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April 25, 2009

Could deadly swine flu come here?

Update for Contra Costa County residents regarding the swine flu:

On it's website, the Contra Costa Health Services department confirms that local authorities are working closely with state and federal health authorities on concerns about a growing swine flu pandemic that has so far killed at least 60 people in Mexico and killed 100 more.

The good news for Contra Costa residents: There are no reported cases of swine flu in our county. ... There have been cases in California. All those have been mild to moderate and those infected have recovered. "

Also, so far no known cases of swine flu have shown up in Northern California. For more information on swine flu, visit the Contra Costa Health services website. To see the latest count on the number of cases in the United States (20 so far; seven in California), visit this page on the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last night, I wrote that, given the Bay Area’s connections to Mexico and other parts of the world, Bay Area public health officials are monitoring the situation. They are also asking anyone with flu-like symptoms to stay home and call the doctor, and for hospitals and doctors to be on the look out for possible cases.


The San Francisco Chronicle confirms that Bay Area area health officials have stepped up their surveillance, but no outbreaks have been reported yet in our area.


The World Health Organization told the Associated Press that it “may be too late to contain” this new flu strain, a global pandemic is possible, and declared this outbreak in Mexico “a public health emergency of international concern.”

Says the Huffington Post:


At least two cases of the human swine influenza have been confirmed in Kansas and one more in California. At least eight students at a New York City high school probably have swine flu, but health officials said Saturday they don't know whether they have the same strain of the virus that has killed scores of people in Mexico.

At least nine swine flu cases have been reported in California and Texas. The new California case, the seventh there, was a 35-year-old Imperial County woman who was hospitalized but recovered. The woman, whose illness began in early April, had
no known contact with the other cases.

Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A flu viruses, the CDC's Web site says. Human cases of swine flu are uncommon but can happen in people who are around pigs and can be spread from person to person. Symptoms of the flu include a fever of more than 100 degrees, body aches, coughing, a sore throat, respiratory congestion and, in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea.




This virus is particularly worrisome because it combines genetic material from pigs, birds and humans in a way researchers “have not yet seen before.” People don’t have immunity to it. Flu can also spread quickly around the glove, and one doctor, Michael Osterholm at the University of Minnesota, told the Associated Press that there are probably cases incubating around the world already.


The CDC and Canadian health officials were studying samples sent from Mexico, and airports around the world were screening passengers from Mexico for symptoms of the new flu strain, saying they may quarantine passengers.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let's be careful not to stir unreasonable fear. Health care here is, overall, much better than in Mexico, and no one has died from swine flu in Ca. Worth watching, certainly; but no need to panic in Walnut Creek.

Soccer Mom said...

Anon 7:14: You're absolutely right. I hope in what I wrote I'm not inciting panic or worry. Our health care, yes, is much better than in Mexico. And it is MUCH better than in previous flu pandemics as in 1918 or in the 1960s. Just thought I'd report that local officials are monitoring it, and are aware. It's such big news internationally.