Flu maps look so pretty with all the colors. My favorite is The Global Disease Health Map http://healthmap.org/swineflu. It tracks everything from the seasonal and H1N1 Swine Flu to Chicken Pox, with only 8 cases reported. Too bad every dot is disease. Rhiza Labs offers a map here http://www.swineflumap.us/. Another here http://swineflumaps.com/ , Pediatrics offers this http://pediatrics.about.com/od/swineflu/l/bl_swine_flu_map.htm, The Wall Journal Tracking map is here http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/info-SWINEFLUMAP0904.html, The New York Times map is here, http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/04/27/us/20090427-flu-update-graphic.html cbcnews Canada offers http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/04/27/f-swine-flu-map.html
Whatever map you select, the numbers of H1N1 Swine Flu will vary by source; but Victoria, Australia now has the highest recorded per capita rate of swine flu in the world and is being blamed for exporting the virus around Australia. It has the fourth highest number of infections worldwide after the US, Mexico and Canada, but the highest per capita load. http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25603115-2862,00.html?from=public_rss. Sydney, Australia is reporting Patient One. Six-year-old Nicholas Darcy is the recipient of the first Australian “community transmission” of swine flu – catching the disease from someone with no known links to a host country or source. http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,25548525-5001021,00.html?from=public_rss NO KNOWN LINKS is a pretty scary prospect.
While virus knows no borders, the number of new cases appears to be tapering off and I wonder if it is just the calm before the storm. Previous flu outbreaks like H3N2 Hong Kong Flu, and the 1918 Spanish Flu had a tapering off period that led to full pandemic status. “New viruses sometimes arise late in spring, morph during the summer, and come back in the fall in a more virulent, severe strain says http://hamptonroads.com/2009/06/each-new-outbreak-medical-sleuth-case .
Epidemiology began in 1854, when London physician John Snow suggested removing the handle from a water pump after noting victims of a cholera outbreak had used it.
While sanitation and science is much improved to prevent H1N1 Swine Flu, are we still only 6 degrees from Kevin Bacon and the concept of the small world phenomenon? You’ve probably heard of the Six Degrees concept. Any one person (including Kevin Bacon) is connected to any other person through six or fewer relationships, because it’s a small world. A world so small that Swine Flu has reached nearly every Continent, save Greenland and Antarctica. A six year old provides proof he was not six degrees away from the flu.
SixDegrees.org harnesses two important online trends: the exponential growth of social networks and the increasing interest in using the web for raising money for charity among family and friends. Through SixDegrees.org, people can upload their own photos and stories and fundraise for the charity of their choice with their own charity badges and AIM Pages. http://www.sixdegrees.org/ Truly worthwhile.
The trend of previous illnesses asks if the strain will mutate and change to become more virulent; is it becoming resistant to anti-virals like Tamiflu? Who is getting sick and where? How old are the infected? What is the the death rate and infection rate? How do we begin to deal with a massive outbreak?
No one is immune, even New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin, who traveled on Friday to Shanghai, China, on an economic development trip, was informed early Sunday that a passenger on the airplane in which he was traveling was confirmed to have signs and symptoms of an influenza-like illness, suspected to be of the H1N1 — or swine flu — subtype. He is in precautionary quarantine. http://www.wdsu.com/news/19683611/detail.html
Trust for America’s Health, The Center for Biosecurity, and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation teamed up publishing a review of the initial response to the swine flu called Pandemic Flu: Lessons from The Frontlines http://healthyamericans.org/report/64/pandemic-flu-frontlines that outlines some basic procedural maneuvering. It reviews 10 early lessons learned from the response to the H1N1 (swine) flu outbreak, 10 ongoing core vulnerabilities in U.S. pandemic flu preparedness, and case studies of challenges communities around the country faced when responding to the outbreak.
Experts predict a severe pandemic flu outbreak could result in up to 1.9 million deaths in the United States, approximately 9.9 million Americans needing to be hospitalized, and an economic recession with losses of over $680 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product says TFAH- Trust for America’s Health http://healthyamericans.org/pandemic-flu/. Recent economic challenges will be nothing compared to a full blown Pandemic.
State and Federal officials in the U.S. are proposing S. 1143, http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-1143 a Public Health Workforce Act to to establish various programs for the recruitment and retention of public health workers and to eliminate critical public health workforce shortages in Federal, State, local, and tribal public health agencies and health centers. I imagine this bills primary goal is make sure America has the people and resources to vaccinate to people with mass inoculations but in pure socialistic tendency, the bill “…may give hiring priority to any individual who has qualified for and is willing to execute a contract to participate in the Program.” The private sector gets overlooked, yet again.
Obama begins his world tour to promote socialized government Healthcare with his Organizing For America group. Obama recently asked Congress for another $2 billion in supplemental funds to fight the novel H1N1 influenza epidemic, on top of $2 billion requested a month ago, and also proposed to tap federal economic stimulus funds for up to another $3.1 billion for the same purpose according to CIDRAP –http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/swineflu/news/jun0509funding.html
Flu Wiki http://www.fluwikie.com/pmwiki.php?n=About.About shares flu knowledge support and extends information to advance both preparation for and the ability to cope with events as they unfold primarily without reliance on the government.
Sadly Alberta farmer Arnold Van Ginkel, whose swine farm was Ground Zero for the Influenza A (H1N1) in Canada voluntarily, culled all his 2,000 plus herd which was earlier quarantined by federal health authorities according to http://www.vitabeat.com/alberta-farmer-whose-swine-farm-started-influenza-a-h1n1-in-canada-culls-herd/v/10342/. Again, so much for Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, this was just One.
Lastly, one bit of good news, a new H5N1 recombinant vaccine virus has been developed by the WHO Collaborating Centerhttp://www.thepoultrysite.com/poultrynews/17890/new-recombinant-h5n1-vaccine-virus-available. Influenza sequences are available in GenBank as soon as they are processed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genomes/FLU/SwineFlu.html . Now if they can only identify how this all got started in the first place.
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Open wide, say ahhh and check out these posts on the A/H1N1 Swine Flu from Ahrcanum, where the conspiracy spreads as fast as the virus itself . Our disclaimer-Swine Flu Conspiracy theory can sometimes be triggered by real world events. http://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/swine-flu-report/