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Flu 'Oddities' News Articles
May 2009 Archives

Swine flu infects US official in France for Obama trip 29 May 2009 An American official sent to France to help prepare President Barack Obama's visit to D-Day landing beaches next week has been hospitalised for swine flu but is doing well, officials said on Friday. "Eleven people who were in close contact with her were given preventive treatment last night and confined to their hotel rooms for 24 hours," said Christian Leyrit, the state representative in the northern Normandy region.

Cruise travellers to be kept away from public 30 May 2009 Passengers leaving the P&O ship Pacific Dawn, which docks in Brisbane this morning, will be kept away from the public amid concerns swine flu may have spread on the ship. Extensive health precautions are being taken on the luxury cruise liner after three crew members tested positive to the H1N1 strain of the flu virus.

Swine flu cases pass 15,000 mark 29 May 2009 Figures announced by the World Health Organisation show that swine flu has infected more than 15,000 people in 53 countries since it was first detected in Mexico in April. The latest countries to report cases of the H1N1 virus include Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary and Slovakia in Europe, and Venezuela and Paraguay in South America.

Global swine flu deaths top 100 28 May 2009 The global swine flu death toll marched past 100 on Wednesday with one new fatality reported in the United States and four more in Mexico, the two countries where the first outbreaks were reported. Prior to the latest North American deaths, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had reported the global toll at 95, with 13,398 people in 48 countries infected with the A(H1N1) virus since it was first uncovered last month.

H1N1 flu infects 13,000 people in 46 countries - WHO 26 May 2009 The World Health Organisation said on Tuesday that nearly 13,000 people have been confirmed infected with the new H1N1 flu strain but the number of countries affected is stable at 46. In its latest tally, the United Nations agency said its labs have confirmed 12,954 infections with the newly discovered strain that has killed 92 people.

Anger over breach in swine flu quarantine 27 May 2009 Eight more Melburnians have been diagnosed with swine flu overnight, taking the state's total to 32. Premier John Brumby provided the update this morning as the Federal Government announced stricter health controls would be introduced at Australian ports amid concerns that dozens of people with flu-like symptoms were allowed to leave a cruise ship and travel across the country.

Swine flu scare: cruise ship quarantined 25 May 2009 Authorities have quarantined another cruise ship in Sydney because of swine flu concerns, disrupting the travel plans of around 2,000 people. A spokeswoman for P and O cruises says the Health Department is awaiting swine test results on two passengers, who returned on the cruise ship from the South Pacific this morning.

Swine Flu Is Spreading Wider Than Official Data Show 25 May 2009 Swine flu is spreading more widely than official figures indicate, with outbreaks in Europe and Asia showing it’s gained a foothold in at least three regions. One in 20 cases is being officially reported in the U.S., meaning more than 100,000 people have probably been infected nationwide with the new H1N1 flu strain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

UK swine flu toll is really 30,000, says leading scientist --True extent of the outbreak is claimed to be 300 times worse than government agency admits 24 May 2009 Thirty thousand people in Britain are likely to have been already infected by swine flu, one of the country's leading authorities has told The Independent on Sunday. This would mean that the virus is 300 times more widespread than the Health Protection Agency (HPA) admits. The startling estimate by top virologist Professor John Oxford comes as leading scientists are warning that the agency's announcements on the spread of the disease are "meaningless" and hiding its true extent.

Parents asked to place children in swine-flu quarantine --Parents returning from overseas will be stopped at the airport and told of the quarantine advice. 25 May 2009 Parents of children returning from five countries heavily hit by swine flu will be asked to place their children in quarantine for a week, Victorian Health Minister Daniel Andrews said today. The affected countries are the US, Canada, Japan, Mexico and Panama. Mr Andrews said the State Government had taken the step under advice from national health experts.

Queens woman becomes second confirmed swine flu death in NYC 24 May 2009 The city's health department would only describe the victim as a Queens woman in her 50s who had an underlying health condition. She died sometime over the past few days and tested positive for H1N1 virus, officials said.

U.S. Navy to conduct human clinical trials of H1N1 flu vaccine --Vical Inc. entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC), a biomedical research organization within the U.S. Navy 21 May 2009 Vical Incorporated announced today that in the two weeks since launching its program to develop a vaccine against H1N1 influenza (swine flu), the company has completed development of a prototype H1 vaccine, produced an initial supply of research-grade material, and initiated immunogenicity testing in animals. Assuming a successful outcome of this testing and a commitment for program-specific external funding, the company is ready to advance directly to large-scale cGMP manufacturing of vaccine for human clinical trials to be conducted by the U.S. Navy.

18 US soldiers confirmed with swine flu in Kuwait 24 May 2009 Eighteen US soldiers have tested positive for swine flu at an American military base in Kuwait and all have now left the Gulf emirate, a Kuwaiti health official said. The health ministry announced on Saturday that swine flu cases had been detected among US soldiers who were transiting through Kuwait. Undersecretary of Health Ibrahim al-Abdulhadi told the official KUNA news agency the soldiers were immediately isolated at the US base in Arifjan, 70 kilometres (about 40 miles) south of the capital.

U.S. soldiers are Kuwait's first cases of H1N1 flu 23 May 2009 U.S. soldiers have been confirmed as the first cases in Kuwait with the new H1N1 flu, the state news agency KUNA said on Saturday quoting a government official. The virus was detected in an unspecified number of soldiers on their way through Kuwait. Kuwait is a logistics base for the U.S. army in support of its troops in Iraq.

A/H1N1 flu hits Spanish military base, 500 quarantined 23 May 2009 More than 500 servicemen from the Hoyo de Manzanres Base near Madrid have been quarantined when 11 of them were found to be infected with the A/H1N1 flu virus, Spanish First Deputy Prime Minister Maria Fernandez de la Vega said on Friday. Sixty-one other servicemen are under observation, according to a report by the Spanish health ministry.

Three U.S. firms to make swine flu vaccine 23 May 2009 The government has asked Sanofi Pasteur, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline to make the vaccine and is negotiating with MedImmune and CSL, an Australian company, The Washington Post reported Saturday. The order is part of a $1 billion investment in production and testing of vaccine 'against' the new strain of the H1N1 flu virus.

WHO warns of double influenza threat as south hemisphere enters winter 22 May 2009 The spread of the influenza A/H1N1 virus may pick up in the Asia Pacific region with the onset of southern winter and the threat joined by the spread of seasonal influenza might take a heavy toll on countries' health system, a regional World Health Organization (WHO) expert warned Friday.

U.S. Asks Firms to Make H1N1 Flu Vaccine 23 May 2009 The federal government has asked three drug companies to make enough swine Fort Detrick flu vaccine to immunize at least 20 million people in key positions in health care, national security and emergency services, officials said yesterday. The order, announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, is part of a $1 billion investment in immediate production and testing of vaccine 'against' the newly emerged strain of the H1N1 flu virus. HHS has contracts with five companies to make pandemic vaccine. The department has activated the ones with Sanofi Pasteur, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline. It is still negotiating with the two others, MedImmune and CSL, an Australian company. [See: Baxter working on vaccine to stop swine flu, though admitted sending live pandemic flu viruses to subcontractor 26 Apr 2009.]

