Pandemic idea sharing. Regardless of cause, H5N1, SARS or Ebola the same basic plannings are the same. While a few are tasked with creating the plans, the many are tasked with carrying them out. Disucss plans, ideas, fears and rescources here.
An article from the Houston News Media
July 3, 2009 at 10:32 am #75166
From the Houston Chronicle
CANCUN, Mexico — World health experts warned Thursday that the global swine flu outbreak that so far has sickened nearly 4,000 Texans and killed 17 is all but certain to worsen in the coming months.
“We are really at the start of a global phenomenon,” said Keiji Fukuda, assistant director general of the World Health Organization. “This is a very humbling virus.”
Hundreds of specialists from 40 countries meeting at a posh beach side resort in this tourist mecca were plotting strategies for what many dread could become an outbreak rivaling a 1918 flu pandemic that killed tens of millions of people.
Health officials in the United States, Mexico and Canada fear that a strengthened virus will return north with the winter cold. And the United Kingdom’s health minister warned this week that the flu could strike as many as 100,000 Britons a day by the end of August.
“We need to plan for the most extreme scenarios as well as for the likely scenarios,” said Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Influenza is perhaps the most unpredictable of infectious diseases.”
This swine flu strain — which scientists call A-H1N1 — was first noticed in late April in Mexico City. The virus was later traced to cases in early March, one of them fatal, in the Mexican states of Veracruz and Oaxaca as well as two near San Diego, Calif.
In just three months the virus has zipped around the world, sickening at least 80,000 and killing 327 in 121 countries. It now stalks the southern hemisphere, where winter flu season rages.
“Watching how quickly H1N1 spread globally was quite disconcerting,” said Canada’s Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq. “It is so important for countries to have a plan in place to be able to respond.”
The WHO declared a pandemic last month. Vaccines are being developed, and it is being effectively treated with anti-viral medicines.
“It really makes sense that the origin was Mexico,” said Nancy Cox, the CDC’s leading flu expert. “We don’t know how long it circulated in humans before it was detected.”
Unlike seasonal flu, which kills tens of thousands of toddlers and the elderly each year, H1N1 has mostly sickened young adults and been deadliest in older children and teens. Experts worry that it could mutate into strains for which most people have no immunity.
U.S. HIT THE HARDEST
The United States, with nearly 34,000 confirmed cases, remains the most affected country, followed by Mexico at about 9,000 and Canada with about 8,000 cases.
The worst hit U.S. state to date is Wisconsin, with 5,861 cases and four deaths, according to a CDC count updated Thursday. Texas is second, with 3,991 cases. This flu has killed least 170 Americans so far, a fraction of the estimated 35,000 who die each year from seasonal flu.
July 5, 2009 at 7:35 pm #75168
Thanks for the article. Yes H1N1 has killed far less than seasonal flu but has had weeks, not months to spread. Just the Texas numbers are scary 4,000 people, 17 dead. Rounding down to 4,000 with 13 dead is 1 in 300 or ten times worse than 1 in 3,000.
There are 300 million Americans. If it kills one in 300 that – well it is scary. I think the number will be a more normal 1 in 3,000 or a far higher one in 6,000.
BTW – 300M / 6,000. is 50,000 – about 15% higher than those killed on interstate highways each year. My post is not meant to make the number sound acceptable – just to keep it in perspective.
I also read from New Zealand – those with Asthma are at risk: Source: http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=102240&fm=newsmain,nrhl
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