- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Swine Flu Pandemic
Swine Flu Pandemic
The World has grown smaller since 1976. A Swine Flu Pandemic is a real concern. Advances in technology mean that we can now fly from one large city to another large city in just a matter of hours. It has been calculated that at any one time there are as many as half a million people flying from A to B. The pace of life has speeded up. So much so that in the time it takes for you to be infected by someones cough or sneeze you are thousands of miles away, your unsuspected illness incubating. You are are ripe to infect someone else.
Why 1976? Well it was then that an unfortunate young American serviceman caught and died from Swine Flu. He was the only know victim but he was a warning. Memories in 1976 could still recall the 20 million people who died in the Flu pandemic in 1918-19.
The name changes. Sometimes called Flu, sometimes fever but essentially the same mutating virus. The real change is the speed in which it may be spread around todays world.
Today in Mexico City
25th April 2009
A suspected new strain of Swine Flu has killed 60 people in Mexico City and over 1000 other people there are presently very sick. The majority of people affected are young adults between 25 and 44. There has been an almost immediate effect on the city. As a precautionary measure all schools were closed but worry has meant that people are staying at home. Sports fixtures have either been cancelled or played to empty stadiums.
Already it has seemingly spread to Texas and California where there are eight cases where people show similar symptoms and at a school in Queens, New York City, 150 children are showing similar symptoms.
The symptoms are similar to other virus infections...fever, cough and sore throat. This makes any diagnosis difficult. Add to this that the outbreak is in such early stages that no-one is really sure what the infection is let alone its origins. It has not been seen before but has been recognised as having links to the new swine flu A H1N1. One thing that is sure is that it is dangerous and it kills.
The World Health Organisation has quickly taken action and has recalled the Director Margaret Chan from a visit to Washington to oversee action.
Around the world airports are taking extra precautions and watching new arrivals with greater caution with plans to quarantine passengers who they suspect of showing symptoms. The temperature checking machines are back in use monitoring people as they approach immigration.
As if the world did not have enough problems with the present recession. A pandemic, should it occur is going to cost many trillions of dollars.