Dr Richard Besser, acting director of the CDC said this afternoon that he expects to see a broader spectrum of the swine flu and more severe cases here in the US. There are now 20 cases in five states: New York, Ohio, Kansas, California and Texas. This declared public health emergency means that the government views this as 'standard operating procedure' according to Janet Napolitano, and that all appropriate steps will be taken to minimize the impact of the outbreak. The first minimizing step planned is to send 12 million doses of Tamiflu, taken out of the federal stockpile, to the states with cases already reported.
The swine flu outbreak of pandemic proportions is called "emerging" as one way of detracting from the fact that little is yet known about it. There is no explanation of why the flu in Mexico, thought to be ground zero with 1,400 reported cases and 86 deaths, is lethal to the strong of the population instead of just the very young and very old that is usually at the highest risk. There is also no explanation of why people in Mexico are dying, but those who contracted it in the US are not.
What is known so far:
- The flu shot offers no protection for the swine flu.
- Only two drugs have been effective in treating it: Tamiflu and Relenza.
- Wash your hands often.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you are sick, stay at home.