The plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
April 25, 2009 9:32 AM Subscribe
Experts at WHO and elsewhere believe that the world is now closer to another influenza pandemic than at any time since 1968. WHO uses a series of six phases of pandemic alert... The world is presently in phase 3: a new influenza virus subtype is causing disease in humans, but is not yet spreading efficiently and sustainably among humans. The outbreak of a variant of swine flu led federal officials to close Mexico City-area schools indefinitely
- the first such shutdown since a devastating 1985 earthquake
.At least 62 people have died from severe pneumonia caused by a flu-like illness in Mexico, according to WHO. Some of those who died are confirmed to have contracted a type of swine flu known as A/H1N1. That particular flu variant has not previously been seen in pigs or humans, though other types of H1N1 have.
H1N1 is a subtype of the species Influenza A virus. H1N1 has mutated into various strains including the Spanish Flu strain (now extinct in the wild), mild human flu strains, endemic pig strains, and various strains found in birds.
Pandemic concern: The virus appears to infect by human-to-human transmission, and has spread within Mexico and into the United States. Investigations of infected patients indicate no direct contact with swine, such as at a farm or agricultural fair. In contrast, for example, disease transmission in the last severe outbreak of influenza, the bird flu that peaked in 2006, was determined to be almost entirely from direct contact with birds.
Human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been identified in the U.S. in San Diego County and Imperial County, California as well as in San Antonio, Texas.
The majority of these cases have occurred in otherwise healthy young adults...Because there are human cases associated with an animal influenza virus, and because of the geographical spread of multiple community outbreaks, plus the somewhat unusual age groups affected, these events are of high concern.
Mexican virus could throw wrench into North America's pandemic planning: Preparations based on assumption outbreak would surface in Asia, and take three months to arrive
According to the tin foil hat brigade
, there are solid reasons to suspect that this new Mexican Swine Flu is NOT a naturally occurring event but instead is an Advanced Biological Warfare recombination DNA genetically engineered virus.
Google Flu Trends
has no data yet on this latest threat.