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Plainbob13

Outbreak in Mexico...

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Plainbob13

Outbreak in Mexico, U.S. tied to new swine flu

Source of unique virus a mystery; CDC expects more cases.

The unique strain of swine flu found in seven people in California and Texas has been connected to the deadly flu that has broken out in Mexico, killing as many as 61 people.

The strain has never been seen before and is raising fears of a possible pandemic across North America.

The World Health Organization said the virus that killed at least 12 of the victims in Mexico had the same genetic structure as an outbreak discovered in California.

“It is a virus that mutated from pigs and then at some point was transmitted to humans,” Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova said.

It first looked mostly like a swine virus but closer analysis showed it is a never-before-seen mixture of swine, human and avian viruses.

Cordova said additional suspected cases were still being tested. Mexico's Public Health Department put the total number of people sickened at close to 1,000 nationwide.

Cordova said in Mexico the virus has killed only people among the normally less-vulnerable young and mid-adult age range. One possibility is that the most vulnerable segments of the population — infants and the aged — had been vaccinated against other strains, and that those vaccines may be providing some protection.

Mexico canceled classes for millions of children in its sprawling capital city and surrounding area on Friday.

The White House is closely following the outbreak and President Barack Obama has been informed, an administration official said on Friday.

U.S. health officials said they expect to find more cases of the swine flu as they check people who had contact with the California and Texas patients. All of the seven U.S. victims recovered from the flu.

The swine flu's symptoms are like those of the regular flu, mostly involving fever, cough and sore throat, though some of the seven also experienced vomiting and diarrhea.

"We are very, very concerned," WHO spokesman Thomas Abraham said. "We have what appears to be a novel virus and it has spread from human to human." If international spread is confirmed, that meets WHO's criteria for raising the pandemic alert level, he added.

Growing mystery

The U.S. cases are a growing medical mystery because it's unclear how they caught the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said none of the seven people were in contact with pigs, which is how people usually catch swine flu. And only a few were in contact with each other.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said they believe it can spread human-to-human, which is unusual for a swine flu virus.

Still, health officials said it's not a cause for public alarm. Worldwide, seasonal flu kills between 250,000 and 500,000 people in an average year. Plus, testing indicates some mainstream antiviral medications seem to work against the new swine virus.

Health officials have seen mixes of bird, pig and human virus before, but never such an intercontinental combination with more than one pig virus in the mix.

Scientists keep a close eye on flu viruses that emerge from pigs. The animals are considered particularly susceptible to both avian and human viruses and a likely place where the kind of genetic reassortment can take place that might lead to a new form of pandemic flu, said Dr. John Treanor, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The virus may be something completely new, or it may have been around for a while but was only detected now because of improved lab testing and disease surveillance, CDC officials said.

The virus was first detected in two children in southern California — a 10-year-old boy in San Diego County and a 9-year-old girl in neighboring Imperial County.

The cases were detected under unusual circumstances. One was seen at a Navy clinic that participates in a specialized disease detection network, and the other was caught through a specialized surveillance system set up in border communities, CDC officials said.

On Thursday, investigators said they had discovered five more cases. That includes a father and his teenage daughter in San Diego County, a 41-year-old woman in Imperial County who was the only person hospitalized, and two 16-year-old boys who are friends and live in Guadalupe County, Texas, near San Antonio.

Puzzling cases

The Texas cases are especially puzzling. One of the California cases — the 10-year-old boy — traveled to Texas early this month, but that was to Dallas, about 270 miles northeast of San Antonio. He did not travel to the San Antonio area, Schuchat said.

The two 16-year-olds had not traveled recently, Texas health officials said.

CDC are not calling it an outbreak, a term that suggests ongoing illnesses. It's not known if anyone is getting sick from the virus right now, CDC officials said.

It's also not known if the seasonal flu vaccine that Americans got last fall and early this year protects against this type of virus. People should wash their hands and take other customary precautions, CDC officials said.

The Mexican government warned people not to shake hands or kiss when greeting or share food, glasses or cutlery for fear of contracting the flu.

Mexico City, one of the world's biggest cities and home to some 20 million people, was quieter than usual on Friday morning. Normally choking traffic was less chaotic in the absence of school buses and parents driving kids to school.

Many people waiting to enter subway stations had their faces covered with surgical masks.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30386163/

WHO worries Mexico flu deaths could mark pandemic

MEXICO CITY – Mexico closed its schools across its capital Friday after at least 16 otherwise healthy people died and more than 900 others fell ill from what could be a new strain of swine flu. The World Health Organization worried that it could mark the start of a flu pandemic.

Scientists in the U.S. and Mexico were trying to determine if the deaths were due to the same new strain of swine flu that sickened seven people in Texas and California.

