At first, I wasn't very concerned. Then came today's unusual Sunday White House briefing, and an announcement that air lines were allowing cancellations to Mexico. I started googling, still not too concerned, after all the seasonal flu kills 36,000 a year from complications.
I am now concerned. The death rate in Mexico, so far, is figured at 6%, which is very high. A physician friend was to leave tomorrow for an all inclusive in Mexico and he cancelled -- and he's not the type to get alarmed.
This could fizzle or become a pandemic. Anyone going to change their cruising plans?
I did not know that the first outbreak was on April 13th, just before the President's visit, and there was concern about him going. A prominent archeologist who welcomed him to a museum died the next day, of flu like systems. Since the incubation period is 24-48 hrs, the President looks to be not affected, but this is scary stuff. From what I could find out, we have a never before seen confluence of 4 strains, two swine, one avian, and one human. As in 1918, deaths look to be not the demographic of seasonal flu, the old and the young, but the 20-40 yr old group. In 1993, something called a cytokine storm was first written up in medical journals. In short, this is an overreactive immune response to an unknown biologic agent entering the body, and is believed to acount for the 1918 deaths in that healthy adult population. Some reports say the archeologist died of pneumonia which could be in accord with a cytokine storm.
No matter what you decide, take your normal precautions of getting enough sleep, washing hands, keeping a healthy diet. I am flying in less than a week -- domestic -- but I sure will remember to swab my nose with zycam.
The school in NYC seems to have been hit hard. One of the students when to Cancun I believe for spring break and brought it back. It traveled around the school quickly.
This could be disasterous ofr Mexico. Who would want to go there after this?
Actually, I think a group of students from that school went on spring break there, but I don't know how many there were and I think 75 kids reported to the nurse with symptoms. Now, there is also a school in S. Carolina being watched, also a private school. I am a bit concerned that there seems to be too much uncertainty -- flu experts unwilling to go on record as to incubation time, for example.
are any of the cruise lines cancelling there stops to Mexico?
Not that I have heard, so far. There is a post on the RCI thread that UK insurance companies will not cover you if you make a stop in Mexico. With so many countries now saying only essential travel should be taken, one wonders what all these poor cruisers will do -- stay on ship?
Has any one been watching the swine flu news? Projected 100,000 cases a day in Great Britain at current rates -- the big Scotland clan celebration is around the corner. Strain has been Id'd which is resistant to Tamiflu. Mutation found in S. America. UN wants a billion for vaccine in third world countries.
There is no vaccine. What exactly does the UN plan to do with the billion?
And the swine flu has not been in the news here in the US much lately. It can't compete for headlines in the media w/ the death of Michael Jackson.
I hear you on Jackson! While I enjoyed his music, and also could appreciate that he was iconic for the gen X er's, enough already! This cult of celebrity really, really bothers me and is telling of the younger generations.
Today, I saw a headline of new swine flu cases in Canada unrelated to H1N1 -- in hog farm workers -- haven't read the article, yet, however.
The Nature study is mentioned in the UK article, also. You must look to the original source to refute it, not the outlet that tells you of it.
I can't believe we are still discussing the swine flu vs regular seasonal flu which tends to kill the old and infirmed. If this flu was going after that demographic the world would care less -- it's just the old, after all! ( I read that most seasonal flu deaths are persons in their 80's, if I recall a report I read months ago, accurately). The very reason that this flu is of such concern is because it takes the relatively young, like in 1918, and often, fast. Older folks may actually have some immunity because of exposure to various flus over the years.
I don't know what the death rates were last fall/winter with the seasonal flu, but it's apples and oranges, at least for a world that really doesn't care about older folks, and which does care about those in the prime of their life. My feelings about the world are a little snarky these days as our President thinks that if you need a pacemaker or a new hip, you should just take a pain pill.