Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu Pandemic Update - Wed, Apr 28

The world continues to focus on the swine flu pandemic with major news outlets reporting on this growing problem. The World Health Organization has raised the pandemic flu alert but has not recommended that borders be closed or travel bans instituted ("WHO Issues Higher Alert on Swine Flu, With Advice", The New York Times, April 27, 2009). In Mexico, the origin of the swine flu epidemic, schools have been shutdown nationwide (""WHO Raises Global Threat Level As Reports of Swine Flu Increase", Washington Post, 27 April 09). The risk to air travelers of catching the swine flu is evident. Already the disease has spread from Mexico to other countries as evidenced by the outbreak caused by a group of students from New York that visited Mexico. During 2003 a small number of people caught the SARS bug while traveling in the air ("Swine Flu Risk for Airline Passengers", The AirSafe.com News, April 27, 2009). The Christian Science Monitor reports (April 28, 2009) that science has tremendous ability to recognize and understand new strains of biological agents as they emerge in its article "Science takes aim at the swine flu". Fox News is reporting that in the U.S. there are 68 sick, 5 hospitalized, and one death as of April 27, 2009 attributed to swine flu. Read more about the swine flu pandemic at Fox News swine flu web page and MSSR's pandemic flu web page.

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