Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza that regularly cause outbreaks of influenza among pigs. Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans, however, human infections with swine flu do occur, and cases of human-to-human spread of swine flu viruses has been documented. See General Information about Swine Flu.From December 2005 through February 2009, a total of 12 human infections with swine influenza were reported from 10 states in the United States. Since March 2009, a number of confirmed human cases of a new strain of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection in the U.S. and internationally have been identified. An investigation into these cases is ongoing. For more information see Human Swine Flu Investigation.
What alarms me is that the CNN has just reported that 81 deaths in Mexico have been linked to swine flu and that the United States has declared a public health emergency after 20 cases of swine flu have been identified. The CNN report reads in part:
The United States government declared a public health emergency Sunday as the number of identified cases of swine flu in the nation rose to 20.The declaration is part of a "standard operating procedure" that will make available additional government resources to combat the virus, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said at the White House.Additional cases of swine flu are expected to be reported in the coming days, added Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.No one has died in the U.S. from swine flu, officials said Sunday.In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said eight students at St. Francis Prepatory School in Queens have tested positive for swine flu. More than 100 students at the school were absent with flu-like symptoms last week, he said.State public health officials in Ohio confirmed one case of swine flu on Sunday. There have been seven confirmed cases in California, two in Kansas, and two in Texas, Besser said.The World Health Organization advised all countries to be on the lookout for "unusual" outbreaks of flu, after an emergency meeting Saturday as the seriousness of the outbreak became clear.By Sunday, 81 deaths in Mexico had been deemed "likely linked" to swine flu. Viral testing has confirmed 20 cases, said Dr. Jose A. Cordova Villalobos, Mexico's health secretary.