: 2009 H1N1 Flu Outbreak
2009-04-27, 04:59 PM
Just starting a thread so that members can post updates if they occur, so that other members can stay informed. As of this afternoon the WHO upgraded the alert level to 4 (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2009/h1n1_20090427/en/index.html) (from 3, on a scale of 6).
Full disclosure: I work in biotech, specifically in vaccines and infectious diseases, and as a result I also have access to some information faster than traditional media outlets. This does not make me an expert or an authority on the subject. Although I am interested professionally in this evolving story, at this point I am not overly concerned, and then only because my wife is due to give birth (hospital) in a few days. As outlined in another thread (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?p=918857#post918857), the internet is hopping with this story.
The internet is hopping but I think Governments and health agencies have been level headed.
What scares me is when they say "We are concerned that in Mexico, most of those who died were young and healthy adults".
Reminds one of the Spanish Flu.
2009-04-27, 05:46 PM
Really? I didn't know you were that old ;)
Actually it reminds a lot of people (who are in position to identify it as such) of past epidemics and pandemics.
2009-04-27, 05:50 PM
For those who want to play at home, here is the definitive public source for info in Canada:
Several years ago, I read The Great Influenza (http://www.amazon.ca/dp/0143036491?tag=dighomcan-20&camp=213385&creative=390985&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=0143036491&adid=0M2REC2DRD81VMA0QW47&) which is a fascinating read for anyone interested in this topic especially in light of recent events.
In the case of the Great Influenza or Spanish Flu of 1918, many of the dead were very healthy young adults, which is not the typical profile for someone who dies of the flu.
2009-04-28, 03:23 PM
Ontario’s chief medical officer of health says four people in the province have mild cases of swine flu, the first cases for the province.
The Ontario cases, which all involve people who travelled to Mexico, put the nationwide total at 13.
2009-04-28, 06:18 PM
2009-04-28, 06:28 PM
Despite the WHO's recommedation to the contrary, the U.S. and Canada both announced travel advisories against non-essential travel to Mexico yesterday. India and Malaysia have included Canada and the U.S. in their travel advisories because of the confirmed cases here.
Despite all the media hysteria, this remains a very unpredictable situation.
2009-04-29, 08:01 AM
I don't think it's quite hysteria, just a lot of reporting on the issue, or is that considered hysteria? Either way it's not such a bad thing as it makes more people more aware of the problem and subsequently is more likely to help in reducing the virus spreading so much. I'd rather have a bit of an over reaction than an under reaction.
1st swine flu death reported in U.S. (http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/04/29/health-swine-flu-world285.html)
From the articles
About 36,000 people in the U.S. die annually from flu-related causes, according to the CDC.
I posted this since this is the first death attributable to Swine Flu in the U.S., but it's important to note that it was a 23 month old baby.
Of course it's very sad to hear this news but I think its also important to note that many people die each year from the flu and the very young and elderly are typically the most suceptible. The death of a child or elderly person dying does not make this flu necessarily more virulent.
What frankly kind of scares me is the fact that outside Mexico the flu is quite mild. In fact the Spanish Flu of 1918 started off quite mild but mutated into something far more virulent after some six months or so. This means that this is something we may need to be watchful over for some time.
2009-04-29, 08:41 AM
Regular flu has killed thousands since January (http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/28/regular.flu/index.html):An outbreak of swine flu that is suspected in more than 150 deaths in Mexico and has sickened dozens of people in the United States and elsewhere has grabbed the attention of a nervous public and of medical officials worried the strain will continue to mutate and spread.
Experts are nervous that, as a new strain, the swine flu will be harder to stop because there aren't any vaccines to fight it.
But even if there are swine-flu deaths outside Mexico -- and medical experts say there very well may be -- the virus would have a long way to go to match the roughly 36,000 deaths that seasonal influenza causes in the United States each year.
Worldwide, the annual death toll from the flu is estimated to be between 250,000 and 500,000.This puts the current "swine flu" scare into a bit of perspective...
2009-04-29, 02:26 PM
Several Posts deleted.
This thread is for people wishing to discuss a serious topic not for juvenile pig jokes. Future such posts will result in the poster being given an infraction.
2009-04-29, 02:34 PM
Despite the WHO's recommedation to the contrary, the U.S. and Canada both announced travel advisories against non-essential travel to Mexico yesterday.
I would side with travel advisories, maybe even travel restrictions. This flu is throughout Mexico and some of the affected are travelers to resort destinations. Just one or two sick returning travelers can, and have, infected dozens of people in the US. This flu can also live on inanimate objects for several days, requiring caution when handling or consuming imported products. (i.e. Wash and cook imported vegetables.)
Let's say Canada and the US impose travel restrictions to Mexico. Many people would be reimbursed through travel insurance. In the US, some travel agencies have offered refunds to people who cancel trips. Compared to the illness caused by a widespread flu outbreak, disruption would be minimal. Restrictions would only be required until a flu vaccine could be developed and distributed. That would likely be sometime this Fall.
2009-04-29, 03:52 PM
Many travel companies and airlines have cancelled Mexico offerings. We were just about to book my brothers stag for Cancun, and we are now scrambling for a plan B. Im concerned travel any where might be a bad idea at this point considering how little is known about teh risk.
Also read how Swine Flu is a bad name, and they are considering calling it something else (North American Flu, etc.). Some people are avoiding eating pork, which is not a real risk.
2009-04-29, 04:11 PM
we are now at level 5
2009-05-02, 03:05 PM
TORONTO - Several countries have issued advisories or advice about travelling to Canada after this country confirmed six cases of swine flu. (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/swine_flu_travel_to_cda)
2009-05-02, 07:49 PM
OTTAWA - H1N1 influenza virus has infected some pigs in Alberta, federal officials confirmed Saturday. (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090502/national/flu_cda)
2009-05-02, 09:57 PM
I going to Alberta for 3 weeks tomorrow, I have to remember not to eat any pork. Thinking about wearing a N95 mask from the TO to EDM part of the flight but I'm afraid of looking like a nut case.
2009-05-02, 11:29 PM
Just for note, you don't get the flu from eating pork. A mask isn't going to stop you from getting the flu either.
I saw a woman in a mall in Seattle wearing a mask. Yup - she looked like a nut case. ;)