Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu News Headlines Worth Worrying About Possible swine flu cases have been reported in more than 20 countries [confirmed in 7], as the virus spreads around the world and health experts warn that a pandemic is increasingly likely.

World Health Organisation (WHO) experts are warning that the swine flu virus spreading around the world now cannot be contained, and could infect 40 per cent of the British population in the next six months if it becomes a pandemic.

Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College, London said that the virus would likely return later in the year even if it died away in the next few weeks. "It is almost certain that... we will get a seasonal epidemic in the autumn," he said.
Yahoo: WASHINGTON – If the Mexico swine flu becomes a global pandemic, the routines and comforts of daily life would vanish in the blink of an eye. Small towns and big cities alike would go into a protective crouch.

The worst case scenario, according to U.S. government planners: Two million dead. Hospitals overwhelmed. Schools closed. Swaths of empty seats at baseball stadiums and houses of worship. An economic recovery snuffed out.

A full-scale pandemic — like the 1918 Spanish flu — would sicken 90 million Americans, or about 30 percent of the population. It could claim the lives of about 2 percent of those infected, about 2 million people, according to government experts.

To put that in perspective, the regular flu causes about 30,000 deaths each year.

Swine Flu Ground Zero:
Yahoo: Lubroth noted that Mexico has a surveillance system that previously eliminated an unrelated disease from the country's commercial pig population, which he said is a good indication that they also are conducting adequate reviews of pigs for swine flu.

Dr. Alejandro Escobar Mesa, deputy director for the control and prevention of disease for the state of Veracruz, said the epidemic in La Gloria was a combination of viral and bacterial illnesses, caused by an unusually dry climate.

"The dust dries up the mucous membranes and facilitates environmental conditions for the transmission of illnesses," Escobar said.

But residents here say they are certain that Edgar Hernandez was not the only swine flu victim in their town. Concepcion Llorente, a first-grade teacher in La Gloria, says authorities still owe the town some answers.

'Hundreds' in NYC sick at school hit by swine flu

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City official says "many hundreds" of students are sick at school hit by a swine flu outbreak.

Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said Tuesday that the cases are not confirmed as swine flu. But the students have the same symptoms as the confirmed cases.

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