Sunday, May 17, 2009

CDC Predicts More Hospitalizations and Deaths From Swine Flu

In it's latest update on the swine flu outbreak dated May 15, 2009, the CDC has stated that: "It is uncertain at this time how severe this novel H1N1 outbreak will be in terms of illness and death compared with other influenza viruses. Because this is a new virus, most people will not have immunity to it, and illness maybe more severe and widespread as a result. In addition, currently there is no vaccine to protect against this novel H1N1 virus. CDC anticipates that there will be more cases, more hospitalizations, and more deaths associated with this new virus in the coming days and weeks." The CDC reports that there have now been 4 deaths and 4,714 confirmed cases. The CDC in its latest report has indicated that the virus has become geographically widespread in the following states: Virginia, New Jersey, California, Texas, Georgia, Alabama, and Arizona.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Confirmed Cases of Swine Flu Has Risen to 2,600 in 44 States

Confirmed cases of the swine flu has now been reported by the CDC in all states except for Alaska, Monta, Wyoming and North Dakota. South Dakota has joined the states where confirmed cases of the swine flu have now been reported.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Officials Confirm 3rd U.S. Death From the Swine Flu

The CDC has confirmed that there are now approximately 600 more swine flu cases since yesterday -- for over 2,200 confirmed cases of the swine flu as of the current time. Meanwhile, a third death in the U.S. from the swine flu has been confirmed - i.e. a Seattle, Washington man.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Confirmed Cases of Swine Flu in U.S. Double in One Day -- Demonstrating Its Rapid Spread Through Population

Yesterday, the CDC reported a little over 800 confirmed cases of the swine flu. Today, the CDC reported 1,639 confirmed cases of the swine flu - or a doubling of confirmed cases in one day. This demonstrates how rapidly the swine flu is spreading among the population in the U.S.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Swine Flu Vaccine

The National Institutes of Health has announced that they hope to have a swine flu vaccine developed and available by mid to late fall. This means that the swine flu vaccine will not be available in September when students in the United States first return to school. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has announced that potentially 3 billion people worldwide could come down with the swine flu. In contrast, phamaceutical companies are estimated to only be able to make 400 million swine flu vaccinations over the next six months. This is because of the limited capacity of the pharmaceutical companies and the labor intensive nature of making each individual dose of the vaccine. Each dose has to be incubated on a live chicken egg, and is not as simple as producing some large quantity of some chemical formulation.

CDC reports increase of more than 250 cases of swine flu in one day

Yesterday the CDC reported 642 confirmed cases of the swine flu in the U.S. Today, the CDC reports that this number has increased to 896 confirmed cases in the U.S., an increase of more than 250 more confirmed cases in one day. The CDC continues to predict more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths from the novel A flu outbreak (i.e. H1N1 swine flu outbreak).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Latest Update on H1N1 Swine Flu Outbreak

Above is a map of confirmed cases by the CDC of the H1N1 swine flu in the United States (click on map to see a larger version). The CDC has now confirmed 642 cases in 41 states, and two deaths thus far in the U.S. Hawaii now joins the list of states reporting confirmed cases of the swine flu. The CDC stated today that:

"The ongoing outbreak of novel influenza A (H1N1) continues to expand in the U.S. CDC expects that more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths from this outbreak will occur in the coming days and weeks."

In Mexico, it has been confirmed that most hospitalizations were individuals in their twenties (i.e. healthy young adults). The second U.S. death was a health young adult woman. In addition to cases confirmed by the CDC, suspected and probable cases reported by the various states continues to increase. In the Washington, D.C. area, Prince Georges County has now reported two cases of swine flu.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

