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Swine Flu Spin: WHO is Looking?

Posted by feww on April 30, 2009

WHO warns flu pandemic imminent, raises alert level to phase 5

The World Health Organization (WHO) said a few hours ago that the world was at the brink of a swine flu pandemic, raising its official threat level to phase 5, the last step before a pandemic.

[Remember all those Homeland Security Code Yellow and Code Orange alerts?]

“Influenza pandemics must be taken seriously precisely because of their capacity to spread rapidly to every country in the world,” WHO Director General Margaret Chan told a news conference in Geneva.

“The biggest question is this: how severe will the pandemic be, especially now at the start,” Chan said, adding that the world “is better prepared for an influenza pandemic than at any time in history.”

[How reassuring, Director General! What would the world do without Tamiflu, Relenza and those vaccines that are still being experimented on in the multinationals’ laboratories.]

Then, to make it look as if the world was begging, Ms. Chan “urged companies who make the drugs to ramp up production.” Reuters reported.

Relenza, produced by Britain’s GlaxoSmithKlin, and Tamiflu, produced by Switzerland’s Roche AG (and its original designer, Gilead Sciences Inc.) have allegedly been shown to work against the new A (H1N1) swine flu viral mutation.

The alert level was raised after the first confirmed U.S. swine flu death was reported. A 23-month-old boy died of pneumonia reportedly caused by the flu virus in the border town of Brownsville, Texas. He was on a family visit from Mexico.

Before the identity of the boy was known, FEWW had suspected that the victim would be Hispanic, working on the premise that the viral mutation was in all probability “laboratory-engineered,” most possibly at the ESR laboratories in New Zealand.

Earlier in Swine Flu: A Deadly $100 billion Scam? MSRB wrote: “Is this the “perfect” viral mutation engineered to kill only a small number of  ‘brown’ people? [So as to warrant WHO raising its alert level to phase 5, possibly beyond, justifying governments to spend billions of dollars on flu drugs!]

President Barack Obama said the Texas death proves the time had come to exercise “utmost precautions.”

Kathleen Sebelius, the newly confirmed health secretary, said: “We know that the cases will continue to rise.”

Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security Secretary said: “We are preparing for the worst; hoping for the best … All of us should be dusting off our business contingency plans, looking at things like telecommuting and the like so that things keep operating.”

Customs and Border Patrol officials  had checked 49 people with flu-like symptoms. She said, clearing 41 of H1N1 infection, with eight being held as tests were carried out.

This news came amid WHO advice that: “Containment is not a feasible operation”

“Seasonal flu kills 250,000 to 500,000 people in a normal year, including healthy children in rich countries.” Reuters reported.

[Note: The total volume of Tamiflu and Relenza allegedly donated by the two major pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKlin and Roche AG is less than 1 percent of their quarterly sales in 2007. ]

The Big Question: How fast are they prepared to spin the swine flu epidemic [and how far will they go?]

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5 Responses to “Swine Flu Spin: WHO is Looking?”

  1. feww said

    Swine flu prompts Mexico to shut down economy

    By Catherine Bremer

    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican President Felipe Calderon told his people to stay home from Friday for a five-day partial shutdown of the economy, after the World Health Organization said a swine flu pandemic was imminent.

    Calderon ordered government offices and private businesses not crucial to the economy to stop work to avoid further infections from the new virus, which has killed up to 176 people in Mexico and is now spreading around the world.

    “There is no safer place than your own home to avoid being infected with the flu virus,” Calderon said in his first televised address since the crisis erupted last week.

    Eleven countries have reported cases of the H1N1 strain, and Texas officials said a 22-month-old Mexican boy had died in Texas while on a family visit, the first confirmed swine flu death outside Mexico.

    Switzerland confirmed on Thursday its first case, saying a man returning from Mexico had tested positive for the flu.

    The WHO raised the official alert level to phase 5, the last step before a pandemic.

    “Influenza pandemics must be taken seriously precisely because of their capacity to spread rapidly to every country in the world,” WHO Director General Margaret Chan told a news conference in Geneva on Wednesday.

    “The biggest question is this: how severe will the pandemic be, especially now at the start,” Chan said. But she added that the world “is better prepared for an influenza pandemic than at any time in history.”

    WORLD STOCK MARKETS RALLY

    Mexico’s peso currency weakened sharply early on Thursday after the government called for chunks of the economy to close. The peso fell 1.6 percent to 13.83 per dollar.

    But world stocks struck a four-month peak, powered by gains in Asia on Thursday, as investors took heart from signs of improvement in the U.S. economy.

    Markets earlier in the week had taken fright and fallen on worries that a major flu outbreak could hit the struggling global economy. Almost all those infected outside Mexico have had mild symptoms, and only a handful of people have been hospitalized.

    In Mexico City, a metropolis of 20 million, all schools, restaurants, nightclubs and public events have been shut down to try to stop the disease from spreading, bringing normal life to a virtual standstill.

    Spain reported the first case in Europe of swine flu in a person who had not been to Mexico, illustrating the danger of person-to-person transmission.

    Both U.S. and European officials have said they expect to see swine flu deaths.

    President Barack Obama said during an evening news conference at the White House on Wednesday there was no need for panic and rejected the possibility of closing the border with Mexico.

    “At this point, (health officials) have not recommended a border closing,” he said. “From their perspective, it would be akin to closing the barn door after the horses are out, because we already have cases here in the United States.”

    Obama also praised his predecessor for stockpiling anti-viral medication in anticipation of such an outbreak.

    “I think the Bush administration did a good job of creating the infrastructure so that we can respond,” Obama said. “For example, we’ve got 50 million courses of anti-viral drugs in the event that they’re needed.”

    EXPERT SAYS VIRUS RELATIVELY WEAK

    Masato Tashiro, head of the influenza virus research center at Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Disease and a member of the WHO emergency committee, told Japan’s Nikkei newspaper it appeared the H1N1 strain was far less dangerous than avian flu.

    “The virus is relatively weak and about the same as regular influenza viruses passed on via human-to-human contact. I don’t believe it will become virulent,” he was quoted as saying.

    “The threat to health from the avian influenza and its fatality rate is much greater than the new flu,” he said.

    “I am very worried that we will use up the stockpile of anti-flu medicine and be unarmed before we need to fight against the avian influenza. The greatest threat to mankind remains the H5N1 avian influenza.”

    The WHO’s Chan urged companies who make the drugs to ramp up production. Two antiviral drugs — Relenza, made by GlaxoSmithKline and Tamiflu, made by Roche AG and Gilead Sciences Inc — have been shown to work against the H1N1 strain.

    Mexico’s central bank warned the outbreak could deepen the nation’s recession, hurting an economy that already shrank by as much as 8 percent from the previous year in the first quarter.

    France said it would seek a European Union ban on flights to Mexico. The EU, the United States and Canada have advised against non-essential travel to Mexico, and many tourists were hurrying to leave, crowding airports.

    (Reporting by Maggie Fox and Tabassum Zakaria in Washington; Jason Lange, Catherine Bremer, Alistair Bell and Helen Popper in Mexico City; Laura MacInnis and Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva and Yoko Nishikawa in Tokyo; Writing by Andrew Marshall and Dean Yates; Editing by Bill Tarrant). © Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

    http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE53N22820090430

  2. […] Swine Flu Spin: WHO is Looking? […]

  3. cubine said

    I would like to read more, please update more and email me at [email address removed] thanks

  4. […] Swine Flu Spin: WHO is Looking? Posted by feww on April 30, 2009 […]

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