Wednesday, May 6, 2009

7 Cases of Swine Flu in El Paso, 3 in New Mexico, 2 More Likely in Dona Ana County

7 cases of swine flu were confirmed yesterday in El Paso, with 14 more cases still unconfirmed but deemed "probable" pending confirmation. Most of the cases were on El Paso's East Side. One was an 11 year old boy from Roberts Elementary School on the West Side, adjacent to I-10 between Mesa and Artcraft exits. Ages of the victims range from 11 months to 39 years. The CDC on Tuesday changed its recommended protocol from one of closing the school where children have been infected to simply asking the infected persons to stay home. There will be no school closures in El Paso. In Cd. Juarez. all schools were closed for 5 days, ending today.

In New Mexico 3 cases were confirmed, with a total of 24 probable cases located in 9 counties. Two of the probable cases are in Dona Ana County, one an infant girl, the other a 14 year old girl.

Worldwide as of May 5 there were 1786 confirmed cases in 21 countries, as reported in Wikipedia, the vast majority from Mexico (866), the U.S. (614), and Canada (165). Mexico stopped reporting deaths from swine flu on April 30, reaching 29, but there have been about 101 deaths from flu there so far. In the U.S. there have been 2 confirmed deaths. No other countries have reported any deaths so far.

The mortality rate from swine flu has not been high. Initially it was listed at around 6-8 percent of those infected, in Mexico, but appears to be less than one percent globally. Most of the early deaths in Mexico were from persons who waited at least a week before reporting to a hospital. Very few persons treated in the early stages of the infection have died, and with the anti-viral medicines available, which lessen symptoms and shorten the life span of the disease, the disease, as it is now constituted, appears to be just another mild to moderate form of flu. Officials are still concerned that the disease might evolve into a deadlier form, or return in the fall, spreading rapidly.

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