Sunday, May 3, 2009

Welcome to the Swine Flu Update Blog.....( begun 4.30.09, updated everyday or every couple of days)

(Originally opened Blog 4.30.09)
I am reposting all the blog posts from Watergate Summer over to this blog to attempt to better track the Swine Flu. I am still not sure of the total picture of this outbreak, but as a nurse I feel compelled to follow it and pay attention. My main concern is that 50 Million people in the States do not have Health Insurance or Healthcare. I also have many questions how it was originally handled and studied in Mexico, and yes I have questions about the Hygiene Practices at the Hog Farm in Vera Cruz.

All information here is presented as a Nurse, and the main purpose for educating and helping people get their questions answered. I do post articles from a global health oriented perspective. I do believe Education is critical for better health.
Blog will be updated with New Update Posts Daily...

Weekend Swine Update 5.1.09 -5.3.09.......Tonight the Number is up to 245 confirmed cases , 35 States ( the Labs are catching up the numbers)

Hopkins Global Doctor is interviewed for Voice of America.
BBC has Interviewed Lancet Physicians to answer Our Questions....excellent read.
Consumer Reports has an entire page on Swine Flu, excellently done. ( Some of the Snippets from this page are in the Comments and have been forwarded by Happy in Nevada...really wonderful.)
BBC has More about WHO 's concerns, and that it has now spread to 18 countries and 900 are confirmed. The Mexican Numbers are still fuzzy.
The Guardian has a great article exploring the WHO"S concerns about Impoverished Nations....
Meanwhile in the States it is up to 245 in 35 States, and the labs continue to catch up to the Situation, 435 Schools to remain closed this week. CDC has extended the Incubation phase, up to 2 weeks, so schools will stay closed for two weeks while they are cleansed. I am still trying to determine the Hospitalized numbers and ages.
"US flu tally jumps to 245 as labs catch up////By MALCOLM RITTER – 40 minutes ago
NEW YORK (AP) — The tally of confirmed swine flu cases in the United States jumped Sunday to 245 in 35 states, but officials said that's largely from catching up on a backlog of lab tests rather than a sudden spurt in new infections.
The new count reflects streamlining in federal procedures and the results of tests by states, which have only recently begun confirming cases, said Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Because states are now contributing their results, and because there are many cases to analyze, "I expect the numbers to jump quite a bit in the next couple days," she told reporters Sunday.
Beyond eating into the backlog, the new number also reflects that "we do think this virus is fairly widespread," she said.
"Virtually all of the United States probably has this virus circulating now. That doesn't mean that everybody's infected, but within the communities, the virus has arrived."
LA Times Monday Morn::::
Why Immigrants Deserve Medical Care

Friday, May 1, 2009

May First Swine Flu Update.....Alot is Breaking today on the Hog Farm Connection ( so this post has been imported from my Swine Flu Blog)

The First Story that I reccomend to read is the Latest in Huffington post that explains MORE about the Connection between the HOG Farms in Mexico, that are US owned and their connection to this Outbreak. This story also explains that Scientists are looking at a similiar Hog strain outbreak of 1998. ( I will continue to call it Swine Flu here, as it is scientifically presenting as virus that is related to Hog Waste Practices. I will not call it what the Hog Industry wants it called.) Do read the article as it brings up that there may indeed be more of an American Connection, and more is posted in the Comments- including whole interviews with Virologists about WHY it is "Swine Flu".

"In an interview with Science Magazine, the CDC's chief virologist, Ruben Donis' essentially confirmed the reading of the current swine flu strain made by New Scientist: that it evolved from a strain that cropped up in U.S. hog farms in 1998."
This WSJ story connect the Germ Dots and explains the actual sleuthing that went on and is ongoing tracking this Virus. Really well done.
In the US 300 schools have closed due to symptomatic children, and to protect other children until results come in.There is an actual lag in getting test results, as the swabs are sent to the State and then sent to the CDC labs in Georgia. Schools are taking a precautionary stance, if they have children that have substantial symptoms and are listed as probable by their Doctor, then schools are closing for up to 5-7 days.In many cases this is involving school nurses making weighty decisions, and school districts that have limited nurses are actually closing more schools. Many parents are wrestling with decisions about sending their children to school, or keep them home.
This LA Times article tells how hospitals all over are stressed with overflow due to the Swine Flu, sadly I think that many people sitting in a ER Waiting room is creating more of a mess. In the UK they have people phone their doctor, self quarentine and the tamiflu is phone prescribed and shipped via courier to their homes, this makes more sense. In other places Seperate facilities and entrances are set up for the Flu Patients.
Harvard shut down it's medical and dental school this week,
after a resident came down with swine flu.

Finally we have some Some Real Numbers out of Mexico. 300 Confirmed Cases ( last weekend they were saying over 1000, so this is different.
But we still don't know anything about the Cases, age, gender etc.
More about Swine Flu across the DC region and the Whitehouse Aide to Secretary Chu that did acquire the illness.
More schools in California close due to Swine Illness.
On a local level I did find numerous stories of local pharmacies running out of tamiflu and relenza, I am not sure about how it is distributed, but this is something to watch.
In Texas an entire district was closed due to flu and the schools sanitized. yet the True numbers in Fort Worth of illness remain undetermined.
BBC has more about the World Reaction and response and cases.
Across the Globe Middle East is still taking drastic measures in Egypt, by culling pig herds.
For people abroad Sky News has set up a fairly complete Travel Advice Page for those wondering how to protect themselves.
The Guardian has great article about lessons from the 1918 Spanish Flu could be a good teaching tool.
On another front some people are researching the questions about Hog Farming and the Hygiene practices, Border Explorer has a thought provoking post on it. And Nature Network has more about this current outbreak that is worth reading.
3:30PM LA Times has article about how School Closures might help decrease the spread.

Montel Williams had a guest on his Air America Program this week and they discussed Herbal remedies for fighting the Swine Flu and it's symptoms......

Really Interesting interesting interview with a woman about Chinese Medicine and Herbs, and worth the listen, click the title it is about 10 minutes. Air America has some other good programs about the Flu as well that are worth checking out, just click the side bar button- the radio to hear more and go to the Air America Website.