swine flu

swine flu: Page 1

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100,000 in U.S. have swine flu; youth hospitalization rate "very unusual". Would border security have reduced spread? - 05/19/09

On a conference call yesterday, the Centers of Disease Control said that around 100,000 people in the U.S. are infected with the swine flu (link). While it's currently a mild disease, it's affecting more young people than usual, with Dr. Anne Schuchat saying: "That's very unusual, to have so many people under 20 to require hospitalization, and some of them in (intensive care units)... We are now experiencing levels of influenza-like illness that are higher than usual for this time of year... We are also seeing outbreaks in schools, which is extremely unusual for this time of year." We'll...

Dr. John Carlo is withholding public health information about swine flu (Dallas County medical director) - 05/05/09

The previously discussed article about the swine flu and immigration included this: Careful not to fuel any backlash, Dr. John Carlo, Dallas County medical director, avoided characterizing any link to immigration. In other words, Carlo is withholding potentially vital information about the source of a potential public health emergency. If some or many of those who are infected in Dallas are visitors or illegal aliens from Mexico, the public has a right to know so that they can contact their elected officials and urge them to take action: greater inspection of those entering the U.S. or an...

Dianne Solis /DMN more interested in enabling illegal immigration than helping avoid swine flu pandemic - 05/04/09

Dianne Solis of the Dallas Morning News is the latest to repurpose a theme started by Media Matters for America.

Mexico epidemiology chief: WHO ignored concerns about swine flu for over a week - 05/02/09

From this: Mexico's chief epidemiologist (Dr. Miguel Angel Lezana, director of the National Epidemiology Center) accused the World Health Organization of being slow to respond to the country's warning about a health crisis that turned into a global swine flu scare and called for an investigation. [He] told The Associated Press late Thursday his center alerted the Pan American Health Organization on April 16 about alarming occurrences of flu and atypical pneumonia in Mexico. But no action was taken until eight days later when the World Health Organization said it was "very, very concerned" the...

Jesse Washington /AP mainstreams MMFA smears, shows no regard for protecting U.S. from epidemic - 05/02/09

Jesse Washington of the Associated Press - author of this sleazy pro-Obama article - now offers "Immigration foes link flu to Mexican threat claims" (link, assistance from

Low-wattage radio, TV hosts say dumb things about Mexicans and swine flu; leftwing attacks in order to support illegal activity - 04/30/09

Jason Linkins of the Huffington Post offers "Swine Flu A Mexican Immigrant Conspiracy: Conservative Media (VIDEO)" (huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/30/swine-flu-a-mexican-immig_n_193707.html), linking to a Media Matters for America video apparently containing instances of conservative radio and TV hosts discussing the issue of Mexicans - speci

Swine flu is combination of two pig flu strains; avian, human strains not involved - 04/30/09

From this: The deadly H1N1 influenza virus that’s fueling fears of a global pandemic is a hybrid of two common pig flu strains [North American and Eurasian pig flu], scientists who have studied the disease told Wired.com Tuesday. Earlier reports called it a combination of pig, human and avian influenza strains... "The new neuraminidase gene that came in from Eurasian swine is one we’ve never before seen circulating in humans," said [Andrew Rambaut, a University of Edinburgh viral geneticist]. "That’s one of the reasons it’s spreading rapidly. Very few people will have any immunity to this...

John McCain calls for closing the Mexican border over swine flu, but only "if it would prevent further transmission" - 04/29/09

When even John McCain calls to close the Mexican border over the potential swine flu pandemic, you know it's serious. Except, he left himself an out indicating that he might just be blowing smoke (link): "At the same time, many questions still remain, including the question of why the cases of the H1N1 influenza in Mexico appear to be more severe and deadly than the cases seen in the U.S. I continue to believe that all available options to end this crisis must remain under consideration, including closing the border if it would prevent further transmission of this deadly virus." Of course,...

World Health Organization raises threat level to 5: imminent risk of swine flu pandemic - 04/29/09

Level 6 would be a full pandemic. Level 5 is the second highest and means that the swine flu is in imminent danger of becoming a pandemic. From this: Raising the threat to level 5 means that there is sustained human to human spread in at least two countries and that people who have not visited Mexico have fallen ill and passed on the virus... ...Robert Madelin, Director General for Health and Consumer Protection at the European Commission, said: "In 200 days we will have an anti-viral vaccine for this influenza." In other news, a Mexican toddler who'd travelled to Texas legally with his...

