More confirmed influenza cases in the United States
This Dark Daily follows up the special ALERT distributed last Friday afternoon about the emergence of a new strain of influenza in Mexico. The following day, Saturday, the World Health Organization issued a statement declaring that the new strain of flu virus is “a public health emergency of international concern.” Medical laboratories should be informed about these events.
In the United States, on Sunday the Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency in the United States. At the same time, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano downplayed this declaration, characterizing it as a “standard operating procedure.” The clearer truth of the situation was acknowledged by Richard Besser, M.D. Acting Chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who told the press that “We do think this will continue to spread but we are taking aggressive actions to minimize the impact on people’s health.”
These are just two of the many remarkable developments. In the 48 hours since the first Dark Daily ALERT, the running total of deaths attributed to the A/H1N1 influenza virus in Mexico has climbed regularly, as has the total number of confirmed cases. For example, at one point on Sunday, the Associated Press said that Mexican health authorities were reporting 1,614 suspected cases of swine flu that included 103 deaths. It is likely that, whenever you read this Dark Daily e-briefing, there will news of a greater number of swine flu cases in Mexico.