Swine Flu Mexico shutdown: update and comment

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Comment in early days of Mexico Swine Flu epidemic in 2009:

Research suggests that the virus causing Swine Flu (H1N1) may turn out to be quite similar to normal flu in mortality rates (1 in 1000).  This is based on a genetic analysis which shows that the virus has receptors which bind to the nose and upper airways, rather than to lung tissue.  This makes it more infectious but probably less dangerous for each person infected.  But these are early days.

Meanwhile, the entire country of Mexico has begun a five day shut down of non-essential government services, schools, cinemas, restaurants and many other businesses.  Rate of new suspected cases appeas to be slowing, but it is too early to tell if the virus is coming under control. Mexico is reporting around 300 confirmed cases and 12 confirmed deaths from Swine Flu plus possibility of another 160 or more deaths from the virus.

The US is buying 13 million extra courses of antiviral treatment and sending 400,000 to Mexico.

WHO will in future refer to Swine Flu virus as H1N1 to help reassure people that pork meat is safe to eat, and to emphasise that the H1N1 is spreading between humans.

WHO press release 1 May 2009 - less up to date than text above:  The situation continues to evolve rapidly. As of 06:00 GMT, 1 May 2009, 11 countries have officially reported 331 cases of influenza A(H1N1) infection. The United States Government has reported 109 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death. Mexico has reported 156 confirmed human cases of infection, including nine deaths. The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Austria (1), Canada (34), Germany (3), Israel (2), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (3), Spain (13), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (8).

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