The World Health Organization counted at least 57 deaths in Mexico, although it wasn't yet clear if this larger number was due to swine flu.

"We are very, very concerned," WHO spokesman Thomas Abraham said. "We have what appears to be a novel virus and it has spread from human to human." If international spread is confirmed, that meets WHO's criteria for raising the pandemic alert level, he added.

WHO also raised its internal alert system Friday, enabling the agency to divert more money and personnel to dealing with the outbreak. "It's all hands on deck at the moment." Abraham said.

Mexico's Health Secretary, Jose Cordova, said only 16 of the deaths have been confirmed to have been caused by the new strain, through testing at government laboratories. Samples from 44 other people who died were still being tested. The health department put the total number of people sickened at around 943 nationwide.

Cordova said samples also were sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to determine whether it's the same virus infecting seven people in Texas and California. As of now, tests show the flu is a "new, different strain ... that originally came from pigs," he said.

"We certainly have 60 deaths that we can't be sure are from the same virus, but it is probable," Cordova told MVS radio in Mexico City.

Cordova described a chilling new strain that had killed only people among the normally less-vulnerable young and mid-adult age range. One possibility is that the most vulnerable segments of the population — infants and the aged — had been vaccinated against other strains, and that those vaccines may be providing some protection.

But Dr. Anne Schuchat of the CDC said "at this point, we do not have any confirmations of swine influenza in Mexico" of the kind that sickened seven California and Texas residents.

All seven U.S. victims recovered from a strain of the flu that combines pig, bird and human viruses in a way that researchers have not seen before. The swine flu's symptoms are like those of the regular flu, mostly involving fever, cough and sore throat, though some of the seven also experienced vomiting and diarrhea.

Closing the schools across the metropolis of 20 million kept 6.1 million students home from day care centers through high schools, and thousands more were affected as colleges and universities closed down. Parents scrambled to juggle work and family concerns due to what local media said was the first citywide schools closure since Mexico City's devastating 1985 earthquake.

Lillian Molina and other teachers at the Montessori's World preschool scrubbed down their empty classrooms with Clorox, soap and Lysol on Friday between fielding calls from worried parents. While the school has had no known cases among its students, Molina supported the government's decision to shutter classes, especially in preschools.

"It's great they are taking precautions," she said. "I think it's a really good idea."

Authorities advised capital residents not to go to work if they felt ill, and to wear surgical masks if they had to move through crowds. A wider shutdown — perhaps including shutting down government offices — was being considered.

"It is very likely that classes will be suspended for several days," Cordova said. "We will have to evaluate, and let's hope this doesn't happen, the need to restrict activity at workplaces."

Still, U.S. health officials said it's not yet a reason for alarm in the United States. The five in California and two in Texas have all recovered, and testing indicates some common antiviral medications seem to work against the virus.

Schuchat of the CDC said officials believe the new strain can spread human-to-human, which is unusual for a swine flu virus. The CDC is checking people who have been in contact with the seven confirmed U.S. cases, who all became ill between late March and mid-April.

The U.S. cases are a growing medical mystery because it's unclear how they caught the virus. The CDC said none of the seven people were in contact with pigs, which is how people usually catch swine flu. And only a few were in contact with each other.

CDC officials described the virus as having a unique combination of gene segments not seen in people or pigs before. The bug contains human virus, avian virus from North America and pig viruses from North America, Europe and Asia.

Health officials have seen mixes of bird, pig and human virus before, but never such an intercontinental combination with more than one pig virus in the mix.

Scientists keep a close eye on flu viruses that emerge from pigs. The animals are considered particularly susceptible to both avian and human viruses and a likely place where the kind of genetic reassortment can take place that might lead to a new form of pandemic flu, said Dr. John Treanor, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The virus may be something completely new, or it may have been around for a while but was only detected now because of improved lab testing and disease surveillance, CDC officials said.

The virus was first detected in two children in southern California — a 10-year-old boy in San Diego County and a 9-year-old girl in neighboring Imperial County.

It's not known if anyone is getting sick from the virus right now, CDC officials said.

It's also not known if the seasonal flu vaccine that Americans got last fall and early this year protects against this type of virus. People should wash their hands and take other customary precautions, CDC officials said.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090424/ap_on_...e/med_swine_flu

Something alittle different to talk about.

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MysteryMike

I don't want to get it.

Please I just hope it won't spread all over North America or the world and infect many killing them, but I really hope it would spread all the way to where I live. Which is Canada. This is very scary to hear.

I just hope it won't spread to Canada, because I'm really worried. :(

Edited by MysteryMike

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Thanato

Sooo.... at first we thought it was Chickens... now its the PIGS 8| wtf is this world coming too! Oh well... I gots a gas mask... and access to NBCR suits so im good :P Oh and I guess since in Military they will start giving the shots to us first... which in its own right is kinda scary XD

~Thanato

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Lord Umbarger

I can't get it then. It comes from pigs and I am Jewish! LOL! If I died of it, it wouldn't be "kosher"! LOL!

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Plainbob13
I can't get it then. It comes from pigs and I am Jewish! LOL! If I died of it, it wouldn't be "kosher"! LOL!

LMAO! Good one.

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Beckys_Mom
I can't get it then. It comes from pigs and I am Jewish! LOL! If I died of it, it wouldn't be "kosher"! LOL!

:lol: @ Im Jewish LOL..good call

I just hope it won't spread to Canada, because I'm really worried

I can see why you would be worried....as it is headed north america...............I am sure it will be ok.lets hope the docs or scientists can figure out an antidote or something that will help protect people from it...anything!!!!!!!!!

PS Just keep away from farm yards lol and anything linked to pork lol ;)

Edited by Beckys_Mom

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LostInTheWoods

Oh dear, well this is very worrying.

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Plainbob13
Oh dear, well this is very worrying.

Yes it is. And its spreading. I just hope they caught soon enough.

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GreytMuse
Outbreak in Mexico, U.S. tied to new swine flu

Cordova said in Mexico the virus has killed only people among the normally less-vulnerable young and mid-adult age range. One possibility is that the most vulnerable segments of the population — infants and the aged — had been vaccinated against other strains, and that those vaccines may be providing some protection.

The 1918 flu pandemic killed somewhere between 20 and 40 million people, including my great-grandfather, which is why it fascinates me so. This post-World War I flu, like the one reported above, was most deadly for people ages 20 to 40, which is highly unusual.

One interesting, though morbid bit of trivia I came across:

In 1918 children would skip rope to the rhyme --

I had a little bird,

Its name was Enza.

I opened the window,

And in-flu-enza.

Let's hope this is contained and understood quickly. It is very troubling...

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erosnelation

Another flu epidemic to fuel fear to the masses bla, bla, bla, bla,

you ever noticed epidemics appear every few years and then it would wither away when the source is discoverd and the source always lead to some military or government facility that handles does dangerous epidemics that they suppose to prevent..mmmmmmmmmmmm i wonder

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Beckys_Mom
75 suspected cases in new york city. They are testing now. Was just on CNN.

http://wcbstv.com/health/swine.flu.nyc.2.994071.html

edit for that link.

"I just saw lot a lot of kids lined up along the wall near the nurse's office," sophomore Kelsey Dittmeir said.

If it's the flu, the question is what kind of flu? And could it be the unique strain suspected in 20 recent deaths?

good grief......and its killed 60 in mexico..........blimey its moving fast eh?

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keithisco

"Captain Trips" ?????

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Lord Umbarger

So, we're not blaming chickens anymore? I wonder how the Atheists feel now knowing that if hey had just followed the Jews on this one there wouldn't be so many pig farms every where! LOL! See? Its's not G-d that destroys the planet, it's the Atheists! LOL!

It's just one of those things that goes to show just how wrong we can be about things. Every year they come out with a vaccine for such and such strain of flu and never fully explain how they know what the flu of the year is going to be. Oddly enough, they are usually wrong. Maybe it's just an excuse to pump us all full of mercury?

It seems that there is always some kind of push to eat pork, (the other white meat). They tell us how an avian flu is likely to be the one that could wipe us all out and what is it that comes out of the blue? A damned pig bug!

Seriously, are there even any ways of containing this one or has it already spread out of the "controlled areas"?

If I die because of a flu bug from an animal that I don't even eat, I'm telling G-d on all you Christians! You Bacon Biters, you!

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Karlis

Here are a few more excerpts about the swine flu.

Karlis

The worrisome new virus — which combines genetic material from pigs, birds and humans in a way researchers have not seen before — also sickened at least eight people in Texas and California, though there have been no deaths in the U.S.

"We are very, very concerned," World Health Organization spokesman Thomas Abraham said. "We have what appears to be a novel virus and it has spread from human to human ... It's all hands on deck at the moment." LINK

What makes the U.S. cases unusual is that doctors can find no link between the patients and pigs. Tests show this flu represents a previously unknown genetic cocktail that includes human, avian and two different kinds of swine flu genes. LINK

Alarmingly, the flu outbreak in Mexico is striking healthy young people -- a pattern that would be expected if a flu virus new to humans emerged.

"Because these cases are not happening in the very old or the very young, which happens with seasonal influenza, this is an unusual event and a cause for heightened concern," Hartl said in a CBC interview.

That's not the only eyebrow-raising feature of the swine flu outbreaks. Infections have occurred in Mexico, California, and Texas -- where warm weather should mean the end of the normal flu season, says William Schaffner, MD, president-elect of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and chair of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University.

