Obese%20in%20HospitalsObese people may be at greater risk of death or severe complications from the new H1NI virus, according to researchers.

A recent report shows a “striking” prevalence of obesity among patients hospitalized in Michigan.

Nine of 10 patients with the pandemic flu strain admitted to an intensive care unit at Ann Arbor from late May to early June, were obese and seven were “extremely obese,” with a body mass index of at least 40, doctors said. Three of the 10 died and seven had no other known health problems. Read rest of story at http://tiny.cc/0e1OX

Canadian officials said on Tuesday they had identified yet another new flu virus, this one a mixture of human and swine influenzas, in two farm workers in Western Canada. The new virus was likely transmitted from the pigs to the workers. Read rest of story http://tiny.cc/doW8C

As of the latest CDC reporting (June 27), there are 33,902 confirmed cases of H1N1 swine flu in the U.S. and 170 confirmed deaths.

Laboratory-confirmed cases of new influenza A(H1N1) as officially reported to WHO by States Parties to the International Health Regulations, 22 June 2009 07:00 GMT

The breakdown of the number of laboratory-confirmed cases is given in the following table: Read the rest of this entry »

cdc swine fluThe numbers are staggering. According to the World Health Organization , reported cases of H1N1 (swine flu) jumped from this week from 28,774 to 44,287, an increase of 64% or 15, 1513 cases in one week. Almost half, or 21,449, of those cases are in the U.S.

The CDC reports “…novel H1N1 outbreaks are ongoing in parts of the U.S., in some cases with intense activity.”

The first novel H1N1 patient in the United States was confirmed by laboratory testing at CDC on April 15, 2009. Since the outbreak was first detected, an increasing number of U.S. states have reported cases of novel H1N1 influenza with associated hospitalizations and deaths. By June 3, 2009, all 50 states in the United States and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico were reporting cases of novel H1N1 infection.

No public statement has been given by U.S. officials since the flu was declared a pandemic on June 11.

See: Vitamin D for flu protection


H1N1 and H3N2 swine flu viruses are endemic among pig populations in the United States and something that the industry deals with routinely. Outbreaks among pigs normally occur in colder weather months (late fall and winter) and sometimes with the introduction of new pigs into susceptible herds. Studies have shown that the swine flu H1N1 is common throughout pig populations worldwide, with 25 percent of animals showing antibody evidence of infection.

In the U.S. studies have shown that 30 percent of the pig population has antibody evidence of having had H1N1 infection. More specifically, 51 percent of pigs in the north-central U.S. have been shown to have antibody evidence of infection with swine H1N1.


The U.S. pork industry, battered by import bans by nearly two dozen countries worried about the H1N1 flu outbreak, could soon receive some help from the government, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday.

“Clearly pork producers have suffered and will continue to do so until we get this turned around,” Vilsack told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee. “We are looking at ways we can be of assistance or help,” he said.

Vilsack did not go into details on what type of aid the industry might receive or when it would occur.

In a letter to the USDA earlier this week, the National Pork Producers Council said low prices have compounded a slump in the pork industry. It suggested USDA buy $50 million in pork products for donation to food pantries and hunger relief to bolster hog prices.

Fears about the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, initially prompted several countries to ban pork from places reporting human cases, including the United States. The outbreak has pushed U.S. pork sales lower and sent hog prices down by 20 percent since late April.

Currently, 22 countries have full or partial bans on U.S. pork, including two of the biggest markets, Russia and China, according to USDA. Together, Russia and China imported just under $700 million worth of U.S. pork products, accounting for about 15 percent of the $4.7 billion in pork exported by the United States in 2008, Vilsack told lawmakers.

“These are just being used as trade barriers for our products, pure and simple,” said Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback. “It’s already a difficult marketplace for our producers.”

Vilsack said the United States is beginning to have some success in getting countries to reverse or halt initial plans to implement a ban, but said more work needs to be done.

“We will continue to focus our efforts on reopening these markets,” said Vilsack.


The standard USDA recommendations for food safety should be followed with even greater zeal during times of potential pandemic. To refresh everyone’s memory, the guidelines are:

Clean: Always wash hands and surfaces that have come in contact with meat and poultry products before and after handling food.

Separate: Do not cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry, fish, and their juices away from other foods.

Cook: Using a food thermometer is the only sure way to know that meat and poultry have reached the proper temperature to inactivate bacteria and viruses.

Chill: Refrigerate or freeze all perishable food promptly.

However, there are some more practical tips that can help you stay safe from H1N1 or any other influenza type of virus, as well as other infectious agents. These tips are well worth paying close attention to and following religiously:

Rare hamburgers should never be eaten. Ever!

