Swine flu arrives in Australia

30 05 2009

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:

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.




5 responses

30 05 2009
Ray Dixon (Bright)

idiots planning swine flu parties

So what’s the general idea behind these parties? Does eveyone turn up wearing a face mask and drink through a straw? Kinda spoils the fun. What if you meet a real nice looking girl and you ask her out but it turns out she’s got a moustache under that mask? And ‘spin the bottle’ becomes a pretty pointless exercise.

Anyway, the warnings didn’t seem to deter the crowds at last night’s AFL game, which surprised me, considering it wasn’t exactly ‘game of the year’. And don’t worry, Andrew Demetriou has just announced that the AFL will be handing out free face masks at all the remaining games until the ‘scare’ is over. They look like this:

30 05 2009

The idea is not to have masks, you are meant to try and catch and share the flu around.
This way you’ll get resistance to the flu early on.
This is an uncontrolled environment. You run the risk of catching particularly nasty strains of flu and spreading it further, and endanger yourself and your friends, family and colleagues.
Avoid getting the flu in the first place – and when a safe and effective vaccine comes out – go get that.

I am curious where the AFL is getting these masks from. All the effective face masks have been sold out and/or stockpiled for months.

1 06 2009

Is it slowing?
Only 333 on Monday morning (today). No fatalities. Looks like the CONTAIN strategies have been relatively effective.

5 06 2009
Ray Dixon (Bright)

I am curious where the AFL is getting these masks from

Um, if you’re referring to the masks in the photo link I provided, I’d suggest they’re getting them from Target.

5 06 2009

lol Why not Victoria’s Secret? Or maybe Bonds?

I had assumed Demetriou had actually made that statement, but was not refering to the masks in your photo.

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