Swine flu updates: Last month the United States federal government granted legal immunity to manufacturers of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine, an important step to incentivize those with the resources to create the most important line of defense against the potentially killer flu. When paired with the vast stores of federal funding freed up by the CDC’s official pandemic declaration, this vital legal shielding provides the jump-start needed to begin protecting high-risk people from possible swine flu infection. Why do drug companies need incentive to save the world? They’re not altruistic?! It turns out that making vaccines for swine flu isn’t nearly as profitable as… doing things that drug companies do when they’re not making swine flu vaccine.
Unfortunately we likely won’t see the first doses of swine flu vaccine until well into October 2010. More bad news, because we’re in such a rush to get this vaccine out the door, it likely won’t undergo as vigorous a testing regimen as past seasonal flu vaccines. Naturally some are worried that the hurried swine flu vaccine will not be as effective as a more deliberate pace would allow. Others are concerned that manufacturers are allowed, nay are even encouraged to bypass important dosing tests.
If patients receive more swine flu vaccine than is necessary to prevent infection, too many people will have to wait for their vaccine shots. Conversely if the vaccine dosing is too weak, it will allow the vaccine to thrive in some infected individuals. The old adage, “Err on the side of caution” comes to mind. But the lines of caution in the battle against the swine flu pandemic are drawn in shades of gray.
Swine flu tracker tips
Wash your hands. Cover your mouth when you cough. Stay home if you’re sick. Tell your ill coworkers to go home. When you see a disgusting swine flu ridden sod coughing without covering his/her mouth, you tell that cretin to get some manners. Friends don’t let friends pass swine flu. Keep reading swine flu tracker.
Swine flu in Mexico, or a Michael Jackson video?
Some are saying parts of Mexico look like a scene out of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.
Dr. Richard E. Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has bluntly stated: “As this moves forward, I fully expect that we will see deaths from this infection.” He’ was right. Tuesday marked the first domestic US death from swine flu. An earlier swine flu death in the United States originated in Mexico. The child died in the US when its caretakers brought it to Texas for treatment. In the same vein, (not to discount these tragic deaths,) the first domestic swine flu death was an elderly person with other health problems.
The one piece of encouraging news is that, outside of Mexico, swine flu victims can make a quick recovery if the illness is treated early. Of the thousands of suspected cases in Mexico, only about one thousand people remain hospitalized today, suggesting that the illness is very treatable if medical attention is sought in the early stages.
And though the initial spread of swine flu is by some accounts waning, experts predict that the northern hemispheres winter flu season will likely welcome a more virulent version of the H1N1 swine flu virus. Health organizations will pay close attention to the swine flu in the southern hemisphere in an effort to perfect a vaccine before the more populous northern flu season.
More good news. In an effort to halt or slow the spread of the swine flu, the World Health Organization (WHO) released 2.5 million doses of Tamiflu on Tuesday for distribution in developing countries.
See the swine flu tracker
swine flu map page for more information on swine flu cases near you. Stay tuned for more swine flu updates.
Mexico has dispatched a plane (or planes) to China to collect the 70+ Mexican citizens who’ve been detained / quarantined due to swine flu fears.
Tensions are high in Mexico as both government officials and residents accuse China of inhumanely overreacting. China detained all Mexicans who shared a plane with the once passenger who tested positive for the H1N1 virus, the cause of swine flu.
Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t.
Surely you recall how just a few years ago China faced worldwide scorn for not taking serious steps to combat bird flu. Now they’re facing criticism for quarantining people in luxury hotels to prevent a swine flu pandemic. Would these critics be happy if China had done nothing?
One of the primary reasons we’re noticing some attenuation to the spread of swine flu is the responsible actions taken by some governments. Mexico closed sporting events because of bird flu. Texas halted school sporting events. China separated potential swine flu zombies from the general public. Just because none of them had swine flu does not make it a bad policy.
Swine flu updates
Check swine flu tracker’s
swine flu map for the latest in swine flu cases near you.
Swine flu updates on the fly. You asked for it. Here it is. Click
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2009 H1N1 Flu Outbreak Map in a larger map
Stay tuned to swine flu tracker for more. If you have swine flu questions, post them in the comments to any post.