When dining at a buffet or potluck remember that you should never consume any type of perishable or refrigerated food that has been left at room temperature for a period of time which exceeds 2 hours. This time period decreases if it’s warmer outside and becomes only an hour at 32 C / 90 F.

One third of all people admit to eating pizza the next day that has spent the night at room temperature! Don’t do it!

With many supermarkets and delicatessens placing small samples of food out for tasting, most people don’t realize that those tasty little nuggets have come into contact with the potentially contaminated fingers of countless other customers.

There is a very easy rule for tartares, carpacci, sushi, sashimis, and raw shellfish: Don’t eat them!

Some dried or cured meats can harbour countless germs. Avoid them during times of potential pandemic.

Who is the gourmet chef who decreed that duck at pricy restaurants should be served rare? He/she should be made to eat it! You should never attempt to eat any poultry unless all of its cooked juices are running clear and don’t have a single trace of blood at all. Rare fowl, birds, or poultry of any kind is a one way express ticket to flu illness.

Don’t purchase (or eat) produce with mold, bruises or cuts.

Get a calibrated thermometer and use it whenever you’re cooking anything. Read the rest of this entry »

Meat from pigs infected with the new H1N1 virus shouldn’t be used for human consumption, the World Health Organisation cautioned on Wednesday, adding it was drawing up guidelines to protect workers handling pigs.

The WHO comments appear more cautious than those from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), which said import bans are not required to safeguard public health because the disease is not food-borne and has not been identified in dead animal tissue.

The WHO however said it was possible for flu viruses to survive the freezing process and be present in thawed meat, as well as in blood.

“Meat from sick pigs or pigs found dead should not be processed or used for human consumption under any circumstances,” Jorgen Schlundt, director of WHO’s Department of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Diseases.

“While it is possible for influenza viruses to survive the freezing process and be present on thawed meat, there are no data available on the survival of Influenza A/H1N1 on meat nor any data on the infectious dose for people,” he wrote in an email reply to questions from Reuters concerning the safety of pork, respiratory secretions and blood of H1N1-infected pigs.

Schlundt warned people to be cautious with blood and meat-juices from H1N1-infected pigs.

“The likelihood of influenza viruses to be in the blood of an infected animal depends on the specific virus. Blood (and meat-juice) from influenza H1N1-infected pigs may potentially contain virus, but at present, this has not been established,” Schlundt said.

“Nonetheless, in general, we recommend that persons involved in activities where they could come in contact with large amounts of blood and secretions, such as those slaughtering/eviscerating pigs, wear appropriate protective equipment,” he said.

While acknowledging technical questions remain about the conditions in which the virus may be present, Mr Schlundt stressed that the WHO had not changed its basic guidance that pork is safe to eat.

20 countries worldwide had banned imports of pork as of Monday in response to the discovery of the H1N1 flu strain in a herd of pigs on a central Alberta hog farm.

Global trade in pork meat is worth about $26 billion a year.



This is a classic photo of a sneeze. A good cough or sneeze sprays out a tremendous amount of potentially infectious material. 

Influenza viruses are classified as type A, B, or C based upon their protein composition. Type A viruses are found in many kinds of animals, including ducks, chickens, pigs, and whales, and also humans. The type B virus widely circulates in humans. Type C has been found in humans, pigs, and dogs and causes mild respiratory infections, but does not spark epidemics.

Type A influenza is the most frightening of the three. It is believed responsible for the global outbreaks of 1918, 1957, and 1968. Type A viruses are subdivided into groups based on two surface proteins, HA and NA. Scientists have characterized 16 HA subtypes and 9 NA subtypes.

You can get the flu if someone around you who has the flu coughs or sneezes. You can get the flu simply by touching a surface like a telephone or door knob that has been contaminated by a touch from someone who has the flu. The viruses can pass through the air and enter your body through your nose or mouth. If you’ve touched a contaminated surface, they can pass from your hand to your nose or mouth.

You are at greatest risk of getting infected in highly populated areas, such as in crowded living conditions and in schools. Read the rest of this entry »

In Mumbai, India hundreds pigs have been killed due to Swine flu. The CEO of district council has confirmed that the deaths were due to the swine fever.

The deaths in Dahiwad of Jalgaon district in Maharashtra have triggered panic in the area. The samples of blood of the dead animals have been sent to the Pune for laboratory tests.

Reports are that animals were dying due to mysterious disease. Two years ago hundreds of thousands of birds were killed in Nandoorbar and Jalgaon due to the threat of bird flu.

In a n attempt to contain the threat, every passengers arriving from overseas is being medically tested. A person is admitted to the hospital if he is found positive to the fever or symptoms.