Saturday, April 25, 2009

8 Confirmed Swine Flu Cases in U.S.

Update 4-26: The strain found in NY is the same as the strain in Mexico. Visit for the latest. 
Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Richard Besser talks about the possibility of a pandemic. What is a pandemic, aside from being a media magnet?
"A pandemic is basically a global epidemic -- an epidemic that spreads to more than one continent," says Dan Epstein, a spokesman for the Pan American Health Organization, a regional office of the World Health Organization.

Influenza pandemics have struck about three times every century since the 1500s, or roughly every 10-50 years. There was one in 1957-1958 and one in 1968-1969. The most infamous pandemic flu of the 20th century, however, was that of 1918-1919. An estimated 40 million people died in less than a year, and what made it so different from seasonal flu epidemics is that it killed primarily young people, those aged 20-45. WebMD
Tamaflu has proven effective in beating the virus, so perhaps talk of a pandemic is hype at this point. There are 6 cases in California and 2 in Texas. The best thing you can do is wash your hands regularly. No, you can't get it from eating bacon. 
Here's a story that looks at how this virus may have started. Makes sense to me.

Here's more from the CDC.
Obama monitoring swine flu: