flu?
Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. Swine flu viruses have been reported to spread from person-to-person, but in the past, this transmission was limited and not sustained beyond three people.

Are there human infections with swine flu in the U.S.?
In late March and early April 2009, cases of human infection with swine influenza A (H1N1) viruses were first reported in Southern California and near San Antonio, Texas. Other U.S. states have reported cases of swine flu infection in humans and cases have been reported internationally as well. An updated case count of confirmed swine flu infections in the United States is kept at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/investigation.htm CDC and local and state health agencies are working together to investigate this situation.

Is this swine flu virus contagious?
CDC has determined that this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human. However, at this time, it is not known how easily the virus spreads between people.

What are the signs and symptoms of swine flu in people?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

How does swine flu spread?
Spread of this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

How can someone with the flu infect someone else?
Infected people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

What should I do to keep from getting the flu?
First and most important: wash your hands. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Try not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Are there medicines to treat swine flu?
Yes. CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with these swine influenza viruses. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body. If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms).

How long can an infected person spread swine flu to others?
People with swine influenza virus infection should be considered potentially contagious as long as they are symptomatic and possible for up to 7 days following illness onset. Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods.

What surfaces are most likely to be sources of contamination?
Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air. Germs can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk and then touches their own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands.

How long can viruses live outside the body?
We know that some viruses and bacteria can live 2 hours or longer on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks. Frequent handwashing will help you reduce the chance of getting contamination from these common surfaces.

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
* If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

What is the best way to keep from spreading the virus through coughing or sneezing?
If you are sick, limit your contact with other people as much as possible. Do not go to work or school if ill. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Put your used tissue in the waste basket. Cover your cough or sneeze if you do not have a tissue. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.

What is the best technique for washing my hands to avoid getting the flu?
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Wash with soap and water. or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner. we recommend that when you wash your hands — with soap and warm water — that you wash for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used. You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores. If using gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. The gel doesn’t need water to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands.

What should I do if I get sick?
If you live in areas where swine influenza cases have been identified and become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you may want to contact their health care provider, particularly if you are worried about your symptoms. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.

If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others.

If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care.

In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

* Fast breathing or trouble breathing
* Bluish skin color
* Not drinking enough fluids
* Not waking up or not interacting
* Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
* Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
* Fever with a rash

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

* Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
* Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
* Sudden dizziness
* Confusion
* Severe or persistent vomiting

How serious is swine flu infection?
Like seasonal flu, swine flu in humans can vary in severity from mild to severe. Between 2005 until January 2009, 12 human cases of swine flu were detected in the U.S. with no deaths occurring. However, swine flu infection can be serious. In September 1988, a previously healthy 32-year-old pregnant woman in Wisconsin was hospitalized for pneumonia after being infected with swine flu and died 8 days later. A swine flu outbreak in Fort Dix, New Jersey occurred in 1976 that caused more than 200 cases with serious illness in several people and one death.

Can I get swine influenza from eating or preparing pork?
No. Swine influenza viruses are not spread by food. You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.

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Online brochure
Swine Flu in Pigs and People

From David Bradley, Sciencebase Science Writer on Swine Flu

Sciencebase Science Blog
Apr 26, 2009
Swine Flu
Posted in Science at 8:44 am by David Bradley

Forget avian influenza, it is swine flu that could ravage the world as Mexicans are warned not to shake hands in church and have been told to keep at least six feet of separation between each other, and to wear protective masks. Large public gatherings, such as sporting events and concerts, have been banned and schools closed.

As I’ve discussed previously on Sciencebase, there are countless latent diseases in hosts as rodents, birds, and cattle lying ready and willing to make the species leap to humans and decimate our populations. Whereas for the last ten years or so bird flu has been the focus of much research it was always more likely that a potentially lethal strain of virus would emerge from another species and not necessarily in Asia.

Now, swine flu is on the rise in Mexico and already taking the first inroads into the USA just across the border. It’s already killed more than 80 people and made hundreds ill. While some observers are suggesting serious caution others are advising that there is no reason for real concern yet. We are not quite at the danger levels of the worldwide SARS epidemic.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Mexican/US swine flu outbreak as a “public health emergency of international concern”.

full story at link above

FROM WIKEPEDIA

Swine influenza in general

2009 swine flu outbreak

OTHER SWINE FLU NEWS

Swine flu: Your questions answered

Swine flu could jump start new drugs

WHO Cites Potential for Swine Flu Pandemic

WHO warns swine flu threatening to become pandemic

CDC: Swine flu viruses in U.S. and Mexico match

U.S. National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus on Swin Flu

1976: Fear of a great plague
Califano, whom President Carter appointed Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare after beating Ford in the November election, said the doctors had no choice but to err on the side of the caution. Califano, whom President Carter appointed Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare after beating Ford in the November election, said the doctors had no choice but to err on the side of the caution.

In “The Epidemic That Never Was,” Califano said that faced with the threat of another killer plague with the potential to end millions of lives, the doctors were right to seek an inoculation program.

FROM REUTERS NEWS SERVICE

Will pandemic be mild, or kill millions?
Swine flu will carry the name “pandemic” even if the new virus turns out to cause mainly mild symptoms as it sweeps the world, raising questions about how serious the global alert actually is.

