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Swine flu deaths spur global epidemic fears

Public Health Swine Flu 2009

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#41 Drew

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 03:00 PM

View PostNeptunian, on Apr 27 2009, 01:12 PM, said:

So how bad does this have to become for them to shut down air traffic? I'm planning a trip across the pond in June. I'd hate to cancel it just because I might catch a potentially deadly virus and croak.

I understood Europeans were already being cautioned not to travel to the U.S. because of Swine Flu -- in Mexico. Is this true?
"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#42 BklnScott

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 03:16 PM

Drew, what is it you don't understand about the need to err on the side of caution when the potential for an apocalyptic outbreak exists?

(BTW, viruses don't recognize national borders.  In the era of global jet travel, they don't even recognize oceans.  They go where we go -- and we go everywhere.)

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#43 Neptunian

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 03:26 PM

View PostDrew, on Apr 27 2009, 10:00 PM, said:

I understood Europeans were already being cautioned not to travel to the U.S. because of Swine Flu -- in Mexico. Is this true?

From what I've heard on the news, we're being advised to take precautions if we travel to Mexico. No one is saying anything about the U.S. yet and I hope it stays that way. The news coverage is still more academic (doctors wondering why the flu is hitting Mexicans harder than people from other countries) than panicky.

#44 Drew

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 04:08 PM

View PostBklnScott, on Apr 27 2009, 03:16 PM, said:

Drew, what is it you don't understand about the need to err on the side of caution when the potential for an apocalyptic outbreak exists?

I object to the use of words like "pandemic" or "apocalypic outbreak" to describe what is currently a very small, localized outbreak. Yes, caution is nice. But using scare words doesn't help anyone, and promotes panic.

Speaking of panic . . .

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Although swine flu has been confirmed, as of Monday morning, in people in five U.S. states (Texas, California, Kansas, New York and Ohio - a total of 20 cases), no one here has died of it and all these cases have been mild. In Mexico, more than 100 people have died from the swine flu, according to Associated Press reports from Mexican officials. No one yet knows why the cases in Mexico are so much more severe. Some of the confirmed numbers fail to add up, possibly due to the lag time in obtaining lab confirmations. There were 20 lab-confirmed cases of swine influenza in humans in the United States, and 18 lab-confirmed cases in Mexico, according to a World Health Organization statement on Sunday.

So, how many cases are there in Mexico? Mexican officials say one thing. WHO says another. Are the numbers from Mexican officials inflated? And if so, why? Panic creates or allows lots of misinformation.

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Q: How big is my risk?

A: For most people, very low. Outside of Mexico, so far clusters of illnesses seem related to Mexican travel. New York City's cluster, for instance, consists of students and family members at one school where some students came back ill from spring break in Mexico.

Q: Why are people dying in Mexico and not here?

A: That's a mystery. First, understand that no one really knows just how many people in Mexico are dying of this flu strain, or how many have it. Only a fraction of the suspected deaths have been tested and confirmed as swine flu, and some initially suspected cases were caused by something else.

Edited by Drew, 27 April 2009 - 04:15 PM.

"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#45 Drew

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 04:14 PM

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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.

"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#46 Shalamar

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 04:18 PM

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MEXICO CITY The World Health Organization raised its global alert level Monday, signaling the swine flu virus was spreading from human to human in community outbreaks, but it stopped short of declaring a full-blown pandemic.

The WHO announcement in Geneva followed a decision by the top EU health official urging Europeans to postpone nonessential travel to parts of the United States and Mexico because of the virus.

Mexico health department spokesman Carlos Olmos confirmed the move by the WHO to raise the alert level from Phase 3 to Phase 4.
Putting an alert at Phases 4 or 5 signals that the swine flu virus is becoming increasingly adept at spreading among humans. That move could lead governments to set trade, travel and other restrictions aimed at limiting the disease's spread.

The WHO's Phase 6 is the pandemic phase, characterized by outbreaks in at least two regions of the world.

~
At Germany's bustling Frankfurt Airport, people suspected of having the disease were examined before getting off planes, said the health minister for Hesse state, Juergen Banzer. The policy was in effect since Saturday at continental Europe's second-busiest airport, after Charles de Gaulle in Paris.

Governments in Asia with potent memories of SARS and avian flu outbreaks heeded the warning amid global fears of a pandemic.

Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines dusted off thermal scanners used in the 2003 SARS crisis and were checking for signs of fever among passengers from North America. South Korea and Indonesia introduced similar screening.

In Malaysia, health workers in face masks took the temperatures of passengers as they arrived on a flight from Los Angeles.

Russia, Hong Kong and Taiwan said visitors returning from flu-affected areas with fevers would be quarantined.

Australian Health Minister Nicola Roxon said pilots on international flights would be required to file a report noting any flu-like symptoms among passengers before being allowed to land in Australia.

China said anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms within two weeks of arrival had to report to authorities.

India will start screening people arriving from Mexico, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Spain, Britain and France for flu-like symptoms, said Vineet Chawdhry, a top Health Ministry official. It also will contact people who have arrived from Mexico and other affected countries in the past 10 days to check for the symptoms, he said.

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It's not just the US - though it looks as if the US is being the most agresive in reaction- but given our huge mostly unsealed border with Mexico, I feel that it is a sensible reaction, not a hysterical one

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WASHINGTON Confirming 40 cases of swine flu in the U.S., the Obama administration said Monday it was responding aggressively as if the outbreak would spread into a full pandemic. Officials urged Americans against most travel to Mexico as the virus that began there spread to the United States and beyond. President Barack Obama urged calm, saying there was reason for concern but not yet "a cause for alarm."

Yet just in case, administration officials said that they were already waging a vigorous campaign of prevention, unsure of the outbreak's severity or where it would show up next.

U.S. customs officials began checking people entering U.S. territory. Millions of doses of flu-fighting medications from a federal stockpile were on their way to states, with priority given to the five already affected and to border states. Federal agencies were conferring with state and international governments.

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We are not sealing the borders, just, as other nations are, checking those who cross, and making sure that medications and other supplies are going to get where they are needed - preperation is NOT hysteria, or doomsaying.
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#47 Drew

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 04:22 PM

:headshake:

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China, Russia and Ukraine banned imports of pork and pork products from Mexico and three U.S. states that have reported cases of swine flu, and other governments were increasing their screening of pork imports. Azerbaijan banned all livestock products from all of North America.

Indonesia, which was hit hardest by bird flu, said it was banning all pork imports. Lebanon said all pork products, except for some canned varieties, were banned.

The CDC says people cannot get the flu by eating pork or pork products.

"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#48 Shalamar

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 04:52 PM

Drew - that has me rolling my eyes too.
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#49 Nick

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 05:09 PM

Yeah, live animals are one thing, but processed meat is another.  It's probably either a case of uninformed officials, "we don't believe you, so we're doing it anyway," or "We must do SOMETHING!  This is something, therefore we must do it!"

#50 D'Monix

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 03:03 AM

IDEMC.ORG

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Edited by Joe D'Monix, 28 April 2009 - 03:03 AM.


#51 Shadowfire

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 11:18 AM

My university campus will be sealed for 72 hours from tonight because of a suspected swine flu outbreak. A teacher returned from a field trip to Mexico wih flu-like symptoms and collapsed at home. Now half his class have the same symptoms.

May just be bog standard flu though as that was making the rounds in February

Edited by Dusty, 28 April 2009 - 11:19 AM.

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View PostRobL, on Jul 20 2009, 06:35 PM, said:

Every time I see a political thread I fondle myself just a little bit.............

'I honestly cannot justify that. You see, advertising isn't an art. Appealing to the English? Use someone from Hollyoaks and diss United. Scots? Talk about how evil Thatcher was. SNP is awesome etc. Americans? Well they be thick as sh*t so short sentences and shiny things and some Jesus helps too.. French and Germans? Talk about the war. Irish? f*ck that we can't sell sh*t in Ireland. That's frankly how it all works. So what I'm trying to say is that I'm happy you're dumping all this cash into advertising... I honestly don't see what you want me to do with it.  And also, that blip in the records in June was me buying monitors.-- never ask me to be 'brutally honest' about a budget.

You of course realise that anything you post here is comprised of ASCII characters? Each character is 7 bits with a parity bit making 8... I guess that's fairly meaningless to you which is actually the point. At most your sentence is a few kilobytes and considering I'm doing a file transfer of over a billion bytes right now those bytes making up your words are invisible with their insignificance, which is exact what I think of your post. Insignificant.

