Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu

Swine flu has been on my mind, and all over the news. We just got our first case here in Michigan.  Surprisingly there have only been 257 cases confirmed by the World Health Organization

This is surprising because the news has about 200 deaths in Mexico. What this really shows is that the better public health system in the US is producing more lab test results than in the US. 

As of 30 April, there are only 257 confirmed cases worldwide: 109 in the US, 97 in Mexico, 19 in Canada, Spain 13, UK 8, Germany 3, New Zealand 3, Israel 2, Switzerland and Netherlands 1.

The bright side is that H1N1 Swine flu may be just like any other flu. As more time passes, there is less to be frightened about. The ratio of deaths to infections get less and less. 

H1 stands for hemagglutinin 1 and N1 stands for neuraminidase 1. There are 16 types of hemagglutinin, numbered H1 through H16, and 9 types of neuraminidase, numbered N1 through N9. That makes 144 possible combinations of the virus, a constantly changing challenge for prevention or treatment. citation.