Navigation Links
At Least 16 Dead, Hundreds Ill in Swine Flu Outbreak in Mexico
Date:4/24/2009

Officials don't yet know if the virus is the same that sickened seven people in California, Texas

FRIDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Mexican officials took extraordinary steps Friday to try to contain a swine flu outbreak that has killed at least 16 people, and possibly dozens more, and sickened more than 900 other people in recent weeks.

World health officials worried that it could mark the start of a flu pandemic, the Associated Press reported.

It's not yet clear if the swine flu virus in Mexico is the same as the virus blamed for seven cases of swine flu in California and Texas. All seven patients have recovered.

The World Health Organization said at least 57 people have died in the outbreak in Mexico, but it wasn't yet clear if this larger number of deaths was due to swine flu, the AP reported.

"We are very, very concerned," said Thomas Abraham, a spokesman for the agency. "We have what appears to be a novel virus and it has spread from human to human." If international spread is confirmed, that meets WHO's criteria for raising the pandemic alert level, he added.

In response to the outbreak, Mexico City closed schools -- from kindergartens to the university level -- across the metropolis of 20 million people on Friday, and urged people with flu symptoms to stay home from work, The New York Times reported.

"We're dealing with a new flu virus that constitutes a respiratory epidemic that so far is controllable," Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova told reporters late Thursday, after meeting with President Felipe Calderon and other top officials. He said the virus had mutated from pigs and had at some point been transmitted to humans, the Times said.

While Mexico's flu season is usually over by now, health officials noticed a sizeable uptick in flu cases in recent weeks. The World Health Organization reported about 800 cases of flu-like symptoms in Mexico in recent weeks, most of them among healthy young adults, with 57 deaths in Mexico City and three in central Mexico, the Times said.

That could be worrisome. Seasonal flus usually strike hardest at infants and the elderly, but pandemic flus -- such as the 1918 Spanish flu -- often strike young, healthy people, the newspaper reported.

On Thursday, U.S. health officials announced that seven people in California and Texas had now been diagnosed with a unique form of swine flu.

All seven people have recovered, Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during an afternoon teleconference. "So far this is not looking like a very severe influenza," she said.

The patients -- three females and four males -- range in age from 9 to 54, Schuchat said.

The first two cases were reported Tuesday in California. There are now five cases in California, including the father of one of the original patients. The other two cases are near San Antonio, Texas, Schuchat said.

"At this point we don't know the extent of the spread of this strain of human influenza derived from swine," she said. "We don't know exactly how people got the virus. None of the patients have had direct contact with pigs."

People can get the virus without contact with pigs, but that's unusual, Schuchat said. "We believe at this point that human-to-human spread is occurring," she said. "We are likely to find more cases and that will not be surprising."

According to Schuchat, the virus in the United States is influenza A N1H1 mixed with swine influenza viruses. The virus contains genetic pieces from four different flu viruses -- North American swine influenza, North American avian influenza, human influenza viruses and swine influenza viruses found in Asia and Europe, she said.

"That particular genetic combination of swine influenza viruses has not been recognized before in the U.S. or elsewhere," Schuchat said.

The viruses are resistant to two antiviral medications -- amantadine and rimantadine -- but are susceptible to the antivirals oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza), Schuchat said.

Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza. Swine flu does not normally infect humans. However, human infections do occur, usually after exposure to pigs. Symptoms resemble those of the regular flu, including sore throat, coughing and fever.

CDC investigators are working with health officials in California and Texas to identify the source of the infection and to see if any other people have contracted it, Schuchat said.

The CDC is also asking doctors to be on the lookout for cases of flu that are hard to identify, and send samples of the virus to their state health department. In addition, the CDC is working with the virus to prepare a vaccine should there be a need to produce one against the virus, officials said.

More information

For more on swine flu, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



SOURCES: April 23, 2009, teleconference with Anne Schuchat, M.D., director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Atlanta; The New York Times; Associated Press


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. The Most Common Cause of Hair Loss Is the Least Suspected, Warns Trichology Expert
2. American Society of Hematology Urges Congress to Increase FY2010 NIH Funding by at least 7 Percent, Calls on Public to Join Effort
3. Midwestern and Southern States Receive Least Federal Funding for Disease Prevention
4. CareerCast.com Reports on Most and Least Stressful Professions
5. NEWSWEEK Cover: Stress Could Save Your Life (Or at Least its Better for You Than You Think)
6. President Obama Gives the Unborn at Least a 24 Hour Reprieve, Postpones $441 Million Bailout of International Abortions, Says Family Research Council
7. Pennsylvania Most Pro-Life State in America, California Least, According to Americans United for Life State Rankings
8. Caffeine Survey Reveals Most, Least Caffeinated Cities
9. Survey: Most effective dental braces are least attractive
10. Outside Workers Least Likely to Get Skin Exams
11. Overcoming Im in Control Syndrome and Providing Help When Patients Least Expect It Can Benefit Children and Teens With Asthma
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating ... many ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who ... of The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and ... main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from ... at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center ... care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can ... CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn ... X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson ... Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. ... the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... PUNE, India , June 24, 2016 ... "Pen Needles Market by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety ... 12mm), Therapy (Insulin, GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase ... published by MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the market for ... is expected to reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function ... the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to keep ... in balance. Increasing number of ESRD patients ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... to date financial data derived from varied research sources to ... potential impact on the market during the next five years, ... of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: