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CDC Health Advisory - Swine Influenza (H1N1)
WHO Cites Potential for Swine Flu Pandemic

 4:34 am on Apr 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

You know, I'm not sure Foo is the right place for this. There is something very serious brewing here in my neck of the woods. I've been keeping a close eye on this now for the past day and things are happening progressively in regards to actions being taken.

Folks, some of the people sharing information about this are questioning whether or not this is a Pandemic. The last time we had a Pandemic was in 1918 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemic).

Those involved with the organizations monitoring and reacting to this are very concerned. In fact, the WHO is citing a Potential for Pandemic.

WHO Cites Potential for Swine Flu Pandemic
Mexico's Leader Orders Sweeping Measures As Cases Exceed 1,000

Health officials reported that at least eight students at a private high school in New York City had "probable" swine flu. They also confirmed three new cases -- two in Kansas and one in California -- bringing the total number of confirmed U.S. cases to 11. The president of Mexico, where the outbreak has killed as many as 81 people, issued an order granting his government broad powers to isolate patients and question travelers.

Investigation and Interim Recommendations: Swine Influenza (H1N1)

CDC, in collaboration with public health officials in California and Texas, is investigating cases of febrile respiratory illness caused by swine influenza (H1N1) viruses. As of 11 AM (EDT) April 25, 2009, 8 laboratory confirmed cases of Swine Influenza infection have been confirmed in the United States. Four cases have been reported in San Diego County, California. Two cases have been reported in Imperial County California. Two cases have been reported in Guadalupe County, Texas. Of the 8 persons with available data, illness onsets occurred March 28-April 14, 2009. Age range was 7-54 y.o. Cases are 63% male.



 9:33 am on Apr 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's confirmed as having spread to New Zealand already.

It is likely already in almost every country of the world.


 3:30 pm on Apr 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Age range was 7-54 y.o. Cases are 63% male.

Article emphasizes deaths are young healthy adults, and flu usually claims the lives of only infants and seniors.

"No known cure" now that's indeed a bit of a scare. What good do the masks do, though?

A bit of trivia for you all, probably as good or better than surgical masks: I'm a firm believer that colds, flu, other viruses aren't ingested simply by air, but by the tear ducts. When you're out in public, don't rub your eyes, wash your hands often. I haven't been ill with a cold for geeze, over 7 years? I attribute it only to this one simple preventative. Could be hogwash, but it's a small thing and if it keeps you healthy, it's worth it.


 3:57 pm on Apr 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Also reported as appearing in several locations in France.


 3:58 pm on Apr 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is what the end game will look like. Or something very similar.


 3:59 pm on Apr 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Eat garlic.

There is evidence that garlic has been effective even in treating those nasty hospital superbugs like MRSA.

I eat garlic most days and am not generally (touch wood!) prone to colds, flu and the like. Not raw mind you, just chuck a chopped clove in with pretty much anything I cook, apart from dessert :)


 5:13 pm on Apr 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Not sure who is following this. There was a Press Conference at 0930 on 2009 April 26, Sunday where a public health emergency was declared for the United States.

Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano: "The first thing I want to announce today is that the Department of Health and Human Services will declare today a public health emergency in the United States. That sounds more severe than 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; it allows us to use medication and diagnostic tests that we might not otherwise be able to use, particularly on very young children; and it releases funds for the acquisition of additional antivirals."

White House Press Briefing UPDATE: Read the Transcript.

Emphasis mine. While many of us may not be affected by this now, there is a chance that it could trickle into our communities at a later date. That is why the alarms are sounding now.

There are a few "official" websites where you can obtain daily up to date information on the Swine Flu Virus which is being called a Potential Pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The White House - Swine Flu Information
2009-04-24 - [whitehouse.gov...]

CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Swine Influenza (Flu)
2009-04-26 - [CDC.gov...]

WHO - Swine Flu Illness in the United States and Mexico - Update 2
2009-04-26 - [WHO.int...]