WHO chief warns H1N1 swine flu likely to worsen --Chan says H1N1 could mutate in "unpredictable [!] ways" 22 May 2009 The world must be ready for H1N1 swine flu to become more severe and kill more people, World Health Organization chief Dr. Margaret Chan said on Friday. The virus must be closely monitored in the southern hemisphere, as it could mix with ordinary seasonal influenza and change in unpredictable ways, Chan told the WHO annual congress in Geneva. An international team of researchers who analyzed all eight genes of the new virus confirmed its sneakiness, saying it was so different from its ancestral strains that it must have been circulating undetected for years created in a USAMRIID lab.

Australia's swine flu alert level raised 22 May 2009 Australia's swine flu alert level has been raised from delay to contain. The announcement by Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon this afternoon comes after after the first case of human to human transmission was confirmed at a school in Epping, in Melbourne's north.

Memo tells Kan. juvenile jails to prepare for 10-day quarantine in case of swine flu outbreak 20 May 2009 Authorities in charge of the youth inmates in Kansas have geared up for the possibility of a swine flu outbreak at juvenile correctional facilities. The Juvenile Justice Authority issued a memo Tuesday to all staff outlining plans to monitor the spread of swine flu and minimize exposure.

US swine flu deaths hit double-digits 21 May 2009 Marcos Sanchez is the nation's 10th fatality associated with the newly discovered [created] virus that continues to spread across the globe. Swine flu has sickened more than 11,000 people in 41 countries and killed 85, according to the World Health Organization, whose figures often trail those of individual countries.

Utah and Arizona report swine flu-related deaths 20 May 2009 Utah officials reported the state's first death associated with swine flu and Arizona recorded that state's third victim, pushing the national death toll to 10 people. David Sundwall, executive director of the Utah Department of Health, said a 21-year-old man with swine flu died Wednesday morning at a Salt Lake City hospital.

Swine Flu Spreads in Japan, Despite Quarantine Inspections --It is now inevitable, experts said, that the H1N1 virus will spread to the Tokyo-Yokohama metropolitan area. 20 May 2009 To stop swine [Fort Detrick] flu before it could sneak off airplanes arriving from North America, Japan dispatched masked health inspectors with fever-sensing guns to walk among passengers. But the flu has taken hold in this island nation anyway, with rapidly increasing numbers of confirmed cases in its western region.

US pharma-terrorists poised to make a killing even grander than Bush's 9/11 cronies: Companies could vaccinate 4.9 bln against H1N1 -WHO --'Partnerships with the private sector are absolutely vital.' 19 May 2009 Companies could potentially turn out 4.9 billion doses of vaccine against the new H1N1 [Fort Detrick] influenza strain within a year under the best-case scenario, World Health Organization officials said on Tuesday. WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan told reporters after a meeting with 30 pharmaceutical companies that WHO was working to secure supplies of vaccine for poor countries in case of a pandemic. [See: Baxter working on vaccine to stop swine flu, though admitted sending live pandemic flu viruses to subcontractor 26 Apr 2009.]

Prison Outbreak? 4 More Have Swine Flu At Rikers --Bloomberg Confirms Latest Cases, Says 4 Others Are Probable For Virus 19 May 2009 Four inmates at Rikers Island have been confirmed to have the swine flu and four more are considered probable for the virus, Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed Tuesday morning. "Correction and health officials are monitoring the situation and preparing to implement additional health screening and where needed, isolation of ill inmates," Bloomberg said.

Number of H1N1 cases nears 10,000 19 May 2009 The number of confirmed H1N1 flu cases worldwide is nearing 10,000, the World Health Organization said Tuesday morning. The swine flu outbreak has sickened 9,830 people and caused at least 79 deaths -- mostly in Mexico, the organization said. The actual number of people affected may be higher, as it takes time for national governments to confirm cases and report them to the global body. In the United States, at least 5,469 cases of swine flu have been reported, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

W.H.O. May Raise Alert Level as Swine Flu Cases Leap in Japan 18 May 2009 The number of swine [Fort Detrick] flu cases in Japan soared over the weekend, raising the likelihood that the World Health Organization will soon have to raise its pandemic alert level to 6, the highest level. On Sunday, the assistant principal of a school in Queens died after being hospitalized with swine flu. It was the sixth flu-related death in the United States and the first in New York State.

New York Reports Its First Swine Flu Death 18 May 2009 An assistant principal at a New York City public school died of complications from swine flu in an intensive care unit of a Queens hospital on Sunday night, the first death in New York State of the flu strain that has swept across much of the world since it was first identified in April. Hours before the death of the assistant principal, Mitchell Wiener, city officials announced that five more Queens schools had closed.

US health officials troubled by new flu pattern 18 May 2009 The new [Fort Detrick] influenza strain circulating around most of the United States is putting a worrying number of young adults and children into the hospital and hitting more schools than usual, U.S. health officials said on Monday. The H1N1 swine flu virus killed a vice principal at a New York City school over the weekend and has spread to 48 states.

'This particular virus seems to have this unique ability to pick up other genes.' Expert Warns of Swine Flu-Bird Flu Mix Virus --Mutatation Could Be Highly Contagious And Lethal 08 May 2009 Bird flu kills more than 60 percent of its human victims, but doesn't easily pass from person to person. Swine flu can be spread with a sneeze or handshake, but kills only a small fraction of the people it infects. So what happens if they mix? This is the scenario that has some scientists worried: The two viruses meet [in a USAMRIID lab] and combine into a new bug that is both highly contagious and lethal, and can spread around the world.

W.H.O. May Raise Alert Level as Swine Flu Cases Leap in Japan 18 May 2009 The number of swine flu cases in Japan soared over the weekend, raising the likelihood that the World Health Organization will soon have to raise its pandemic alert level to 6, the highest level. On Sunday, the assistant principal of a school in Queens died after being hospitalized with swine flu. It was the sixth flu-related death in the United States and the first in New York State.

New York Reports Its First Swine Flu Death 18 May 2009 An assistant principal at a New York City public school died of complications from swine flu in an intensive care unit of a Queens hospital on Sunday night, the first death in New York State of the flu strain that has swept across much of the world since it was first identified in April. Hours before the death of the assistant principal, Mitchell Wiener, city officials announced that five more Queens schools had closed.

Malaysian air crew quarantined over swine flu --AirAsia crew members, 101 passengers on flight to be put under quarantine 17 May 2009 AirAsia said Sunday it has quarantined five crew members from a domestic flight that carried Malaysia's second confirmed swine flu victim. The crew of flight AK5358, which flew from Kuala Lumpur to the northern city of Penang on Wednesday, was taken off duty Saturday, AirAsia spokesman Hamdan Mohamad said.

