"The attack rate in the outbreak (in La Gloria) is inconsistent with seasonal influenza," Fraser, a scientist with the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London, wrote in an e-mail to AP. "It is not impossible, though, that multiple viruses were co-circulating."
Finding answers won't be easy: Time has passed and if people or pigs have been infected by similar flu strains in the past, their antibodies could lead to false positives, said Alfredo Torres, an assistant professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch.
"There may not be any footprints to look at," said Tom Ksiazek, director of the university's National Biodefense Training Center, who with Torres is serving as a consultant to the Veracruz state government. Ksiazek, who has investigated outbreaks of Ebola virus and SARS, suspects villagers were getting infected from each other, not pigs.
Meanwhile, Arias is frustrated that the government has not provided details about its tests on humans and pigs.
"The information is not been distributed freely," he said. "We cannot work with only assumptions and rumors. We need solid data."
Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, Inc., which jointly owns 72 farms in the area surrounding La Gloria, said it carefully vaccinates its herd, and has found no signs or symptoms of any kind of swine flu in its pigs or its employees anywhere in Mexico.
Enrique Sanchez, a top official in Mexico's Agriculture Department, which has defended the nation's pork exporters from swine flu-inspired trade bans, said no sign of the new strain was found in mucous samples taken April 30 from pigs at Smithfield's Mexican subsidiary, Granjas Carroll.
Those samples were taken weeks after most villagers had recovered from their infections perhaps too late for the virus to show up. Even after a person or pig recovers, however, antibodies remain in their blood, evidence of the body's immune response to the infection. And if swine flu antibodies are teased out of pigs in La Gloria, it would suggest, though not definitely prove, that the virus jumped from swine to humans there, Arias said.
Other scientists believe the new strain could have been circulating in humans long before it reached La Gloria. The new strain's ancestry has ties to a pig farm in North Carolina where in 1998, scientists discovered that pig, bird and human viruses had combined in pigs to form a new strain of swine flu that also infected a handful of humans.
Most of the current strain can be traced to that combination, about 10,000 generations of the virus ago. At some point along the way, it combined with other flu strains and jumped back into humans just when and where exactly may never be known, CDC officials have said.
A federal government research team also plans to return to La Gloria, to review health records, interview residents and search for antibodies. The boy's positive test result "has to lead us to go back and look closer," said Dr. Ethel Palacios, deputy director of Mexico's swine flu monitoring effort.
Labs capable of testing for the new swine flu strain have focused on helping sick people rather than finding scientific evidence pointing to the origins of the epidemic, which has now sickened more than 10,000 people around the world and killed 80, mostly in Mexico.
At this point, learning the source won't change how the world must respond, said Dr. Sylvie Briand of the World Health Organization's global influenza program in Geneva.
Still, it rankles Mexico that some researchers have assumed La Gloria was a starting point, based on the unusual number of lung infections there just before swine flu was identified. In a Science journal study last week, the WHO Rapid Pandemic Assessment Collaboration made this assumption for mathematical models suggesting thousands were infected across Mexico before the virus even had a name.
Co-author Christophe Fraser concedes his team has no evidence La Gloria was ground zero, but he finds Mexico's assertion that seasonal influenza was solely to blame unlikely.
Tere didn´t what to say I TOLD YOU SO, but she DID tell us so May 21, 2009 12:53 PM
Scientists investigate Mexican town's flu mystery
By MARGIE MASON and ALEXANDRA OLSON, Associated Press Writers Margie Mason And Alexandra Olson, Associated Press Writers Thu May 21, 8:49 am ET
MEXICO CITY No one has identified ground zero in the swine flu epidemic. Just where or when the new strain of influenza first jumped from a pig and began infecting people is a scientific mystery one that a group of flu detectives is determined to solve.
Scientists are returning next week to La Gloria, a pig-farming village in the Veracruz mountains where Mexico's earliest confirmed case of swine flu was identified. They hope to learn where the epidemic began by taking fresh blood samples from villagers and pigs, and looking for antibodies that could suggest exposure to previous swine flu infections.
Some experts say it's pointless to worry about what happened in La Gloria now that the swine flu virus has spread around the world. But others argue that a thorough investigation could be key to preventing future epidemics.
And Mexico has another reason to care: If it can somehow rule out the possibility that La Gloria's pigs infected humans, then it can tell the world it wasn't to blame for the epidemic that the never-before-seen H1N1 swine flu virus came from somewhere else.
More than half of La Gloria's 3,000 residents fell ill with flu symptoms weeks before the new virus was identified. Many found it hard to breathe, burned with fever and ached all over. About 450 of the sickest residents were diagnosed with acute respiratory infections and sent home with antibiotics and masks.
Mexican health officials initially downplayed the outbreak, saying the villagers suffered from regular flu. A 5-year-old boy was the only confirmed swine flu case among 43 villagers whose mucous samples were taken in early April. By then, most other villagers had recovered, and the virus was gone from their systems.
But some disease experts suspect swine flu was circulating more widely in La Gloria.
"I cannot understand it. I could almost bet that there were more infections related to this virus" in La Gloria, Dr. Carlos Arias told The Associated Press. Arias is leading a group of flu detectives from the Biotechnology Institute and the veterinary school of the National Autonomous University of Mexico back to the village at the invitation of the Veracruz state government.
Pigs like people get the flu, usually over the winter months. This new swine flu virus is unusual in that it also has infected humans and at this point has become a full-blown human flu.
La Gloria's villagers believe they were sickened by the surrounding commercial pig farms, which they accuse of polluting their air and water with pig waste. But the pork industry wants a closer look at pigs raised in the villagers' backyards, which may not have been vaccinated or cared for with swine flu-prevention in mind.
Arias said his team also will examine environmental and sanitary conditions in homes where pigs are raised, and make recommendations to the Veracruz government aimed at reducing the potential for human infections.
"It would be very interesting to look at the evolution of this virus and where or how easily the virus originates, reassorts and reassociates genes in an environment like La Gloria," he said. "But also maybe that would mean that we would have to change the conditions of farming animals."
Estimados Amigos y Amigas: Pensé muchas veces si enviar o no esta propuesta, pero me ha dado tanto coraje ver el trato excesivamente discriminatorio y vergonzoso de China, Argentina y Francia (sus gobiernos), hacia nosotros los mexicanos ante la influenza "A", que considero que por DIGNIDAD debemos de enviar un contundente mensaje a sus gobiernos respecto a que si no quieren que nos les acerquemos, pues tampoco tendrán nuestro poder de compra.
México importa al año más de $30,000 millones de dólares de China (cientos de miles de Chinos viven de lo que les compramos); no compremos un solo producto (revisen todas las etiquetas) hecho en ese país (ni en el comercio formal, ni mucho menos en el informal). Cuando ellos sufrieron su epidemia de SARS (mucho más grave), México no tuvo el rechazo que ellos nos están dando. Cuando Argentina cayó hace pocos años en desgracia económica (también cuando tuvo la crisis política de su dictadura; más "mortal" que la influenza); México les recibió con los brazos abiertos. Ahora han cancelado todos los vuelos de México a Argentina. Respondamos (por dignidad) dejando de consumir cualquier producto Argentino; México importa mucho vinos y otros tipos de alimentos. Y de Francia, cuyo Presidente Sarkozy propuso a la Unión Europea cancelar todos los vuelos con México, dejemos de comprar todo lo que exportan a México, desde vinos, perfumes, ropa, etc. Es momento de que respondamos con DIGNIDAD, dejando de consumir TODOS los productos de al menos estos tres países (China, Argentina y Francia) que han mostrado su excesivo y desproporcionado rechazo a nosotros los mexicanos. Ni los EUA se han visto con esa actitud. Si estas de acuerdo, circula este mensaje. Atentamente Sergio A. García de Alba Zepeda
Flu Bug 28 Apr 2009 By Jolly Roger ...[A] few eyebrows were raised when five microbiologists either disappeared or died mysteriously violent deaths in 2001. A short time later the number rose to 19, and then 29. They were found stabbed to death in the trunks of cars, thrown off bridges, or they wrapped their cars around trees after their brake fluid disappeared... By 2005, we lost 40 micro-biologists in less than 4 years, all under suspicious circumstances, and during this time someone discovered that they were all working for the government, or government contractors, on projects related to bio-terrorism, flu pandemics, or anthrax.
¿A quién beneficia esta epidemia?Varias interrogantes que los medios hegemónicos de comunicación han obviado 12 May 2009 Un revelador trabajo plantea varias interrogantes que los medios hegemónicos de comunicación han obviado, en su afán por generar terror entre la población. ¿A quién beneficia esta epidemia? ¿Qué otras noticias está sepultando? ¿Para qué se está utilizando la emergencia en México? El reporte de Fernando Velázquez menciona un artículo de la investigadora Lori Price en el sitio web Globalresearch.ca, titulado La gripe acaba con los memos de la tortura, en el que esta señala que la influenza porcina, fabricada probablemente en laboratorios militares de Estados Unidos, ha acabado con la noticia de los memos sobre la tortura ordenada por la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA) contra prisioneros en (N.R: la ilegal base de) Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, y cárceles secretas.
Donald Rumsfeld's Tamiflu pushers (just as they were in 2006) are set to be the big winners in the GSFS (great swine flu scare of 2009) lottery. Shares of Swiss drug-maker Roche Holding had fallen sharply after their latest cancer drug failure
Israeli Health Minister Yakov Litzman has been updating a nervous public on the swine flu epidemic - and he started by renaming it for religious reasons. "We will call it Mexican flu. We won't call it swine flu," said Mr Litzman
As I write this, 27 people are confirmed to have died after contracting the Mexico-based H1N1 flu, or the so-called swine flu, thats spreading throughout the world.
Before we all panic and begin wearing space suits to the grocery store, keep in mind that the influenza strains we were already aware of are blamed for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide each year. Maybe the media and the general public are making a bit too big a deal out of the outbreak.
The concern, of course, is that this new strain of the influenza virus will spread and spread and spread, and well have an influenza pandemic on our hands before too long. Pandemics are something above and beyond the usual seasonal epidemics of the disease that come and go. They occur when the disease spreads on a worldwide scale and infects a high percentage of the entire human population.
Nobody wants to relive the outbreak of the so-called Spanish flu of 1918. Nearly every part of the world was hit by the disease, which fatally impacted otherwise healthy young adults instead of the usual young, old and weak. Estimates on the number of people killed during the pandemic range from 70 to 100 million, and more than half of the worlds population was thought to be affected to some extent.
Flu pandemics arent just a phenomenon from the World War I era and the time before, either. They sound exotic and as though theyd be confined to the other side of the world, but the Asian Flu of 1957 and the Hong Kong Flu of 1968-69 resulted in the deaths of over 100,000 people in the U.S.
Now the World Heath Organization has deemed the Swine Flu epidemic a Phase 5 outbreak. By definition, in elevating the outbreak to Phase 5, the WHO is signaling that a pandemic is imminent. It uses six different phases to categorize the severity of outbreaks.
The only classification more serious is Phase 6, which the WHO reserves for full-out pandemics.
Historically, pandemics tend to happen every 30 to 50 years. If the Hong Kong Flu was the last outbreak that qualified as one, that means were just about due for another.
Lets keep a few things in mind before we declare ourselves on the brink of disaster, though. One is that modern medicine is so far ahead of the treatment methods in place during earlier pandemics, theyre not even comparable.
Because swine flu is a new strain of influenza, theres no vaccination in place, yet. That doesnt mean that it isnt treatable, or even preventable. Standard prevention methods such as frequent hand-washing and the use of sanitizers are effective in slowing the spread of the strain. Common flu medications like Tamiflu and Relenza are being recommended for those that do contract swine flu.
Of the 27 that have died from the disease so far, all but one fell ill in Mexico. Medical care there is notonly inferior to what we have in the U.S., but many people are completely lacking access to medicine or to doctors and nurses. Of the 405 people confirmed to have contracted the virus in the U.S., only one died from it.