CDC Has Now Confirmed 279 Cases of Swine Flu in 36 States

The CDC has reported that there are now 279 cases of swine flu in 36 cases. Meanwhile, the WHO has moved its pandemic alert to level 6. New York now has 73 confirmed cases, Texas 41, California 30, Delaware 20, Arizona 17, and South Carolina 15 - with these being the states with the most confirmed cases. Idaho has joined the list of states reporting confirmed cases. More schools have closed because of the swine flu, while other schools have remained open despite confirmed cases. As an example, George Washngton University in Washington, D.C. now has 4 students with confirmed cases of the swine flu, yet has remained open. Many schools are reluctant to close because of AP exams and state standard of learning tests that are given at this time of year. It continues to almost be impossible to find face masks in drug stores. The good news is that there is still only one reported death in the United States from the swine flu. The bad news is that, just as in Mexico, the swine flu seems to hit healthy young teens and young adults the hardest. This is similar to the 1918 flu pandemic. What worries health officials is that in the U.S., the swine flu will potentially come back in the fall and cause the most deaths. This is the pattern that the 1918 flu outbreak took. Also, the swine flu is attacking at a time which is not normally the flu season. Finally, of concern is the lack of a vaccine to protect people from the outbreak. This is of concern because, even with a normal flu season where many people are protected by a vaccine, there are still typically 200,000 plus hospitalizations and approximately 35,000 deaths. People that have not had the flu often under-estimate how significant of a disease it is, thinking it is like a cold or a 24 hour stomach virus. But the full-blown flu can be a devastating illness for many people and even the normal flu is a significant cause of deaths in the U.S. every year.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Swine Flu School Closures - 35 States Now Reporting Swine Flu Cases - Death Toll Rises Among Healthy Young Adults

CNN reports that the swine flu has now closed 433 schools in 17 states, with a large number of other school systems considering the closure of additional schools. Researchers have determined that the current swine flu outbreak includes not only the North American version of the swine flu, but also the Asian version of the swine flu. It is the unknown nature of this new version of the swine flu, its rapid spread and its unknown characteristics that concern health researchers. While many cases are mild, in others the victims lungs have rapidly filled with fluid leading to death. Also of course is the fact that in Mexico the greatest number of deaths have been among otherwise health young adults. In the United States, the swine flu has exploded across the country, with report cases now in the following states: Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Texas, Maine, New Hampsire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama and the District of Columbia.

Swine Flu Now In Minnesota, Colorado, Nebraska, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Virginia, Arizona, Illinois, Delaware, Florida, Wash. DC

The CDC now reports confirmed cases of the swine flu in Minnesota, Nebraska, Kentucky, Virginia, Massachusetts, Colorado, Arizona, Illinois, Delaware, Florida and the District of Columbia. This is in addition to previously reported cases in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, South Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Texas, California. In total, the swine flu has now been confirmed in 19 states with 141 confirmed cases. The CDC also provided today interim guidance on school closings. The federal government has also released antiviral medicines from its strategic national stockpile to all 50 states to treat patients with swine flu. Also, a plane heading to Washington, DC from Germany was diverted to Boston when a patient became ill with what might be the swine flu. Internationally, China has reported its first case of the swine flu. Confirmed cases continue to rise around the world, particularly in Canada and in Europe where people have travelled to Mexico. Debate continues about whether the border should be closed or travel restrictions imposed for people traveling between the U.S. and Mexico. After it was announced that two students at George Washington University in the District of Columbia have come down with the swine flu, nearby Georgetown University announced that it has established a special dorm where students with the swine flu who are not so ill as to require hospitalization can be taken.

Swine Flu Now Reported in Virginia, Rockville MD, and at George Washington Univ. in Wash, DC

Two swine flu cases have now been reported in Virginia. Also, two students at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. have come down with the swine flu. Finally, Rockville High School in Montgomery County, Maryland was closed today because a case of swine flu.

States in the U.S. Where Swine Flu Cases Reported

The NIH1 swine flu virus has now been reported in the following states: California, Neveda, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, South Carolina and Maryland. Also, at least one worker in the District of Columbia has come down with the swine flu. In total, over 110 cases of the N1H1 swine flu have thus far been reported in the United States and over 300 schools have been closed across the country. The greatest number of cases continues to be in New York City, and one death in Texas has been reported thus far. In Mexico, the government has ordered all non-essential government and private facilities to close over the four day holiday this weekend.