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Get Your Tapaboca On
dengue!
barthanderson
Swine Flu Starts a Trend in Mexico: Face Masks (LA Times)


Newspapers here have carried graphics showing how to turn a piece of scrap cloth into a mask. Some people have tried to add a splash of personality by painting their masks with skeleton faces or colorful butterflies...The tapaboca phenomenon in Mexico has yielded some incongruous images: the motorist with face covered, though alone in his car; the couple aboard a motorcycle, masked but not wearing helmets; sunbathers wearing swimsuits and surgical masks.

Newspaper columnist Juan Villoro said the mask, by revealing only the eyes, added a touch of the exotic to Mexican life. "Those who are not good-looking at least have become mysterious," he quipped in Friday's edition of the Reforma newspaper
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It's telling that this fad has been indulged in Japan for decades.



Pandemic
dengue!
barthanderson
The World Health Organization seems to be softening people up for a move to Level 6, that is, calling H1N1  a pandemic.

Let's review:

Endemic means that a disease is native to a particular region. So what does pandemic mean?

Right. It's not a reference to the death count or severity of the outbreak. It's a reference to where H1N1 can be found. WHO is wise to spell this out for an information-hungry public ahead of time.

Meanwhile, check out this article (via H5N1 blog) SARS Sleuth Tracks H1N1, Criticizes WHO: One virus hunter's take on how important it is for WHO to accurately get their levels right during an outbreak.