Should you be concerned about swine flu? I suppose so, but only at a level comparable to your level of concern about dozens of other infections and diseases that could potentially harm you and your family. Things could change and get worse, but right now, it sure doesnt seem that the sky is falling for all of us, regardless of what some members of the media and some health organizations would lead you to believe.
Mark Johnson is a sports writer for the Morris Daily Herald. He can be reached at (815) 942-3221 x 2027 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether the media overhyped or accurately reported the dangers is a toss-up, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll published Thursday on Americans' views of the media's flu coverage.
The May 5 poll also found that concern about the flu peaked a week ago. But even then, only 25 percent of Americans said they worried about getting the virus.
Dr. Robert Daum, a University of Chicago infectious disease expert, says authorities acted properly when news first broke about the new flu strain.
"It's like overcalling a snowstorm in Chicago. You want the plows out even if it's only going to snow a flake," Daum said. If not, and a blizzard hits, "there will be an outcry like you've never seen before."
Still, Daum says authorities have been a bit awkward in "downshifting" now that it appears the U.S. situation isn't dire.
"I think it was right to place everyone on high alert, and now right" to say it's time to calm down, Daum said.
Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner reported from Chicago and Medical Writer Mike Stobbe reported from Atlanta.
Yes Jon, is for laughing and crying....both May 07, 2009 7:43 PM
Flu overhyped? Some say officials 'cried swine'
By LINDSEY TANNER and MIKE STOBBE 1 hour ago
CHICAGO (AP) Did government health officials "cry swine" when they sounded the alarm on what looked like a threatening new flu?
The so-far mild swine flu outbreak has many people saying all the talk about a devastating global epidemic was just fear-mongering hype. But that's not how public health officials see it, calling complacency the thing that keeps them up at night.
The World Health Organization added a scary-sounding warning Thursday, predicting up to 2 billion people could catch the new flu if the outbreak turns into a global epidemic.
Many blame such alarms and the breathless media coverage for creating an overreaction that disrupted many people's lives.
Schools shut down, idling even healthy kids and forcing parents to stay home from work; colleges scaled back or even canceled graduation ceremonies; a big Cinco de Mayo celebration in Chicago was canned; face masks and hand sanitizers sold out all because of an outbreak that seems no worse than a mild flu season.
"I don't know anyone who has it. I haven't met anyone who knows anyone who contracted it," said Carl Shepherd, a suburban Chicago video producer and father of two. "It's really frightening more people than it should have. It's like crying wolf."
Two weeks after news broke about the new flu strain, there have been 46 deaths 44 in Mexico and two in the United States. More than 2,300 are sick in 26 countries, including about 900 U.S. cases. Those are much lower numbers than were feared at the start based on early reports of an aggressive and deadly flu in Mexico.
Miranda Smith, whose graduation ceremony at Cisco Junior College in central Texas was canceled to avoid spreading the flu, blames the media.
"It's been totally overblown," she said Thursday.
"Everyone seems to know it's not going to kill you and it's not as deadly as they think," she said. "Everybody needs to just calm down and chill out."
Craig Heyl of Decatur, Ga., said the government overreacted.
"Swine flu is just another strain of flu. People get the flu. I guess you have to call it a pandemic when it's a widespread virus, but I don't think the severity of it is all that concerning," said Heyl, 43.
Public health authorities acknowledge their worst fears about the new virus have not materialized. But no one's officially saying it's time to relax. And experts worry that people will become too complacent and tune out the warnings if the virus returns in a more dangerous form in the fall.
"People are taking a sigh of relief too soon," said Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press, Besser said the outbreak in the United States appears to be less severe than was first feared. But the virus is still spreading and its future potential as a killer is not clearly understood.
"The measures we've been talking about the importance of handwashing, the importance of covering coughs, the real responsibility for staying home when you're sick and keeping your children home when you're sick I'm afraid that people are going to say, 'Ah, we've dodged a bullet. We don't need to do that,'" Besser said.
"The thing that's keeping me up right now is that feeling of dodging the bullet," he added.
Peter Sandman, a risk communication specialist, says on his Web site that reminding people the risk is still real and warning them in the future if a pandemic looks imminent "will be extremely difficult."
"Swine flu looks to be an extremely mild pandemic if it goes pandemic at all, despite WHO warnings that it may 'come back with a vengeance' in the fall. People are going to be very, very skeptical," Sandman wrote.
That concern is shared by infectious disease specialists. But elsewhere, especially online, talk of hype is rampant.
"If I hear 1+ person freaking out because of the "Swine Flu" they won't have 2 worry about dying from it. I will kill them w/ my handbag!" read a comment Wednesday on Twitter.
"Adults are acting like a bunch of crybabies in a B-rated science fiction germ-outbreak movie, wringing their hands, whining about what to do next," Dallas Morning News reader Mark Thompson wrote in a letter to the editor posted online Wednesday.
Kari Carsey Valente of Lake Oswego, Ore., had similar thoughts in a letter on the Oregonian newspaper's Web site.
"Is the daily front page body count really necessary? In reading the entire content of the collected articles one learns that the H1N1 strain is not likely to be more lethal than its predecessors. Give it a rest and lots of liquid!," Valente wrote.
Colt Ables, 22, an economics major at the University of Texas in Arlington, said he thinks the Obama administration overreacted and unfairly tried to make it seem as if Republicans have been soft on preparedness.
"This shouldn't be about politics or about hyping up a virus to send the American people into a panic. Do yourself a favor, wash your hands and turn off the TV," he wrote in a campus newspaper column.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Haitian officials rejected a Mexican aid ship carrying 77 tons of much-needed food aid because of "unfounded" swine flu fears, Mexico's ambassador said Wednesday. The Mexican navy ship El Huasteco was to arrive May 2
Walking in between pigs and super dirty water, this poor girl will not receive the help.
This is shocking
This post was modified from its original form on 06 May, 15:06
This post was modified from its original form on 06 May, 15:07
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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Haitian officials rejected a Mexican aid ship carrying 77 tons of much-needed food aid because of "unfounded" swine flu fears, Mexico's ambassador said Wednesday.
The Mexican navy ship El Huasteco was to arrive May 2 in Port-au-Prince carrying rice, fertilizer and emergency food kits to help the impoverished country respond to chronic hunger and devastating tropical storms.
But Mexican Ambassador Zadalinda Gonzalez y Reynero said Haitian officials told her April 29 they would not accept the ship, which was still in Mexican waters near the Yucatan peninsula at the time.
"The crew was in perfect health and there was no risk at all," Gonzalez y Reynero told The Associated Press, adding that the cargo and 64 sailors aboard the ship had all been screened in Mexico. "We did not want to turn back the ship, but we also did not want our crew to be mistreated."
She said it was possible the ship could try again to deliver the aid sometime in the future. The shipment is part of the $324 million promised at an April 14 international donors conference held at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington.
Haitian officials did not immediately confirm the aid refusal. But health ministry executive director Dr. Gabriel Thimothee said all ship crews coming from Mexico must fill out questionnaires to determine if they carry a swine flu threat.
It was not clear if ships coming from the United States are also being screened for swine flu. The new virus has killed 42 people and sickened thousands in 22 countries. But there have been no confirmed cases in Haiti or the Dominican Republic, which share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.
World health officials are concerned about the potential for outbreak in impoverished Haiti, where three-quarters of the more than 9 million people lack access to medical care.
This post was modified from its original form on 06 May, 14:43
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It sure takes the mainstream a while to get the facts out that many have been concerned about for some time now! When do "We" hear where the missing flu strains went" It reminds me of the Anthrax issue that scared the you know what out of many but was not resolved until a chemist took his life!
And there's reason to doubt that this man was the culprit only the excuse needed to close the files!
Thanks Edward for the support, we really need this kind of support.
The FLU is not the worse thing we are suffering here, the real problem is what THIS has made to us. The crisis we had been suffering is more than BIG. I never lived a situation like this is my ENTIRE LIFE and trust me I had lived A LOT. The economy has been worse than ever and innocent people are paying the broken dishes.
The flu is not the worst fear May 04, 2009 5:17 PM
I have not posted much in this group but I cannot remain silent. I am an American by 'nationality' but we are all human beings inextricably connected regardless of where we were born or how much 'national pride' we have. I am a real baby when I get sick with flu-like symptoms but some people's reactions in this world of blame and hate to this latest flu outbreak, sickens me a thousand fold. I have read the other posts here and have been following the stories in the press concerning this serious HEALTH issue. Anyone who uses this issue to create separatism or put forth their own sick "anti-anyone-that-isn't-just-like-them" attitudes, are only contributing to exactly why this world has gone from bad to worse to "I don't know what it is anymore". They say if you aren't part of the solution then you are part of the problem, and I do believe that! We need to band together as PEOPLE regardless of our culture, nationality, religion or beliefs. We are all in this TOGETHER. This 'epidemic' will most likely pass but until we see beyond the narrow view that so many of us have, this world will never be God's creation as it is meant to be. I hope we can learn from the recent economic crisis, this flu epidemic and all the 'un' natural disasters that we bring on as human beings who continue to insist to see ourselves as separate from others. We are ALL in this together!
[report anonymous abuse]
With the cable news networks reporting nonstop on swine flu, it feels like the disease is lurking everywhere, and that your slightest sniffle is a sign that you've contracted the virus. That would explain why people with no outward symptoms of illness are flooding emergency rooms in swine fluaffected states, afraid that they might be sick. That's a really bad idea.
First of all, having to examine people who aren't really sick only stresses the already strained resources of hospitals that are trying to prepare for a pandemic. Plus, going to an emergency room unnecessarily may even pose a slight risk to you. In past outbreaks, including SARS in 2003, hospitals were actually loci of infections all those sick people in close proximity and the same could be true of swine flu.
If you actually have flu-like symptoms a fever above 100° F, headache, sore throat, body aches, chills or fatigue and you live in an area where there have been confirmed swine flu cases, by all means report to your doctor. Otherwise, leave the hospital to the sick people.
2. Don't Be Afraid to Eat Pork
On April 29, the CDC announced that swine flu would no longer be referred to as swine flu, but as the "2009 H1N1 flu." It's less catchy, but more accurate. For one thing, there is no evidence that this virus makes pigs really sick. And the H1N1 virus actually contains genes from swine, avian and human flus. The virus also cannot be spread through pork products you can't contract swine flu by eating bacon, hot dogs or anything else that was once a pig. Nor will culling pigs, as authorities did in Egypt, do anything to stem the spread of the disease. H1N1 has jumped to humans and is passing easily from person to person, so it's now a human flu that needs to be controlled in us, not the pigs.
3. Don't Hoard Antivirals
The H1N1 virus has so far proven vulnerable to the antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza, which is good news. A cornerstone of the government's pandemic preparations was the stockpiling of 50 million doses of those drugs over the past few years, enough to ensure that doctors would be able to respond sufficiently to new outbreaks. But that capacity could be compromised if people begin stockpiling antivirals for their own use. Already there are reports of pharmacies running short of Tamiflu, and many hospitals in the U.S. have begun restricting the power to prescribe antivirals to just a few doctors. Also, the misuse or overuse of Tamiflu or Relenza by patients can promote resistance in the flu virus effectively removing the only bullets from our gun.
4. Don't Leave Home If You Feel Sick
In the absence of a vaccine, the only defenses we have against the spread of H1N1 are simple ones. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough (with your arm, not your hands, to avoid spreading the virus through handshakes) and wash your hands frequently. Buy a pocket-sized bottle of hand sanitizer and use it it's the easiest way to avoid getting sick.
But when it comes to slowing the overall spread of a pandemic flu, the best thing we can do is keep sick people away from everyone else. It's called "social distancing," and studies of the deadly 1918 Spanish flu showed that cities that instituted distancing measures quickly suffered lower death tolls than cities that did nothing or reacted slowly. So if you're feeling sick, don't go to work until you feel better even though that may not be the most welcome advice for the nearly 50% of private-sector workers in the U.S. who don't get paid sick days.
