Mexico hit by swine flu epidemic
A new flu strain that has killed up to 68 people in Mexico could become a pandemic, the World Health Organization warned on Saturday, as health experts tried to track the disease’s spread.In the US, a prep school in NYC had 75 students fall ill, and health experts are trying to find out if it had what to do with this crisis. The World Health Organization is set to declare this an international concern. And in Kansas, there were 2 cases of this found. It could have what to do with uncontrolled immigration, which is why border enforcement is going to have to get serious now if the crisis is to be kept under control.
Hospitals tested patients with flu symptoms for the never-before-seen virus, which has also infected eight people in the United States. No further deaths had come to light since Friday afternoon, but officials warned the person-to-person infections meant there was a risk of a major outbreak. [...]
Mexico has shut schools, cinemas and museums and canceled public events in its sprawling, overcrowded capital of 20 million people to try to prevent further infections. Weekend soccer matches were played in empty stadiums and people on the street wore face masks.
The strain of flu has spread fast between people and infected some individuals who had no contact with one another.
The WHO says the virus from 12 of the Mexican patients is genetically the same as a new strain of swine flu, designated H1N1, seen in eight people in California and Texas. All of the eight later recovered.
An emergency committee of WHO experts, convening on Saturday, will advise Chan on issues including possibly changing the WHO’s pandemic alert level, currently 3 on a scale of 1 to 6.
Update: here's some more on the dangers of swine flu from FOX (via Hot Air):
This virus is a mix of human, pig and bird strains that prompted WHO to meet Saturday to consider declaring an international public health emergency — a step that could lead to travel advisories, trade restrictions and border closures. Spokesman Gregory Hartl said a decision would not be made Saturday.All those who want to remain healthy should make sure to obtain the medicine ASAP.
Scientists have warned for years about the potential for a pandemic from viruses that mix genetic material from humans and animals. Another reason to worry is that authorities said the dead so far don’t include vulnerable infants and elderly. The Spanish flu pandemic, which killed at least 40 million people worldwide in 1918-19, also first struck otherwise healthy young adults…
The CDC says two flu drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza, seem effective against the new strain. Roche, the maker of Tamiflu, said the company is prepared to immediately deploy a stockpile of the drug if requested. Both drugs must be taken early, within a few days of the onset of symptoms, to be most effective.
Mexico’s Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova said the country has enough Tamiflu to treat 1 million people — only one in 20 people in greater Mexico City alone — and that the medicine will be strictly controlled and handed out only by doctors.