Saturday, April 25

Pandemic Potential

That is what the chief of the World Health Organization said on Saturday as a new swine flu strain has claimed the lives of 68 and least another 1,000 ill in Mexico. Still to early to determine the magnitude of this outbreak the pandemic potential cannot be ruled out at this point according to officials. With cases now being reported in Texas and California, officials met Saturday to discuss the next course of action.

While no deaths have been reported in the United States, Mexico City has become a city gripped by fear as officials handed out masks, closed schools and canceled public events. Saturday 24 new cases in Mexico City alone were reported. Residents were being urged to stay home and avoid close contact with others.

This new disease, a mix of human, pig and bird strain has not been limited to attacking infants or the elderly. Most of the cases so far have consisted of healthy young adults. There are currently two flu drugs that the CDC reports as being effective against this new strain, Tamiflu and Relenza. The makers of Tamiflu said they are prepared to send out stockpiles of the drug immediately if needed.

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