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Swine Flu H5N1 links
dengue!
barthanderson

Swine Flu Outbreaks on Google Maps *

Biosurveillance: Swine Flu in Mexico- Timeline of Events

In this CDC 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.

CDC "Worried" about Swine Flu Outbreak

Drugmakers: Swine Flu Responds to their Medicines


The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Margaret Chan, has cut short a visit to Washington and returned to the agency's Geneva headquarters to oversee the handling of the outbreak.


* The clusters in Queens NYC not confirmed as H1N1, swine flu.



I'll keep updating throughout the weekend if folks are interested. You KNOW I'm reading all this news anyway, and while I'm paranoid about this stuff, I'm also not flying off the handle, stockpiling food, buying face masks. I'd like to get you solid information so you can see through the hype and/or blase cynicism.

















(no subject)
dengue!
barthanderson
Ten Things You Should Know about Swine Flu


This list goes to eleven! And number eleven is great:


11. Are we all going to die?

Probably not. 


Flu in NYC?
dengue!
barthanderson
Apparently, the New York City Health Department is having a press conference at 3pm on the status of the Queens cluster.

UPDATE: WHO and CDC are planning updates later today as well.
 


Overreaction or Safety First?
dengue!
barthanderson
Steele High in San Antonio Closing in order to deter swine flu.--  "State health officials have closed Steele High School in Cibolo, where two of eight U.S. cases of swine flu attended classes, to halt the spread of the new swine flu virus."

Swine Flu H1N1 Link Salad
dengue!
barthanderson
Swine flu news is coming fast and furious now, as you probably already know, and I think it's very important for people to keep in mind that there have been no deaths outside Mexico (for reasons that remain mysterious). While this outbreak has all the earmarks of being bad, it's still not necessarily worse than other virulent outbreaks of influenza.

That means getting solid information -- and I hope you'll share info with me, if you see something intelligent written by a trusted source.

For my money, if you want solid, trustworthy analysis, read Dr. Tara C. Smith's blog Aetiology. She's been all over the drug-resistant staph emergence -- a very clear and cogent writer and scientist -- so I'm glad to see she's also weighing in on H1N1.

On the other hand, this outbreak may be moving too quickly for the kind of careful deliberation that Smith is known for. Public health officials are facing this after all:

Kansas is reporting 2 cases of H1N1. "Kansas state health officials have confirmed two cases of swine flu just minutes after New York health officials said they had eight probable cases, CNN reported on Saturday."

The World Health Organization is taking this very seriously: WHO upgrades swine flu to a "public health emergency."

And so is Mexico.Mexican government grants itself special powers in flu crisis. From the article:

Saturday's decree, published in Mexico's official journal, gives the government power to isolate sick people, enter homes or workplaces and regulate air, sea and land transportation to try to stop further infection.

If this outbreak is as bad as some people say, then that last point is a terribly important step. Limiting travel, trade, and public congregation is the only real way to stem an outbreak like this, so watch for other countries to follow Mexico's lead. 



Vaccine shortage in Mexico City DF
dengue!
barthanderson
Meanwhile, in one of the world's largest capitals:


Citizens panicked as Mexican and US officials said they were taking emergency steps to contain outbreaks of a new multi-strain swine flu that sickened hundreds in Mexico, was blamed for dozens of deaths, and infected seven in the United States.

Mexico City prepared a massive vaccination campaign for "all people who haven't been vaccinated" against the usual winter flu, local Health Minister Armando Ahued said at a news conference.

The government said it had 500,000 flu vaccines and planned to administer them to health workers, but supplies were short in the urban area of about 20 million.

Vaccines also rapidly ran out in a private clinic in the north of the city.

"The 20 vaccines we had were used this morning," said a receptionist in the GEMSI clinic. "In less than 10 minutes I made a list of 35 people waiting for a vaccination.

"We only receive 50 vaccines a day from our supplier," she added. "One family asked us for 10 doses."



WHO's 6-Phase Pandemic Alert System
dengue!
barthanderson


WHO has declared Swine Flu to be a Phase 3 outbreak, the same as the Avian Flu outbreak, which has been ongoing for several years now, just to put Swine Flu in perspective. A big deal, sure, but not the apocalypse. It's just that this outbreak is burning along SO much more quickly.

(Phase 4 in my immediate area or 5, nationwide, is when I'll hit the panic button. So I'm watching, but not freaking. FYI.)