Spreading swine flu now in at least 10 states
The Geneva-based World Trade Organization on Wednesday raised its alert level for the fast-spreading swine flu to its next-to-highest notch, signaling a global pandemic could be imminent.
The move came after the virus spread to at least 10 U.S. states from coast to coast and swept deeper into Europe.
"It really is all of humanity that is under threat during a pandemic," said WHO Director General Margaret Chan. "We do not have all the answers right now but we will get them."
In the United States, President Barack Obama mourned the first U.S. death, a Mexican toddler who had traveled with his family to Texas. Total American cases surged to nearly 100, and Obama said wider school closings might be necessary.
In Mexico, where the flu is believed to have originated, officials said Wednesday the disease is now confirmed or suspected in 159 deaths, and nearly 2,500 illnesses.
There were no other deaths confirmed from the flu. But health officials in the United States and around the world braced for them.
Fast-moving swine flu spread to at least 10 U.S. states from coast to coast Wednesday and swept deeper into Europe, extending its global reach as President Barack Obama mourned the first U.S. death, a Mexican toddler who had traveled with his family to Texas. Total American cases surged to nearly 100, and Obama said wider school closings might be necessary.
The World Health Organization said the outbreak is moving closer to becoming a full-scale pandemic.
Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the organization's top flu expert, told reporters in Geneva that the latest developments are moving the agency closer to raising its pandemic alert to phase 5, indicating widespread human-to-human transmission. That's just one step below level 6, a full-fledged pandemic.
the first U.S. death, a Mexican toddler who had traveled with his family to Texas.
the great pig plague HAS ARISEN FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL REVELATIONS TRUES OMFG ARMAGEDDON APACOALKPSE AYAAARRR
Overblown nonsense driven by the 24 hours news channels.
"Vice President Biden's comment that people should avoid air travel in response to the H1N1 flu outbreak was extremely disappointing," May said in a statement. "The airlines have been working daily with government agencies, none of whom suggest people avoid air travel, unless they are not feeling well. The fact is that the air onboard a commercial aircraft is cleaner than that in most public buildings."
the Boston radio station WTKK, Jay Severin is using the flu to attack Mexicans and immigrants. For Severin, Mexicans are “criminaliens” and primitives who export venereal diseases to the United States. The shock jock referred to the strain of flu as “swine-aka-Janet Napolitano flu.”
That’s not the end of Severin’s anti-immigrant rants. Immigrants are leeches and their children, he warns, don’t speak English, will retard schools, add to crime and spread disease. Amid all of this, Severin has the audacity to state, “I don’t mean to hype the story.”
Meanwhile, a colleague of mine says that--when he tuned in to WTKK yesterday--Severin was identifying venereal disease and women with mustaches as Mexico's main exports.
Speculating ahead of the facts is dicey in any profession, but it’s particularly hazardous in politics. And especially on live television.
U.S. Rep. Paul Broun (R-Athens) was on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” this morning, discussing the swine flu outbreak. Broun was a logical choice. Not only is the congressman a physician, he sits on the House Homeland Security Committee.
While he finished strong, Broun got off to an inauspicious start when the moderator asked for his reaction to the first death in the United States attributed to the flu: a 23-month-old toddler in Texas.
Broun drew a straight line between the swine flu and illegal immigration. News outlets would afterwards report that the dead child was from Mexico City, brought by his family to the border town of Brownsville,Texas, on April 4 to visit relatives. The family arrived by plane.