Swine flu outbreak map

April 28, 2009

New Zealand and Israel confirmed cases of swine flu on Tuesday, the latest countries hit by a new strain that has killed up to 149 people in Mexico and threatens to become a pandemic.

The World Health Organisation has raised its alert level to phase 4, indicating a significantly increased risk of pandemic. Global markets tumbled for a second day on Tuesday on fears the outbreak could snuff out fragile signs of economic recovery.

Here are details of the latest number of cases, as confirmed by Reuters, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization.

UPDATE: A new, up-to-date map can be found on the Reuters Swine Flu page.

Comments

In 1918:

In large U.S cities, more than 10,000 deaths per week were attributed to the virus. It is estimated that as many as 50% of the population was infected, and ~1% died. To compare, in “normal” (interpandemic) years, it is estimated that between 10-20% of the population is infected, with a .008% mortality.

The fact the current ‘swine flu’ has shown to be contagious is alarming. So far the virus has shown to have a 6% to 6.3% mortality rate. It may not seem like much, but please consider the following: The deadly influenza panic in 1918 had a mortality rate of under 1%.

This virus went on to kill tens of thousands of healthy people a day in large cities and up to 100 million people world wide.

Viruses, like this strain of swine flu, kill their host by over-stimulating active immune systems that are robust and healthy. That is why the victims in Mexico were between the ages of 20 and 45.

Some have said that no one in the United States have died from the virus, so we need not worry. Experts say it is only a matter of time. The virus is not prevalent enough to reach statistical significance in the United States, with only a handful of confirmed cases. 93.7% of all Mexicans with the virus recovered.

More cause for worry: The 1918 virus started off ‘mild’ before it mutated into a raging storm. It also does not mean we will see millions of deaths. It is too early to draw sweeping conclusions. Nevertheless, there is potential for a disastrous pandemic. If 50% of Americans catch this flu in the next two years, and the mortality rate stays at 6.3%, we would witness 20+ million deaths.

This strain of virus is more potent and more deadly than the virus that hammered the world in 1918 and 1919. Viruses come in waves. There are striking similarities to this virus and the virus that killed up to 100 million people in 1918. The first wave is historically more mild than the later waves.

In addition to this virus becoming more severe, it is mutating faster than previous virus that we have seen. In addition, this virus is nothing like we have ever seen before because it combines features from viruses natural in different parts of the globe. We are in uncharted territory.

If it follows the same path as the 1918 flu, we will see very damaging results. However, we must remember we are a global society now and the virus can spread quicker than we have ever witnessed in history. This is very concerning especially since the drugs we have now seem resistant.

While there have been no deaths in America, it is shadowed by the fact the common variable among the deaths seem to be age. While most American cases have involved the very young and very old (under 10 and over 50) the Mexican cases that ended fatally involved the robust and healthy (over 20 and under 45).

This virus kills the host by over-stimulating the immune system. The term that is used when the immune system over reacts is called a Cytokine Storm. It is usually fatal. During this “Storm” over 150 inflammatory mediators are released. This would account for the high mortality rate in 1918-19.

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Posted by Bo Thompson | Report as abusive
 

Hi my name is Greg and Id like to give guidance to those who may be confused about the onset of swine flu. It is my opinion based on the evidence available from the health authorities and the height of alert of the pandemic coming, the closing of schools communities in other countries and the death figures available that it is now the time to use the scout motto of be prepared. I to live in Geelong Australia and I am a father of 4 young boys and my family including my pregnant ex wife who is staying with me via my direction are all now quarantined. Stock piles of food have already been purchased and home schooling for my youngest 2 school aged children are removed from school and restricted to our home. No contact with anyone outside our immediate family is permitted and entry into our home is not permitted. So this may appear extreme but the evidence available has been sufficant to impliment the actions I have taken and as history has clearly shown I do not want any of my family to be on the list of the millions that have died due to previous pandemics. I rather have over reacted and still look at my children as they sleep in there bed rather than a coffin so its your choice as to whether you act now or act when its too late. I hope that my opinion has helped you make good decisions and my family wish you the very best during these dark days that lay ahead of us all.
Yours most faithfully,
Greg and Family

Posted by greg glascott | Report as abusive
 

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