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Swine Flu Cases Mount

May 7th, 2009 4 comments

Click the image for a map of swine flu cases.

Click the image for a map of swine flu cases.

Swine flu cases are quickly approaching the one thousand milestone in the US as additional swine flu victims also mount in Mexico. The editors of New Scientist have called for a “ flu Manhattan project” in the face of a looming swine flu pandemic, noting the irony that it’s not an Asian bird flu prompting this alarming editorial.

What’s so hard about a swine flu Manhattan project? As usual, the devil’s in the corporate/government details. Preventing a swine flu pandemic can not be done unilaterally. This must be a whole-world effort to combat the next flu pandemic. Naturally, it comes down to dollars and cents, or yuan or whatever currencies we need to spend. Read the New Scientist article for more details.

Why was swine flu so much worse in Mexico?

In Mexico, there are more over the counter options to treat swine flu symptoms. Want antibiotics? No problem. They’re cheap and you don’t need a prescription. Additionally, though there’s a certain level  of state-run health care in Mexico, many residents aren’t near clinics and don’t have enough money to pay the nominal fee required for swine flu treatment.

This trend of avoiding treatment is exacerbated in the younger generations which were hit hard by swine flu. It’s not that swine flu is uncharacteristically killing the hearty youth, rather they’re avoiding medical help in lieu of home symptom treatment. The only two people to be killed by swine flu in the US were both weakened. One elderly, the other a baby.

The over the counter drugs and the recklessness of Mexican youth alone cannot explain the excessive swine flu deaths in Mexico. Elements of Mexican culture are also to blame. Did you know there are thousands of schools in Mexico without running water and bathrooms? It’s no wonder swine flu spread so quickly and became so deadly. Furthermore, Mexico City is one of the most crowded cities on the planet. Cramped conditions, poor medical policies and antiquated sanitation made (and continue to make) the perfect swine flu storm in Mexico.

Is all of Mexico like that?! No. There are plenty of places where there is no swine flu, like Cabo San Lucas. Why? There are restrooms in Cabo. The tap water is drinkable even by people from the US. And most importantly, it’s a desert… with a lot of tourist money flowing through its infrastructure veins. Who says money doesn’t solve big problems? Slap them. They’re wrong. Money fixes swine flu.

Visit the swine flu tracker swine flu map for the latest on swine flu news.

151 Swine Flu Cases in the US

May 2nd, 2009 No comments
swine-flu-map

Swine Flu Map

Revised estimates put the total US swine flu cases at 151. One baby from Mexico who came to the US for treatment remains the lone US swine flu death. The first reported swine flu cases in the US (of the current H1N1 virus strain,) were on April 22 in southern California. The previous incidence of swine flu in the US was in 1976 when 13 fell ill and one died in New Jersey.

As much as most US media implies that this recent outbreak of swine flu began in Mexico City, the April 22, 2009 date associated with two cases in California are the first cases reported by the US media.

It wasn’t until a day later, on April 23rd when we first learned of a debilitating respiratory illness in Mexico. It is unknown if the two California cases are related to the swine flu outbreak in Mexico.

It’s important to note that most of Mexico is free of sine flu. Popular Mexican vacation spots like Cabo San Lucas have reported no swine flu. Post your swine flu questions in the comments of any post.

Cabo Swine Flu Update

April 30th, 2009 18 comments

Swine flu update. I’ve been getting a lot of comments about Cabo swine flu on another blog. Seems appropriate to address it here. Readers’ comments below. My responses in red.

Cabo Swine Flu Mailbag

  • What a shame. There are no cases of swine flu reported in Los Cabos as of today (April 28) yet many people will cancel their vacation plans due to the fear and panic that is spreading faster than the virus itself. I’m with Dan. While common sense precautions should be taken, undoubtedly this scare will all blow over in a few days or weeks (remember SARS?) and if you cancel your plans, you’ll miss out on having a fabulous time here.
  • i cant believe how irresponsible the media is… i live in cabo and its totally safe, we are like an island and the hot dry environment is non conducive for the spread of flu.
  • I am supposed to leave for Cabo San lucas on Saturday May 2, the 3 other passengers I booked the trip with are terrified that they will shut down the borders, and we will not be able to get back, anything I could tell them to make them feel better? I really want to go on vacation, and I am soo pissed at the media as well for making this bigger than it is! Tell your compatriot travelers to stop being little babies. ;) I’d only cancel your trip if you were going to Mexico City. Cabo should be fine. You’ll have a great time. Check out my Cabo guide.
  • listen… the medication that you need for this flu they sell over the counter. im not saying that this is something you should ignore, however with proper hygiene and basic precaution, you have nothing to worry about. almost 40,000 americans die every year from the flu and its always based on the same issues. lack of attention, precaution and available medical help. Or in other words, if you feel a little sick, go see a doctor.
    Dont let the media scare you from living your life… read up on this flu, check your sources and make your own educated decision. Dont forget that weather MSMBC or FOX, news is based on ratings and since the economy and drug wars have faded from the spot light, the associated press will jump on anything that has legs.
  • I’m from LA but live in England. I’m getting married in Vegas on the 9th and going to Cabo on the 14th. If my flight is flying, I’m going to Cabo! I’ve got cold medicine, antibac soap and plenty of tissue! I’ll wash my hands often and steer clear of subways (i know there isn’t oen there). I’M GOING TO CABO FOR MY HONEYMOON DAMN IT!!!
  • I’m supposed to be going to cabo for memorial day and I have no idea what to do….I really do not want to settle for anywhere else!
  • My husband and I are flying to Cabo on May 19th-27th —We are apprehensive but feel that Cabo is as safe as anywhere in Mexico. We are travelling by Alaskan Airlines, and feel reasonably safe, since this is a non-stop flight from San Francisco. We do not want to reschedule, as anyone who travels to Cabo knows how hot it can get further into the Summer. Your pros and cons will be appreciated. Shirley and Norm
  • I’m going to Cabo next Saturday May 9th, and I’m still definitely going!!! This is just the flu… over 100 people a day die on average in the US from the regular flu alone! No wonder so many people have the flu in Mexico City it is the most populated, polluted city on the planet… they say spending a day in Mexico City is like smoking 2 packs of cigarettes. The place is gross and Cabo isn’t even on the mainland… If you leave in Cali or would go to Cali its the same as going to Cabo. See ya there!!

That’s it for swine flu Los Cabos. The long and the short of it: No swine flu in Cabo yet. Joe Biden says avoid planes. I say be careful, have fun. See you in Cabo!

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