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Swine Flu Report: April 26, 2009 - May 2, 2009

Two New Delaware Cases Not At the University

Two new probable H1N1 cases were reported in Delaware today, and for the first time the victims are not students at the University of Delaware. The 10 previously confirmed cases and 14 probable cases all involve students at the university's...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 2, 2009; 4:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  New Cases  
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1 Case at Washington and Lee Confirmed

Virginia health officials said today that one of two Washington and Lee students suspected of contracting swine flu actually has the illness, raising the number of confirmed cases in the state to three. The confirmation also adds to the anxiety...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 2, 2009; 1:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  New Cases  
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Bahrain Drops Out of Embassy Tour

The Kingdom of Bahrain has closed its U.S. embassy in Van Ness to the public today due to concerns about the swine flu. In a statement posted on its website, the embassy said it would not be participating in today’s...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 2, 2009; 1:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  History , New Cases  
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2 Washington & Lee Students Are 'Probable Cases'

By Martin Weil Washington Post Staff Writer Two “probable cases” of swine flu infection in Virginia were announced Friday by the state’s health commissioner, Karen Remley. She said the cases affected two students at Washington and Lee University in Lexington,...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  May 1, 2009; 9:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  New Cases , Schools  
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Flu Bags Rockville Scottish Festival

The 41st Annual National Capital Area Scottish Festival, scheduled for Saturday at Rockville High School, has been cancelled because of the flu outbreak. The school is closed because a student is believed to have been infected. Organizers were disappointed. They...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 1, 2009; 6:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Schools  
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WHO Update: 13 countries

The World Health Organization reports that it has documented 365 cases of swine flu in 13 countries as of Friday evening. Here are excerpts from the WHO update: "The United States Government has reported 141 laboratory confirmed human cases, including...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 1, 2009; 5:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  New Cases  
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What If There's No Soap?

The District school system is urging students to vigorously and frequently wash their hands with soap. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee and DC Health Department director Dr. Pierre Vigilance urge “lathering well above the wrists and (rubbing) your hands together...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 1, 2009; 5:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Prevention  
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Rockville Kid with Swine Flu Got Infection Locally

Montgomery County officials have talked about why they closed Rockville High School. A student who fell ill with suspected swine flu appears not to have traveled to Mexico or other affected areas -- which means the infection must have come...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 1, 2009; 4:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  New Cases  
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Flu Spreads and More Schools are Closed

Two more schools in Maryland have been closed because of the swine flu outbreak, and more cases have cropped up in District, and Maryland. Latest reports say an 8-year-old boy from Montpelier Elementary School, in Laurel, Prince George's County, may...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 1, 2009; 4:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  New Cases , Schools  
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CDC: Swine Flu Not as Deadly as 1918 Flu

This from the Associated Press: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the new virus is “a very unusual” four-way combination of genes from human, bird and pig viruses found in North America, Asia and Europe. CDC flu chief...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 1, 2009; 3:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  History , Q & A  
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Swine Flu and Public Opinion

A quarter of all Americans say they’re worried about catching swine flu, and there’s initial evidence in a new Gallup poll that growing numbers are adjusting their daily lives in the face of the spreading virus. The overnight poll of...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 1, 2009; 3:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Opinions  
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The Lighter Side

It had to happen. Sooner or later, there are going to be people who poke fun at anything. (If you want your swine flu news totally serious, you should go to the next post.) A variety of creative masks. You...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 1, 2009; 3:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Opinions  
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The Suspension of the Handshake

In youth soccer, the traditional post game handshake is being discouraged by Montgomery Soccer Inc., at least until the flu scare has passed. "Replace the post game handshake with a post-game cheer or round of applause for the opposition," the...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 1, 2009; 2:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Prevention , Q & A  
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Rockville High SAT Site Moved

Students who were scheduled to take the SAT tomorrow at Rockville High School, which has been closed due to concerns about the swine flu virus, should now go to an alternate site, a spokeswoman for Montgomery County schools says. The...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 1, 2009; 2:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Schools  
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Houses of Worship Take Flu Precautions

With weekend religious services approaching, churches and synagogues are taking steps to avoid the spread of the flu. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Arlington advise parishioners that they don’t have to shake hands during the...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 1, 2009; 1:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Prevention  
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Insurance Tips

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has come up with a series of tips and a checklist related to health insurance issues should swine flu strike your area. Does your policy require a pre-authorization for hospital admission or other services?...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 1, 2009; 12:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Prevention , Q & A  
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Maryland Flu Hotline

Maryland has just set up a toll-free flu hotline to provide information and answer questions about the illness. The number is 1-877-MDFLU4U (633-5848) and will operate from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 1, 2009; 11:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Prevention , Q & A  
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Rockville Students Urged to Avoid Congregating

Montgomery County officials suggested this morning that students at Rockville High School not congregate in public public places, while experts determine the origin of a flu case at the school that they can't trace to Mexico, where the virus appears...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 1, 2009; 11:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  New Cases , Prevention , Schools  
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Supermarket Flu Precautions

In the category of an abundance of caution, Food Lion supermarkets have announced steps they are taking to prevent the spread of flu infections. Truckloads of food will be stopped at distribution centers, where the drivers will be asked if...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 1, 2009; 10:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Prevention  
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New CDC Numbers on Swine Flu

National health and science reporter Ceci Connolly at The Washington Post reports that the CDC has new figures on swine flu: There have been 149 cases in 19 states so far....

