The Power of III
Wasn't there a 'swine flu' "outbreak" in China in the early 90's that turned out to be alot of hullaballoo?Good catch, a baby flu pandemic
either they didn't diagnose a bunch of people who are already over it, or there are a bunch of people still in the incubation period (read the article as to source)
Mexico, USA and Canada.Over 800 infected, three different case areas, and looks like it may be in two countries....mexico and USA. Definitely something to keep your eye on.
Swine flu cases in US, mystery ailment in Mexico have experts scrambling
Published: Thursday, April 23, 2009 | 9:04 PM ET
Concurrent outbreaks of human cases of swine flu in the southwestern United States and a mystery respiratory illness in Mexico had health authorities across the continent struggling Thursday to figure out what is unfolding.
Laboratories in Atlanta and Winnipeg are looking at clinical specimens trying to determine if the mounting number of human cases of swine flu - seven and counting - in California and Texas, and an unusual explosion of severe respiratory illnesses in Mexico are pieces of the same puzzle or confusing coincidences.
Even on its own the human infections with swine flu viruses are significant enough to have experts wondering whether the world is watching the start of a flu pandemic.
But official pronouncements are being crafted with caution by authorities, who remember all too well the 1976 swine flu scare - a feared pandemic that didn't materialize.
The World Health Organization, which has been monitoring the situation, said at this point it does not believe the threat of a pandemic - the first since the 1968 Hong Kong flu - has risen.
"We would not see any evidence yet for this being a phase change," said WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl, referring to the organization's six step pandemic alert scale. The world is currently at phase 3 - occasional human cases with a novel flu virus - because of ongoing sporadic human infections with the H5N1 avian flu virus.
"We never want to overestimate or underestimate something, so we're following it closely," Hartl said from Geneva. "But as of the moment we see no evidence to change the global pandemic phase."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which earlier in the week revealed they had found two human cases of swine flu, announced Thursday that the number of confirmed cases has risen to seven. There are two clusters, a father-daughter pairing and two 16 year old boys who attended the same school.
Symptoms are similar to seasonal flu, though there are more reports of vomiting and diarrhea that is seen with regular flu. All of the cases have recovered, though one person required hospitalization. It appears none of the cases had contact with pigs.
"We believe at this point that human-to-human spread is occurring," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's national centre for immunization and respiratory diseases.
"That's unusual. We don't know yet how widely it's spreading. And we certainly don't know the extent of the problem."
Genetic sequencing done to date reveals a seemingly unique influenza A virus of the H1N1 subtype made up of a distinctive mix of swine, bird and human flu virus genes. There have been no reports of this virus in pigs, said Dr. Marie Gramer, a swine flu expert with the University of Minnesota's college of veterinary medicine.
"It doesn't seem to be very similar to anything that is currently circulating, from what I have," said Gramer, who has an extensive library of swine flu virus isolates.
The CDC said they expect to confirm more cases in coming days as contacts of the cases are checked and doctors and clinics are put on notice the CDC wants samples of flu viruses that can't be identified by standard methods.
They also cautioned they can't currently tell if the events unfolding represent something new or something that happens occasionally but which has gone unnoticed in the past.
"We have improved and intensified influenza surveillance over the past few years. So it certainly is possible that events like this occurred in the past and we simply didn't detect them," said Dr. Nancy Cox, head of the CDC's influenza division.
The first of the known cases fell ill on March 28 and the most recent developed symptoms last Sunday. Most of the cases have been children or teenagers, though two are adults. Ages range from nine to 54 years. They live in and around San Diego and in San Antonio, Tex., cities that are nearly 3,000 kilometres apart. Except for the family pairing and the school mates, there don't appear to be links among the cases.
No infections with this virus have been found in Canada, Canadian authorities said.
Nor does it seem that any cases of an unusually severe respiratory illness plaguing parts of Mexico have turned up in this country, said Dr. Danielle Grondin, assistant deputy minister for the Public Health Agency of Canada.
One person from Ontario was ill after returning from Mexico but Grondin said it seemed unlikely the illness was related to the apparent outbreak, which is affecting mainly young, previously healthy adults.
Alerts that have been sent out to health providers and public health officials in Canada say 20 deaths have been associated with the outbreak, which seems to be centred around central Mexico and Mexico City.
Grondin said Canada would issue a travel advisory warning Canadians who plan to travel to Mexico of the problem, though it was not released Thursday.
And she said the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg is testing samples from Mexico looking for the cause or causes of the illnesses. Samples were also en route Thursday to the CDC's labs in Atlanta, Cox said.
Schuchat said there is no evidence yet that what is happening in Mexico is linked to what is happening in California and Texas.
"At this point, we do not have any confirmations of swine influenza in Mexico. We are working with them in terms of understand what they are seeing clinically as well as the virus characteristics of what they're seeing," she said.
A key test will be to see if any of the samples from Mexico contain the unusual swine flu virus being found in the southeastern United States.