¿A quién beneficia esta epidemia? Varias interrogantes que los medios hegemónicos de comunicación han obviado 12 May 2009 Un revelador trabajo plantea varias interrogantes que los medios hegemónicos de comunicación han obviado, en su afán por generar terror entre la población. ¿A quién beneficia esta epidemia? ¿Qué otras noticias está sepultando? ¿Para qué se está utilizando la emergencia en México? El reporte de Fernando Velázquez menciona un artículo de la investigadora Lori Price en el sitio web Globalresearch.ca, titulado La gripe acaba con los memos de la tortura, en el que esta señala que la influenza porcina, fabricada probablemente en laboratorios militares de Estados Unidos, ha acabado con la noticia de los memos sobre la tortura ordenada por la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA) contra prisioneros en (N.R: la ilegal base de) Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, y cárceles secretas.

Flu Bug 28 Apr 2009 By Jolly Roger ...[A] few eyebrows were raised when five microbiologists either disappeared or died mysteriously violent deaths in 2001. A short time later the number rose to 19, and then 29. They were found stabbed to death in the trunks of cars, thrown off bridges, or they wrapped their cars around trees after their brake fluid disappeared... By 2005, we lost 40 micro-biologists in less than 4 years, all under suspicious circumstances, and during this time someone discovered that they were all working for the government, or government contractors, on projects related to bio-terrorism, flu pandemics, or anthrax.

Swine Flu May Have Infected More Than 100,000 Americans 16 Mar 2009 While the official tally of confirmed U.S. swine flu cases topped 4,700 on Friday, experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimate the true number of infections at more than 100,000 nationwide.

Swine flu at Rikers prompts call for closure 16 May 2009 Confirmation that an inmate at Rikers Island has swine flu sparked a correction officers union official Saturday to demand that the city close and sanitize a prison facility. But New York City Department of Correction officials said there was no need to close the Ann M. Kross Center at Rikers Island because precautions had been taken to prevent swine flu from spreading.

China places nearly 350 under quarantine 13 May 2009 China has isolated nearly 350 people, including foreigners who travelled with the person who was the mainland's first swine flu case in an effort to contain the virus. State run China Central Television says authorities found and isolated 349 of the 383 people who had taken two of the same flights as a Chinese man confirmed to have the H1N1 virus. The Beijing municipal health authority says 78 foreigners were among those quarantined at a hotel in the capital for a seven day observation period.

The quickest and biggest coverup in history, save the 9/11 Omission: Swine Flu Not an Accident From a Lab, W.H.O. Says 15 May 2009 The swine flu virus did not result from a laboratory accident, the World Health Organization said Thursday, working to debunk rumors started by an Australian virologist and circulated by news outlets all over the world. "We took this very seriously," Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the agency’s deputy director general, said of the virologist’s assertion. "But the evidence suggests that this is a naturally occurring virus, not a laboratory-derived virus."

WHO probe: Lab error behind swine flu? 14 May 2009 A claim by an Australian virus researcher that swine flu may have been created by human error is being investigated by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Former Australian National University scientist Professor Adrian Gibbs says the virus could have been created in laboratories which grow viruses to make vaccines. Professor Gibbs says he came to the conclusion while analysing the virus's genetic blueprint on the internet.

U.S. logs fifth H1N1 swine flu death, in Texas 15 May 2009 A Texas man from Corpus Christi has died from the new strain of H1N1 swine flu, state health department officials said on Friday, making the fifth U.S. death from the virus. State Health Department spokesman Doug McBride said the 33-year-old man had died earlier but the cause was only confirmed at H1N1 flu on Thursday.

US now has 4,700 cases of new swine flu - CDC 15 May 2009 The United States has 4,714 confirmed and likely cases of the new H1N1 swine flu virus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Friday. Four people have died in the United States from the virus, which is behaving much like a seasonal influenza strain -- spreading rapidly and causing mainly mild disease, but severe illness in some people.

New York schools in lockdown after flu scare 15 May 2009 Three schools in New York City have been closed for at least a week after more children were suspected of having Mexican Fort Detrick flu. Four students and one staff member at the schools showed symptoms of the virus. Altogether, the schools have a total of 4500 students.

Swine Flu Swindle: Mass Vaccination 13 May 2009 A survey of 274 studies conducted by researchers from the internationally prestigious Cochrane Vaccine Field in Italy, and published in the British Medical Journal on October 28, 2006 stated that flu vaccines have not been shown to be effective or safe. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the National Vaccine Information Center is calling on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to stop recommending annual flu immunization.

Scientist: Swine Flu Could Have Come From Bio-Experiment Lab --World Health Organization Investigates Claims by Australian Scientist 14 May 2009 An Australian researcher claims the swine flu, which has killed at least 64 people so far, might not be a mutation that occurred naturally but a man-made product of genetic experiments accidentally leaked from a laboratory. Adrian Gibbs, a scientist on the team that was behind the development of Tamiflu, says in a report he is submitting today that swine flu might have been created using eggs to grow viruses and make new vaccines, and could have been accidentally [purposefully] leaked to the general public.

Scientist arrested for smuggling vials used in Ebola research into US --Yao told US border guards he was taking them to his new job with the National Institutes of Health at the Biodefense Research Laboratory in Bethesda, MD. 13 May 2009 A Canadian scientist has been arrested for smuggling 22 vials stolen from Canada's National Microbiology Lab, used in Ebola and HIV research, into the United States, Canadian and US officials said Wednesday. Konan Michel Yao "was taken into custody" while crossing the border from Manitoba province into the western US state of North Dakota on May 5, said a spokeswoman for the Public Health Agency of Canada, which operates the lab. According to US prosecutor Lynn Jordheim, Yao was detained for carrying unidentified biological materials in vials wrapped in aluminum foil inside a glove and packaged in a plastic bag, along with electrical wires, in the trunk of his car.

China seeks passengers with exposure to new A/H1N1 flu case 14 May 2009 China's Ministry of Health confirmed Wednesday a Shandong man has tested positive for the A/H1N1 flu and authorities are seeking plane and train passengers who had exposure to the man. The case, the second of its kind on the Chinese mainland, involved a 19-year-old student who arrived in Beijing from Canada May 8 and traveled to Jinan, provincial capital of Shandong, three days later in a train labeled D41.

NYC closing schools to deal with big flu outbreak 14 May 2009 New York City has closed three schools in response to a swine flu outbreak that has left one staff member in critical condition and sent hundreds of kids home with flu symptoms, in a flare-up of the deadly virus that sent shock waves through the world last month.

No. of new influenza patients tops 6,000 worldwide; 65 dead 14 May 2009 The number of people infected with a new strain of influenza has topped 6,000 in 35 countries and territories around the globe as of early Thursday, according to government announcements and media reports. The number of people infected with the H1N1 virus has come to 6,465.

China seeks passengers with exposure to new A/H1N1 flu case 14 May 2009 China's Ministry of Health confirmed Wednesday a Shandong man has tested positive for the A/H1N1 flu and authorities are seeking plane and train passengers who had exposure to the man. The case, the second of its kind on the Chinese mainland, involved a 19-year-old student who arrived in Beijing from Canada May 8 and traveled to Jinan, provincial capital of Shandong, three days later in a train labeled D41.

