Saturday, April 25, 2009

Swine Flu

Swine flu is on the uptick, including increasing numbers of children being struck. As they are oft to do at Effect Measure they are on to it.

Here are the posts they have made so far as the story has broken and authorities begin acting. Earliest to latest.

CDC has just concluded a press briefing and the big news is there is no big news. In fact there was hardly any small news. The major questions have been identified -- how transmissible, what is the epidemic curve, are there more cases in the US, are there subtle genetic differences in the US and Mexican versions to account for the apparent difference in clinical and epidemiological features, etc. -- but answering them will take longer.

Meanwhile, no new cases have been identified in the US, but CDC in collaboration with state and local health departments and the academic and medical sectors are working doing aggressive case finding.


There was no new information about the situation in Mexico, except to say that "the situation is serious. We in CDEC are worried." Some, but not all, of the specimens from severely ill or deceased cases sent from Mexico is the new swine flu virus (7 of 14 specimens). While there is still no explanation for why the disease appears more severe, this is one of the top questions to be answered. ...

It is very clear that CDC has given this the highest priority and it sounds to these ears that they have very competent and dedicated personnel devoted to it. But reliable science takes time, care and some patience, even in circumstances where urgency is high and patience in short supply. That's just the way it is.

CDC has constructed a new and easier to navigate website for this:

Perhaps the most important message is that this is a good time to move forward on strengthening the public health infrastructure and to get ready for the one thing we can be certain of in the days ahead: there will be more uncertainty.


Bloomberg is reporting that the Health Minister, Jose Cordova, is putting at 81 the number of deaths linked to the virus, up from 68, although the number of laboratory confirmed cases still stands at 20.

Then there's this mind boggling factoid:

The first case was seen in Mexico on April 13. The outbreak coincided with the President Barack Obama’s trip to Mexico City on April 16. Obama was received at Mexico’s anthropology museum in Mexico City by Felipe Solis, a distinguished archeologist who died the following day from symptoms similar to flu, Reforma newspaper reported. The newspaper didn’t confirm if Solis had swine flu or not. (Thomas Black, Bloomberg)

I'm going to bed. Maybe when I wake up I'll find this has all been a (bad) dream
That explains all the more why they wanted to be sure Obama got checked out as this issue has worsened.

Some more sites covering the issue:
More News:

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