5. Don't Panic
TV anchors can't stop asking the question: "When is it time to start panicking?" How about never? Panic can only lead to stupid actions on a personal and national level that would likely make a pandemic worse.
As worrying as the epidemic has been, keep in mind that only one person so far has died of swine flu outside Mexico. Many scientists are beginning to think that even if we do have a full-fledged pandemic on our hands, it may likely be a mild one. A computer model by researchers at Northwestern University estimated that even if nothing were done to slow the spread of the disease from now on, by the end of May the U.S. would have only about 1,700 cases. The good news is that H1N1 is hitting North America at the tail end of its flu season. It's possible that the virus may peter out and re-appear next autumn, but that gives us months to prepare.
As WHO and CDC officials keep reiterating, influenza is an enigma, and H1N1 will keep evolving, keep changing so we can't predict how the epidemic will progress. But one thing is certain: Panicking will only make the situation worse. "This is a cause for deep concern, but not panic," said President Barack Obama in his April 29 news conference. In the midst of all this anxiety, that's the best advice there is.
Was that ok Teresa?...The title, forgive if wrong but you know what I mean? ...
Hopefully for all, Mexico will eventually be aknowledged as being a REAL country with REAL PEOPLE, REAL feelings and DESIRES...And who is to say otherwise?...'they' do but why...Mexico, to the best of my knowledge is threatening no-one...(drugs will be drugs and it matters not the origin...It is not the majority who are to blame, it is the small pecentage of opportunists in whatever country that choses to go that way...Without the US market, the drug trade probably wouldn't exist?)...Why then does the mighty US of A feel such a non-existent threat?...The US is quite happy to use 'ilegal aliens' as cheap labour but why is it not so ready to open its' borders for the joint good of all?...Forget the non existent swine flu fiasco...
Open the gates and let them all in!...You (USA) are foolishly throwing away the many assets that would make your country a better place...
The right-wing pundits who seized on the swine flu to push their anti-immigrant rhetoric are employing an ancient racist tactic. Hate-radio host Michael Savage also advanced the argument, saying, "Make no mistake about it: Illegal aliens are the carriers
Barricaded with double-perimeter high-voltage electric and razor-wire fences and protected by security lights and locked gates, the ominous-looking compound in the high plains five hours east of Mexico City might be mistaken for a prison - except that
The good part is:
I sell machines made in Germany and Italy that are ecological and don´t polute. These machines purify the water in an incredible and cheap way. One state already bought me 3, the problem is that with these scandal they haven´t pay me yet! I am suffering directly the crisis when I could be HELPING more for a better world
This machines work with ozone and salt (small amounts and very cheap)
But well, 2 days ago, here goes the good news, one of my partners had a meeting with Veracruz authorities and I am waiting for news for cleaning these lagoons once and for all. Pray for their good judment and wish me luck.
Why didn´t I tell nobody here about what I do for a better world outside Care2? well...because nobody asked me what I do! lol.
But now that we are talking about the issue, here is one Mexican that really cares.
This post was modified from its original form on 03 May, 10:05
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The global outbreak of swine flu is growing day by day. Media outlets have raised the question whether the epidemic may have started in pig farms in Mexico run by a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer.
Official: Swine flu in 'declining phase' in Mexico May 03, 2009 9:17 AM
MEXICO CITY Mexico's health secretary said the swine flu epidemic in his country "is in its declining phase," even as the disease extended its reach through Europe and Latin America with at least five countries reporting new cases Sunday.
China quarantined more than 70 Mexican travelers and Hong Kong isolated 350 people in a hotel as a precaution even though no new swine flu infections appeared in Asia.(wrong in SO many levels) In Egypt, authorities' attempt to kill all pigs as a precaution against the disease prompted pig owners to clash with police who were helping to seize their animals for slaughter.
The death toll in Mexico remains at 19, and the number of confirmed cases has increased slightly, from 473 to 506, including the dead, Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova said. He said "evolution of the epidemic is in its declining phase."
Swine flu has also killed one toddler in the U.S. and has spread to 18 countries worldwide but experts believe the actual spread is much wider.
The global caseload was nearing 800 and growing the vast majority in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. Colombia on Sunday reported South America's first confirmed case of swine flu a day after Costa Rica reported the first in Central America.
The Spanish Health Ministry said the country now has 40 confirmed cases of swine flu making it the European nation hardest hit by the virus. It said most of the victims have already recovered. All but two had recently visited Mexico.
Britain, Italy and Germany also reported new cases.
But just over a week into the outbreak, the virus largely remains an unpredictable mystery.
Mexico's health secretary said 11 people were suspected to have died from the virus in the previous 24 hours. The alarming news came after the epidemic's toll in Mexico appeared to have been leveling off.
In China, Mexicans were being asked to identify themselves on arriving flights and isolated from other travelers after landing, said Jorge Guajardo, Mexico's ambassador to the country. None of those in isolation has presented symptoms and most had no contact with infected persons or places, he said.
Hong Kong which was criticized for delaying quarantine measures during the SARS outbreak sealed the downtown Metropark Hotel, where a sickened Mexican tourist had stayed, trapping 350 guests and employees inside.
About a half dozen police officers wearing masks guarded the hotel Sunday, even though all those at the hotel were reported to be healthy. One guest said he walked on the stairs for exercise and to alleviate boredom.
"It's highly inconvenient. That's what's affecting people, because it took us by surprise," said 45-year-old Kevin Ireland, who was on a business trip from New Delhi, India.
Scientists warn that the virus could mutate into a deadlier form.
"Influenza is unpredictable," said Dr. Tim Uyeki, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who has worked on SARS and H5N1 bird flu outbreaks. "There are so many unanswered questions. This is a brand new virus. There's so much we don't know about the human infectious with this virus."
Right now, one of the biggest hurdles is a lack of information from Mexico. A team of international and Mexican virus sleuths is trying to piece together an epidemiological picture of who's dying and where transmission began, while also uncovering just how it's attacking people with severe illness. But de
What started as a swine flu outbreak more than a week ago in Mexico quickly ballooned to a global health threat, with the WHO declaring a pandemic was imminent. Now public health officials are having to carefully calibrate their statements. Push the message too far, and they could lose credibility if the virus fizzles out. But if they back off and it suddenly surges, the consequences could be much more dire.
Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova who has fended off criticism that his government reacted too slowly at first dismissed criticism that Mexico later overreacted in ordering a five-day, nationwide shutdown of all nonessential government and private businesses.
"It's absurd to think that Mexico was putting on a show," Cordova said. "I think it's preferable, at a certain moment, to take advanced measures and succeed in containing the problem than to not take them and ask, 'Why didn't we take them?'"
Mexico's last confirmed swine flu death occurred Tuesday, and the last suspected death came Wednesday, said Pablo Kuri, an epidemiologist and adviser to Cordova.
Cordova said hospitals are now handling fewer patients with swine flu symptoms, a sign that the disease at present is not very contagious. Mexican investigators who visited 280 relatives of victims found only 4 had the virus.
But experts said there is much they don't know about the outbreak in Mexico, where tests confirmed 16 deaths and nearly 450 people sickened. A multinational team of virus sleuths are trying to piece together the epidemiological puzzle.
Kuri said three of the dead were children: a 9-year-old girl, a 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy. Four were older than 60.
The other nine were between 21 and 39 unusual ages for people to die of the flu because they tend to have stronger immune systems.
Although most of the dead were from Mexico City, they came from different neighborhoods in the metropolis of 20 million people, Kuri said. And he said health investigators haven't found any similarities in their medical backgrounds.
One explanation may be that they sought treatment too late an average of seven days before seeing a doctor. For those who recovered, the average wait was three days, said Hugo Lopez-Gatell Ramirez, deputy director of Mexico's Intelligence Unit for Health Emergencies.
Many of the sick around the world were people who had visited Mexico, including 13 of Britain's 15 cases.
China sealed 305 people inside a Hong Kong hotel where an infected Mexican tourist stayed.
South Korea reported Asia's second confirmed case a woman just back from Mexico and other governments prepared to quarantine airline passengers, eager to show how they have learned from the deadly SARS epidemic in 2003, when Hong Kong was criticized for imposing quarantines too slowly.
With the disease on its doorstep, China suspended all direct flights from Mexico. Health workers in white bodysuits patrolled the lobby of the sealed Metropark Hotel where the 25-year-old Mexican stayed before he became Asia's first confirmed case late Friday.
Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa complained that China had isolated 71 Mexican nationals in six cities, including Beijing, without reason and urged Mexicans not to travel to China until the situation was resolved.
"These are discriminatory measures," she said. Outrageous, if I may say so!!!!
Governments must act cautiously, said Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Minnesota who has advised the U.S. government on flu preparations.
"This is a flu virus acting like a flu virus and causing, at worst, mild to moderate influenza," he said. "We have no room for complacency here, but we have to have a proportional response. What are the risks at the immediate time?"
Associated Press writers David B. Caruso and Malcolm Ritter in New York, Lauran Neergaard in Washington and Paul Haven and Juan Carlos Llorca in Mexico City contributed to this report.
Mexico swine flu deaths ebb -- but caution urged May 02, 2009 4:27 PM
MEXICO CITY Mexico said a swine flu epidemic appears to be easing, but urged citizens Saturday not to let their guard down against a virus that has killed 17 people and is spreading across Asia and Europe. Experts warned the virus could mutate and come back with a vengeance.
With no suspected swine flu deaths since Wednesday and fewer people turning up at hospitals with virus symptoms, Mexican officials were guardedly optimistic that the worse was over in the outbreak's epicenter. Cases outside Mexico suggested the new swine flu strain is weaker than feared. But governments moved quickly anyway to ban flights and prepare quarantine plans.
The World Health Organization decided against a full pandemic alert, but that doesn't mean people can relax, said Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO's global alert and response director.
"These viruses mutate, these viruses changes, these viruses can further reassort with other genetic material, with other viruses," he said. "So it would be imprudent at this point to take too much reassurance" from the small number of deaths.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said it's too early to declare victory.
"We have seen times where things appear to be getting better and then get worse again," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the U.S. agency's interim science and public health deputy director. "I think in Mexico we may be holding our breath for sometime."
The global caseload was 763 and growing the vast majority in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. Costa Rica reported its first confirmed swine flu case the first in Latin America outside Mexico.
Swine flu cases have been confirmed in 18 countries so far including Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region and experts believe the actual spread is much wider than the numbers suggest.
U.S. President Barack Obama urged caution Saturday.
"This is a new strain of the flu virus, and because we haven't developed an immunity to it, it has more potential to cause us harm," Obama said. Later, he spoke with Mexican President Felipe Calderon for about 20 minutes to share information.
This is a direct message from me to Raul Castro: (I don´t think he reads me but well hahahaha, nothing to lose)
Did you forget already you did the "Cuban Revolution" in Mexico, do you remember Cafe La Habana and also Foto taller? and all the support of Mexicans and Republicans from Spain?
My grandfather told me something before he died that I will never forget: "Communism is a great dream and a poor reality". At the end he thought like that, he was in the middle of the balance better. As we all should be.
Or as one friend told me that people said when he went to Cuba and the food supply arrived..."Ahí viene la marrana! Ahí viene la marrana!" (here comes the pig! here comes the pig!) because people had pork only once a month to eat, great change you made there for the people eh?
Now the "marrana" is going to infect you??? shame shame shame.
