Tests show that eight students at a Queens high school are likely to have contracted the human swine flu virus that has struck Mexico and a small number of other people in the United States, health officials in New York City said yesterday.
The students were among about 100 at St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows who became sick in the last few days, said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, New York City’s health commissioner.
“All the cases were mild, no child was hospitalized, no child was seriously ill,” Dr. Frieden said.
other cases in the US:
In the United States, so far, at least 11 swine flu cases have been confirmed. Seven were confirmed in San Diego and Imperial Counties in California and two in Kansas. In Texas, two 16-year-old students at Byron Steele High School in Cibolo, near San Antonio, were confirmed to have swine flu, and one of their classmates was suspected to have the virus. There have been no deaths, and officials said most of the 11 seemed to be recovering.
Additionally, Tamiflu has worked against the new strain.
The problem I see is that most doctors won’t be issuing Tamiflu and instead tell their patients to “rest and drink a lot of fluids”, as the local doctors here in Princeton do.
This other article is interesting on the timing: U.S. Slow to Learn of Mexico Flu
Canadian Officials Knew of Rare Strain Before Americans Did
Whether delayed communication among the countries has had a practical consequence is unknown. However, it seems that U.S. public health officials are still largely in the dark about what’s happening in Mexico two weeks after the outbreak was recognized.
On April 16 or 17, Mexico notified the Pan American Health Organization of the outbreak, Hernández said. The organization, based in Washington, is the Americas’ branch of the World Health Organization. Spokesmen for both groups were not able to say yesterday when the influenza or pandemic planning offices at WHO’s Geneva headquarters learned or were informed of the Mexico outbreak.
The CDC, in Atlanta, is one of WHO’s four “reference laboratories” for flu. It routinely gets samples from Mexico and many other countries, and processes them with great urgency, Nancy J. Cox, the head of the flu lab, said last night. It, too, eventually received the Mexican samples.
“The only reason the samples went first to Winnipeg is because the paperwork is easier. We were in a rush,” Hernández said.
The samples arrived in Canada on Wednesday. Six hours later, Mexican authorities were told that 16 of 17 had tested positive for swine flu and that it was the same strain just isolated by the CDC from the very different cases in California.
The next day, Mexican health authorities contacted the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services and said their country’s outbreak and the U.S. cases appeared to be two parts of the same event. That same day, the Mexican samples arrived in Atlanta. They were tested in four hours, and Mexico was informed that they pointed to swine flu.
I don’t know if the delay was related to Pres. Obama’s April 16 visit to Mexico or not, but the news certainly lends itself to speculation. Regardless, Pres. Obama is fine.
As for Obama, after meeting Solís [who died of swine flu shortly after that] on the same night he met and praised the works of Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, he headed off to the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago. And that’s where, among other things, Obama shook hands with Venezualan President Hugo Chavez – which was, of course, an OUTRAGE against Democracy, according to U.S. wingnuts. (He was supposed to give Chavez a wedgie.)
Hmmm…I was thinking of a noogie, but never mind.
But this can now be seen in a whole new crazy light, if you are crazy. Maybe Obama secretly assassinated Chavez with the swine flu! Meanwhile, the actual outbreak is moving to horror mode.
Let’s not lose our heads, please.
n Mexico, where the new strain apparently originated, there have been over 1,000 confirmed infections to date.
In an unusual Sunday briefing at the White House, administration officials said a “public health emergency” is being declared in the United States in order to mobilize maximum resources to combat fears of a global swine-flu pandemic.
The term “sounds more severe than it really is,” said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who called the measure “standard operating procedure,” adding, “I wish we could call it a declaration of emergency preparedness.” The same measures, she said, were taken for the inauguration and in cases of flood and hurricane.