I think we are getting to the stage where it’s pretty hard to deny that the current A/H1N1 Mexican Flu is a pandemic strain of flu. This made a lot of what I was planning to blog a bit obsolete (that’s why you should blog direct).
This week in Australia confirmed cases have been pretty much doubling each day. When I was putting together my flu resources for blogging on Tuesday, it was in the 20s. On Wednesday it jumped to just over 50. Yesterday it was near 100. Ten Late News just told me it’s 209. Will it be 1000 by the end of the weekend, or maybe it’ll hit a peak by 500?
The good(?) thing about the current form of the virus is that while it appears highly infectious, it doesn’t seem particularly lethal or morbid. But it doesn’t change the fact that influenza is a potentially lethal disease – so the less people who get infected in the first place the better (that’s directed at you anti-vax wingnuts and idiots planning swine flu parties). It also isn’t reassuring that the Spanish Influenza pandemic in the early 20th century was initially mild(-ish) and became increasiningly virulent.
Some stories from the past week of pandemic emergence:
- Diagnosed Canberra man claims, “I’ve had worse paper cuts“
- Investigative reporter Sarah Collerton goes a bit far for her job. After her flatmate is diagnosed with H1N1, she is thrown into quarrantine with her other flatmates, at least she has a laptop and can still write stories. Raises the question of whether quarantining potentially flu-free individuals with potential flu-infected ones is an appropriate action.
- Club Wah politely points out that people whinging about the lack of information available about swine Mexican flu, should possibly try looking for it.
- On the other hand some are woried that Health Minister Roxon is mentioning the possibility of cancelling football matches. Nice to see Australia has priorities.
- First case in Tasmania was identified tonight.
- Seven clinics have been set up to deal with Mexican flu in Victoria – I’ve read about clinics opening in Gold Coast, Brisbane and Adelaide as well.
To follow the Australian governments official pandemic phase alert, visit here.
For global information – I recommend the Google-Rhiza Labs interactive map project by Dr Niman.