Friday, April 24, 2009

Mexico and the United States on the Verge of a Swine Flu Pandemic

Cross Posted from FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog


Question & Answer Swine Flu in the United States and Mexico

Further information: CDC’s swine flu page and the initial report published earlier this week.


You know, Flap had Influenza A over Christmas and ended up in the hospital for over 4 days.

This swine flu epidemic is serious business. And, there is NO vaccine yet available.

A strain of flu never seen before has killed up to 60 people in Mexico and has also appeared in the United States, where eight people were infected but recovered, health officials said on Friday.

Mexico's government said at least 20 people have died of the disease in central Mexico and that it may also have been responsible for 40 other deaths.

Mexico reported more than 1,000 suspected cases and four possible cases were also seen in Mexicali, right on the border with California.

The World Health Organization said tests showed the virus from 12 of the Mexican patients was the same genetically as a new strain of swine flu, designated H1N1, seen in eight people in California and Texas.

"Our concern has grown as of yesterday," U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acting director Dr. Richard Besser told reporters in a telephone briefing.

Global health officials were not ready to declare a pandemic -- a global epidemic of a new and deadly disease such as flu. "So far there has not been any change in the pandemic threat level," Besser said.

But the human-to-human spread of the new virus raised fears of a major outbreak and Mexico's government canceled classes for millions of children in its sprawling capital city and surrounding areas. All large public events like concerts were suspended in Mexico City.

Close analysis showed the disease is a never-before-seen mixture of swine, human and avian viruses, according to the CDC.

Most of the Mexican dead were aged between 25 and 45, a Mexican health official said, in a worrying sign. Seasonal flu can be more deadly among the very young and the very old but a hallmark of pandemics is that they affect healthy young adults.

Mexico has enough antiviral drugs to combat the outbreak for the moment, Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova said.

The WHO said the virus appears to be susceptible to Roche AG's flu drug Tamiflu, also known as oseltamivir, but not to older flu drugs such as amantadine.
The last "FLU" pandemic was in 1968 when the "HONG KONG FLU" killed around a million people around the world.

The "SWINE FLU" is an Influenza "A" Virus and is designated H1N1. It has DNA from birds, pigs and human viruses.

The Centers for Disease Control is working on a vaccine.

Related Links:
Stay tuned.......

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