Un Argentino dice en los comentarios de esa nota May 02, 2009 12:32 PM
QUE VERGUENZA ME DA SER ARGENTINO!!!!!! HABER CERRADO LAS PUERTAS A NUESTROS HERMANOS LATINOAMERICANOS POR FAVOR, ES LA SOLUCION????? Y EL DENGUE????? COMO NOS OLVIDAMOS RAPIDO DEL APOYO MEXICANO EN TIEMPOS DE LA DICTADURA?? MAS AUN COMO NOS TRATAN SI SOMOS TURISTAS O RESIDENTES, CADA DIA CREO QUE ESE DICHO QUE DICE... ESTAMOS COMO ESTAMOS PORQUE SOMOS COMO SOMOS ES UNA REALIDAD QUE PASA EN NUESTRA SOCIEDAD.... REPUDIO TOTALMENTE ESTA MEDIDA TOMADA POR EL GOBIERNO ARGENTINO Y LA VERDAD EN NOMBRE DE MUCHOS ARGENTINOS LE PIDO UNA DISCULPA AL PUEBLO MEXICANO. RODRIGO PEREZ
Google terrible translator: (but you will understand more or less)
Comment of an Argentinian living in Mexico
SHAME TO BE FROM ARGENTINA !!!!!! HAVE CLOSED THE DOORS TO OUR BROTHERS LATINOAMERICANOS PLEASE ????? IS THE SOLUTION AND DENGUE ????? We forget HOW FAST MEXICAN SUPPORT IN TIMES OF DICTATORSHIP? EVEN MORE AS WE TRY OUR TOURISTS OR IF RESIDENTS EVERY DAY I THINK THAT SAYS THAT SAID ... HOW WE ARE HOW WE ARE WHY WE ARE IS A REALITY THAT HAPPENS IN OUR SOCIETY .... THIS TOTALLY REPUDIATES measure taken by the Argentine government and the truth on behalf of many ARGENTINOS APOLOGIES TO YOU MEXICAN PEOPLE. RODRIGO PEREZ
This post was modified from its original form on 02 May, 12:34
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Es increible que la Union Europea nos apoye más que Argentina,quienes por cierto varios viven en México y de México, nada mas chequense el canal de las estrellas, Mexico siempre los ha ayudado, que verguenza!. De los gobiernos franceses me creo todo (pues como tengo sangre Francesa tengo derecho a opinar jajajajjaja) a traves de la historia se han destacado por traicionerones jajajajaja.
This note of 2 days ago caught my attention.
And the comments of the people!
It´s incredible that the European Community supports us more than Argentina, that by the way, a lot of Argentinians live in Mexico and eat from Mexico, just check channel 2 of Televisa, Mexico has always help the people from Argentina, shame on their authorities!. Of the French authorities I believe everything, (I have French blood so I think I have a right to say these hahaha) we have seen in history that French authorities are not loyal with others lol.
Nota: Que conste que hablo de los gobiernos, no de la gente en general de esos paises.
Note: Note that I am talking about the government not the people.
No rationale for travel restrictions May 02, 2009 9:21 AM
1 May 2009 -- />WHO is not recommending travel restrictions related to the outbreak of the influenza A(H1N1) virus. Today, international travel moves rapidly, with large numbers of individuals visiting various parts of the world. Limiting travel and imposing travel restrictions would have very little effect on stopping the virus from spreading, but would be highly disruptive to the global community.
Influenza A(H1N1) has already been confirmed in many parts of the world. The focus now is on minimizing the impact of the virus through the rapid identification of cases and providing patients with appropriate medical care, rather than on stopping its spread internationally. Furthermore, although identifying the signs and symptoms of influenza in travellers can be an effective monitoring technique, it is not effective in reducing the spread of influenza as the virus can be transmitted from person to person before the onset of symptoms. Scientific research based on mathematical modelling indicates that restricting travel will be of limited or no benefit in stopping the spread of disease. Historical records of previous influenza pandemics, as well as experience with SARS, have validated this point.
Travellers can protect themselves and others by following simple recommendations related to travel aimed at preventing the spread of infection. Individuals who are ill should delay travel plans and returning travellers who fall ill should seek appropriate medical care. These recommendations are prudent measures which can limit the spread of many communicable diseases and not only influenza A(H1N1).
Mexico: no new swine flu deaths, cases up to 443 May 02, 2009 8:27 AM
MEXICO CITY Mexican officials were cautiously optimistic Saturday that the worst of the swine flu epidemic is over for Mexico, with no new flu deaths reported overnight. But the virus keeps spreading around the world, with new cases confirmed in Europe and Asia, and some governments banning flights and preparing quarantines for travelers from Mexico.
"What we thought is that we would have an exponential growth in the number of persons with symptoms. But the information we have is that hasn't occurred, and we now have a stabilized curve with no important growth" of confirmed cases, Mexico City's mayor Marcelo Ebrard said declared Saturday.
Mexico said it had no confirmed deaths from swine flu overnight, even as its confirmed caseload grew to 443. The U.S. count rose to 155 and worldwide, there were 653 confirmed swine flu cases, although the real number is believed to be much higher. The virus also has been detected in Canada, New Zealand, China, South Korea, Israel and eight European nations.
It should soon become clear whether the epidemic is really stabilizing in Mexico, but many questions remain about how the disease kills, said the leader of an international team of flu-fighters now operating in the capital.
"That is the big question: Is it stabilizing or not? And it is too early to say, but I think we are getting systems in place where we are going to be able to get a handle on this soon," said Dr. Steve Waterman of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Waterman also warned against taking false comfort from the fact that only one person has died outside Mexico, saying more deaths are likely as the epidemic evolves. He spoke Friday amid CDC doctors and specialists at the Mexico City swine flu nerve center.
In Washington, even President Barack Obama was hopeful the new virus may turn out to be no more harmful than the average seasonal flu.
"It may turn out that H1N1 runs its course like ordinary flus, in which case we will have prepared and we won't need all these preparations," Obama said Friday, using the flu's scientific name.
Mexico has taken extraordinary measures to combat the epidemic, ordering all nonessential government and private businesses to shut down for five days. In the wide valley where 20 million people live in and around the capital, streets were strangely quiet on Saturday, its usually crowded markets shuttered and even parks locked down.
"I'm going crazy in my house with this confinement," retiree Rocio Lara said of the shutdown of most businesses and other gathering places. "There is nowhere to go, nowhere to spend your time."
In New York City, which has the most confirmed swine flu cases in the United States with 49, swine flu has not spread far beyond cases linked to one Roman Catholic school.
China was suspending flights from Mexico to Shanghai because a case of swine flu was confirmed in a passenger on a flight from Mexico, China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. Hundreds of Hong Kong hotel guests and workers were quarantined after a tourist from Mexico tested positive for swine flu, Asia's first confirmed case.
Waterman, whose team is working with Mexican officials, said the scientists are trying to determi
Have you heard about the case of the "unnamed" victim of our flu???
Yes, the one of Obama´s staff that they don´t give his name and passed the virus to his family but now he is OK.
CRAP, if he has a "name" they should say it and end of the drama.
Barack Obama aide infected with swine flu in Mexico An official in the Obama administration who took part in the US president's recent trip to Mexico is believed to have caught swine flu and passed it on to his family.
Swine flu: Mexico City lies abandoned as President orders lockdown May 01, 2009 9:37 AM
Eyes dart from behind surgical masks as the few pedestrians still on the streets walk briskly through a city in lockdown. A cough or a sneeze from a passer-by only quickens the pace.
Mexico City, usually a megalopolis of 20 million inhabitants, lies all but abandoned. All government offices and businesses deemed non-essential have been ordered to close. All schools, restaurants and nightclubs have pulled down the shutters. All public events cancelled.
A few cars glide freely along empty freeways, which on any other day would be choked with beeping, fuming traffic. The few shops and takeaways that remain open offer a limited service, ordered to avoid creating potential gathering places that might spread further contagion.
At the handful of supermarkets that have been told to stay open, staff are shrouded in protective clothing and wash their hands repeatedly during their shifts. The food processing factories have been shut down, and in some areas emergency teams are preparing to deliver food to the hungry.
A faceless army of police and soldiers wearing surgical masks and gloves patrol silent avenues. Under their watch, the city has gained the air of a giant hospital.
Ive never seen it like this, said Javier Morales, a 58-year-old civil engineer, from behind his bright blue mask. All the schools and universities, and businesses are shut, so theres no one, its eerie. Everyone is worried.
Staring at an empty intersection, the lights blinking pointlessly from red to green, he added: Usually you would be sitting in traffic all day trying to get from one place to the other, now you can do the same trip in minutes.
The Government has urged citizens to stay off the streets until the outbreak is over. The lockdown will not be lifted before May 5 at the earliest. Around the world, civic authorities are watching and honing their own emergency plans.
There is no safer place than your own home to avoid being infected with the flu virus, President Felipe Calderon said on Wednesday, in his first televised address since the crisis erupted last week.
So far, up to 176 people have reportedly died in Mexico from the swine flu virus, with fingers pointing at possible sources in Oaxaca and most recently in the village of La Gloria, Veracruz state, where a 5-year-old boy is thought to be the countrys earliest confirmed case.
However it is in Mexico City, with its immense population, where the authorities have been left struggling to cope with the scale of the problem.
Pharmacies have run out of surgical masks and anti-flu medication, as panicking residents raced to stock up before blockading themselves in their homes. Those who have been unable to obtain masks rush feverishly between the few open stores, covering their mouths with hands and scarves to accusing stares from their luckier peers.
Gonzalo Trinidad, a pharmacist in Iztapalapa, in the east of Mexico City, said they were still waiting for a delivery of Tamiflu and had no idea when or if it would arrive. It could be two days or two weeks, we dont know. Neither were masks available.
I dont know where you can get them, supplies have been exhausted in all the pharmacies around here. They say there will be more coming tomorrow but who knows really.
The government have been helpful with advice though, he added, following a gesture from a colleague that he had said too much.
Some Mexico City residents say that while they believe the worst could be over, they will not take any chances until they are certain of their safety.
It is not as bad as it was, I think the government have managed to get things under control, and people are less worried, 35-year-old taxi driver Estoban Hernandez said.
But Ive got young children, its them that Im concerned about.
Others cite financial concerns, with the crisis increasingly threatening livelihoods. Mexicos central bank has warned the outbreak could deepen the nations recession, further ravaging an economy that has already shrunk by 8 percent in the first quarter.
Thats the biggest problem as far as Im concerned, said one factory worker, who did not wish to be named. More than the illness, I cant go to work now. How am I going to feed my family?
I don´t like google translation but well...here it is
The death of Maria Adela Gutierrez, to the medical literature
Maria, the woman of Oaxaca 39 years of age who arrived at the Civil Hospital in the city of Oaxaca with a picture of severe pneumonia which, according to their familires, had more than a week and a picture of chronic diabetes and is part of the story clinical world, finding it was in her body where the mutation occurred in the seasonal influenza virus and became known as swine flu that killed her and fired warning of epidemiological World Health Organization (WHO).
On April 9 went to the emergency department of the Hospital General Dr. Aurelio Valdivieso characterized by complications in the medical field such as acute respiratory distress syndrome. Studies of X-ray laboratory that performed at admission and during their stay focused on the doctors to an atypical pneumonia, as reported to the hospital authorities.
Given the urgency of the case, the doctors proceeded to enter the area of intensive therapy, the tube and began to supply medicines. The doctors took samples of their bronchial secresiones, blood and faeces for shipment to laboratories and to determine the type of pneumonia that faced only a few hours to the table of women are complicated and finally died.
Nortificarse to death, doctors have evidence that this was not the common flu, known as seasonal. Even less well known as the avian influenza that originated in Hong Kong in 1997, but was an unknown virus, a new type. They found a sample of his lungs and liver, for which a biopsy was then April 13.
After performing the "timely notification" to the authorities of the Federal Ministry of Health, as officials acknowledged yesterday the unit, pieces of liver, lung and traveled to Mexico City, a part of it remained in the Institute of Epidemiological Diagnosis and Reference, the rest went to Canada, where it was concluded that this was a new virus that was spreading through the world: the swine influenza.
The official confirmation by the Ministry of Health was given to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention United States, located in Atlanta, confirmed the case on April 16.
