West Nile Virus and Swine Flu Cases on the Rise, Part 2

posted by Shopping4Bargains @ 18:00 PM
August 20, 2012

    The current Swine Flu category, (H3N2), has come roaring back since the middle of last month and has now infected some 200 people in the U.S.  Most of the virus is being spread at State Fairs where pigs are on display.

Helen Thompson of Nature Magazine explains that on August 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported only 16 cases of H3N2 infections across the country.  And by the middle of last week, some 145 patients had been diagnosed with that strain.

And Ms. Thompson writes that in all the new cases, “patients interacted with pigs either in their occupation or at local agricultural fairs.”  So far it does not seem that the disease passes from person to person.

The state of Indiana has 138 confirm cases in 23 counties.  A week ago it was only in three other states:  about 72 in Ohio and one case in Hawaii and Illinois each.  But now the virus pops up in West Virginia with three cases, two more in Illinois, one in Michigan, four in Pennsylvania and two in Wisconsin.

Because H3N2 seems to be a mild flu, no deaths have been reported so far, but several victims are hospitalized.  However, CDC and state health officials have not provided the numbers of those so sick that they need hospital care.

Dr. Gregory Larkin, Indiana Health Commissioner, reports: “Surprisingly, the greatest, overwhelming percentage (of cases) is in people 16 years and younger.  As our investigation continues, we’re seeing transmission from ill or infected swine, or hogs, to their handlers, which in most of these cases are kids.”

Also, Dr. Joseph Bresee, CDC epidemiologist, adds:  “This time of the year is the time when you have fairs around the country … thousands of them.  That accounts for the increased transmission more than anything else.”

Pig owners and state fairs are fighting to keep their displays going by scrubbing out pig sty displays with disinfection and re-bedding, when one set of hogs leave, and another group enters.  Only sows with nursing piglets remain in styes throughout the fair period.

Some states will have veterinarians on hand to check the health of new pigs coming on display.  Also, states claim pigs’ temperatures are checked during displays for flu indications, and that public hand-washing stations are available.

That the virus can be spread when pigs sneeze, when visitors either touch pigs, or carry food around pigs are problems.  A larger problem is when the most vulnerable––children, elderly, or immune deficient people––are around sick pigs.

Wholesale Christian Bibles put pigs in a very bad light.  Matthew, Mark and Luke speak of a man possessed with hundreds of demons.  Before He cast them out, those devils begged to go into pigs grazing nearby.  When Jesus said “Go,” the devils then possessed the pigs and drove them down a steep hill into the sea, thus associating pigs with devils, sickness and death.  Now that’s food for thought!

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