No. of new influenza patients tops 6,000 worldwide; 65 dead 14 May 2009 The number of people infected with a new strain of influenza has topped 6,000 in 35 countries and territories around the globe as of early Thursday, according to government announcements and media reports. The number of people infected with the H1N1 virus has come to 6,465.

Swine Flu May Be Human Error, Scientist Says --WHO wants to know whether evidence that the virus may have been developed in a laboratory can be corroborated 12 May 2009 The World Health Organization is investigating an Australian researcher’s claim that the swine flu virus circling the globe may have been created as a result of human error. Adrian Gibbs, who collaborated on research that led to the development of Roche Holding AG’s Tamiflu drug, said in an interview today that he intends to publish a report suggesting the new strain may have 'accidentally' evolved in eggs scientists use to grow viruses and drugmakers use to make vaccines. Lab Escape: Gibbs said his analysis supports research by scientists including Richard Webby, a virologist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis... His research found the rate of genetic mutation in the new virus outpaced that of the most closely related viruses found in pigs, suggesting it evolved outside of swine, Gibbs said.

WHO: Swine flu virus may face deadly mutation 12 May 2009 The conformation of new swine flu cases in different countries has caused WHO officials to announce the virus has the potential to cause a global pandemic. In a Tuesday statement, the WHO stressed that the new virus 'appears to be more contagious than seasonal influenza...' The report added that the new H1N1 flu virus has the potential to unpredictably mutate into a more virulent form, resulting in a pandemic that may circle the globe in at least two or even three waves.

Confirmed A/H1N1 flu cases in U.S. rise to 3352 14 May 2009 The number of confirmed human A/H1N1 cases has risen to 3352 in 45 U.S. states, with three deaths, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Wednesday. The number of confirmed cases on Tuesday was 3009 in 45 states.

Worldwide swine flu cases soar past 5,000 12 May 2009 The global number of swine flu cases on Tuesday soared past 5,000, world health authorities said as the virus spread to three more countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Most H1N1 patients do not need drugs to recover: WHO 12 May 2009 Most H1N1 flu patients do not require antiviral therapy to recover, but it remains important to develop a pandemic vaccine [!?!] as there is a risk of future drug resistance, a World Health Organization expert said on Tuesday.

WHO: A/H1N1 virus severity could change 'in completely unknowable ways' 12 May 2009 The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday issued some preliminary observations about the A/H1N1 flu virus, which has caused dozens of deaths and infected people in some 30 countries... Severity of Disease Could Change: Apart from the intrinsic mutability of influenza viruses, other factors could alter the severity of current disease patterns, though in completely unknowable ways, if the virus continues to spread.

Swine Flu Is as Severe as Pandemic Virus in 1957, Study Shows 12 May 2009 The swine flu strain that has sickened people in 30 countries rivals the severity of the 1957 "Asian flu" pandemic that killed 2 million people, scientists said. About four of 1,000 people infected with the new H1N1 strain in Mexico by late April died, according to a study published yesterday in the journal Science that was led by Neil Ferguson of the Imperial College London.

Ten passengers on flight NW025 quarantined in HK 11 May 2009 Ten passengers on board the same flight which four Japanese passengers were confirmed with A/H1N1 influenza have been under quarantine in Hong Kong, a Hong Kong health official confirmed on Monday. Nine of them have so far tested negative for A/H1N1 influenza and result of laboratory analysis of the remaining one is pending, according to a spokesman for the Department of Health of Hong Kong government.

Swine flu spreading too fast to count, CDC says --Confirmed cases are only the 'tip of the iceberg,' health official says 11 May 2009 Swine flu is spreading so far and fast in the U.S. that state health officials may soon stop counting individual cases, a federal health official said Monday. The novel H1N1 virus accounted for 40 percent of flu viruses logged in the U.S. in the past week and helped propel an uptick in overall flu-like illnesses, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, a deputy director with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mexican H1N1 flu spreads easily: study 11 May 2009 The new [Fort Detrick] strain of H1N1 flu that has killed 56 people in Mexico and been carried around the world by travelers appears to be more easily passed along than the regular seasonal flu, researchers reported on Monday. As many as 23,000 Mexicans were likely infected with the swine flu virus, Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London and colleagues reported in the journal Science.

Swine Flu Outbreak From Mexico to New Zealand: Timeline 11 May 2009 The following is a timeline of the outbreak of swine flu, a virus that normally infects pigs and causes seasonal flu-like symptoms such as fever and coughing. The virus has been detected in people in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China (Hong Kong), Costa Rica, Colombia, Denmark, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S.

Ten more cases of swine flu confirmed in England 11 May 2009 Ten new cases of swine flu have been confirmed in England bringing the total in the UK to 65. Four of the cases have been contracted in England and the others are people returning travellers who have caught the H1N1 swine flu virus abroad.

US has more swine flu cases than any other country, WHO says 10 May 2009 The US has more confirmed cases of swine flu than any other country, the World Health Organisation said as health officials announced the country's third death from the disease today. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 2,254 confirmed cases across the US, and the deputy director for science and public health, Anne Schuchat, warned that the total could be an underestimate.

Now 2,600 cases of new flu in US, CDC says 11 May 2009 The United States now has 2,600 cases of the new H1N1 influenza across 43 states and Washington, D.C., the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Monday. On Sunday the CDC reported 2,532 cases.

U.S. has more than 2,500 H1N1 flu cases 10 May 2009 The United States has 2,532 confirmed cases of the new H1N1 swine influenza in 44 states, and three deaths, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Sunday. On Saturday, the CDC reported 2,254 confirmed cases, with 104 people in the hospital.

Swine flu-related death reported in Wash. 09 May 2009 Washington state health officials say a man in his 30s is the first person in the state to die from what appears to be complications of swine flu. The state Department of Health says in a news release that a Snohomish County man in his 30s with underlying heart conditions died last week with what appears to be complications of swine-origin influenza.

Michigan has 115 swine flu cases 09 May 2009 State health officials announced Saturday that Michigan has 115 confirmed cases of swine flu. That includes 11 new cases. The state began confirming its own cases Thursday, James McCurtis, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Community Health, said earlier in the week. The cases are spread among 20 counties.

U.S. has more than 2,000 new flu cases: CDC 09 May 2009 The United States has 2,254 confirmed cases of the new H1N1 swine influenza, with 104 people in the hospital, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Saturday. "Today there are almost 3,000 probable and confirmed cases here in the United States," the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat told a news briefing.

Australia has first case of new flu strain - media 09 May 2009 An Australian woman has tested positive for the new strain of flu, the first confirmed case in the country, Australian Associated Press quoted Queensland state's chief medical officer as saying on Saturday.

Japan confirms 3 cases of new flu strain 09 May 2009 Three Japanese males who had spent time in Canada have been confirmed to have the new strain of flu, the first confirmed cases in the country, a Health Ministry official said.

