- Hello Jeff - I would love to see a comparison of
the Spanish Flu A H1N1 genome compared to the Influenza A H1N1 new strain
flu discussed below. As you know a more severe type of respiratory virus
has broken out in Mexico. Could this be 1918 all over again?
- Remember, during the first wave of the Spanish Flu, it
was called the three-day flu because the symptoms were not severe. At
first, that is. As the virus infected more and more people it began to
mutate more readily. The second, and third waves the virus was extremely
virulent and deadly.
- Are we seeing the early wave of a new strain of H1N1,
similar to H1N1 Spanish Flu? Epidemiological reports will be very important,
especially in researching the age of those who became infected and died.
Traditionally, in seasonal flu those over 65 have a greater mortality,
however in pandemic flu we see people who are healthy and young who have
the greatest mortality.
- Just because the San Diego children had a "three
day type of flu" i.e. a mild case of Influenza does not indicate that
we are not facing a soon to be pandemic strain of H1N1.
- Seven People In US Hit By Strange New Swine Flu
- * CDC says no reason for concern yet
- * Flu is unusual mixture but no deaths seen
- By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
- WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Seven people have been diagnosed
with a strange and unusual new kind of swine flu in California and Texas,
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday.
- All seven people have recovered but the virus itself
is a never-before-seen mixture of viruses typical among pigs, birds and
humans, the CDC said.
- "We are likely to find more cases," the CDC's
Dr. Anne Schuchat told a telephone briefing. "We don't think this
is time for major concern around the country."
- The CDC reported the new strain of swine flu on Tuesday
in two boys from California's two southernmost counties.
- Now, five more cases have been seen -- all found via
normal surveillance for seasonal influenza. None of the patients, whose
symptoms closely resembled seasonal flu, had any direct contact with pigs.
- "We believe at this point that human-to-human spread
is occurring," Schuchat said. "That's unusual. We don't know
yet how widely it is spreading ... We are also working with international
partners to understand what is occurring in other parts of the world."
- Two of the new cases were among 16-year-olds at the same
school in San Antonio "and there's a father-daughter pair in California,"
Schuchat said. One of the boys whose cases was reported on Tuesday had
flown to Dallas but the CDC has found no links to the other Texas cases.
- STRANGE MIXTURE
- Unusually, said the CDC's Nancy Cox, the viruses all
appear to carry genes from swine flu, avian flu and human flu viruses from
North America, Europe and Asia.
- "We haven't seen this strain before, but we hadn't
been looking as intensively as we have," Schuchat said. "It's
very possible that this is something new that hasn't been happening before."
- Surveillance for and scrutiny of influenza has been stepped
up since 2003, when highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza reappeared in
Asia. Experts fear this strain, or another strain, could spark a pandemic
that could kill millions.
- H5N1 currently only rarely infects people but has killed
257 out of 421 infected in 15 countries since 2003, according to the World
- The influenza strain is an H1N1, the same family as one
of the seasonal flu viruses now circulating. Now that the normal influenza
season is waning, it may be easier to spot cases of the new swine flu,
- Only one of the seven cases was sick enough to be hospitalized
and all have recovered, Schuchat said.
- "This isn't something that a person could detect
at home," she said. The new cases appear to have somewhat more vomiting
and diarrhea than is usually seen in flu, which mostly causes coughing,
fever, sore throat and muscle aches.
- The CDC is asking doctors to think about the possibility
of swine flu when patients appear with these symptoms, to take a sample
and send it to state health officials or the CDC for testing.
- Cox said the CDC is already preparing a vaccine against
the new strain, just in case. "This is standard operating procedure,"
Cox said. The agency will issue daily updates <http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swine/investigation.htm.>here
- Seasonal flu kills between 250,000 and 500,000 people
globally in an average year. And every few decades, a completely new strain
pops up and it can cause a pandemic, a global epidemic that kills many
more than usual. (Editing by Eric Walsh)
- Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural
Economics Univ of West Indies Please visit my "Emerging Diseases"
message board at: http://www.emergingdisease.org/phpbb/index.php Also my
new website: http://drpdoyle.tripod.com/ Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
Go with God and in Good Health