Swine Flu Emergency Update
As promised, I am bringing you the latest updates on the Swine Flu outbreak that is spreading across North America and beyond. I’ll make this post simple and to the point, saving speculation as to the origin of this new strain of Swine Flu for a future post (as previously mentioned).
In find this regarding H1N1 Swine Influenza, we noted that there were 11 confirmed cases of Swine flu in the U.S., over 1,000 in Mexico, and 86 deaths (all in Mexico). We also pointed out that there were school children in N.Y. that may have been infected, and those results had not yet been confirmed.
In our http://www.norfolkareachamber.com/, we reported that the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. had risen to 20. These were located in Texas, California, Kansas, and New York. The death toll in Mexico had remained at 86, with number of possible infected rising to 1,300. At that time, there were also suspected cases of Swine Flu in New Zealand. Here are the updated numbers.
As of Monday, April 27, the World Health Organization has determined that the number of confirmed Swine Flu cases in the U.S. has risen to 40, with no deaths. Their official numbers for Mexico are 26 confirmed cases with 7 deaths, although as previously noted, these numbers are up for speculation as there are simply so many Mexicans who are ill, it has not yet been determined exactly how many suffered or are suffering from Swine Influenza.
This chart from the CDC lays out the known U.S. cases:
|State||# of laboratory
|New York City||28 cases|
A total of 149 Mexicans have died, and it is still being investigated as to whether or not H1N1 is the culprit. The numbers listed on the WHO web site and in statements to the press are confusing, because in light of the numbers listed above, Mexico Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova Villalobos told CNN that confirmed deaths from swine flu remained at 20, while WHO says that the number rose to 26. But, their web site still says 26 confirmed in Mexico with 7 deaths. CNN reports that there is no explanation as yet for the discrepancy. That said, Cordova reports that nearly 2,000 people have been hospitalized and 776 remain in hospitals.
The White House and the Department of Homeland Security, led by Janet Napolitano, held a press conference today, outlining the Government’s response to the Swine Flu outbreak.
Secretary Napolitano told reporters that the U.S. is proceeding as if it were preparing for a full pandemic. “Everybody is getting prepared, everybody is leaning forward, everybody’s dusting off their pandemic flu preparation plans in case this is in fact a major pandemic,” she said.
In a distressing turn of events, the flu seems to have spread even further to other Nations. According to WHO, there are now 6 cases being reported in Canada as well as 1 in Spain. Some reports on other sites claim that there has been a small outbreak in France, but we are unable to confirm this information. The European Union’s health commissioner Monday called on people to avoid traveling to the United States and Mexico, which seems to be the center of the outbreak.
Because of this wide spread and quickly moving International health scare, the WHO on Monday raised the level of alert to level 4. The level was raised after an meeting today of the Emergency Committee. An excerpt from their report is as follows:
The Director-General has raised the level of influenza pandemic alert from the current phase 3 to phase 4.
The change to a higher phase of pandemic alert indicates that the likelihood of a pandemic has increased, but not that a pandemic is inevitable.
As further information becomes available, WHO may decide to either revert to phase 3 or raise the level of alert to another phase.
This graphic from the WHO web site lays out the different level of alert and what they mean.
WHO: Phase 4 is characterized by verified human-to-human transmission of an animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus able to cause “community-level outbreaks.” The ability to cause sustained disease outbreaks in a community marks a significant upwards shift in the risk for a pandemic. Any country that suspects or has verified such an event should urgently consult with WHO so that the situation can be jointly assessed and a decision made by the affected country if implementation of a rapid pandemic containment operation is warranted. Phase 4 indicates a significant increase in risk of a pandemic but does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is a forgone conclusion.
In another new development, Israel is investigating unconfirmed cases of swine flu. Japan is preparing to convene a committee to discuss methods to prevent Swine Flu from entering their Country. Canada has issued a travel health notice, and South Korea to say it will test airline passengers arriving from the United States.
Please continue to check back with ExtraordinaryIntelligence.com, as we will remain vigilant in our updates with the most current Swine Flu information.
And, we encourage you to check out our first post regarding this outbreak, wherein we outline previous Swine Flu scenarios that have affected North America. This post will also discuss methods of prevention. Possible “Swine Flu” Pandemic on the Horizon?