H1N1 Influenza A – Mexican Swine Flu: 19 July Brief Update

Confirming the greatest fears of many of us, a new study indicates that the A(H1N1) Swine flu resembles the feared 1918 virus, as it has been found to be more likely to infect the lungs where it can cause pneumonia and where the virus replicates more easily. Also, it was recently suggested that should the disease ramp up as feared in the northern hemisphere’s upcoming flu season, that the fight for swine flu vaccine could get ugly. Apparently, only 20% of vaccines are manufactured in the U.S. and there is some fear that the countries where the vaccines originate could forcibly keep them for their own populations if things were to get truly desperate, regardless of existing export and delivery contracts, etc.

And, as if that all weren’t bad enough, here we have an article that clearly states doctors will be empowered to issue ‘fast track’ death certificates for swine flu victims. Perhaps most shocking is the study it cites by “researchers at Imperial College London suggesting that 0.5 per cent – or one in 200 – of those who are ill enough to seek help for swine flu will go on to die as a result of it. “

Meanwhile…

Laboratory confirmed cases now stand at 135,040, an 18% rise over the ending count of 114,249 one week ago. Here’s a breakdown of the up-to-date statistics:

19 July – 135,040 cases – 860 fatalities
12 July – 114,249 cases – 611-617 fatalities
5 July – ? – ?
28 June – 70,873 cases – 344 fatalities
21 June – 51,360 cases – 253 fatalities
14 June – 35,538 cases – 180 fatalities
7 June – 24,973 cases – 149 fatalities
31 May – 17,822 cases – 119 fatalities
24 May – 12,495 cases – 92 fatalities

There are now nearly 900 confirmed deaths from the virus. That is somewhere in the neighborhood of a 25% increase above the deaths being reported last week.