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 1, 2009; 10:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  New Cases  
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Have We Missed the Boat?

Duke University professor Priscilla Wald is the author of the book, "Contagious." In a piece she has published in the Globe and Mail in Canada, she argues that the swine flu outbreak has been grossly blown out of proportion by...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 1, 2009; 10:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Opinions  
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Swine Flu Opinion Roundup

A super-quick overview of editorials, op-eds and opinion pieces in major print outlets has the Washington Post advocating calm over panic. The former Mexican health minister who is now the dean of public health at Harvard gives an overview in...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 1, 2009; 10:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Opinions  
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CDC Publishes Overview of Swine Flu Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a detailed examination of the swine flu outbreak in the latest issue of its influential Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. A larger version of the graphic below is at the attached link....

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 1, 2009; 9:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  New Cases , Prevention  
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The Tragedy of the 1918 Flu

If you think this flu is scary, you can take a trip back to the mother of all flu pandemics in 1918. The National Archives has posted a fascinating review of photos and documents related to that calamity, which claimed...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 1, 2009; 9:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  History  
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World Bank Employees Cleared

The World Bank says that none of its 80 employees exposed to a fellow staffer who appears to have had swine flu has shown any symptoms of the disease, and workers are being told they can come back to work...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 1, 2009; 9:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  New Cases , Prevention  
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Google Tracks the Flu

Google is trying to use technology to track the spread of the flu. The search engine itself warns that the best data are going to come from the CDC, but it's an interesting experiment. There is some evidence that there...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 1, 2009; 9:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Opinions , Prevention , Rumors  
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Insufficient Stockpiles of Antiviral Drugs

A report today suggests that many states are unprepared for a full-blown crisis, if swine flu should ever reach such proportions. Several states are far short of the number of doses that the federal government determined they need to have...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 1, 2009; 9:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  New Cases , Prevention  
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Rockville High School Closed Friday by Swine Flu Worries

UPDATED: 12:20 a.m. ET By Lori Aratani Washington Post Staff Writer Montgomery County school officials announced last night that Rockville High School will be closed today, after authorities reported a probable case of swine flu involving a student. County school...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  May 1, 2009; 12:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  New Cases , Schools  
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Va. Governor Announces 2 Swine Flu Cases in State

UPDATED at 8:43 p.m. ET: By Anita Kumar Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine confirmed tonight that two state residents contracted swine flu while traveling in Mexico. Kaine told reporters that the separate cases involved an adult woman from the central part...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  April 30, 2009; 8:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  New Cases  
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School Closings -- Smart Move or Panic?

Hundreds of schools nationwide are closing and sending kids home, as this Washington Post article details. But is this smart? It can superficially seem like the right thing to do, but how do we know this is (a) not an...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  April 30, 2009; 7:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Opinions , Rumors , Schools  
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Metro Scouring 'Touch Surfaces'

Metro crews have started cleaning so called "touch surfaces" throughout its system to prevent riders and employees from getting the flu virus. Crews are using "special hospital-grade disinfectant" to clean fareboxes, steering wheels, seats, back-of-seat handles, floor-to-ceiling and seat-to-ceiling poles,...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  April 30, 2009; 6:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Prevention  
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Biden's Crack About Airplane Germs

The Air Transport Association, an industry trade group that represents U.S. Airlines, is livid at Vice President Biden's suggestion Thursday that germs are easily spread inside the cabin of an airliner. “You’re in a confined aircraft,” Biden said on NBC’s...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  April 30, 2009; 6:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Rumors  
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Swine Flu -- or H1N1 Influenza A

The WHO and governments around the world are trying their best to change the way the media refer to swine flu – they want to call it H1N1 Influenza A. That is much wordier than swine flu and the simpler...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  April 30, 2009; 5:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  History , Rumors  
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What is a Pandemic?

A pandemic is an outbreak of a new infection with global reach. Pandemics can be deadly – but they don’t have to be. It depends, in part, on whether people have immunity to the new virus. The three influenza pandemics...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  April 30, 2009; 5:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Q & A  
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Should We Save Our Supply of Tamiflu?

Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at Harvard, argues that we should not be using up our supply of Tamiflu, the leading anti influenza-virus drug. The medication is not a vaccine – it can be given to people after they fall ill....

By Shankar Vedantam  |  April 30, 2009; 5:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Prevention , Q & A  
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Swine Flu Q&A: What You Need to Know

Andrew Pekosz, associate professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, answers questions about swine flu. -- Shankar Vedantam If I take Tamiflu after getting the flu, will it affect how...

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  April 30, 2009; 11:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Prevention , Q & A  
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