Swine flu cases double in the US 08 May 2009 The United States announced Friday that the number of swine flu cases within its borders had doubled almost overnight, while the death toll in Mexico inched up. American health authorities said the number of confirmed cases was now 1,639 in 43 states. The figure had been put at 896 only on Thursday.

Local agencies prepare for H1N1 flu 08 May 2009 State and county agencies are preparing for the H1N1 flu, commonly referred to as the swine flu, now that cases have been confirmed in North Carolina. The Guilford County Department of Public Health scheduled daily press conferences beginning on May 4 so the media could help get the word out about the latest developments, but then discontinued them after only two days.

Quarantine for Afghanistan's Only Pig --Last week at the zoo in Kabul, Afghanistan's only pig enjoyed his relative freedom. This week he was placed in quarantine. 08 May 2009 There are no cases of swine flu in Afghanistan, but there is one victim: the country’s only pig, whose lonely existence got somewhat lonelier this week, when he was taken from the small, muddy enclosure he previously shared with deer and goats at Kabul’s zoo and placed in quarantine. In an interview with the BBC, the director of the zoo, Aziz Gul Saqib, explained that the pig, named Khanzir (or "Pig" in Pashto), is in good health but had alarmed some visitors.

Military Implications of Pandemic Flu 06 May 2009 The Defense Department released its plan for pandemic influenza in September 2006, but it is little more than a plan for planning, and the critical Continuity of Operations (COOP) and Continuity of Government (COG) documents in Annex G have not been publicly released. THe Secretary of Defense approved US Northern Command [USNORTHCOM] CONPLAN 3551 "Concept Plan to Synchronize DOD Pandemic Influenza Planning" on October 15, 2007. Each of the other Combatant Commands have developed implementing plans, such as U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) CONPLAN 5003 "Concept Plan For Bio-hazard Preparedness And Response to Pandemic Influenza". The Concept Plans have not been publicly released... American troops may also be called on to respond at home, to quell domestic disturbances. The US military has long had so-called Garden Plot plans to respond to civil disturbances. Under the Insurrection Act, Federal troops have been deployed ten times from 1957 to 1992. United States Northern Command [USNORTHCOM], responsible for Homeland Security operations, has developed "Concept Plan (CONPLAN) 2502 Civil Disturbance Operations."

Report: H1N1 Could Infect 2 Billion 07 May 2009 The World Health Organization says up to 2 billion people could be infected by swine flu, if the current outbreak turns into a pandemic. WHO flu chief Keiji Fukuda says the number wasn't a prediction, but that past experience with flu pandemics indicated one-third of the world's population gets infected. Fukuda says that with a world population of 6 billion people, it's "reasonable" to expect that kind of infection tally.

Swine Flu Cases Widen Reach With 'Epidemic Curve' --WHO: The disease has been confirmed in 2,371 people in 24 countries, with 44 deaths. 07 May 2009 Swine flu may spread to at least one- third of the world’s population within the next year and a full- fledged pandemic remains possible, the World Health Organization said. In two weeks, the flu jumped from isolated reports in the U.S. and Mexico to a widening circle of infections in Central America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and New Zealand.

Canada cracks code for swine flu 07 May 2009 The Canadian Health Minister, Leona Aglukkaq, has announced that scientists in the country have been able to use gene technology to inspect the swine flu virus. Scientists in Winnipeg succeeded in sequencing the Mexican flu's genetic code before comparing three virus samples taken from patients with Mexican flu in Nova Scotia, Ontario and Mexico.

Hong Kong : Newly-designated 'isolation camp' for flu suspects --Penned in and frustrated 06 May 2009 There are now seven Singaporeans quarantined in Hong Kong. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) had told reporters that as at 10pm on Saturday, three Singaporeans were quarantined at the Metropark Hotel in the Wanchai district. But later it was known that there were four more. As of 5pm yesterday, the MFA revealed that these Singaporeans were quarantined at the Lady MacLehose Holiday Village, a newly-designated 'isolation camp' in a country park. When The New Paper called Metropark yesterday, we were told that guests were not allowed to receive outside calls.

'The Home Quarantine Order is issued under the Infectious Diseases Act to contacts and suspected contacts of the Influenza A (H1N1-2009) virus.' Singapore slaps flu quarantine order with fine, jail 05 May 2009 City-state Singapore has ordered eight people who have just returned from Mexico into a week-long home quarantine, threatening those who violate the order with a fine or a prison term. A Health Ministry statement said on Tuesday those who violated the order would be fined S$10,000 ($6,789) and/or six months in jail. The penalty would be doubled for those who breach the order for a second time.

Schools told to set up 'quarantine rooms' for swine flu pupils 05 May 2009 (UK) Private schools should set up "quarantine rooms" for pupils suspected of having swine flu, according to legal advice issued to the Independent Schools Council today. Pupils across the country may have to sit exams in isolation, at home, or be given grades based on past work rather than take exams this summer if the swine flu epidemic escalates. If the situation becomes extreme the Department of Health could issue an order to close all schools.

Company warned officials of flu 18 days before alert was issued --On April 6, 18 days before WHO issued its alert, Veratect reported on its Web site a strange outbreak of respiratory disease in La Gloria, Mexico. 30 Apr 2009 A Washington state biosurveillance firm raised the first warning about a possible outbreak of swine flu in Mexico more than two weeks before the World Health Organization offered its initial alert about a public health emergency of international concern. Both federal and international health officials had access to the warning from Veratect Corp.

Scientists warn swine flu virus could quickly morph from mild to deadly 05 May 2009 A flu virus is a powerhouse of evolution, mutating at the maximum speed nature [or man] allows. A mild virus can morph into a killer and vice versa. In the world's most devastating global flu epidemic in 1918, the first wave of cases in the spring were mild. Then, the virus evolved and came back in the fall as a strain that proved truly deadly, flu experts say.

Swine flu fears subside, but second wave looms The echoes of the 1918 flu are unavoidable. [That's because it's the same virus the US Army has been manipulating.] 04 May 2009 Historical accounts long have suggested that the first pandemic wave appeared in the U.S. in the spring of 1918, causing illness, but no appreciable deaths above normal... Those early cases were followed by far more fatal second and third waves in the fall and winter of 1918 an d 1919 in the United States. "When it got cool enough to spread well, the virus exploded," Dr. Jeffery K. Taubenberger, an influenza investigator in the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, said. [See: US involved in bird flu conspiracy: Indonesia 20 Feb 2008 (Transcript from AM, Australia's ABC.) Peter Cave: Indonesia's Health Minister has suggested that the United States may be involved in a conspiracy to use the bird flu virus to develop biological weapons. See: US, Japanese Researchers Mix Samples of 1918 Flu Pandemic to Recreate Deadly Code 30 Dec 2008. See: Donald Rumsfeld makes $5m killing on bird flu drug 12 Mar 2006 Donald Rumsfeld has made a killing out of bird flu.]