Swine flu: Walking the line between hyping and helping

A vaccine needed for bad statistics

FACTBOX: How swine flu spreads in humans

FACTBOX: How swine flu spreads in humans

FACTBOX: New flu strain is a genetic mix

FACTBOX: Making a flu vaccine can take months

THIS IS WHAT’S STEERING UP ALL THE PANIC
Pictures from Flu of 1918

FROM WHO

Level of influenza pandemic alert raised from phase 4 to 5

29 April 2009 — Based on assessment of all available information and following several expert consultations, Dr Margaret Chan, WHO’s Director-General raised the current level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to 5. She stated that all countries should immediately activate their pandemic preparedness plans. At this stage, effective and essential measures include heightened surveillance, early detection and treatment of cases, and infection control in all health facilities.

Influenza A(H1N1) – update 6

30 April 2009 — The situation continues to evolve rapidly. As of 17:00 GMT, 30 April 2009, 11 countries have officially reported 257 cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection.

The United States Government has reported 109 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death. Mexico has reported 97 confirmed human cases of infection, including seven deaths.

The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths – Austria (1), Canada (19), Germany (3), Israel (2), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (3), Spain (13), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (8).

Further information on the situation will be available on the WHO website on a regular basis.

WHO advises no restriction of regular travel or closure of borders. It is considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention, in line with guidance from national authorities.

There is also no risk of infection from this virus from consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products. Individuals are advised to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis and should seek medical attention if they develop any symptoms of influenza-like illness.

Influenza A(H1N1) – update 5

29 April 2009 — The situation continues to evolve rapidly. As of 18:00 GMT, 29 April 2009, nine countries have officially reported 148 cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 infection. The United States Government has reported 91 laboratory confirmed human cases, with one death. Mexico has reported 26 confirmed human cases of infection including seven deaths.

The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths – Austria (1), Canada (13), Germany (3), Israel (2), New Zealand (3), Spain (4) and the United Kingdom (5).

Further information on the situation will be available on the WHO website on a regular basis.

WHO advises no restriction of regular travel or closure of borders. It is considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention, in line with guidance from national authorities.

There is also no risk of infection from this virus from consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products. Individuals are advised to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis and should seek medical attention if they develop any symptoms of influenza-like illness.

Swine influenza – update 4

28 April 2009–The situation continues to evolve rapidly. As of 19:15 GMT, 28 April 2009, seven countries have officially reported cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 infection. The United States Government has reported 64 laboratory confirmed human cases, with no deaths. Mexico has reported 26 confirmed human cases of infection including seven deaths.

The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths – Canada (6), New Zealand (3), the United Kingdom (2), Israel (2) and Spain (2).

Further information on the situation will be available on the WHO website on a regular basis.

WHO advises no restriction of regular travel or closure of borders. It is considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention, in line with guidance from national authorities.

There is also no risk of infection from this virus from consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products. Individuals are advised to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis and should seek medical attention if they develop any symptoms of influenza-like illness.

Swine influenza – update 3

27 April 2009 — The current situation regarding the outbreak of swine influenza A(H1N1) is evolving rapidly. As of 27 April 2009, the United States Government has reported 40 laboratory confirmed human cases of swine influenza A(H1N1), with no deaths. Mexico has reported 26 confirmed human cases of infection with the same virus, including seven deaths. Canada has reported six cases, with no deaths, while Spain has reported one case, with no deaths.

Further information on the situation will be available on the WHO website on a regular basis.

WHO advises no restriction of regular travel or closure of borders. It is considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention, in line with guidance from national authorities.

There is also no risk of infection from this virus from consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products. Individuals are advised to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis and should seek medical attention if they develop any symptoms of influenza-like illness.

Swine flu illness in the United States and Mexico – update 2

26 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 Outbreak 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.

Influenza-like illness in the United States and Mexico

24 April 2009 — The United States Government has reported seven confirmed human cases of Swine Influenza A/H1N1 in the USA (five in California and two in Texas) and nine suspect cases. All seven confirmed cases had mild Influenza-Like Illness (ILI), with only one requiring brief hospitalization. No deaths have been reported.

The Government of Mexico has reported three separate events. In the Federal District of Mexico, surveillance began picking up cases of ILI starting 18 March. The number of cases has risen steadily through April and as of 23 April there are now more than 854 cases of pneumonia from the capital. Of those, 59 have died. In San Luis Potosi, in central Mexico, 24 cases of ILI, with three deaths, have been reported. And from Mexicali, near the border with the United States, four cases of ILI, with no deaths, have been reported.

Of the Mexican cases, 18 have been laboratory confirmed in Canada as Swine Influenza A/H1N1, while 12 of those are genetically identical to the Swine Influenza A/H1N1 viruses from California.

The majority of these cases have occurred in otherwise healthy young adults. Influenza normally affects the very young and the very old, but these age groups have not been heavily affected in Mexico.

Because there are human cases associated with an animal influenza virus, and because of the geographical spread of multiple community outbreaks, plus the somewhat unusual age groups affected, these events are of high concern.

The Swine Influenza A/H1N1 viruses characterized in this outbreak have not been previously detected in pigs or humans. The viruses so far characterized have been sensitive to oseltamivir, but resistant to both amantadine and rimantadine.

The World Health Organization has been in constant contact with the health authorities in the United States, Mexico and Canada in order to better understand the risk which these ILI events pose. WHO (and PAHO) is sending missions of experts to Mexico to work with health authorities there. It is helping its Member States to increase field epidemiology activities, laboratory diagnosis and clinical management. Moreover, WHO’s partners in the Global Alert and Response Network have been alerted and are ready to assist as requested by the Member States.

WHO acknowledges the United States and Mexico for their proactive reporting and their collaboration with WHO and will continue to work with Member States to further characterize the outbreak.