 7:00 pm on Apr 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Confirmed cases now in Scotland, UK.

This virus was live in the wild for nearly six weeks before this all blew up - in that time it will already have been widely spread.

It's already way too late to contain this.


 10:05 pm on Apr 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

More than a dozen countries now have it confirmed.

Way to late to control this : it's already gone viral.


 9:08 am on Apr 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

My company has decreed that anybody who has been to Mexico must not come into the office for a week after their return. No idea how effective that would be.


 1:32 pm on Apr 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's very worrying and puts a lot of what we do in perspective. I'm planting more veggies... just in case.


 2:54 pm on Apr 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

There's a pretty well-reasoned analysis here:

Swine Flu: Cause for Concern? [answersingenesis.org]


 3:28 pm on Apr 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

BBC story: Can masks help stop flu spread? [news.bbc.co.uk]

Professor John Oxford, a virologist at leading London hospital, The Barts and the London, said: "Really, there is very little evidence that masks actually offer much protection against flu.

"I think handing them out to the public as has happened in Mexico just destroys confidence."

Dr Ronald Cutler, deputy director of biomedical science at the University of London: "They are not bio-chemical suits. Masks are obviously just covering one part of the body so your hands and clothes could all have the virus on and when you take them off you will infect yourself."



 4:53 pm on Apr 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

"Really, there is very little evidence that masks actually offer much protection against flu.

Thank you Syzygy, good to see you still around. :-)

Got a bit of advice from a naturalist yesterday. Call it hogwash, if you like, but this man has some amazing true stories I won't get into, you've heard the like - after years of torture with traditional doctors, people have been relieved or even cured by many of these methods.

If you are going to Mexico, put yourself on a regimen of 1000 mg/day of natural vitamin D, not the crud that comes from pharmacies. Most pharm vitamins/supplements are not fully absorbed by the body for various reasons.

He swears this preventative will serve as a preventative to most influenza. Sure can't hurt.

And WASH YOUR HANDS, don't rub your eyes! :-)


 5:44 pm on Apr 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ordinary hygiene (washing hands, avoiding hand contact to mouth/nose/eyes) covers the majority of exposure risks. That said the media is having a field day scaring the public. That's what they do. Obviously it is sad that some have died, but a world wide "pandemic" is unlikely. This strain of flu is not as severe as Asian bird flu and the response in most countries has been more proactive than during that previous episode.

And you can't get swine flu from eating pork.


 6:03 pm on Apr 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

:) Wow, its good to know people are concern, this is my first post and since all the other post seemed too scary, i rather come in slow and steady.

I wish for this swine flu to be over.

:) take care and peace to everyone.

Edit, some important stuff:
Human infection is usually a result of a human having direct contact with an infected pig. And, mind you...swine flu cannot be contracted through eating pork products as long as they are properly cooked. So if they are not, i guess you know its a possibility, for those eating them:

Burn them GOOD! :)


 6:14 pm on Apr 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Mexican Toddler in U.S. Dies From Swine Flu
2009-04-29 - [NYTimes.com...]

President Obama on Wednesday recommended that schools in the United States with confirmed or suspected cases of the disease “strongly consider temporarily closing.”

“This is obviously a serious situation, serious enough to take the utmost precautions,” Mr. Obama said.

At this point, I think I'll err on the side of caution just as everyone with authority is recommending.


 8:36 pm on Apr 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Some authorities are pandering to the media frenzy.

The toddler was not exposed to the public (crossed the bridge at Brownsville, became ill in Brownsville, was immediately hospitalized then flown to Houston). Are there serious concerns? Yes. Is there a need to panic the public? No.

As for pork products, cook 'em to avoid trichinosis, which is far more dangerous than flu...


 9:35 pm on Apr 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Some authorities are pandering to the media frenzy.

It must be serious now. WHO has raised the level of alert to 5 and they are stating a Pandemic is imminent.

