In one of the most bizarre disease outbreaks on record, a strain of swine flu has combined with bird flu and is killing humans. Over 1,000 people have been infected in Mexico with 70-100 deaths. At least 7 cases have been reported in the U.S.
The Center For Disease Control Reports:
Swine Influenza (Flu)
Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza that regularly cause outbreaks of influenza among pigs. Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans, however, human infections with swine flu do occur, and cases of human-to-human spread of swine flu viruses has been documented.
From December 2005 through February 2009, a total of 12 human infections with swine influenza were reported from 10 states in the United States. Since March 2009, a number of confirmed human cases of a new strain of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection in California, Texas, and Mexico have been identified. An investigation into these cases is ongoing. For more information see Human Swine Flu Investigation.
Human Swine Influenza Investigation
April 24, 2009 22:00 EST
Human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been identified in the U.S. in San Diego County and Imperial County, California as well as in San Antonio, Texas. Internationally, human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been identified in Mexico.
Investigations are ongoing to determine the source of the infection and whether additional people have been infected with similar swine influenza viruses.
CDC is working very closely with state and local officials in California, Texas, as well as with health officials in Mexico, Canada and the World Health Organization.
Residents of California and Texas
CDC has identified human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection in people in these areas. CDC is working with local and state health agencies to investigate these cases. We have determined that this virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human. However, at this time, we have not determined how easily the virus spreads between people. As with any infectious disease, we are recommending precautionary measures for people residing in these areas.
* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
* If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
There is no vaccine available at this time, so it is important for people living in these areas to take steps to prevent spreading the virus to others. If people are ill, they should attempt to stay at home and limit contact with others. Healthy residents living in these areas should take everyday preventive actions.
People who live in these areas who develop an illness with fever and respiratory symptoms, such as cough and runny nose, and possibly other symptoms, such as body aches, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, should contact their health care provider. Their health care provider will determine whether influenza testing is needed.
Also See “WHO Issues Epidemic and Pandemic Alert”
Swine Influenza (Flu) Update on Outbreak