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Swine Flu Update

On Sunday afternoon, Janet Napolitano declared a public health emergency due to the swine flu. While the declaration might seem extreme, it allows preparations to begin so the country will be ready if there is indeed a full-fledged outbreak or pandemic. In a speech on Monday, President Obama tried to allay growing fears by saying, “This is, obviously, a cause for concern and requires a heightened state of alert. But it’s not a cause for alarm.”

Here are a few more details about the virus, and how it is spreading.

This swine flu virus has killed up to 149 people in Mexico. What makes this new strain of the virus particularly worrisome is that it is killing healthy young adults, which is atypical in influenza outbreaks. Mexican authorities have urged people to wear surgical masks in public.

To see the number of cases in the states and if you should travel to Mexico,


According to the CDC, there 64 lab confirmed cases in the US. Here's the rundown by state: California — 10, Kansas — 2, New York — 45, Ohio — 1, Texas — 6. So far, there are no deaths from swine flu in the US.

On the international front, the World Health Organization has reported cases in Spain, Great Britain, New Zealand, Israel, Canada, and France. The WHO has also raised their state of pandemic alert to level 4.

Have tickets to Mexico? The US State Department has issued a "travel alert" advising people to avoid all "nonessential" travel to Mexico for the next three months.

The WHO also stated that there is also no risk of infection from this virus from consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products. But they do advise people to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis.

Now, check out what Jon Stewart has to say about the media fever around swine flu.

Update: As of Friday, 5/1, there are 141 cases reported in the US with one death. The WHO is reporting 11 countries have confirmed cases of swine flu and they have raised their alert to level 5.


cnyc1a cnyc1a 8 years
I work with children so I'm taking extra precautions with myself and the kids. I myself have caught the stomach flu twice and the regular flu once. I really don't want to catch this one. I live in San Francisco and luckily there has been no outbreaks here but can't say the same for the rest of California. I'm also a little worried about my Yoga teacher and some students who practice with me because they just got back from a week retreat in Mexico . I haven't seen them yet so I'm hoping they are healthy.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
2 thoughts. first, those masks do almost no good unless they are fitted TO YOUR FACE. you can't just go into a store and buy one size off the shelf and think everyone in your family will benefit from them. and second, i'm thinking this might be spread through communion. notice how many catholics have come down with this? everyone drinking from the chalice is a bad idea.
gabiushka gabiushka 8 years
I still think the US authorities are full of poop. There they are issuing alerts and everything but they haven't mentioned the fact that the virus comes from Texas, and that the of 150 deaths in Mexico, 20 have been confirmed to be from the swine flu. It bugs me since they are always blaming Mexico with their e-coli and salmonella bs.
gothamgal gothamgal 8 years
I hope they get it under control. Mexico has had its share of unfortunate events. Sheesh. I don't have it in my travel plans but it would be problematic if I did. I'd really want to go.
sandy82 sandy82 8 years
I'm so nervous about this. Colleges and high schools just had spring break and I'm sure plenty of kids went to Mexico. Mexico can't catch a break lately. First this and now the earthquake..
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
We are going on a cruise to Bermuda on Friday and i have this ridiculous fear that everyone on the boat is going to get sick. I was just reading on MSN that it is spreading quickly and hundreds of school kids have it.
ovenmitt ovenmitt 8 years
add indiana to the list. we've got one confirmed case in the northern part of the state.
cmd0610 cmd0610 8 years
We have Cozumel tickets but not until Memorial Day weekend so we are just waiting it out for now and we'll worry in like 2 wks.
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