Swine flu: the worst is yet to come in autumn, warns --Alan Johnson Doctors are being warned to prepare for a second, "much worse" wave of swine flu hitting Britain in the autumn, the Health Secretary has disclosed. 04 May 2009 Alan Johnson said that the lesson of past pandemics was that initially mild outbreaks had been followed by something "much more serious". His comments came as the number of confirmed cases of swine flu in Britain rose to 18, including two children, with as many as 716 possible patients now being tested.

CDC Says Swine Flu Cases Likely to Grow in Coming Days 05 May 2009 U.S. health authorities reported today that the number of confirmed swine flu cases across the nation now exceeds 400 in 38 states, and they repeated warnings that the illness is likely to spread over the days and weeks ahead. In its latest bulletin on the outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta said this morning that 403 laboratory-confirmed cases of H1N1 flu have been reported, up sharply from the 286 tallied 24 hours earlier.

US resident dies from swine flu 05 May 2009 A woman from Texas has become apparently the first US resident to die from swine flu. In a statement, the Texas Department of State Health services said it was "reporting the first death of a Texas resident with H1N1 [swine] flu."

Pfizer Employee Has Swine Flu 05 May 2009 A resident of Westerly, RI, who works at Pfizer’s King’s Heights facility in Groton, CT, has tested positive for swine flu, according to a company spokeswoman. He is recovering at home and several co-workers, said the company, are recovering at home. About 60 people work at the same building. This facility is two miles away from the larger Groton campus of Pfizer.

Seven new swine flu cases in B.C. 05 May 2009 Seven additional cases of the H1N1 flu virus (human swine flu) were confirmed Tuesday in B.C. for a total of 46, the B.C. ministry of health announced.

Seven Swine Flu cases in NC 05 May 2009 North Carolina health officials say the total number of Swine Flu cases in the state has now reached seven.

1 additional swine flu case confirmed in NJ 05 May 2009 Health officials have confirmed another case of swine flu in New Jersey. With Tuesday's addition, there are still seven confirmed cases in New Jersey because health officials say a clerical mistake was made in one case previously reported as confirmed.

Two Fairfield U. Students Have Confirmed Swine Flu 05 May 2009 (CT) The state's number of confirmed swine flu cases increased to four today after testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed two Fairfield University students had the disease.

U.S. says flu-hit schools should reopen 05 May 2009 The U.S. government on Tuesday said it was no longer necessary to close schools due to outbreaks of the H1N1 flu virus, although students who fall ill should remain at home for at least a week.

Schools hit by swine flu rescheduling exams 05 May 2009 (UK) Schools hit by swine flu were rescheduling GCSEs and A-levels today or asking for special consideration for pupils as the summer exam season begins. It comes as Department of Health leaflets giving information about the virus began dropping through doors across the country. Five schools, four of which are secondary schools, are now closed after students fell ill with the virus.

Company warned officials of flu 18 days before alert was issued --On April 6, 18 days before WHO issued its alert, Veratect reported on its Web site a strange outbreak of respiratory disease in La Gloria, Mexico. 30 Apr 2009 A Washington state biosurveillance firm raised the first warning about a possible outbreak of swine flu in Mexico more than two weeks before the World Health Organization offered its initial alert about a public health emergency of international concern. Both federal and international health officials had access to the warning from Veratect Corp.

Exam chaos fears as six children get swine flu at independent school 05 May 2009 Six cases of swine flu have been confirmed at Alleyn's School, one of Britain's leading independent schools, increasing fears that pupils across the country may be forced to sit upcoming exams in quarantine. Alleyn's School in Dulwich, south east London, became the fourth in the UK to be closed down by health officials following the largest single outbreak of the H1N1 virus so far.

Swine Flu May Merge With Other Flu Viruses, CDC Says [Count on it.] 03 May 2009 Swine flu's potential to reconfigure its genetic material and become more deadly is a "major concern," said Anne Schuchat, a scientist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The prospect of what is called reassortment is keeping Schuchat and health officials worldwide on the alert even as the newest outbreak has proved itself to be relatively mild outside Mexico. Human cases of the disease have been confirmed in 30 U.S. states and 19 countries, according to the CDC and the World Health Organization, a global agency that may declare a pandemic.

Swine flu: Warnings that second wave may strike later in 2009 04 May 2009 A second wave of swine flu may strike later this year, ministers warned yesterday. As hopes rose that the worst of the outbreak is over Health Secretary Alan Johnson said the tally of 18 cases in the Britain was likely to rise... As three new British cases emerged over the weekend, Mr Johnson said: "...[W]ith pandemics you get two phases. A first that is often very mild and then a much more serious one in the autumn and winter. So we have to not just deal with this outbreak now, but prepare, perhaps, for a second phase."

Mutant fears over 'mild flu' --Experts say swine flu appears less virulent than the typical seasonal virus, but are still concerned about its future path 03 May 2009 At present four laboratories worldwide, including the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control in north London, are working with the live virus to find a vaccine. The scientists will take the genes that make swine flu’s outer coating and attach them to a harmless human virus called PR8, creating a reconstructed virus. [See: Baxter working on vaccine to stop swine flu, though admitted sending live pandemic flu viruses to subcontractor By Lori Price 26 Apr 2009.]

Flu, Mostly Mild, Has Spread Across U.S., Officials Say 04 May 2009 Swine flu has become widespread in the United States, with 226 cases in 30 states and more expected to turn up in additional states in the next few days, federal health officials said Sunday. "I think it’s circulating all over the U.S.," Dr. Anne Schuchat, the interim deputy director for science and public health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a news conference. "The virus has arrived, I would say, in most of the country now."

US May Revise H1N1 Flu School Closure Guidelines 04 May 2009 Federal health officials are considering new revising guidelines on school closures as evidence mounts that the current H1N1 influenza outbreak is acting like the seasonal flu. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday, "we are having very active discussions about whether it's time to review our guidance," which recommends schools with confirmed H1N1 influenza cases be closed for 14 days as part of an effort to slow the spread of the virus through communities.

Japanese health inspectors diligently seek feverish suspects --Passengers could not leave the aircraft until they had filled out a government form. 04 May 2009 Armed with thermographic guns, Japanese health inspectors in surgical gowns, goggles and masks boarded United Flight 803 from Washington Dulles. They prowled the aisles, pointing their fever-seeking machines at jet-lagged faces. The nonstop flight had taken 13 1/2 hours... Everyone was under strict orders to stay in his or her seat. Exhausted-looking flight attendants handed out surgical masks... diligently seeking feverish suspects.

Chinese officials quarantine Canadian university students 04 May 2009 Twenty-five Canadian students quarantined in China amid fears about the potential spread of swine flu are staying in a remote lakeside hotel and are "in good spirits" despite the setback, university officials in Montreal told CBC News. The University of Montreal students have access to the internet and are being monitored by health officials who are taking their temperature four times a day, said David Ownby, director of the East Asia Studies Department at the university.

CDC confirms four cases of swine flu in Md. 04 May 2009 Four of Maryland's 15 probable swine flu cases were confirmed Monday afternoon by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The confirmed cases include a student from Millford Mill Academy in Baltimore County, two Baltimore County adults and a preschool-age child from Anne Arundel County.

