The possibility of a quarantine over this, despite the fact that Regular flu has killed thousands since January.
A member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has dismissed claims that more than 150 people have died from swine flu, saying it has officially recorded only seven deaths around the world.
Vivienne Allan, from WHO’s patient safety program, said the body had confirmed that worldwide there had been just seven deaths – all in Mexico – and 79 confirmed cases of the disease.
“Unfortunately that [150-plus deaths] is incorrect information and it does happen, but that’s not information that’s come from the World Health Organisation,” Ms Allan told ABC Radio today.
“That figure is not a figure that’s come from the World Health Organisation and, I repeat, the death toll is seven and they are all from Mexico.”
Ms Allan said WHO had confirmed 40 cases of swine flu in the Americas, 26 in Mexico, six in Canada, two in Spain, two in Britain and three in New Zealand.
Ms Allan said it was difficult to measure how fast the virus was spreading.
She said a real concern would be if the flu virus manifested in a country where a person had had no contact with Mexico, and authorities were watching all countries for signs of that.
“There is no pattern that has emerged at this stage to be able to say that it is spreading in a particular way or it is spreading into a particular country … the situation is continuing to evolve,” she said.
She said the WHO was not recommending against overseas travel, but urged those who felt sick to stay home and others to ensure they kept their hands clean.
No decision had yet been made about vaccinations.
“This virus is not airborne, it’s caused by droplets … so it’s not a time for worry. It’s a time to be prepared,” Ms Allan said.
Crude oil price drops
Oil prices dipped in Asia today as concern that a swine flu outbreak could undermine crude demand overrode optimism about an eventual recovery from a global slump.
Benchmark crude for June delivery was down 39 cents to $49.53 a barrel by midday in Singapore, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract Tuesday fell 22 cents to settle at $49.92. Full Story
Loss Of Civil Liberties, Martial Law & Swine Flu
The swine flu outbreak raises a lot of fears.
Here’s one you might not have thought of yet: The Pentagon may be taking over more and more of our civil society in this crisis.
Back in 2002, President Bush created NorthCom, the Pentagon’s Northern Command, which has jurisdiction over the United States.
And NorthCom has been running preparedness drills in the event of a flu pandemic for at least the past three years.
Making things more alarming, NorthCom got assigned its own fighting unit six months ago—the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, which had spent much of the last five years battling things out in Iraq.
The assignment of that fighting unit alarmed the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “This is a radical departure from separation of civilian law enforcement and military authority and could, quite possibly, represent a violation of law,” said Mike German, ACLU national security policy counsel. Full Story