Friday, 1 May 2009

The mild Swine flu can kill!!

I'm surprised that many so called experts still label this swine flu
as mild in the USA.

Try treating patients without Tamilflu or Relenza, so how mild it is.
Based on the Mexico case, fatality rate is 1%, but this is still much
higher than the normal 0.1%, and worse, it includes normal adults
instead of children and old men.

To see how mild it is, we have to see cases when there is not Tamilflu
or Relenza treatment, so maybe USA can start analysing the deaths of
normal adults out of the 36,000 yearly deaths caused by flu in USA.

See if any of them are due to this swine flu varient.

County health official: `We don't know how (the swine flu) is going to
By Daniel Tedford and Tania Chatila, Staff Writers
Posted: 04/30/2009 05:03:00 PM PDT

Swine Flu
Get the latest news, video and resources in the Health Beat section.

While the pattern of swine flu so far has been mild in the United
States, the path this virus may take is still unpredictable, according
to scientists working with the Los Angeles County Department of Public

"I think at this stage, the disease has not been well-characterized,"
said Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, the director of communicable disease
control and prevention for the department.

"There is a spectrum of opinions out there, but from a public health
viewpoint - we have serious concerns, but we are not alarmists."

Mexico's top medical officer voiced optimism Thursday that swine flu
has slowed in the nation hardest hit by the virus, but the World
Health Organization cautioned there is no evidence the worst of the
global outbreak is over.

The U.S. caseload rose slightly to 109 as schools nationwide shut
their doors, and the crisis even reached the White House, which said
an aide to the secretary of energy apparently got sick helping arrange
a presidential trip to Mexico.

Some experts have argued the strain of swine flu infecting those in
the U.S. is mild, but that is premature statement, Kim-Farley said.

"Bottom line, one of three things is going to happen," Kim-Farley
said. "Either you see the current level of the disease severity, or it
becomes milder and dies away or it becomes more severe. This is why
exactly we need to monitor. Unfortunately, in public health we don't
have the crystal ball to look into the future and see what is going to
happen next."

Swine flu outbreaks

Kim-Farley pointed to the 1918 flu outbreak, which was mild at first,
but became more severe in later waves.

In Mexico, Health secretary Jose Angel Cordova told news outlets that
new cases of swine flu have leveled off and the death rate has been
nearly flat for several days. He said the next few days would be
critical in determining whether the virus was truly on the decline.

Mexican officials have imposed what amounts to a five-day shutdown of
the country, beginning today. All but the most essential government
services will be suspended, most businesses have been urged to close,
and Mexicans have been encouraged to stay in their homes.

European health ministers holding an emergency meeting in Luxembourg
vowed to work quickly with drugmakers to rush a vaccine into
production, but American health officials suggested inoculations could
not begin until fall at the earliest.

New cases of swine flu were confirmed in the United States and Europe
a day after the WHO said the virus threatened to become a global
epidemic and raised its alert level to Phase 5, the second-highest
stage, for the first time.

Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the World Health Organization's top flu official,
said Thursday there was nothing in the past day that would prompt the
U.N. body to raise the alert further.

Switzerland and the Netherlands became the latest countries to report
swine flu infections. In addition to Mexico and the U.S., Canada, New
Zealand, Britain, Germany, Spain, Israel and Austria have confirmed

The WHO raised its tally of confirmed swine flu cases around the world
to 257 from 148, with most of the new cases from Mexico. The WHO count
lags behind what individual countries report.

Health officials in the United States said Thursday the number of
confirmed cases had risen to 109. Only one death due to swine flu has
been reported.

Regionally, Orange County health officials announced its first two
probable cases of swine flu in Orange County Thursday.

A probable case of swine flu was also being investigated in a student
from Mission Bell Elementary School in Riverside. The investigation
prompted the school's closure through Wednesday.

Elliott Duchon, superintendent of Jurupa Unified School District, said
the district did what they were told by the Riverside Public Health

"We have no idea how they obtained the information," he said. "We
don't know who the child is."

Other school closures in Riverside include Lee V. Pollard Continuation
and Indio high schools.

In San Bernardino, officials are also investigating two probable cases
of swine flu, one involving a student at Cole Elementary School. The
school will be closed until Monday.

"It is my understanding (the student) had close contact with someone
who had just returned from Mexico," said Jim Lindley, public health
director with San Bernardino Public Health Department.

Lindley said the child attended school for one day before falling ill.

Thirty-nine Marines were confined to their base in Twentynine Palms
after one came down with the virus.

Throughout the state, hospitals, clinics and physicians have been
testing hundreds of specimens for possible swine flu.

"There has been a definite increase in the number of people coming in
to be screened," said Dr. Sandeeb Mital, with the Pasadena Public
Health Department. "Especially for respiratory cases and influenza
like illness. They complain of fever and flu-like symptoms."

The most common test is the swab test, taken from the back of the
throat. Blood tests can also be used, Mital said.

Since Monday, officials at Citrus Valley Health Partners - with four
campuses throughout the San Gabriel Valley - have sent two of their
specimens to Los Angeles County for further testing.

Swine flu is a mix of pig, bird and human genes to which people have
limited natural immunity. It has symptoms nearly identical to regular
flu - fever, cough and sore throat - and spreads similarly, through
tiny particles in the air, when people cough or sneeze. About 36,000
people die each year of flu in the United States.

-The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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