#52 Rhea

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 11:34 AM

View PostDrew, on Apr 27 2009, 09:49 AM, said:

The point, which you're both so willingly missing, is that she wouldn't have offered a disclaimer if she wasn't worried about people panicking at the words "public health emergency."

I think she was trying to clarify the urgency. It doesn't mean everybody should die of fright - it means they're taking steps to make sure adequate amounts of meds are available, to review emergency plans (for hospitals, etc.) should large numbers of people become ill, that they are making sure that people know how it's transmitted and what precautions to take. And of course she was worried about people panicking.
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#53 Rhea

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 11:36 AM

View PostDrew, on Apr 27 2009, 02:22 PM, said:

:headshake:

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China, Russia and Ukraine banned imports of pork and pork products from Mexico and three U.S. states that have reported cases of swine flu, and other governments were increasing their screening of pork imports. Azerbaijan banned all livestock products from all of North America.

Indonesia, which was hit hardest by bird flu, said it was banning all pork imports. Lebanon said all pork products, except for some canned varieties, were banned.

The CDC says people cannot get the flu by eating pork or pork products.

Yuh, that'll be a big help.

And my guess is that nobody knows the number of cases in Mexico because even with a $5 bil budget, the Mexican health department is doing diddly-squat. They're clueless about the number of cases.
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#54 Cheile

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 05:18 AM

this appears to be the latest:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30398682/

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#55 SparkyCola

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 05:27 AM

Joe D'Monix said:

IDEMC.ORG

Ooh, cool site!

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#56 Nonny

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 06:03 AM

Death reported in Texas.  Looking for a link.
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#57 Nonny

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 06:07 AM

CNN

Quote

23-month-old Texas child confirmed as first U.S. swine flu death, according to Richard Besser, acting director, CDC

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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#58 Shadowfire

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 06:12 AM

View PostDusty, on Apr 28 2009, 05:18 PM, said:

My university campus will be sealed for 72 hours from tonight because of a suspected swine flu outbreak. A teacher returned from a field trip to Mexico wih flu-like symptoms and collapsed at home. Now half his class have the same symptoms.

May just be bog standard flu though as that was making the rounds in February


Yeah it's been confirmed the teacher has swine flu but no-one else does. Apparently the 'collapsed at home' never happened though... never trust the Union Press.

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View PostRobL, on Jul 20 2009, 06:35 PM, said:

Every time I see a political thread I fondle myself just a little bit.............

'I honestly cannot justify that. You see, advertising isn't an art. Appealing to the English? Use someone from Hollyoaks and diss United. Scots? Talk about how evil Thatcher was. SNP is awesome etc. Americans? Well they be thick as sh*t so short sentences and shiny things and some Jesus helps too.. French and Germans? Talk about the war. Irish? f*ck that we can't sell sh*t in Ireland. That's frankly how it all works. So what I'm trying to say is that I'm happy you're dumping all this cash into advertising... I honestly don't see what you want me to do with it.  And also, that blip in the records in June was me buying monitors.-- never ask me to be 'brutally honest' about a budget.

You of course realise that anything you post here is comprised of ASCII characters? Each character is 7 bits with a parity bit making 8... I guess that's fairly meaningless to you which is actually the point. At most your sentence is a few kilobytes and considering I'm doing a file transfer of over a billion bytes right now those bytes making up your words are invisible with their insignificance, which is exact what I think of your post. Insignificant.

#59 Drew

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 08:41 AM

Meanwhile, of the 159 deaths that Mexican officials suspected were due to Swine Flu (which we're apparently not allowed to call Swine Flu anymore, because Jews, Muslims, and Pork Producers are offended) only 7 (SEVEN!) were confirmed to actually be due to Swine Flu. I mean, H1N1 Virus. Of the nearly 2500 people reportedly hospitalized in Mexico due to H1N1, only 26 cases of the virus were confirmed.

Define doomsday downward.

Edited by Drew, 29 April 2009 - 08:42 AM.

"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#60 Balderdash

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 08:46 AM

^^^

I don't know about Jews and Muslims but pork producers have to do something because whole
countries have gone insane and have stopped taking processed (cooked, not alive) pork from the effected countries.  The world is full of morons!  :eek4:

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