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メキシコの豚インフルエンザが世界的流行に繋がる虞れあり

World health experts are investigating a new strain of flu that may have killed as many as 60 people in Mexico.

Mexico swine flu outbreak triggers global pandemic fears.



Experts probe deadly Mexico flu

World health experts are investigating a new strain of flu that may have killed as many as 60 people in Mexico.

The US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) said tests so far seem to link Mexico's outbreak with a swine flu virus that had sickened eight in the southern US.

The CDC said it was taking the virus - about which it was working to learn as much as possible - seriously.

Mexican authorities have closed public buildings, suspended public events and and launched a vaccination campaign.

It is suspected the virus may have been involved in the deaths of about 60 people, mostly in and around Mexico City, since mid-March.

A new swine flu strain has been confirmed in 16 of the deaths and 44 others are being tested, Mexico's health secretary said. More than 900 other people are thought to have been infected.

Officials said most of those killed so far were young adults - rather than more vulnerable children and the elderly.

Schools, museums and libraries have been closed across the capital region and people are being urged to avoid shaking hands or sharing crockery. All public events have been suspended, an official said.

In Geneva, the World Health Organization (WHO) said an emergency committee would likely convene over the weekend.

And in the US, the White House said it was watching the situation.

Mexico swine flu outbreak triggers global pandemic fears

A killer virus that has caused at least 20 deaths and sparked widespread panic in Mexico has the potential to become a global pandemic, warn health experts.

The World Health Organisation stopped short of issuing a worldwide alert over the swine flu strain – a unique mix of human, pig and bird viruses – but its director general, Dr Margaret Chan, said the option remained "on the table".

The virus, which may be responsible for a further 48 deaths in Mexico, has thrown the country into confusion. There are a total of 1,004 cases and eight have been detected over the border in Texas and California.

Today, people in Mexico City were being ordered not to kiss or shake hands, football matches went ahead without spectators, theatres, shops and museums closed, staff were inside locked schools scrubbing classrooms with disinfectant and health workers patrolled buses, ordering sickly-looking people home.

Scientists have long feared that a new flu virus could launch a worldwide pandemic. Evolving when different flu viruses infect a pig, a person or a bird, mingling their genetic material, the hybrid could spread quickly because people would have no natural defences.

"We are seeing a range of severity of the disease, from mild to severe and of course death," said Chan. "The eight cases in the US have been mild in terms of severity and it is too premature to calculate the mortality rate of this disease."

In New York the results of tests for swine flu on 75 children remain unclear after a school trip returned from Mexico with pupils complaining of illness.

Mexico's health secretary Jose Angel Cordova said: "We are very, very concerned."

Any doubts over of the extent of the emergency were dispelled today by the sight of soldiers handing out blue surgical masks to pedestrians and motorists along Mexico City's central Reforma boulevard. With TV and radio calling on the population to seek medical advice for any flu-like symptoms, queues sprouted at health clinics and hospitals across the city.

President Felipe Calderón said his government learned only on Thursday night what kind of virus Mexico was facing after tests by specialist laboratories in Canada confirmed the outbreak as a type – labelled A/H1N1 – not previously seen in pigs or humans. Few cases have had any contact with live pigs.

The WHO said the virus appeared to be able to spread from human to human and contained human virus, avian virus and pig viruses from North America, Europe and Asia. It might be completely new or has only now been detected.

Given how quickly flu can spread, there might be cases incubating around the world already, said Dr Michael Osterholm at the University of Minnesota: "Hundreds and thousands of travellers come in and out [of Mexico] every day. You'd have to believe there's been more unrecognised transmission that's occurred."

It was unclear how much protection current vaccines might offer. A "seed stock" genetically matched to the new virus has already been created by the US Centers for Disease Control. If the US government decides vaccine ­production is necessary, it would be used by manufacturers to get started.

At Mexico City's international airport, passengers were questioned to try to prevent anyone with flu symptoms from boarding aeroplanes and ­spreading the disease. Britain's Foreign Office issued a warning to travellers about the outbreak but stopped short of recommending people did not visit Mexico. US health officials did the same, urging visitors to wash their hands frequently.

In Asia, which has fought hard to contain the H5N1 bird flu virus, which has killed at least 257 people worldwide since late 2003, tighter enforcements were being made. Passengers and pork products from Mexico were being checked at many airports. Health authorities in Thailand and Hong Kong said they were closely monitoring the situation.

At Tokyo's Narita airport – among the world's busiest with more than 96,000 people using it daily – officials installed a device at the arrival gate for flights from Mexico to measure the temperatures of passengers.

'We are increasing health surveillance following the outbreak of swine flu,'' said Akira Yukitoki, an official at the Japanese airport's quarantine station. He said 160 passengers arriving from Mexico yesterday were screened.

The airport also plans to put up signs urging tourists to "wear masks, wash hands and gargle", Yukitoki said.

In the Philippines, the government was also tightening monitoring at all ports to prevent the entry of any pigs or pork from Mexico and the US.

"We've seen swine influenza in humans over the past several years, and in most cases, it's come from direct pig contact. This seems to be different," said Dr Arnold Monto, a flu expert with the University of Michigan.

"I think we need to be careful and not apprehensive, but certainly paying attention to new developments as they proceed."

While the fear is palpable among Mexico City's 20 million residents, confusion mixed with traditional mistrust of official statements means widespread suspicion that the government is not telling the whole truth about the disease. The government had claimed until late on Thursday that there was nothing unusual about the flu cases and the sudden turnaround that saw schools closed across the capital on Friday angered many Mexicans.

Government workers were ordered to wear masks, and authorities urged residents to stay home from work if they felt ill. What seems almost certain is that the doors of all nurseries, kindergartens, schools and universities in the vast metropolis of 20 million people will remain closed this week.

With the authorities urging people to avoid crowds, the atmosphere inside the metro and crowded buses is notably tense. Health secretary Cordova, a devout Catholic, stopped short of urging Mexicans not to go to mass tomorrow, but he did emphasise that a nod of the head was better than a handshake when it came to greeting friends.

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| 気になった記事 | 08:14 | comments:3 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑

COMMENT

前から見させてもらってます

国立大理系志望でセンターで社会科目を使うのですが、個人差はあると思いますけれど、どの科目を選ぶのが良いでしょうか?

| 松井 | 2009/04/26 12:10 | URL |

ひきこもりが最強だと証明されたなm9(`・ω・´)
とりあえずマヨネーズを買いだめして備えねば!
昨今のダイエットブーム(笑)は貧乏人には理解できん。
効率良くカロリーを摂取できる高カロリー食品こそ、生きるのに欠かせない(ヽ´ω`)

| 名もなき勇者 | 2009/04/26 20:16 | URL |

>>松井さん
ちゃんと勉強する気があるなら倫理を進めます。やらないと全然取れませんがやれば満点を狙うことも十分可能です。
現社はやらなくても70点くらいは取れますが満点を狙うのは難しいです。政経も多分満点は厳しいですね。

>>名無しさん
まぁ頑張ってくだしあ。

| Evergreen | 2009/04/27 02:57 | URL | ≫ EDIT















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