04 May 2009

My Personal Clarification

A further clarification of the previous post:

There is an epidemic of the flu going around the world. However, they can only FOR SURE diagnose the swine flu based on the current testing they are doing. There may be other testing procedures that they are researching at the present (and combination of strains). Plus they are trying to begin to prepare a serum for inoculation to prevent another more serious round of the flu in the fall/winter months. However, until they can definitively classify the composition of this flue, it would be difficult to create a preventative 'potion' [ega drink of medicine, poison, or some supposedly magic liquid (Latin potio a drink, esp. a poisonous one)]. 

People are exhibiting varying symptoms, some not unusual to any flu outbreak, but others more complicated. I don't think you can divorce ALL the symptoms from one another. For the WHO and CDC only a test identifies the type of (and therefore name of) this flu. But I repeat, while only a relatively few are FOR SURE diagnosed, the remaining citizens of the world are getting sick.
And while it was first thought it was a 2 strain swine flu, some discuss the mixing of avian, swine and human possibly producing a still further mix of flu. Also fears were expressed about (shh!) HIV in the cocktail. At the present, it would be safe to say NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE ANYTHING, because of the nature and morphing/change of this spread. Personally, I would certainly wait until Israel (and our Rabbis) announces what they think about the entire matter.

TODAY Mrs. Chan of the WHO had this to say:

The head of the World Health Organisation hit back at critics who have accused it of over-reaction to the swine flu crisis, warning it may return “with a vengeance” in the months ahead.

In her first extensive media interview since alerting the world to a potential flu pandemic nine days ago, Margaret Chan, the agency’s director-general, told the Financial Times that the end of the flu season in the northern hemisphere meant an initial outbreak could be milder but then a second wave more lethal, as happened in 1918.

But Ms Chan warned that an apparent decline in mortality rates outside and within Mexico did not mean the pandemic was ending.

“We hope the virus fizzles out, because if it doesn’t we are heading for a big outbreak.” But she said: “I’m not predicting the pandemic will blow up, but if I miss it and we don’t prepare, I fail. I’d rather over-prepare than not prepare.”

UPDATE from Bloomberg:

Canadian health officials yesterday reported the world’s first case of the swine flu jumping to pigs from a human, probably after a farm worker in the province of Alberta became ill during a trip to Mexico. Additional gene reassortment has the potential to change the makeup of the disease, Schuchat said today in a conference call.

“The prospect of reassortment is always there with influenza,” Schuchat said in the conference call today. The agency is especially concerned that the new flu, already a risk of causing sickness and death worldwide, may mutate in human or pig populations, she said.

‘Mixing Vessel’

Pigs are an ideal breeding ground for new forms of the flu, including the new H1N1 virus, Nancy Cox, chief of the flu division at the CDC’s Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, said at the briefing. The running hypothesis among scientists has been that the new flu -- a combination of four strains from swine, birds and humans -- started inside a pig, she said.

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