The death of Maria Adela Gutiérrez Cruz, who worked as part of a group of interviewers from the Tax Administration Service (SAT), is entered this way in the universal literature, while continuing to accumulate references to people with the virus in Canada, U.S., Spain, France, New Zealand and certainly in Mexico, where in recent hours, the virus that mutual counted 103 dead by the transmission between people and has led the authorities to declare alert.
This post was modified from its original form on 30 Apr, 8:48
This post was modified from its original form on 30 Apr, 8:49
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MADRID .- La Gloria, a small village in the state of Veracruz. March 2009. Sneezing and fever are spread among a large part of its 2,500 inhabitants. This could be the origin of the swine flu epidemic that now affects four continents. And Edgar Enrique Hernandez, a child of five years of this population has been identified 'officially' as the first affected by the H1N1 virus.
Nothing is clear. A few days ago the health authorities in Mexico claimed that the source of the outbreak was identified in Oaxaca on April 13. Now, the eyes are centered in La Gloria, and in particular in a small still coughing. His mother, Maria del Carmen, regrets that his son is to blame and is bewildered.
Speaking to 'The New York Times, she explains that long ago his house was sprayed, and after taking several samples from the throat of the small, was ruled out the presence of the H1N1 virus.
Despite this, the very governor of Veracruz, Fidel Herrera Beltran, went into the house to visit with Edgar Hernandez. Hours later, without notifying the family, made known to the media that the child had a positive influenza swine.
It is unknown whether the flu outbreak that befell the inhabitants of the Gloria by the same virus that has caused the current epidemic. But the fact is that this strain was virulent enough to cause the death of two children.
Nevertheless, the small, now is not, however, was the first to suffer from flu in the village. According to the governor of Veracruz, Fidel Herrera, said the agency EFE the child was provided with paracetamol amoxicillin mixtures "with Edgar and his family with their immune systems intact."
Miguel Angel Lezana, director of the Center for Epidemiology and Control Enferemdades of Mexico, said that his case is delayed, as it was detected in early April, when other people had already been diagnosed with influenza (seasonal or swine, not yet known).
How he discovered The existence of an epidemic of seasonal flu particularly virulent jumped the Mexican media for weeks but nothing seemed to indicate that the virus was different from other years. It was the Government of Canada to Mexico who warned of the presence of a rare strain A/H1N1 in its territory.
Between late March and early April the Mexican authorities reported the alarming number of influenza cases that occurred in the country. So thought it was a common flu and launched a vaccination campaign to protect the population.
But the timing unusual in that the infection started (normally at the end of the year) and death of some people did think of something more virulent. Mexico decided to ask for help from United States and Canada to try to find out what was happening.
According to the Mexican Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova, health experts of his country could not know what kind of virus that was not already possess the technology necessary to do so. Canada responded to the call.
By then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) United States had already found seven cases, all children and adolescents who recovered without problems. But something did not fit. Since 2005, the U.S. had been only 12 cases of swine flu and all were associated with contact with pigs. Analysis by the CDC concluded on April 21, the virus was involved in all of them again.
Also in Perote is the Cofre de Perote shield volcano (the Nahuatl name of which was "Naucampatepetl", which means in "four times lord").
This town is the home of a sizable Spanish community which immigrated here in the 1930s. Because of this, it is known for Spanish-style cured meats and sausage such as jamón serrano (serrano ham), botifarra (Catalán sausage), and Spanish chorizo sausage.
Wikipedia version in English is completely different than the version in Spanish. This English version is a joke made by an ignorant because people´s daily living has nothing to do with sausages. Someone wants people to believe Perote is that about to relate the flu with Perote just because there is one American pig farm in the area and the Spanish people arrived to that State.
amigos Mexicanos: Nos estan mandando a la localidad de Perote, directo y sin escalas! jajajajajajajajaja.
amigos from other countries: La Ching...is not a word that you should use but is the name of the town so I had to post it. was very difficult to arrive there because the link is broken but if you press La Chingada you will arrive to Perote fast. ohhh my...I am laughing here because they sent us far away. I hope you got the joke.
The reporter is very brave, really, he doesn´t take the precautions needed in the place where all this started, he only wears a mask....but only for a few...very few. He even gives one to the kid.
He jumps on a motorcycle with a lot of contact with the driver, without gloves...I don´t see militars in the town and people with masks and those suits that are used in Mexico City hospitals, well , I don´t see no sanitary authorities at all, no army, no nothing! also he is in strech contact with the kid, with the mother, knocking doors (that everybody touches). For being ground zero is a very relaxed place, I even enjoyed the visit!
This post was modified from its original form on 30 Apr, 7:12
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Perote, Veracruz is not that near to Mexico City, and it is 2 hours away from the port of Veracrúz...I´d crossed Perote to arrive to Veracruz...you have to cross Mexico City, Puebla State and then you arrive Perote.
So Perote is 171 km away from Veracrúz (106.25 miles) and 280 km away from Mexico City (173.98 miles).
dato curioso en Español en wikipedia:
Tiene categoría política de Ciudad y es la cabecera municipal del Municipio de Perote. Se divide en 40 localidades, entre las que destacan las congregaciones de Francisco I. Madero, Guadalupe Victoria, Justo Sierra, Los Molinos, Los Altos, Tenextepec, Sierra de Agua y Zalayeta. Se conoce también por su nombre la localidad de La Chingada.[ pa que se rian!
Today I woke up with this doubt..... April 30, 2009 6:28 AM
The little kid from "La Gloria" a little town near Perote, Veracrúz were "everybody knows everybody" as the cnn video says.
How come nobody else has the illness there? How come that his mother is not sick? The doctor of the little kid is not sick?
In the video you can see how little is his house and how little was the clinic were he was attended. So...ok....he was the first case....to who (s) this kid passed the virus? In little towns all the children play in the street, play with dirty hands and are in contact with the whole community almost....I don´t get it....
If this virus is so easy to pass from person to person....what is weird here?
This post was modified from its original form on 30 Apr, 6:30
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Current level of influenza pandemic alert raised from phase 4 to 5 April 29, 2009 3:07 PM
Statement by WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan 29 April 2009
Ladies and gentlemen,
Based on assessment of all available information, and following several expert consultations, I have decided to raise the current level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to phase 5.
Influenza pandemics must be taken seriously precisely because of their capacity to spread rapidly to every country in the world.
On the positive side, the world is better prepared for an influenza pandemic than at any time in history.
Preparedness measures undertaken because of the threat from H5N1 avian influenza were an investment, and we are now benefitting from this investment.
For the first time in history, we can track the evolution of a pandemic in real-time.
I thank countries who are making the results of their investigations publicly available. This helps us understand the disease.
I am impressed by the work being done by affected countries as they deal with the current outbreaks.
I also want to thank the governments of the USA and Canada for their support to WHO, and to Mexico.
Let me remind you. New diseases are, by definition, poorly understood. Influenza viruses are notorious for their rapid mutation and unpredictable behaviour.
WHO and health authorities in affected countries will not have all the answers immediately, but we will get them.
WHO will be tracking the pandemic at the epidemiological, clinical, and virological levels.
The results of these ongoing assessments will be issued as public health advice, and made publicly available.
All countries should immediately activate their pandemic preparedness plans. Countries should remain on high alert for unusual outbreaks of influenza-like illness and severe pneumonia.
At this stage, effective and essential measures include heightened surveillance, early detection and treatment of cases, and infection control in all health facilities.
This change to a higher phase of alert is a signal to governments, to ministries of health and other ministries, to the pharmaceutical industry and the business community that certain actions should now be undertaken with increased urgency, and at an accelerated pace.
I have reached out to donor countries, to UNITAID, to the GAVI Alliance, the World Bank and others to mobilize resources.
I have reached out to companies manufacturing antiviral drugs to assess capacity and all options for ramping up production.
I have also reached out to influenza vaccine manufacturers that can contribute to the production of a pandemic vaccine.
The biggest question, right now, is this: how severe will the pandemic be, especially now at the start?
It is possible that the full clinical spectrum of this disease goes from mild illness to severe disease. We need to continue to monitor the evolution of the situation to get the specific information and data we need to answer this question.
From past experience, we also know that influenza may cause mild disease in affluent countries, but more severe disease, with higher mortality, in developing countries.
No matter what the situation is, the international community should treat this as a window of opportunity to ramp up preparedness and response.
Above all, this is an opportunity for global solidarity as we look for responses and solutions that benefit all countries, all of humanity. After all, it really is all of humanity that is under threat during a pandemic.
As I have said, we do not have all the answers right now, but we will get them.
It is speculated that a collection of Smithfield's farms in Perote, Veracruz in Mexico may have had something to do with the 2009 swine flu outbreak. Residents in the area have complained of the swarms of flies around waste lagoons. Mexican health officials have said that the type of fly is associated with reproducing in pig waste, and that the swine influenza outbreak may have a link to these pig farms. 
Smithfield Foods, Inc. is the worlds largest pork producer and processor. Its headquarters are in Smithfield, Virginia, with operations in 26 states and 9 countries. The company raises 14 million hogs a year and processes 27 million. The company produced 5.9 billion pounds of pork and 1.4×109 lb (640,000,000 kg) of fresh beef in 2006.
In February 2009, the company announced that it planned to close six plants and to reduce the number of its independent operating companies from seven to three.
Smithfield has come under criticism for the millions of gallons of fecal matter that it produces and stores in holding ponds, untreated. In a four year period, in North Carolina alone, 4.7 million gallons of hog fecal matter were released into the state's rivers. Workers and residents near Smithfield plants have reported health problems, and have complained about constant, overpowering stenches of hog feces. In 1997, Smithfield was fined $12.6 million for violation of the federal Clean Water Act. "The fine was the third-largest civil penalty ever levied under the act by the EPA. It amounted to .035 percent of Smithfield's annual sales."
The hog industry in North Carolina came under scrutiny in 1999 when Hurricane Floyd flooded much of the eastern part of the state, including a number of fecal matter holding ponds (lagoons, in industry parlance). Many of the hog farms that contracted with Smithfield were accused of polluting the state's rivers.
In the wake of Hurricane Floyd, Smithfield entered a settlement in 2000 with North Carolina Attorney General Mike Easley to fund development of environmentally sound waste management technologies for use on North Carolina swine farms. As part of this settlement, Smithfield committed $15 million to fund research at North Carolina State University. In addition, the company agreed to make an annual contribution of $2 million to fund environmental enhancement grants in the state.
The environmental effects of Smithfield's slaughterhouses have come under much less criticism than its industrial farming and the fecal matter that is a byproduct of the high concentration of pigs without adequate sewage treatment facilities. Consequently many of its slaughterhouses have been environmentally certified by the International Organization for Standardization, .
In 2006, Smithfield's hog-production subsidiary Murphy-Brown agreed to adopt new measures to enhance environmental protections at its hog production facilities in North Carolina in a landmark environmental pact with the Waterkeeper Alliance, once one of Smithfield's biggest critics.
Smithfield tries again to calm swine flu fears April 29, 2009 6:57 AM
Associated Press, 04.28.09, 05:01 PM EDT
Pork producer Smithfield Foods Inc. on Tuesday reiterated that it has found no signs of swine flu in its swine herd or its employees at any of its joint ventures in Mexico.
The Smithfield, Va.-based company, the nation's largest hog producer, said those operations are fully cooperating with Mexican officials and are submitting samples of their swine herds to confirm that they have not been infected with swine flu.
Initial results of those tests are expected by the end of the week.
Smithfield also reiterated that its joint ventures in Mexico routinely offer influenza virus vaccination to their swine herds and conduct routine testing.
The company also said there is no evidence of swine flu in any of its operations worldwide, including in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said swine flu cannot be transmitted by food and that people can not get the virus from eating pork or pork products. That, however, has not stopped some countries from banning imports of pork from producers located in areas with confirmed swine flu cases.
So far, swine flu, known also as North American influenza, is suspected in the deaths of at least 152 people in Mexico. At least 68 cases of the illness have been confirmed in the U.S.
Smithfield shares fell 4 cents to $9.40 in electronic after-hours trading. During regular trading, shares rose 40 cents, or 4.4 percent, to close at $9.44.
Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. As a global, diversified healthcare company, Baxter applies a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide.
This release includes forward-looking statements concerning the companys financial results and outlook for 2009. The statements are based on assumptions about many important factors, including the following, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements: demand for and market acceptance risks for new and existing products, such as ADVATE, and other technologies; future actions of regulatory bodies and other governmental authorities, including the FDA and foreign counterparts, that could delay, limit or suspend product development, manufacturing or sales or result in sanctions; product quality or patient safety concerns leading to product recalls, withdrawals, launch delays, litigation, or declining sales; product development risks; inventory reductions or fluctuations in buying patterns by wholesalers or distributors; the impact of geographic and product mix on the company's sales; the impact of competitive products and pricing, including generic competition, drug reimportation and disruptive technologies; reimbursement policies of government agencies and private payers; the availability of acceptable raw materials and component supply; the ability to enforce company patents; patents of third parties preventing or restricting the companys manufacture, sale or use of affected products or technology; any impact of the commercial and credit environment on Baxter and its customers; foreign currency fluctuations and other risks identified in the companys most recent filing on Form 10-K and other Securities and Exchange Commission filings, all of which are available on the company's website. The company does not undertake to update its forward-looking statements. Financial schedules are attached to this release and available on the companys website.
Some research of Baxter´s earnings....interesting April 28, 2009 11:42 PM
Baxter Announces Strong First Quarter Financial Results
Company Reports First Quarter Earnings of $0.83 Per Diluted Share and Provides Updated Full-Year Outlook
DEERFIELD, Ill., April 16, 2009 Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) today reported first quarter net income of $516 million, an increase of 20 percent from $429 million reported in the first quarter of 2008. Earnings per diluted share of $0.83 increased 24 percent from $0.67 per diluted share reported in the prior-year period, and favorably compares to the guidance the company previously provided of $0.80 to $0.82 per diluted share. This performance was the continued result of strong underlying fundamentals across the portfolio and improved margins, driven by operational leverage and favorable business and product mix.
On an adjusted basis, excluding 2008 special items, Baxters first quarter net income increased 9 percent to $516 million from $474 million reported in the prior-year period, and earnings per diluted share increased 12 percent to $0.83 from $0.74 per diluted share reported in the first quarter of 2008.
Baxters worldwide sales totaled $2.8 billion in the first quarter and declined 2 percent. Excluding the impact of foreign currency, worldwide sales increased 6 percent. Sales within the United States increased 5 percent to $1.2 billion, while international sales declined 7 percent to $1.6 billion. Excluding the impact of foreign currency, Baxters international sales grew 7 percent.
In the first quarter, Medication Delivery sales of $1.0 billion declined 3 percent (and excluding foreign currency increased 6 percent). Renal sales of $515 million declined 8 percent (and excluding foreign currency increased 1 percent). These results were driven by growth across core components of these portfolios, including the peritoneal dialysis (PD) franchise, anesthesia products, intravenous therapies and global injectables.
Fundamentals continue to be strong in Baxters BioScience business. In the first quarter, BioScience revenues totaled $1.3 billion and increased 3 percent. Excluding foreign currency, BioScience sales advanced 11 percent, reflecting strong double-digit gains across multiple product categories. Key drivers of this performance include notable growth from antibody therapy and plasma-protein products across the globe, continued conversion to ADVATE [Antihemophilic Factor (Recombinant), Plasma/Albumin-Free Method] for the treatment of hemophilia, and strong sales of biosurgery products.
Despite the challenging, global macro-economic environment, our first quarter financial results underscore the value of our diversified healthcare model, the solid fundamentals underpinning our portfolio, and our disciplined focus on driving margin improvement, said Robert L. Parkinson, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer. We continue to believe that we are very well-positioned given our broad geographic reach and the medically-necessary nature of our portfolio to expand access to care, improve treatments and enhance the quality of life for patients around the world.
Second Quarter and Full-Year 2009 Outlook
Baxter also announced today its guidance for the second quarter 2009 and provided updated guidance for the full year.
For the second quarter of 2009, Baxter expects sales growth, excluding the impact of foreign currency, of approximately 7 percent. Based on current foreign exchange rates, the company expects reported sales (including the impact of foreign exchange) to decline in low single digits when compared to sales in the second quarter of 2008. The company also expects earnings per diluted share for the second quarter of $0.93 to $0.95, before any special items.
For the full year, Baxter expects sales growth, excluding the impact of foreign currency, of approximately 7 percent. Based on current foreign exchange rates, Baxter expects reported sales growth to be approximately flat. In addition, the company now expects earnings per diluted share of $3.72 to $3.78, before any special items, and continues to expect cash flow from operations to total more than $2.6 billion.
Our 2009 guidance reflects the ongoing operational strength of our businesses and our ability to deliver sustainable growth, concluded Robert M. Davis, chief financial officer. Although we continue to operate in a volatile and challenging macro-environment which continues to evolve, we remain focused on delivering to our objectives while making appropriate investments for the future.
A webcast of Baxter's first quarter conference call for investors can be accessed live from a link on the company's website at www.baxter.com beginning at 7:30 a.m. CDT on April 16, 2009. Please visit Baxter's website for more information regarding this and future investor events and webcasts, including the companys Annual Meeting of Shareholders in Chicago on May 5, 2009 and Baxters Investor Conference to be held in Chicago on September 16, 2009.
This post was modified from its original form on 28 Apr, 23:42
[ send green star]
How do three different proteins combine in one animal naturally? THEY DONT... This can easily happen in a lab and then be sent out... Eighteen countries got a tainted vaccination combining two different viruses..easy to combine with humans when injected.
How do three different proteins combine in one animal naturally? THEY DON'T... In animals, it is difficult enough to combine TWO proteins or jump just ONE animal species into humans...
Bird flu is an example, of how difficult and rare this is... Everyone kept predicting a bird flu epidemic, where just one animal virus jumps from birds to humans, via mosquito that directly injects bird flu into humans. This jump is difficult enough, and it has not happened, and it has not caused an epidemic..
The chances of this happening and jumping three animal and human species in three ways, all at once are like a gajillion to one AGAINST IT.. IT DOES NOT HAPPEN, in my opinion and in the opinion of experts at this link...
However, this combining of two or three viruses genetically is EASILY DONE. It can be MANUFACTURED in a lab and then be sent out as a vaccine, oops, accidentally contaminated with LIVE virus...
In the above case, eighteen countries got a tainted vaccination combining two different viruses..these two are easy to combine with human flu viruses when injected, but have variable outcomes... either mild or severe depending on mutations.
What you need to know about swine flu April 27, 2009 8:21 PM
Here's what you need to know:
Q: How do I protect myself and my family?
A: For now, take commonsense precautions. Cover your coughs and sneezes, with a tissue that you throw away or by sneezing into your elbow rather than your hand. Wash hands frequently; if soap and water aren't available, hand gels can substitute. Stay home if you're sick and keep children home from school if they are.
Q: How easy is it to catch this virus?
A: Scientists don't yet know if it takes fairly close or prolonged contact with someone who's sick, or if it's more easily spread. But in general, flu viruses spread through uncovered coughs and sneezes or and this is important by touching your mouth or nose with unwashed hands. Flu viruses can live on surfaces for several hours, like a doorknob just touched by someone who sneezed into his hand.
Q: In Mexico, officials are handing out face masks. Do I need one?
A: The CDC says there's not good evidence that masks really help outside of health care settings. It's safer just to avoid close contact with someone who's sick and avoid crowded gatherings in places where swine flu is known to be spreading. But if you can't do that, CDC guidelines say it's OK to consider a mask just don't let it substitute for good precautions.
Q: Is swine flu treatable?
A: Yes, with the flu drugs Tamiflu or Relenza, but not with two older flu medications.
Q: Is there enough?
A: Yes. The federal government has stockpiled enough of the drugs to treat 50 million people, and many states have additional stocks. As a precaution, the CDC has shipped a quarter of that supply to the states to keep on hand just in case the virus starts spreading more than it has so far.
Q: Should I take Tamiflu as a precaution if I'm not sick yet?
A: No. "What are you going to do with it, use it when you get a sniffle?" asks Dr. Marc Siegel of New York University Langone Medical Center and author of "Bird Flu: Everything you Need To Know About The Next Pandemic." Overusing antiviral drugs can help germs become resistant to them.
Q: What are the symptoms?
A: They're similar to regular human flu a fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also have diarrhea and vomiting.
Q: How do I know if I should see a doctor? Maybe my symptoms are from something else like pollen?
A: Health authorities say if you live in places where swine flu cases have been confirmed, or you recently traveled to Mexico, and you have flulike symptoms, ask your doctor if you need treatment or to be tested. Allergies won't cause a fever. And run-of-the-mill stomach bugs won't be accompanied by respiratory symptoms, notes Dr. Wayne Reynolds of Newport News, Va., spokesman for the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Q: Is there a vaccine to prevent this new infection?
A: No. And CDC's initial testing suggests that last winter's flu shot didn't offer any cross-protection.
Q: How long would it take to produce a vaccine?
A: A few months. The CDC has created what's called "seed stock" of the new virus that manufacturers would need to start production. But the government hasn't yet decided if the outbreak is bad enough to order that.
Q: What is swine flu?
A: Pigs spread their own strains of influenza and every so often people catch one, usually after contact with the animals. This new strain is a mix of pig viruses with some human and bird viruses. Unlike more typical swine flu, it is spreading person-to-person. A 1976 outbreak of another unusual swine flu at Fort Dix, N.J., prompted a problematic mass vaccination campaign, but that time the flu fizzled out.
Q: So is it safe to eat pork?
A: Yes. Swine influenza viruses don't spread through food.
Even light rains can cause lagoons to overflow; major floods have transformed entire counties into pig-%#&!*% bayous. To alleviate swelling lagoons, workers sometimes pump the %#&!*% out of them and spray the waste on surrounding fields, which results in what the industry daintily refers to as "overapplication." This can turn hundreds of acres -- thousands of football fields -- into shallow mud puddles of pig %#&!*%. Tree branches drip with pig %#&!*%.
Some pig-farm lagoons have polyethylene liners, which can be punctured by rocks in the ground, allowing %#&!*% to seep beneath the liners and spread and ferment. Gases from the fermentation can inflate the liner like a hot-air balloon and rise in an expanding, accelerating bubble, forcing thousands of tons of feces out of the lagoon in all directions.
Boss Hog America's top pork producer churns out a sea of waste that has destroyed rivers, killed millions of fish and generated one of the largest fines in EPA history. Welcome to the dark side of the other white meat.
Smithfield Foods, the largest and most profitable pork processor in the world, killed 27 million hogs last year. That's a number worth considering. A slaughter-weight hog is fifty percent heavier than a person. The logistical challenge of processing that many pigs each year is roughly equivalent to butchering and boxing the entire human populations of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, San Jose, Detroit, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Columbus, Austin, Memphis, Baltimore, Fort Worth, Charlotte, El Paso, Milwaukee, Seattle, Boston, Denver, Louisville, Washington, D.C., Nashville, Las Vegas, Portland, Oklahoma City and Tucson.
Smithfield Foods actually faces a more difficult task than transmogrifying the populations of America's thirty-two largest cities into edible packages of meat. Hogs produce three times more excrement than human beings do. The 500,000 pigs at a single Smithfield subsidiary in Utah generate more fecal matter each year than the 1.5 million inhabitants of Manhattan. The best estimates put Smithfield's total waste discharge at 26 million tons a year. That would fill four Yankee Stadiums. Even when divided among the many small pig production units that surround the company's slaughterhouses, that is not a containable amount.