Napolitano: swine flu can be spread by infected visitors, but closing the border won't contain the virus; says actively questioning visitors - 04/29/09

The prepared remarks of Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are here. Among many other things, she says: ...As infected travelers can lead to the spread of this virus, DHS is taking a number of precautions in light of the scope and nature of the threat... The actions we are taking regarding international travelers match the precautions advised by the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) based on the current, evolving epidemiology of the 2009 H1N1 flu virus. According to both the CDC and WHO, closing...

Napolitano, Vilsack: call it the "H1N1 virus", not "swine flu". More concerned about pork industry than public safety - 04/28/09

Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security and Tom Vilsack of the Department of Agriculture want us to call swine flu the "H1N1 virus" instead (link). They have somewhat of a point: if you really can't get it from eating pork then perhaps we should grit our teeth and not wish for the demise of the pork industry. The problem is that while they're rushing to the aid of pork producers, they're keeping the borders as open as ever. Per Vilsack: "This is not a food-borne illness, virus. It is not correct to refer to it as swine flu because really that's not what this is about." Per...

El Paso: visitors waved through border, little or no screening, just like normal day - 04/28/09

The Associated Press offers this report from El Paso, Texas: U.S. airport officials and border agents waved people through Monday with little or no additional screening for Mexico’s deadly swine flu - a far more muted reaction than the extreme caution elsewhere around the world. At the main pedestrian border crossing between El Paso and Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez, a handful of people wore protective masks and officials handed out a swine flu flier. But there were no extra screenings for swine flu, and it mostly looked like a typical day at the border. Faced with a new and unforeseen threat,...

Janet Napolitano refuses to close or even tightly secure the border despite health risks (+Eric Massa) - 04/27/09

Rep. Eric Massa - Democrat of New York state - is calling for the Mexican border to be closed. Meanwhile, Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security is refusing to close the border and does not appear to fully appreciate the risks of a loose border during a pandemic. At a press conference today, she said: "We're already doing passive surveillance at the border... You would close the border if you thought you could contain the spread of disease, but the disease already is in a number of states within the United States." ...Noting that those infected with swine flu may not show...

Good news: "Mexicans take swine flu lightly on U.S. border" - 04/27/09

From this: Many Mexicans crossing into the United States on Monday at one of the busiest crossings on the border shunned advice to wear surgical face mask to curb the spread of a deadly new flu. Most Mexican immigration officials at the Tijuana-San Diego crossing were using masks and surgical gloves, but Mexicans crossing by car and foot seemed unconcerned by the influenza scare and only a handful wore masks.

As flu pandemic threatens, Obama admin still doesn't have HHS Sec'y, Surgeon General, FDA head - 04/27/09

From this: The Obama administration declared a “public health emergency” Sunday to confront the swine flu - but is heading into its first medical outbreak without a secretary of Health and Human Services or appointees in any of the department’s 19 key posts. President Barack Obama has not yet chosen a surgeon general or the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His choice to run the Food and Drug Administration awaits confirmation. Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs says no worries, there's a team in place running day-to-day operations: "I think it’s all hands on deck, and we’re...

John Nichols /The Nation pushes bogus flu pandemic preparedness issue; distraction from Obama admin, Dem failures - 04/27/09

John Nichols of The Nation offers "GOP Know-Nothings Fought Pandemic Preparedness" (link). Sens. Arlen Spector and Susan Collins fought the addition of around $900 million for flu pandemic preparedness to the stimulus plan. Now, Nichols is disreputably trying to tie that into the current possible flu crisis, and he's getting some help from his friends (link). Yet, the issue is bogus for various reasons: neither Spector nor Collins oppose spending on preparedness, they just didn't want it in a bill that was supposedly about stimulating the economy rather than just about everything the Dems and...

Swine flu in Mexico: U.S. will not close border (nor secure it) - 04/24/09

Over 60 people have died and over 1000 are infected with a new swine flu strain (H1N1) in Mexico, and it's spread to California and Texas (link).