Swine Influenza - Update 5
2009-04-29 - [WHO.int...]

Current level of influenza pandemic alert raised from phase 4 to 5
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.


 1:14 am on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Don't recognize them as an authority. Don't want to get into the politics of that either. If "look", "isolate and treat" and remind folks to "wash their hands" is phase 4 then what the heck is phase 5? Where I'm located that's phase 1. The terror-mongering is worse than the swine flu itself.


 10:37 am on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm with tangor on this.

I don't want to sound harsh here, but it seems pretty non-fatal unless you're ethnically or geographically Mexican.

The UK gov have ordered surgical masks and are printing pamphlets for every UK household. Thats my taxes paying for that. 12 cases means 20 million pamphlets? Proportionate?

Or to put it another way...
If no-one responded to this, and no taxpayer money was spent, would this be worse than, say, seasonal flu?

What is the economic impact of this scaremongering?


 11:45 am on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

I don't want to sound harsh here, but it seems pretty non-fatal unless you're ethnically or geographically Mexican.

Was just joking about that this morning. Won't repeat it but it's a reality that the only deaths associated with this thing have occurred south of the border (if you're in the US).

And I really don't want to seem insensitive about this whole thing but where I'm at, the US, everyone who's actually caught this bug has already recovered and done so in record time. Swine flu? What swine flu?

Agreed tangor.


 12:56 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Some authorities are pandering to the media frenzy.

Ya, this is of little importance. That is why it is in Foo and doesn't appear on the Active list.

I could have sworn I saw the President of the United States on TV yesterday talking about this. Ya, must not be too important. Let's come back to this topic a year from now. Since I started it, I say let's close the topic so as not to spread any more fear mongering, not that I've seen much of that here. This was more of an informational piece to keep abreast of the latest developments.


 3:03 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

What is the economic impact of this scaremongering?

At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, one should be mindful of the 911 incident giving birth to one of the largest recent impositions on privacy, Homeland Security. Be aware of whatever new "programs" this illness may perpetuate (and dip into our tax coffers to do so.)


 3:36 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

let's close the topic so as not to spread any more fear mongering

It's actually quite refreshing to have a thread on the internet about this which allows for intelligent debate rather than the crazy panic stuff which is on a lot of forums at the moment.


 4:53 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Heard this in the a crowded Bar couple of nights ago: Fortunately zoophilia is not Kosher in some countries.


 5:03 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why don't we panic like this over the regular flu that kills 36,000 people every single year? Everyone is acting like Ebola went airborne, and everyone will be dead by next week.

The soccer moms are running in circles calling for entire school districts to be closed. Others are bunkering themselves in, so that they can repopulate the earth in 6 months.

C'mon! I'm not taking this lightly, but we need some rational people making rational decisions. Panic never solved anything!


 4:11 pm on May 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

Mhmm. Vomiting, Diharrea, Nausea, Coughing, Fever and potential death.

So in which way is Swine Flue different from a normal trip to Mexico? ;)

On the positive: If everybody stays home, more people will order online. Which is good for me - should I survive this horrible upcoming pestilence. We are all going to DIE DIE DIE.


 8:07 pm on May 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

The virus can survive on hard non-porous surfaces for up to two days. Most of the spread will be though door handles, rails, light switches, and printed materials and money changing hands.

Symptoms can show as soon as 2 or 3 days after exposure, but in some cases up to 7 or 8 days after exposure.

You can sometimes be infectious a day or two before you show any symptoms.

That's the time bomb.

One thing to watch, I am told, is when another mutation of the human to human form occurs in perhaps about five months time. At that point it will likely be unstoppable, as it will probably be untreatable for perhaps several months.


 8:16 pm on May 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

Media hyped flu. A regular flu season kills _far_ more people than this swine/mexican flu has.

Scaring people is the (new) way to do crowd control on large scale. Wanna be scared or free ?

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