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Swine Flu News – including the great killer fungus invasion

April 24th, 2010 No comments

Swine flu? What’s that? Today people are worrying more about the mysterious killer fungus (yep killer fungus) invading our shores than the swine flu H1N1 virus. “The fungus species triggering the infection is Cryptococcus gattii, which can cause pneumonia or meningitis.” Some would cite good reasons to worry more about this killer fungus instead of the swine flu. Evidence suggests that flu shots received in 1976 are largely effective against the recent swine flu virus. But while the swine flu pandemic appears to be over, the swine flu virus is still active. Check the swine flu map link above for the latest info on H1N1 activity.

H1N1 Swine Flu News Wrapup

June 15th, 2009 No comments
Table. U.S. Human of H1N1 Flu Infection
updated June 12, 2009,


States Confirmed and Probable Cases
States
Alabama
123
0
Alaska
11
0
Arkansas
13
0
Arizona
597
5
California
1094
6
Colorado
75
0
Connecticut
637
1
Delaware
187
0
Florida
417
0
Georgia
39
0
Hawaii
198
0
Idaho
29
0
Illinois
1983
5
Indiana
201
0
Iowa
92
0
Kansas
97
0
Kentucky
106
0
Louisiana
134
0
Maine
33
0
Maryland
139
0
Massachusetts
1078
0
Michigan
419
1
Minnesota
153
0
Mississippi
59
0
Missouri
46
1
Montana
27
0
Nebraska
71
0
Nevada
162
0
New Hampshire
92
0
New Jersey
348
0
New Mexico
155
0
New York
1160
13
North Carolina
61
0
North Dakota
31
0
Ohio
53
0
Oklahoma
93
0
Oregon
189
1
Pennsylvania
626
2
Rhode Island
62
0
South Carolina
60
0
South Dakota
14
1
Tennessee
110
0
Texas
2049
3
Utah
688
2
Vermont
32
0
Virginia
90
1
Washington
584
2
Washington, D.C.
33
0
West Virginia
40
0
Wisconsin
3008
1
Wyoming
50
0
TOTAL*(52)
17,855
45

Two weeks later and a three-fold increase in swine flu deaths in the United States. Compare the chart at right to the swine flu chart from just two weeks ago. Should you be worried? No. Should you educate yourself about swine flu and H1N1? Yes.

Europe’s first confirmed swine flu death – Sure, she was pregnant and had other health problems, but she’s dead from H1Ni. The good news? The baby does not have swine flu.

Swine flu widespread in England – Almost 1300 cases confirmed. When will the rest of Europe admit H1N1 has crossed the pond?

Swine flu becomes pandemic – It’s official, or at least it is if you look to the World Health Orginization (WHO) as a source of info. Swine flu is a global pandemic.

Boy Scouts not immune to swine flu – Reason #15 to avoid Jamborees.

CDC puts swine flu into perspective – Graphs, charts and soothing words make the pain go away

Swine flu map – Find the closest cases of swine flu near you.

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. *Total includes the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico

Europe Ignoring Swine Flu?

May 30th, 2009 1 comment
Table. U.S. Human Cases of H1N1 Flu Infection
updated May 29, 2009,

States* Confirmed and Probable Cases Deaths
Alabama
71 cases
0
Arkansas
6 cases
0
Arizona
540 cases
3
California
553 cases
0
Colorado
68 cases
0
Connecticut
149 cases
0
Delaware
115 cases
0
Florida
165 cases
0
Georgia
28 cases
0
Hawaii
71 cases
0
Idaho
12 cases
0
Illinois
1002 cases
2
Indiana
138 cases
0
Iowa
71 cases
0
Kansas
34 cases
0
Kentucky**
50 cases
0
Louisiana
114 cases
0
Maine
11 cases
0
Maryland
48 cases
0
Massachusetts
416 cases
0
Michigan
229 cases
0
Minnesota
47 cases
0
Mississippi
13 cases
0
Missouri
29 cases
1
Montana
14 cases
0
Nebraska
43 cases
0
Nevada
84 cases
0
New Hampshire
35 cases
0
New Jersey
72 cases
0
New Mexico
97 cases
0
New York
553 cases
4
North Carolina
14 cases
0
North Dakota
6 cases
0
Ohio
18 cases
0
Oklahoma
67 cases
0
Oregon
132 cases
0
Pennsylvania
123 cases
0
Rhode Island
13 cases
0
South Carolina
41 cases
0
South Dakota
6 cases
0
Tennessee
100 cases
0
Texas
1403 cases
3
Utah
122 cases
1
Vermont
3 cases
0
Virginia
29 cases
0
Washington
575 cases
1
Washington, D.C.
14 cases
0
Wisconsin
1430 cases
0
Wyoming
1 case
0
TOTAL*(49)
8,975 cases
15

*includes the District of Columbia

**one case is resident of KY but currently hospitalized in GA.

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.

Swine Flu Threat Over?

May 22nd, 2009 No comments
Is the swine flu sky falling?

Is the swine flu sky falling?

“Now would be the worst time to kid ourselves that swine flu is nothing to worry about.” So say the editors of New Scientist in the most recent issue. (For the record, New Scientist is our favorite magazine of any sort, ever. Except maybe for Mad Magazine, when we were nine years old.)

So is this a swine flu scare tactic? Fear mongering? No. Even in the unlikely event that we’re lucky enough to say the worst of swine flu is behind us, our opening quote is sage advice. While we’ve started to receive the blog comment equivalent of hate mail, ostensibly for crying wolf and propagating the “swine flu myth”, the sad truth of the matter is this: Swine flu is still serious business.

Before you chastise this or any other swine flu information source, please research historical flu patterns. You’ll understand the wave-like pattern of past flu pandemics and even their smaller cousins, the less scary flu epidemic. Typically, there’s an early wave of flu infection. Then because of seasonality or whatever other reason, the flu outbreak subsides. All clear? Nope. Flu tends to return in a second wave, even stronger than before.

Other than the early cases in Mexico, swine flu turned out to be much less vicious than initially feared. But don’t count your chickens yet. Our swine flu luck could run out. The odds are 50/50 at best that Chicken Little is the idiot here. For all of our sakes, I hope the sky stays right where it is. In the meantime, expect more swine flu news from whatever we’re considering the trenches these days.

Click links above for swine flu news, swine flu maps and look around for past swine flu features. And seriously, subscribe to New Scientist.

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.

Swine FLu Tracker Launch

April 27th, 2009 5 comments

Just getting started. In short time we’ll post everything you need to know about the potential swine flu pandemic. The swine flu is already international, with cases confirmed in Mexico, USA, Canada and Spain. Other contries suspect cases too. Stay tuned for swine flu news.

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