"It will be critical to determine whether or not the strains of H1N1 isolated from patients in Mexico are also swine flu," said Dr. Donald Low, an infectious diseases specialist at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital.
Swine flu caused Mexican cases, health minister says.
Most cases occurring in healthy young adults, world health agency spokesman says
Last Updated: Friday, April 24, 2009 | 10:33 AM ET Comments63Recommend84CBC News
WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl says most of the cases of flu-like symptoms in Mexico have been reported among healthy adults. (CBC)An outbreak of "influenza-like" cases in Mexico was caused by swine flu, Mexico's Health Minister Angel Cordova said Friday.
"It is a virus that mutated from pigs and then at some point was transmitted to humans," he told the Televisa network, according to Reuters.
Earlier Friday, the World Health Organization expressed "heightened concern" on Friday over more than 800 "influenza-like" cases reported in Mexico, after seven human cases of swine flu were confirmed in two U.S. border states.
WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told CBC News on Friday that health officials are dealing with three separate events in Mexico, with most of the 828 cases in and around the capital, Mexico City.
At least 24 cases have been reported in the central region, while four have been reported in the north. The mystery illness has led to at least 20 deaths in the country.
Most of the cases have occurred in healthy young adults, Hartl said.
"Because these cases are not happening in the very old or the very young, which is normal with seasonal influenza, this is an unusual event and a cause for heightened concern," Hartl said in an interview from WHO headquarters in Geneva.
It is also rare to see such high flu activity so late in the season, he said.
"The end of April, especially in a place like Mexico, you would think that we would see quite a steep decline," said Hartl.
All classes canceled in Mexico City!!!
A Mexican Health Ministry statement issued on Thursday afternoon said the country "was in the presence of a new influenza virus that constitutes a respiratory epidemic which is controllable, so far."
The Mexican government ordered that all classes in Mexico City and the surrounding state be cancelled on Friday, from pre-schools to universities. It also has warned the public to avoid gathering places and major events.
On Thursday, Canadian health officials issued a travel advisory warning travellers who have recently returned from Mexico to be on alert for flu-like symptoms that could be connected to the illness.
In the U.S., health officials were scrambling this week to deal with a new strain of swine flu, which has been diagnosed in seven people in Texas and California.
The states share a border with Mexico not far from a town where two deaths were reported.
The U.S. cases are unusual, because it appears none of the patients had contact with pigs, and the virus is one that health officials have never seen before.
No cases of this swine flu have been found in Canada.
Samples positive for influenza A and B
The cause of the illness has not been confirmed. Mexican health officials said samples so far have tested positive for influenza A and B.
People infected with the virus initially suffer flu-like symptoms that include:
Fever, Cough, Sore throat, Muscle and joint pain, Shortness of breath.
The illness may elevate to a severe respiratory illness within about five days.
Thanks for this. I've been sick with bronchitis for over a week. No fever or any other flu-like symptoms, but the respiratory has really gottem me down.Apparently there are lots of sick people and some deaths as well, our Canadian Guberment is advising against travel to Mexico
A Shot in the Dark: Swine Flu's Vaccine Lessons
By David Brown, Washington Post Staff Writer
Twenty-six years ago, the United States government got word that a deadly virus nobody had seen for years -- and which experts thought was gone forever -- was possibly circulating again.
There wasn't any proof it was back, just a few worrisome hints. However, the microbe had killed millions of people earlier in the century, so even a small amount of evidence had to be taken seriously. So, at great effort and expense, the government launched a plan to vaccinate the American population against the virus..............
From what I understand, the cases in Texas are directly related to the ones in California. The people in Texas had recently made a trip to California and that is where they contracted the disease.ATLANTA — A unique type of swine flu has been diagnosed in seven people in California and Texas, up from the two reported earlier this week, U.S. health officials said Thursday.
Note, that the person says, "We are likely to find more cases,".* No reason for concern yet - CDC
* Flu is unusual mixture but no U.S. deaths seen (Adds details about cases in Mexico, Canada concern)
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
WASHINGTON, April 23 (Reuters) - Seven people have been diagnosed with a new kind of swine flu in California and Texas, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday.
All seven people have recovered but the virus itself is a never-before-seen mixture of viruses typical among pigs, birds and humans, the CDC said.
"We are likely to find more cases," the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat told a telephone briefing. "We don't think this is time for major concern around the country."
The Texas Department of State Health Services today announced that swine flu has been confirmed in two 16-year-old boys from Guadalupe County near San Antonio.
One became ill on April 10, the other on April 14. Their illnesses were relatively mild. Neither was hospitalized. Both have recovered. Though the boys are friends, it has not been determined how either became infected.
Laboratory test results received today from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that the illnesses were caused by a swine influenza A (H1N1) virus. Preliminary lab data suggests that the virus closely matches the viruses from recent swine flu infections in human cases from Southern California.