Australians with swine flu quarantined in London 03 May 2009 At least two Australians are in quarantine in London after being diagnosed with the potentially deadly swine flu virus upon returning to Britain from separate holidays in Mexico last week.

World on alert after pigs found infected with H1N1 virus 03 May 2009 Governments around the world are on alert on Sunday after some 200 sickened pigs were found infected with the H1N1 flu virus in Canada. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said Saturday that it was highly probable the estimated 200 pigs caught the virus from a Canadian who had been exhibiting flu-like symptoms after returning from Mexico.

The Pork Lobbyists, Ready to Reassure --Flu Prompts Daily Damage Control 04 May 2009 It was Day 7 of the great swine flu outbreak, and inside the eighth-floor conference room in a concrete hulk of an office building on Capitol Hill, the pork lobbyists were in crisis mode. The National Pork Producers Council, whose members were watching with dismay as prices fell, labored to reverse the public dialogue about the fast-spreading virus and to convince consumers that the "other white meat" was still safe to eat. [Mega barf alert! Soon these nutjobs - peddling slaughtered animals - will be begging Obusha for a bailout, and he will comply.]

'Draconian' powers seen to contain swine flu 03 May 2009 Regional governments can invoke "draconian" powers if the swine flu virus reaches a worst-case scenario, from monitoring people in their own homes to seizing control of entire economies... Australia has also approved the isolation of suspected sufferers against their will. Australia's pandemic action plan, a draft of which is publicly available on the Internet, reveals the government potentially has recourse to even more extreme measures should the threat escalate. The plan, which was updated in April, allows for "extraordinary measures" including the power to manage the supply of goods and services, giving it effective control over the economy.

Swine flu broke out of California: CDC 03 May 2009 The US disease prevention center claims the newly-spread potentially-fatal strain of swine flu virus may have originated from California. The Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) said on Saturday that the state preceded Mexico, the alleged source of the virus, in reporting cases of the affliction. "As we do our investigations here in the US, we may find that there were cases earlier," CDC spokesman, Scott Bryan was quoted by AFP as saying. As early as March, patients were diagnosed in California with a new type of viral infection resulting from the A(H1N1) -- the new strain of the swine flu virus, H1N1. The patients had neither been to Mexico nor had they come into contact with pigs.

'Those cases contradict the conventional understanding of how the strain originated.' In California, Cases Suggest Border Origin 01 May 2009 Growing evidence in California suggests that early flu cases had no apparent origin in Mexico. Many of the early California victims -- including the first two cases -- say they hadn't traveled to Mexico and had no contact with pigs. Some may have fallen ill before the first Mexicans did.Those cases contradict the conventional understanding of how the strain originated.

Search for hundreds on flu plane 03 May 2009 Health officials are hunting for hundreds of airline passengers who may have become infected with swine flu from a Scot returning home from a trip to America. The man was last night revealed to be Scotland's latest "probable" case of H1N1 after falling ill with flu following a trip to Texas, one of the areas affected by swine flu.

113 quarantined after taking flight from Mexico with flu case 03 May 2009 At least 113 people, who were on the same Mexico City-Shanghai flight with a Mexican national later diagnosed with influenza A/H1N1 in Hong Kong, are under quarantine, Chinese health authorities said Saturday. None of them have displayed any flu symptoms so far.

Hong Kong hotel quarantine move stirs controversy 02 May 2009 Travellers quarantined in a Hong Kong hotel for a week after a Mexican guest tested positive for the H1N1 flu expressed dismay on Saturday at the tough steps, while an infectious disease expert said the authorities had over-reacted. Police wearing surgical masks sealed off the Metropark hotel on Friday night after test results on the 25-year-old Mexican man were confirmed, ordering approximately 200 guests and 100 staff to stay in the hotel for the next seven days.

Quarantine units at Iranian airports to stop swine flu 02 May 2009 Iran has set up quarantine centers in its international airports due to the spread of swine flu infection. "Currently, we have established quarantine units in these airports where, in addition to giving information to the passengers, health care services are also offered," Mohammad Mahdi Gouya of the Iranian Health Ministry told the Mehr News Agency on Saturday.

Swine Flu: Israel Raises Alert, New Measures in Effect 30 Apr 2009 The Health Ministry announced Thursday that it has raised Israel's alert level to Phase 5, the second-highest on the scale, following the discovery of two new suspected cases of swine flu in the Jewish State. Following a meeting with senior officials at the Health Ministry, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a series of orders. Among the new measures are the establishment of a temporary clinic in Ben Gurion airport, the stationing of doctors at Israel's borders, and a mandatory trip to the emergency room for travelers from Mexico suffering from flu-like symptoms.

Thank you, sir, for the martial law, KBR detention plans: 'At his news conference Wednesday night, Mr. Obama praised the Bush administration for stockpiling antiviral drugs and establishing a detailed plan for responding to international [Fort Detrick] outbreaks like this one.' President Enlists Cabinet to Prepare for a Pandemic 02 May 2009 A week after his administration first received word about a deadly flu spreading across Mexico, President Obama convened his cabinet on Friday and instructed every agency to play a role in preparing the United States for a pandemic... Mr. Obama said his administration was focused both on the immediate threat posed by the H1N1 virus, as well as the possibility that a more virulent outbreak could be looming months away. [Yes, count on it. This is the dry run -- to gauge public acceptance of the 'draconian measures.']

Inflatable mortuaries and 'express' funerals planned for flu pandemic --The 59-page report, "Planning for Possible Influenza Pandemic: A Framework for Planners Preparing to Manage Deaths" has been circulated to local councils, coroners and undertakers. 01 May 2009 Inflatable mortuaries, 24-hour cremations and "express" funerals could all be used to dispose of thousands of bodies in a flu pandemic, Whitehall papers show... Department of Health projections put the total UK death toll from a pandemic as high as 750,000. It was confirmed in 2006 that officials have ordered millions of extra body bags as a precaution. A Home Office contingency planning document seen by the Daily Telegraph reveals the extreme measures that would be required to cope with the sheer number of extra corpses that are expected.

Companies buy flu drugs for 500,000 staff from private stockpile amid shortage fears 02 May 2009 Companies are turning to a private stockpile of antiviral drugs amid fears that Government supplies will be overwhelmed by a swine flu pandemic. Employers, including the banking giant HSBC, have already paid to secure enough doses to treat half a million workers in the event of a mass outbreak.

Swine flu: supermarkets prepare for panic buying 01 May 2009 Supermarkets are preparing for panic buying by shoppers fearful of swine flu, by stocking up on millions of extra litres of bottled water. The leading chains contacted the major water suppliers on Friday and placed orders far in excess of a normal bank holiday -- in anticipation of shoppers panic buying. Orders of about an extra 50 million litres of bottled water were placed with the major suppliers, the Telegraph understands.

