Europe Ignoring Swine Flu?
Some estimate over 100,000 cases of swine flu in North America, and Japan’s cases, by some counts, tip swine flu into pandemic. So say the New Scientist editors. European health officials however are balking, claiming there is no evidence of sustained H1N1 transmission in Europe. Those same editors go on to say, “That’s hardly surprising, as Europe isn’t doing the relevant tests.”
Most health departments in Europe are suffering from swine flu test equipment shortages. In the UK, officials are only testing potential swine flu cases if they meet the following criteria. Fever above 38 Celcius or history of fever AND two or more flu-like symptions (cough, sore throat, etc.) AND contact with a confirmed swine flu case OR have been in Mexico or the US in the past week.
If that seems convoluted and backwards you’re more perceptive than UK health officials. Swine flu is spreading in Japan, usually when those falling ill have had no contact with US/Mexico travelers.
Before you dismiss these public health administration lapses because you think swine flu is overhyped, we encourage you to read other articles on swine flu tracker. Specifically take note of the typical wave-like pattern of past flu pandemics. The virus can mutate in the southern hemisphere during the northern hemisphere’s summer months and return stronger.
European nations are familiar with both the power of pathogens and the consequences of inept policies thereof. (foot and mouth/hoof and mouth anyone?) If you happen to be or know a prominent health officer in Europe, consider telling them that evidence has debunked the old head in the sand technique for dealing with swine flu.
Current US swine flu cases
The table to the right displays current swine flu cases in the US by state.
For international human cases of swine flu infection
please visit the World Health Organization web site.
NOTE: Because of daily reporting deadlines, the state totals reported by CDC may not always be consistent with those reported by state health departments. If there is a discrepancy between these two counts, data from the state health departments should be used as the most accurate number.