The World Health Organisation (WHO)
has said that the most recent research on swine flu
that the virus is not caused by pigs. Note: see box below.
The disease is now being referred to as Mexican flu or "2009 H1N1 flu".
moved the pandemic alert from four to five, the second highest. The first case of what was called swine flu
was reported in Mexico
and its first fatality was confirmed there on 30-April-2009
The 23 month-old infant who died in Texas USA,
in the first fatal case from the swine flu
outbreak in the United Sates, was also Mexican. The child came from Mexico to Houston for medical treatment [ 1 ]
The number of fatalities and people sickened by the virus continues to rise. No doubt by the time you read this article the numbers will have increased. As at 1-May-2009
the following figures were available;
160 deaths, 2,498 sick but only 1,311 suspected swine flu
patients remained hospitalised. Daily admissions in Mexico's
public hospitals suggest the outbreak may have peaked
By 9 March
, the first symptoms were showing up in the Mexican
state of Veracruz,
where pig farming is the main industry in mountain hamlets and small clinics provide the only health care.
The earliest confirmed case
was a 5 year old boy, Edgar Enrique Hernandez
in La Gloria
recovered and although he still has a persistent cough, says "I feel good."
Several hundred people from the village of 2,500 people became sick and two children died, prompting authorities to fumigate the entire village
USA: 1 death, 109 confirmed cases in 11 states; Canada: 97 confirmed; New Zealand: 14 confirmed; Spain: 10 confirmed; UK: 8; Germany: 3; Israel: 2; Austria, Costa Rica, Switzerland and the Netherlands - all 1 case confirmed
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Some Facts & Figures Indonesia
is currently screening all people arriving from overseas at its major airports for flu like symptoms. There are no reported swine flu
cases in Indonesia
- so far
The swine flu
virus is designated H1N1
– the same H1N1 Spanish flu virus that killed between 50 million and 100 million people world-wide in 25 weeks in 1918-1919.
For more details on the 1918 Spanish flu
click on www.dmacDigest.com/flu1918
of course has had experience over the past 5 years with Avian (bird) flu H5N1
. During that time Indonesia
has had more fatalities than any other country – 137
as at 24-Sep-08
However during that same 5 year period Indonesia
has suffered approx 750,000
deaths from Tuberculosis (TB) [ 2 ]
The total number of people worldwide who die from normal flu symptoms each year is difficult to come by. However during a typical year in the United States, 30,000 to 50,000 people die as a result of influenza viral infection
. Frequently cited numbers are 37,000 annually
Estimated rates of influenza-associated pulmonary and circulatory deaths per 100,000 persons
were 0.4 -0.6 among persons aged 0-49 years,
7.5 aged 50-64 years, and 98.3 among persons ages >65 years [ 3 ]
Those figures show the most vulnerable to normal flu symptoms are the elderly, while most young children are infected by the virus. Swine flu
– and for that matter the 1918 Spanish flu (both H1N1 remember)
are different in so far as the people most vulnerable are young adults in the prime of their life – aged 20 – 40 years
Scientists believe the immune system in children and the very elderly is weakened and cannot effectively fight the virus. The immune system of people in the prime of life, reacted, or in fact over-reacted to the virus,
causing the lungs to fill with blood from ruptured blood vessels. In fact death was by drowning on one's own bodily fluids
is stocking as many as 3 million doses of oseltamivir antiviral drugs.
Enough for around 300,000 people. [ 4 ]
has 8.7 million doses of Tamiflu and Relenza drugs
and large stores of surgical masks [ 5 ]
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Swine Flu symptoms
| Where does Influenza come from ?
All flu viruses are thought to have originated from birds.
Scientists believe that to cause human epidemics, the virus has to jump from birds to pigs (mammals)
where the genetic changes occur to enable the strains to spread to humans. Bird flu
is unusual - in so far it has jumped direct from poultry to humans in close contact
are like regular flu
symptoms – fever (38 oC or more), coughs, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue
. Some people have reported diarrhoea and vomiting
. These symptoms can be caused by many other conditions. It takes a lab test to tell whether it's
Good hygiene is the key. You can reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading influence by:
Those drugs may not be required.
The widespread wearing of masks during a pandemic is unlikely to be effective at preventing people from becoming infected with the virus.
outbreak is receiving a lot of media attention world-wide. While there is need to be concerned, there is no reason to be alarmed at this stage. Remember
which has yet to become anything like a pandemic.
Chan said. But she added that the world