"Will we see this flu virus transmitted in the warm months? That would give us heartburn," Schaffner tells WebMD. "And is this a harbinger of things to come during our next flu season?"

Another disconcerting feature of the outbreak is that it's probably too late to contain it to limited geographical areas.

"We are seeing cases in Texas and California with no connection between them. This makes us think there has been transmission from person to person through many cycles," Besser said. "For containment we need limitation to a confined geographical area, and we have not seen that here."

The World Health Organization is convening an expert panel to determine whether to raise its pandemic flu alert level. Because of bird flu, we're at level 3. If the panel finds evidence of "increased human-to-human transmission" it goes to level 4. If there's evidence of "significant human-to-human transmission," it goes to level 5.

A pandemic will be declared only if there is "efficient and sustained human-to-human transmission" of a new flu virus. That clearly has not happened yet.

"Whether or not this [swine flu] strain causes a widespread pandemic will depend on its transmissibility among humans. That has not yet been fully elucidated, but should be shortly," ... LINK

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preacherman76

Its in NY??? WTF???

We will know alot more in the next 48 hours. Might not hurt to get a couple weeks supply of food and water. Incase you gotta lay low for a little while.

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GreytMuse

From CNN this morning:

U.S. health experts also are concerned because more than 1,000 people have fallen ill in Mexico City in a short period of time.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/24/swine.flu/index.html

An interesting note from this article:

A pandemic is defined as: a new virus to which everybody is susceptible; the ability to readily spread from person to person; and the capability of causing significant disease in humans, said Dr. Jay Steinberg, an infectious disease specialist at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta. The new strain of swine flu meets only one of the criteria: novelty.

History indicates that flu pandemics tend to occur once every 20 years or so, so we're due for one, Steinberg said.

"I can say with 100 percent confidence that a pandemic of a new flu strain will spread in humans," he said. "What I can't say is when it will occur."

Edited to fix quote.

Edited by GreytMuse

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MysteryMike

God I'm still worried.

But most of all. I'm so worried. It could still spread and end up infecting all of North America. I just can't stop worrying. :(

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Stardrive
The 1918 flu pandemic killed somewhere between 20 and 40 million people, including my great-grandfather, which is why it fascinates me so. This post-World War I flu, like the one reported above, was most deadly for people ages 20 to 40, which is highly unusual.

One interesting, though morbid bit of trivia I came across:

In 1918 children would skip rope to the rhyme --

I had a little bird,

Its name was Enza.

I opened the window,

And in-flu-enza.

Let's hope this is contained and understood quickly. It is very troubling...

It's my understanding that the 1918 flu epidemic killed miostly young people. They died not so much from the symptoms of the disease, but from thier own bodies immune systems response to it. For some reason that strain of flu caused the immune system to go into overdrive and attack the body.

Sorry I don't have a link to that, saw it on a tv documentary on the subject.

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Beckys_Mom

Farm animals *shakes head*.........I smell somesthing fishy about all this...first its chickens...Cant forget - mad Cows disease..and now its pigs!!!...........ok the mad cows disease isnt a flue thing LOL but the connesction here is ..ALL farm animals.........so I smell somehting fishy about all of this :blink:

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Plainbob13
Farm animals *shakes head*.........I smell somesthing fishy about all this...first its chickens...Cant forget - mad Cows disease..and now its pigs!!!...........ok the mad cows disease isnt a flue thing LOL but the connesction here is ..ALL farm animals.........so I smell somehting fishy about all of this :blink:

I think you'll be proven right when we get a Fish flu outbreak.

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Beckys_Mom
I think you'll be proven right when we get a Fish flu outbreak.

:lol: ha ha good one LMAO.......

I still smell something fishy lol......

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The Silver Thong

I found this a little scary.

"Still, health officials said it's not a cause for public alarm. Worldwide, seasonal flu kills between 250,000 and 500,000 people in an average year. Plus, testing indicates some mainstream antiviral medications seem to work against the new swine virus."

How many people does it take to concern officials eekkk. I know this is world wide but still a new strain could be very bad indeed. I got my flue shot this year, to bad it doesn't cover piggies errrrrrr.

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Plainbob13
I found this a little scary.

"Still, health officials said it's not a cause for public alarm. Worldwide, seasonal flu kills between 250,000 and 500,000 people in an average year. Plus, testing indicates some mainstream antiviral medications seem to work against the new swine virus."

How many people does it take to concern officials eekkk. I know this is world wide but still a new strain could be very bad indeed. I got my flue shot this year, to bad it doesn't cover piggies errrrrrr.

I think they start caring when it hits a Million +. That why the people that make the doctor's mask make a profit.

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The Caspian Hare

Ah crap

... it doesn't end well for us.

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