# of laboratory confirmed cases
|TOTAL COUNTS||109 cases||1 death|
|International Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection
See: World Health Organization
Before I begin my swine flu update, I would like to point your attention to a story in which a woman who was working for a jewelry manufacturer is now being accused of stealing $12 million in gold. I think if you’re going to steal you should steal big.
The World Health Organization, which tracks worldwide infections, labeled this swine flu pandemic a level five. Their system has six levels. Level five indicates evidence of human-to-human transmission and the capability to cause “community level outbreaks.”
It is hard to get a real handle on what’s going on. Many of the media outlets, especially the 24-hour news networks, have lost their minds. The coverage is so juvenile as to be mindnumbing. According to the CDC, there appears to be 109 cases of swine flu (H1N1) in the United States. There is one confirmed death in Texas. (It appears that the child crossed the border with his family to see relatives then he fell ill. Look for anti-immigration folks to go crazy on this.) Several schools have closed in the Houston area. (Maybe Texas Liberal has an inside story.) Fort Worth has become the first major school district to close with four new cases diagnosed today. Below is a map of the distribution of swine flu cases throughout the United States. Governor Bobby Jindal, Republican from Louisiana, just announced that he believes that there are several cases in his State. Because of the onslaught of specimens sent to the CDC, turnaround times have increased from one to two days to three to four days. Interestingly, the cases from his state are people who got sick after traveling to Mexico. This may be just the flu.
Colbert lampoons the media coverage –
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Enemy Swine: A Pigcalypse Now|
There are several isolated cases worldwide.
I heard an interesting conundrum on The Mike Malloy show last night. Should you be given a prescription for the antivirals that may be effective against this influenza A (H1N1)? (BTW, the WHO would prefer that we call the virus influenza “A H1N1” instead of the “swine flu.” Whatever!)The thought process goes something like this — you have the antivirals at home and when somebody begins getting sick, they begin taking the medication. This medication can reduce the severity of the illness (if it is effective against this particular bug and that has not been established to the best of my knowledge). These medications (antivirals) are not vaccines. Vaccines you take before an infection and they help prevent you from getting the infection. Currently, we do not have a vaccine. So, back to the question, would getting a prescription for these antivirals be the same as hoarding medication? It is my understanding that the National Guard has been called out in several states to prevent a run on these medications. Unfortunately, to my reading, its recommendations from the CDC do not make a whole lot of sense. The CDC recommends that you take antivirals when you have a confirmed infection. If confirmation takes four days (at best), how effective will medicine be if you started five days or more after contact with someone who may be infected? I don’t know the answer. Antivirals are not the same as antibiotics. The CDC has stratified people according to risk. This seems to make sense. Only the people at the highest risk should even consider getting a prescription.