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Mexican swine flu spreads to USA and Canada

April 27, 2009

Its all over cable news. After killing over 80 people in Mexico, it has now made 20 people sick in the US, including in my state of California. According to CNN this morning, there are also reports of people getting sick in New Zealand and Canada. The BBC reports a number of suspected cases in France, Spain, Israel and Australia in people who had just returned from Mexico.

And that’s just over the past 48 hours.

Global travel makes it easy for viruses to spread overnight. Brace yourselves for airport screening again.

This adds to a long line of epidemics that originate from the animals we consume. SARS from civet cats, H5N1 from birds, Nipah viris encaphalitis from swine, mad cow disease from cows, and now this.

I won’t go to the extent of saying that the species are fighting back but statistically I think we’ll find that the number of diseases transmitted from plant to man is no match for those transmitted from animal to man, despite the number of viruses that infect plants.

So once again, the organisms at the top of the food chain are threatened by organisms at the bottom of the food chain.

The good news is, “severe cases can be treated with antiviral medication” according to the BBC report although it didn’t say why so many people died if that was the case.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 27, 2009 9:06 am

    damn…i just blog about bird flu in Egypt and now swine flu. Let’s pray that Asia countries will be spared of this horror.

    Yeah, lets hope this one dies out soon.

  2. April 27, 2009 11:13 am

    i’m down with flu….. =_=

    but it was due to the weather and hopefully not the virus.

    Yeah. Seems like there’s a bug going around town but I’m told its seasonal, not the dangerous kind.

  3. April 28, 2009 2:55 am

    i just entered the states 2 days ago ..good thing..
    i am sure now the security is an arse ..

    the hotel people told me ..
    “you asians heard about the swine flu shit yea? don’t go buy pork and bring it back here”


    Security WILL be an arse when you come back to Asia. I hear HK and Singapore has gone to SARS-level alert and you know what that means at the airports.

    Hotel ppl told you that? Not surprising. Some can’t even point out Mexico on the map! πŸ™‚

  4. LC Teh permalink
    April 28, 2009 4:33 pm

    Folks, in case you are not aware, it’s not spread through via the food chain. So it’s still ok to eat it if you want. Just don’t breathe, nor kiss anyone sniffing suspiciously…

    Yeah. Don’t sniff anything you’re not supposed to sniff. LOL. πŸ˜€

    Any guesses if business will drop for the bak kut teh restaurant because of this outbreak?

  5. LC Teh permalink
    April 28, 2009 10:06 pm

    The bak kut teh business will definitely go south for a while. People are like that. As long as the suggestion is that flu comes from pigs, pork is out… Condemnation by association. This is another kick in the butt of the already wheezing economy.

    Russia obviously believes you can catch the disease by eating pork so they banned pork imports starting yesterday. Hmm… when mad cow disease and foot & mouth disease broke out, the burger joints were doing business as usual. Something about pork that makes it scarier than beef?

  6. April 29, 2009 6:01 am

    I’m really curious when will the science and medicine come up with a solution to this. It seems pretty amazing to me that in ages like these it seems to be a problem to stop a virus. Where is the cure? Where are the quarantines? It sure will be interesting to see what happens next…

    It’ll take 6 months according to this article from Livescience.

  7. LC Teh permalink
    April 29, 2009 8:50 am

    “Something about pork that makes it scarier than beef?”
    Sure. At least 2 major religious books emphasized it as ‘unclean’. So don’t expect the general public to think otherwise when decision makers also believe so.

    But I think banning imports is one way to prevent diseased meat or infected live pigs being transported across borders, which is one way to stop the spread of the flu. That’s understandable.

    BTW, if your friend’s name is Ah Chew, don’t call him out loud when passing through the exit gates. You could end up in quarantine…

    Hahaha, LOL. πŸ˜€

  8. April 29, 2009 10:46 am

    The flu virus in Malaysia is not the same with swine flu virus. But well…my friends are avoiding me like I’m some kind of alien. LOL. Too bad for them, we are all in the office = poor ventilation and with air-cond πŸ˜›

    Sometimes its nice to be left in peace and get paid. πŸ™‚ I hope you get well soon.

  9. LC Teh permalink
    May 2, 2009 11:35 pm

    Sometimes you’d wonder what really goes on behind the headlines

    Hmmm. that was an interesting read. I think the world has seen more deaths from cholera than H1N1 over the same period so the news does appear to have been overly dramatized.

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