Smithfield estimates that its total sales will reach $11.4 billion this year. So prodigious is its fecal waste, however, that if the company treated its effluvia as big-city governments do -- even if it came marginally close to that standard -- it would lose money. So many of its contractors allow great volumes of waste to run out of their slope-floored barns and sit blithely in the open, untreated, where the elements break it down and gravity pulls it into groundwater and river systems. Although the company proclaims a culture of environmental responsibility, ostentatious pollution is a linchpin of Smithfield's business model.
A lot of pig %#&!*% is one thing; a lot of highly toxic pig %#&!*% is another. The excrement of Smithfield hogs is hardly even pig %#&!*%: On a continuum of pollutants, it is probably closer to radioactive waste than to organic manure. The reason it is so toxic is Smithfield's efficiency. The company produces 6 billion pounds of packaged pork each year. That's a remarkable achievement, a prolificacy unimagined only two decades ago, and the only way to do it is to raise pigs in astonishing, unprecedented concentrations.
Smithfield's pigs live by the hundreds or thousands in warehouse-like barns, in rows of wall-to-wall pens. Sows are artificially inseminated and fed and delivered of their piglets in cages so small they cannot turn around. Forty fully grown 250-pound male hogs often occupy a pen the size of a tiny apartment. They trample each other to death. There is no sunlight, straw, fresh air or earth. The floors are slatted to allow excrement to fall into a catchment pit under the pens, but many things besides excrement can wind up in the pits: afterbirths, piglets accidentally crushed by their mothers, old batteries, broken bottles of insecticide, antibiotic syringes, stillborn pigs -- anything small enough to fit through the foot-wide pipes that drain the pits. The pipes remain closed until enough sewage accumulates in the pits to create good expulsion pressure; then the pipes are opened and everything bursts out into a large holding pond.
The temperature inside hog houses is often hotter than ninety degrees. The air, saturated almost to the point of precipitation with gases from %#&!*% and chemicals, can be lethal to the pigs. Enormous exhaust fans run twenty-four hours a day. The ventilation systems function like the ventilators of terminal patients: If they break down for any length of time, pigs start dying.
From Smithfield's point of view, the problem with this lifestyle is immunological. Taken together, the immobility, poisonous air and terror of confinement badly damage the pigs' immune systems. They become susceptible to infection, and in such dense quarters microbes or parasites or fungi, once established in one pig, will rush spritelike through the whole population. Accordingly, factory pigs are infused with a huge range of antibiotics and vaccines, and are doused with insecticides. Without these compounds -- oxytetracycline, draxxin, ceftiofur, tiamulin -- diseases would likely kill them. Thus factory-farm pigs remain in a state of dying until they're slaughtered. When a pig nearly ready to be slaughtered grows ill, workers sometimes shoot it up with as many drugs as necessary to get it to the slaughterhouse under its own power. As long as the pig remains ambulatory, it can be legally killed and sold as meat.
The drugs Smithfield administers to its pigs, of course, exit its hog houses in pig %#&!*%. Industrial pig waste also contains a host of other toxic substances: ammonia, methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, cyanide, phosphorous, nitrates and heavy metals. In addition, the waste nurses more than 100 microbial pathogens that can cause illness in humans, including salmonella, cryptosporidium, streptocolli and girardia. Each gram of hog %#&!*% can contain as much as 100 million fecal coliform bacteria.
Smithfield's holding ponds -- the company calls them lagoons -- cover as much as 120,000 square feet. The area around a single slaughterhouse can contain hundreds of lagoons, some of which run thirty feet deep. The liquid in them is not brown. The interactions between the bacteria and blood and afterbirths and stillborn piglets and urine and excrement and chemicals and drugs turn the lagoons pink.
The Director-General recommended not to close borders and not to restrict international travel. It was considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention.
this is exactly why I had a problem today with one SUPER RED NOTE of a woman that makes notes always against Mexico and Mexicans. I don´t understand what the h...Mexico did to her but you should check her notes. If there are not about criminals, drugs, fatal accidents and MEXICO she is not happy hahahahaha and now she is happy posting trash about our country and people noting of course.
Of ten notes she writes 7 are about drug dealers OF Mexico or the flu now.
From the World Health Organization April 27th April 27, 2009 3:17 PM
The Emergency Committee, established in compliance with the International Health Regulations (2005), held its second meeting on 27 April 2009.
The Committee considered available data on confirmed outbreaks of A/H1N1 swine influenza in the United States of America, Mexico, and Canada. The Committee also considered reports of possible spread to additional countries.
On the advice of the Committee, the WHO Director-General decided on the following.
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 decision was based primarily on epidemiological data demonstrating human-to-human transmission and the ability of the virus to cause community-level outbreaks.
Given the widespread presence of the virus, the Director-General considered that containment of the outbreak is not feasible. The current focus should be on mitigation measures.
The Director-General recommended not to close borders and not to restrict international travel. It was considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention.
The Director-General considered that production of seasonal influenza vaccine should continue at this time, subject to re-evaluation as the situation evolves. WHO will facilitate the process needed to develop a vaccine effective against A/H1N1 virus.
The Director-General stressed that all measures should conform with the purpose and scope of the International Health Regulations.
Duras críticas a las autoridades mexicanas por epidemia April 27, 2009 1:22 PM
XONACATLAN, México (AP) - Gerardo Leyva Lolis, un albañil de 39 años, enfermó hace dos semanas y se convirtió en uno de los primeros mexicanos en morir infectado con el virus de la gripe porcina, pero ningún empleado de salud pública vino a su hogar, en los suburbios de Ciudad de México, para ofrecer medicinas o preguntar acerca de los cerdos que crían los vecinos.
Por cierto, la viuda de Leyva dijo que nadie le informó que su esposo falleció de gripe porcina hasta que The Associated Press le reveló que el caso había sido confirmado por el director del hospital donde fue llevado de urgencia la semana pasada.
La experiencia de la familia plantea preguntas preocupantes acerca de la respuesta que han dado las autoridades de México a la epidemia. Entre los misterios más grandes figura el siguiente: ¿Por qué la enfermedad está matando a decenas de personas en México, pero no en otras partes donde se han presentado casos de gripe porcina?
"Ya no sé qué pensar", dijo el domingo Antonia Cortés Borbolla, en la vivienda que compartía con su esposo y sus tres hijos adolescentes en la población rural de 18.000 habitantes localizada a 65 kilómetros (40 millas) de Ciudad de México.
Sus vecinos, tres de los cuales crían cerdos en sus patios, expresaron su indignación por el fracaso de los funcionarios de salud pública mexicanos en proporcionar medicinas para proteger a aquellos cercanos a la víctima de la gripe porcina.
"Ni siquiera saben qué está pasando", se quejó Sandra Estrada, al aludir a la familia de la víctima. "Si fue (gripe porcina), ¿or qué no se ha tomado medida alguna para proteger a la familia?" añadió Estrada.
Los epidemiólogos necesitan detalles sobre las víctimas para localizar la fuente de la epidemia viral y entender cómo se disemina.
Hay fármacos antivirales, como Tamiflú, que han demostrado su eficacia, pero tienen que ser tomadas en los primeros días luego que una persona experimenta los síntomas. Los expertos recomiendan dar esas medicinas a personas en contacto con las víctimas, inclusive si no muestran síntomas, para asegurarse que no contagien a otros.
El presidente Felipe Calderón emitió el sábado un decreto de emergencia autorizando a trabajadores de salud pública a aislar pacientes e ingresar y revisar sus viviendas para combatir la gripe, pero ningún esfuerzo se hizo con la familia Leyva.
Su viuda dijo que se le preguntó muy poco y se le informó inclusive menos desde la muerte del albañil, el 20 de abril.
Cuando se llamó a la oficina presidencial para preguntar sobre el caso, la persona que respondió refirió todas las cuestiones a la Secretaría de Salud federal. Cuando se llamó a esa oficina, una vocera dijo que no tenía información alguna.
Víctor Torres, subdirector de epidemiología del instituto de salud pública estatal, explicó a la AP que necesitaba por lo menos un día más antes de poder hablar sobre el caso.
Los detalles ofrecidos por la familia, sin embargo, indican que Leyva podría haber infectado a personas en toda la capital congestionada y en el aledaño Estado de México.
En la actualidad, más de 1.600 personas en México han enfermado, al parecer del virus de la gripe porcina y más de 100 han fallecido. Se han confirmado al menos 40 casos de gripe porcina en Estados Unidos y seis en Canadá, pero ninguno de esos casos ha sido fatal.
El doctor Carlos Aranza, director del hospital Adolfo Lóez Mateos donde falleció Leyva, dijo que las pruebas de laboratorio confirmaron que murió debido al virus de la gripe porcina, así como una mujer de 42 años, identificada sólo como Gregoria.
"Sin importar si los pacientes viven o mueren, sus familias deben recibir antibióticos", dijo el doctor Richard Wenzel, ex presidente de la Sociedad Internacional de Enfermedades Infecciosas.
Los periodistas de The Associated Gloria Pérez en Toluca, México y Michael Stobbe en Atlanta, colaboraron con este informe.
P.S. Sorry Tere, my bad ( I thought you'd posted that piece!)
A single sneeze propels 100,000 droplets into the air at around 90 mph, landing on door knobs, ATM keypads, elevator buttons, escalator railings, and grocery cart handles. In a subway station at rush hour, according to British researchers, as many as 10
Swine Flu: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Outbreak April 27, 2009 7:29 AM
Right now health officials around the world are trying to take precautions without inciting panic. Here are just a few of the questions facing them - and ultimately, us as well:
1. Is this a flu pandemic?
The influenza virus is constantly mutating. That's why we can't get full immunity to the flu, the way we can to diseases like chicken pox, because there are multiple strains of the flu virus and they change from year to year. However, even though the virus makes us sick, our immune systems can usually muster enough of a response so that the flu is rarely fatal for healthy people.
But every once in awhile, the virus shifts its genetic structure so much that our immune systems offer no protection whatsoever. (This usually happens when a flu virus found in animals - like the avian flu still circulating in Asia - swaps genes with other viruses in a process called reassortment, and jumps to human beings.) A flu pandemic occurs when a new flu virus emerges for which humans have little or no immunity and then spreads easily from person to person around the world. In the 20th century we had two mild flu pandemics, in 1968 and 1957, and the severe "Spanish flu" pandemic of 1918, which killed an estimated 40 to 50 million people worldwide.
The WHO has the responsibility of declaring when a new flu pandemic is underway, and to simplify the process, the U.N. body has established six pandemic phases. Thanks to H5N1 avian flu, which has killed 257 people since 2003 but doesn't spread very well from one human to another, we're currently at phase 3. If the WHO upgraded that status to phase 4, which is marked by a new virus that begins to pass easily enough from person to person that we can detect community-sized outbreaks, such a move would effectively mean that we've got a pandemic on our hands.
The H1N1 swine flu virus has already been identified as a new virus, with genes from human and avian flus as well as the swine variety. And since it is apparently causing large-scale outbreaks in Mexico, along with separate confirmed cases in the U.S. and Canada and suspected cases in other countries, it would seem that we've already met the criteria for phase 4. But though an emergency committee met on April 25 to evaluate the situation, the WHO hasn't made the pandemic declaration yet. Keiji Fukuda, the WHO's interim assistant director-general for health, security and environment, said on Sunday that its experts "would like a little bit more information and a little bit more time to consider this." The committee is set to meet again by April 28 at the latest.
As health officials have repeatedly emphasized, with good reason, the swine flu situation is evolving rapidly, and more lab tests are needed to ascertain exactly what is going on in Mexico and elsewhere. "We want to make sure we're on solid ground," said Fukuda, a highly respected former CDC official and flu expert.
2. What will happen if this outbreak gets classified as a pandemic?
Moving the world to pandemic phase 4 would be the signal for serious containment actions to be taken on the national and international level. Given that these actions would have major implications for the global economy, not to mention the effects of the public fear that would ensue, there is concern that the WHO may be considering politics along with science. "What the WHO did makes no sense," says Osterholm. "In a potential pandemic, you need to have the WHO be beyond question, and (April 25) was not a good day for them."