WHO says raise to pandemic alert Phase 6 still possible 03 May 2009 The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that the risk of a pandemic caused by the A/H1N1 virus is still very high and there is still the possibility to raise the alert level to Phase 6 from the current Phase 5. "At the present time, I would still propose that a pandemic is imminent because we are seeing the disease spread," Michael Ryan, the agency's director for global alert and response, told a news briefing in Geneva.

WHO's tally of A/H1N1 cases rises to 615 02 May 2009 The total number of laboratory confirmed A/H1N1 flu infections worldwide has risen to 615 with 17 deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a latest update on Saturday. A total of 15 countries and regions have officially reported laboratory confirmed cases to the UN agency, including Mexico, whose confirmed number of human cases has increased to 397, including 16 deaths.

Three dozen under swine flu cloud in NSW 03 May 2009 Thirty-six people in NSW remain under assessment as possibly having swine flu, health authorities say. NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant says 237 people have been assessed so far for suspected cases of human swine influenza, with 201 of them cleared after testing. "There are currently 36 people awaiting test results," she said in a statement on Sunday.

Pigs infected with A/H1N1 flu in Canada 03 May 2009 Some pigs in Canada have been found to be infected with the A/H1N1 flu, Canadian media reported Saturday citing government sources. This has been the first time that the H1N1 flu virus has been found in pigs, the Canadian Press said, adding federal health officials will announce the news later Saturday.

Bush Team Strategy Now Obama's Swine Flu Playbook --Public health experts say the administration is benefiting from the Bush administration's 2005 National Pandemic Strategy. 01 May 2009 The Obama administration has relied on a Bush-era public health strategy aimed at coordinating its response across an array of government agencies in the week since the first reports of a swine flu outbreak emerged, officials say... On April 24, the Homeland Security Council, which comprises that department, the FBI, the Justice Department, the CIA and other agencies, discussed the outbreak for the first time with the president. The Domestic Readiness Group, a broad interagency panel put in place by the Bush regime to respond to national emergencies, also convened that day and has been teleconferencing daily.

WHO to help fund bird flu vaccine plants in Mexico, other nations 26 Apr 2007 The World Health Organization is donating millions of dollars to help developing countries set up their own influenza vaccine production in preparation for a possible bird flu pandemic. The programme will provide cash for six nations to establish capacity to manufacture influenza vaccine. India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam will each get up to $2.5m from an $18m fund provided by the Government of Japan and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

New flu virus may be a real mongrel: study 01 May 2009 The new virus that has killed as many as 177 people and spread globally is a mongrel that appears to have mixed with another hybrid virus containing swine, bird and human bits, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday. Raul Rabadan and colleagues at Columbia University in New York analyzed the published genetic sequences from the H1N1 virus that has brought the world to the brink of a pandemic.

Swine flu roots traced to Spanish flu 01 May 2009 New Canadian-led research suggests that we might have given pigs the flu in the first place, during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. A group of Canadian and U.S. researchers, writing in the May issue of the Journal of Virology, say experimental testing of how pigs responded to the 1918 Spanish flu supports the theory that the virus was passed on from humans to pigs in 1918, during the Spanish flu pandemic... Canadian Food Agency researcher Hana Weingartl and her colleagues tested the resistance of pigs to both the 1918 pandemic virus and the 1930 swine virus. They performed the tests at a biosafety Level 4 laboratory and animal cubicle at the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease in Winnipeg, where Weingartl works.

Experimental Infection of Pigs with the Human 1918 Pandemic Influenza Virus By Hana M. Weingartl, et al. 18 Feb 2009 --Received 19 Nov 2008/ Accepted 6 Feb 2009 Swine influenza was first recognized as a disease entity during the 1918 "Spanish flu" pandemic. The aim of this work was to determine the virulence of a plasmid-derived human 1918 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus (reconstructed 1918, or 1918/rec, virus) in swine using a plasmid-derived A/swine/Iowa/15/1930 H1N1 virus (1930/rec virus), representing the first isolated influenza virus, as a reference... Presented data support the hypothesis that the 1918 pandemic influenza virus was able to infect and replicate in swine, causing a respiratory disease, and that the virus was likely introduced into the pig population during the 1918 pandemic, resulting in the current lineage of the classical H1N1 swine influenza viruses.

IVW: Strong Immune Response Could Be Behind Swine Flu Deaths 30 Apr 2009 ...Younger adults have a much stronger immune response to invading pathogens than young children and older adults, said Robert Webster, Ph.D., of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, at the conference on Influenza Vaccines for the World. It's this exaggerated response -- called "cytokine storm" or hypercytokinemia -- that may be causing death more frequently in younger adults, he said. The cytokine storm theory is believed to explain the same pattern of deaths during the 1918 flu pandemic that killed tens of millions of people. [See: Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004 Scientists have shown that tiny changes to modern flu viruses could render them as deadly as the 1918 strain which killed millions. A US team added two genes from a sample of the 1918 virus to a modern strain known to have no effect on mice.]

Obama: Preparing for 'worst-case scenario' on flu --New flu strain could return in "more virulent form" 01 May 2009 At the end of his second cabinet meeting, President Obama said today that his administration continues to closely monitor the swine [Fort Detrick] flu outbreak and be prepared for the "worst-case scenario." He also noted that it's possible that the regular seasonal flu will be more serious.

CDC: Flu Outbreak Is Becoming "More Serious" 01 May 2009 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's top flu specialist has privately informed health care officials that the H1N1 virus is becoming a more serious threat, CBSNews.com has learned. "We're now certainly starting to pick up more serious cases," Dr. Joe Bresee, chief of CDC's epidemiology and prevention branch of the influenza division, told health care providers on Thursday.

Hong Kong to Quarantine 300 at Hotel for Week After Flu Confirmed 02 May 2009 Hong Kong's government imposed a controversial full quarantine on approximately 300 guests and staff of a hotel in the territory after a guest was found to have the A/H1N1 flu virus, an extreme measure to control the spread of the disease. The move appears to be the first imposition of an involuntary quarantine in the global effort to beat back the new flu strain.

Woman's Flu Symptoms Divert Plane to Logan 01 May 2009 A flight coming from Germany was diverted to Boston after a woman on the plane complained of flu-like symptoms. United flight 903 from Munich to Washington Dulles International Airport made an emergency stop in Boston after a woman told the flight crew she was feeling ill. According to airport officials, there were 245 passengers onboard the plane and 16 crew members.

First UK flu transfer case confirmed 01 May 2009 The first case of the new deadly flu strain in Britain has been confirmed in a patient who had not recently been to Mexico, a health official said on Friday. The man, from Falkirk in Scotland, is one of 11 people in Britain to have tested positive for the new strain of Influenza A (H1N1) but the first to have contracted the virus without having been to Mexico himself.

Swine Flu Case Confirmed in Connecticut, More Probable 01 May 2009 A Stratford resident has become the first person to test positive for the swine flu in Connecticut, says Gov. M. Jodi Rell's office. This case was one of the first two 'probable' cases. Results from the second sample were "inconclusive" and will undergo more testing... The number of probable cases remains unchanged Friday at six.

*****

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