Flu update: April 30

The WHO’s update:

30 April 2009 — The situation continues to evolve rapidly. As of 17:00 GMT, 30 April 2009, 11 countries have officially reported 257 cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection.

The United States Government has reported 109 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death. Mexico has reported 97 confirmed human cases of infection, including seven deaths.

The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths – Austria (1), Canada (19), Germany (3), Israel (2), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (3), Spain (13), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (8).

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Pandemic alert levels

An epidemic is an outbreak of disease above its normal, endemic levels. A pandemic is a widespread and serious epidemic involving several countries or more.

Pandemic alerts and planning stages

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Flu virus transmission

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From Virology Blog, How does the flu virus spread? Read about it in “Influenza virus transmission.”

Influenza virus may be transmitted among humans in three ways: (1) by direct contact with infected individuals; (2) by contact with contaminated objects (called fomites, such as toys, doorknobs); and (3) by inhalation of virus-laden aerosols.

Read on for how to prevent transmission.

As I read this, I realized that the paper masks are not especially to keep people safe, but to keep them from spreading aerosols as they speak or cough. Having a handkerchief to whip out before a sneeze is going to be very good manners.

Do you have a firewall?

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Can I get one for viruses?

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