Of course, declaring a pandemic isn't a decision that should be taken lightly. For the WHO, phase 4 might trigger an attempt to keep the virus from spreading by instituting strict quarantines and blanketing infected areas with antivirals. But we appear to have missed the opportunity to contain the disease at its source since the virus is already crossing borders with ease. "We cannot stop this at the border," said Anne Schuchat, the CDC's interim director for science and public health. "We don't think that we can quench this in Mexico if it's in many communities now."
That would leave the WHO and individual countries to fall back on damage control, using antivirals and old-fashioned infection control - like closing schools, limiting public gatherings and even restricting travel - to slow the spread of the virus. But such efforts would likely inflict serious damage on an already faltering global economy - and the truth is, we don't know how well those methods will work.
3. Why have the U.S. cases been so much milder than the ones in Mexico?
This is the question that has health officials from Geneva to Washington puzzled. In Mexico, swine flu has caused severe respiratory disease in a number
April 12th, 2009, I listened to a radiobroadcast on Youtube about a truckdriver, who worked for US Homeland Security, actually have transported Avian Bird FLU to different military bases in US, where it was loaded on C-130´s. That was on YouTube April 12
When the Mexican president is getting "special powers" be decree, there's something "else" the authorities are not telling us. Furthermore, the WHO has NOT hidden agenda nor has any special interest in twisting the truth when there's a potential menace into play for an international awareness.
Well, I think that GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD has a lot to do with this new flu virus.
The problem is here and we need to be safe, I think closing schools is a good measure of prevention and as a matter of fact I want classes to be suspended too here at Morelos state.
But I think the news that we are reading from the outside are "too much", I think there is a political issue here for boycotting Mexico and I don´t like it. Now we are guilty of cases in New Zealand, Australia, USA and Canada!
Influenza-like illness in the United States and Mexico April 25, 2009 9:05 PM
From the WHO (World Health Organization)
24 April 2009 -- />The United States Government has reported seven confirmed human cases of Swine Influenza A/H1N1 in the USA (five in California and two in Texas) and nine suspect cases. All seven confirmed cases had mild Influenza-Like Illness (ILI), with only one requiring brief hospitalization. No deaths have been reported.
The Government of Mexico has reported three separate events. In the Federal District of Mexico, surveillance began picking up cases of ILI starting 18 March. The number of cases has risen steadily through April and as of 23 April there are now more than 854 cases of pneumonia from the capital. Of those, 59 have died. In San Luis Potosi, in central Mexico, 24 cases of ILI, with three deaths, have been reported. And from Mexicali, near the border with the United States, four cases of ILI, with no deaths, have been reported.
Of the Mexican cases, 18 have been laboratory confirmed in Canada as Swine Influenza A/H1N1, while 12 of those are genetically identical to the Swine Influenza A/H1N1 viruses from California.
The majority of these cases have occurred in otherwise healthy young adults. Influenza normally affects the very young and the very old, but these age groups have not been heavily affected in Mexico.
Because there are human cases associated with an animal influenza virus, and because of the geographical spread of multiple community outbreaks, plus the somewhat unusual age groups affected, these events are of high concern.
The Swine Influenza A/H1N1 viruses characterized in this outbreak have not been previously detected in pigs or humans. The viruses so far characterized have been sensitive to oseltamivir, but resistant to both amantadine and rimantadine.
The World Health Organization has been in constant contact with the health authorities in the United States, Mexico and Canada in order to better understand the risk which these ILI events pose. WHO (and PAHO) is sending missions of experts to Mexico to work with health authorities there. It is helping its Member States to increase field epidemiology activities, laboratory diagnosis and clinical management. Moreover, WHO's partners in the Global Alert and Response Network have been alerted and are ready to assist as requested by the Member States.
WHO acknowledges the United States and Mexico for their proactive reporting and their collaboration with WHO and will continue to work with Member States to further characterize the outbreak.
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Metro recommends users preventive measures against influenza
Mexico .- With the outbreak of influenza among the people, the Metro System of Transportation announced a series of preventive measures and actions implemented in this mode of mass transport.
Recommended that people wash their hands before and after his tour of the Metro, cover your nose and mouth, and drink plenty of non-self. Consult a doctor in case of sudden increase of fever, headache, pain in muscles and joints, fatigue, tearing, sore throat and cough.
Recomienda Metro a usuarios medidas de prevención contra influenzaW Radio | Abril 24 de 2009
México.- Con motivo del brote de influenza entre la población, el Sistema de Transporte Colectivo Metro anunció una serie de medidas preventivas y acciones que implementará en este medio de transporte masivo.
Recomendó a las personas lavarse las manos antes y después de su recorrido por el Metro, cubrir la nariz y boca, tomar líquido en abundancia y no automedicarse.
Consultar al médico en caso de presentar incremento súbito de fiebre, dolor de cabeza, dolor intenso de músculos y articulaciones, cansancio excesivo, lagrimeo, dolor de garganta y tos.
Ante este situación el Sistema de Transporte Colectivo distribuirá cubrebocas en las estaciones de mayor concentración donde se ubican los Centros de Hidratación. Además se incrementará la ventilación en vagones e instalaciones fijas, así como la frecuencia de limpieza.
También se dotará de cubrebocas al personal operativo como taquilleras, conductores, policías auxiliares, vigilantes, inspectores, jefes de estación y personal de limpieza.
Se realizará una campaña de prevención y recomendación entre los usuarios y sus instalaciones, en su página de Internet y en el sistema de comunicación en estaciones conocido como audiómetro.
Yesterday, only in the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMS ten people died from SARS presumably caused by seasonal influenza virus, and six deaths were recorded in the Federal District. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health reported
Do I have influenza? These are the symptoms The health authorities explained that although you are not experiencing an epidemic, do not rule out increasing the number of dead, because there are already seriously ill patients in some hospitals.
Thu, 23/04/2009 - 14:39
Photograph of the influenza virus. Photo: especialCiudad of Mexico .- The Ministry of Health urged people to go to the doctor immediately if symptoms such as high fever, cough, headache, muscle aches, inflammation of the throat, extreme fatigue and pain in joints.
If you have some symptoms of the medical table, you may have influenza. It is therefore recommended that the SSA to reduce hospitals, restricting the access of families to areas of greatest risk of infection and use of lenses, cover mouths, disposable gloves and gowns, if you have direct contact with someone suspected of having the disease .
Another recommendation is to wash your hands well before and after attending to patients and vaccinate the staff working in areas of high contact with the virus.
Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus that changes periodically.
Contracts or passes when we breathe droplets of secretions from a person infected with influenza virus. This virus multiplies in the respiratory tract, causing inflammation in the throat, nose and bronchi.
Anyone can get influenza, especially when there are outbreaks or epidemics. Some people are more susceptible than others to contract the disease as well as complications. These people are considered "high risk" by the damage that can cause to their health.
According to data provided by the Ministry of Health in 2009 so far 20 people have died of influenza victims. The virus came from United States and that is why the federal agency issued an alert to all hospitals in the Republic, where isolation wards were established.
To combat the virus among medical staff, the federal government spent 25 million pesos to buy 400 thousand doses of vaccine antiinfluenza.
Data provided by the SSA explained that the 20 died from the virus, 13 were detected in the Distrito Federal, 4 in San Luis Potosi, two in Baja California and one in Oaxaca.
The health authorities explained that although you are not experiencing an epidemic, do not rule out increasing the number of dead, because there are already seriously ill patients in some hospitals. Besides, when there are cases of influenza, is an internal protocol in hospitals.
During the past winter season were 7 thousand 237 cases with influenza, of which 4 thousand 545 were detected between New Year and April 22.
In the Federal District identified 120 cases in 23 hospitals. The sector of the City Health reported two thousand 264 cases compatible with influenza during 2008.
Of all the probable cases were registered during 2008 (7 mil 425), there were 166 warrant isolation. However, only 30 deaths were recorded throughout the year.
Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova, called upon the people to remain calm in the cases of influenza stationary and indicated that no cases of influenza have been detected in medical staff, but other employees in that sector.
"We must remain calm, especially the families must cooperate so that when they have symptoms with a doctor if they do not sneezing directly to others, if the problem does not say hello or kiss or hand, may not share utensils for food if they are not washed, "said the secretary.
¿Tengo Influenza? Estos son los síntomas with translation to English April 24, 2009 5:11 PM
Las autoridades sanitarias aclararon que si bien no se está viviendo una epidemia, no descartan que aumente la cifra de muertos, pues ya hay pacientes graves en algunos hospitales.
Jue, 23/04/2009 - 14:39
Fotografía del virus de la influenza. Foto: especial
Ciudad de México.- La secretaría de Salud exhortó a la población para que acuda de inmediato al médico en caso de presentar síntomas como: fiebre alta, tos, dolor de cabeza, dolores musculares, inflamación de la garganta, cansancio extremo y dolor en las articulaciones.
Si usted presenta algunos síntomas de dicho cuadro médico, es posible que tenga Influenza. Es por eso que la SSA recomienda reducir las vistas a los hospitales, restringir el acceso de familiares a las áreas de mayor riesgo de infección y utilizar lentes, cubre bocas, guantes y batas desechables, si tiene contacto directo con un sospechoso de padecer la enfermedad.
Otra de las recomendaciones es lavarse muy bien las manos antes y después de atender a pacientes, y vacunar al personal que labora en áreas de alto contacto con el virus.
La influenza es una enfermedad respiratoria muy contagiosa, causada por un virus que cambia periódicamente.
Se contrae o transmite cuando respiramos gotas de secreciones de una persona infectada con el virus de la influenza. Este virus se multiplica en las vías respiratorias, causando inflamación en la garganta, la nariz y los bronquios.
Cualquier persona puede contraer la influenza especialmente cuando surgen brotes o epidemias. Algunas personas son más susceptibles que otras a contraer la enfermedad como también a complicaciones. Estas personas se consideran en "alto riesgo" por los graves daños que puede causar a su salud.
De acuerdo a datos proporcionados por la Secretaría de Salud, en lo que va de 2009 han muerto 20 personas víctimas de Influenza. El virus provino de Estados Unidos y es por eso que la dependencia federal lanzó una alerta para todos los hospitales de la República, donde ya se establecieron pabellones de aislamiento.
Para combatir el virus entre el personal médico, el gobierno federal destinó 25 millones de pesos para comprar 400 mil dosis de vacunas antiinfluenza.
Datos proporcionado por la SSA explican, que de los 20 fallecidos por el virus, 13 se detectaron en el Distrito Federal, 4 en San Luis Potosí, dos en Baja California y uno en Oaxaca.
Las autoridades sanitarias aclararon que si bien no se está viviendo una epidemia, no descartan que aumente la cifra de muertos, pues ya hay pacientes graves en algunos hospitales. Además de que, cuando hay casos de Influenza, se aplica todo un protocolo interno en los hospitales.
En la pasada temporada invernal se registraron 7 mil 237 casos compatibles con influenza, de los que 4 mil 545 se detectaron entre Año Nuevo y el 22 de abril.
En el Distrito Federal se identificaron 120 casos en 23 hospitales. El sector Salud del DF reportó dos mil 264 casos compatibles con influenza durante 2008.
Del total de casos probables que se registraron durante todo 2008 (7 mil 425), hubo 166 que ameritaron aislamiento. Sin embargo, solamente se registraron 30 decesos en todo el año.
El secretario de Salud, José Ángel Cordova, llamó a la población a mantenerse tranquila ante los casos de influenza estacionaria e indicó que no se han detectado casos de influenza en personal médico, aunque sí de otros empleados de ese sector.
"Debemos de mantenernos tranquilos, deben sobre todo las familias cooperar en cuanto a que si tiene síntomas vayan con el médico, si están estornudando no lo hagan directamente a los demás, si tiene el problema no saluden ni de beso ni de mano, no compartan utensilios para alimentos si no están lavados", precisó el secretario.