Monday, April 27, 2009

#Swine Flu: Toll climbs to 103, 3 new suspected cases in second New Zealand school group, airline passengers in isolation [MAP SHOWS SPREAD IN USA]

"We still don't know if the deaths in Mexico are related to this particularly type of infection [swine flu] or not." He said only 19 tests had been carried out on the many suspected cases of swine flu in Mexico.

SHOOT: It's a concern how few tests have been completed. 19. And you've got far more people dying. Note from the map below that the states affected are all close to or neighboring Mexico with the exception of New York. Not featured on the map is Ohio, where cases have also been reported, as well as Canada. Intrernationally cases have been reported in Hong Kong, Israel, France, Spain, New Zealand with suspected cases in Scotland and England.

More: What to do if you get swine flu
clipped from www.stuff.co.nz
photo
At least four district health boards are battling a suspected swine flu outbreak, as the Prime Minister warns Kiwis to think very carefully before travelling to Mexico.

Cases of Influenza A were confirmed in Auckland yesterday in 10 Rangitoto College pupils who had been staying in Mexico. Officials say it is "likely" they have contracted swine flu.

The college group had originally thought they might be having a bad reaction to Mexican food, Rangitoto College principal David Hodge said.

At least three students from a second school group, Northcote College - which also returned from Mexico on Saturday - have also exhibited flu-like symptoms. Officials are likely to find out today if those pupils have also contracted Influenza A.

It has emerged this afternoon that a number of passengers on board Air New Zealand Los Angeles flight NZ1 - carrying the 10 influenza-infected Rangitoto College students - are now in isolation.

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1 comment:

carstereis said...

In 1918:

In large U.S cities, more than 10,000 deaths per week were attributed to the virus. It is estimated that as many as 50% of the population was infected, and ~1% died. To compare, in "normal" (interpandemic) years, it is estimated that between 10-20% of the population is infected, with a .008% mortality.

The fact the current 'swine flu' has shown to be contagious is alarming. So far the virus has shown to have a 6% to 6.3% mortality rate. It may not seem like much, but please consider the following: The deadly influenza panic in 1918 had a mortality rate of under 1%.

This virus went on to kill tens of thousands of healthy people a day in large cities and up to 100 million people world wide.

Viruses, like this strain of swine flu, kill their host by over-stimulating active immune systems that are robust and healthy. That is why the victims in Mexico were between the ages of 20 and 45.

Some have said that no one in the United States have died from the virus, so we need not worry. Experts say it is only a matter of time. The virus is not prevalent enough to reach statistical significance in the United States, with only a handful of confirmed cases. 93.7% of all Mexicans with the virus recovered.

More cause for worry: The 1918 virus started off 'mild' before it mutated into a raging storm. It also does not mean we will see millions of deaths. It is too early to draw sweeping conclusions. Nevertheless, there is potential for a disastrous pandemic. If 50% of Americans catch this flu in the next two years, and the mortality rate stays at 6.3%, we would witness 20+ million deaths.

This strain of virus is more potent and more deadly than the virus that hammered the world in 1918 and 1919. Viruses come in waves. There are striking similarities to this virus and the virus that killed up to 100 million people in 1918. The first wave is historically more mild than the later waves.

In addition to this virus becoming more severe, it is mutating faster than previous virus that we have seen. In addition, this virus is nothing like we have ever seen before because it combines features from viruses natural in different parts of the globe. We are in uncharted territory.

If it follows the same path as the 1918 flu, we will see very damaging results. However, we must remember we are a global society now and the virus can spread quicker than we have ever witnessed in history. This is very concerning especially since the drugs we have now seem resistant.

While there have been no deaths in America, it is shadowed by the fact the common variable among the deaths seem to be age. While most American cases have involved the very young and very old (under 10 and over 50) the Mexican cases that ended fatally involved the robust and healthy (over 20 and under 45).

This virus kills the host by over-stimulating the immune system. The term that is used when the immune system over reacts is called a Cytokine Storm. It is usually fatal. During this “Storm” over 150 inflammatory mediators are released. This would account for the high mortality rate in 1918-19.

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