Sunday, April 26, 2009

Corona with a twist of swine.

First, here is the article:

Feds Declare Emergency Over Swine FluStudents in Private New York School Contracted Virus


The U.S. declared a public health emergency Sunday to deal with the emerging new swine flu, much like the government does to prepare for approaching hurricanes.
Officials reported 20 U.S. cases of swine flu in five states so far, with the latest in Ohio and New York. Unlike in Mexico where the same strain appears to be killing dozens of people, cases in the United State have been mild — and U.S. health authorities can't yet explain why.

As we continue to look for cases, we are going to see a broader spectrum of disease," predicted Dr. Richard Besser, acting chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We're going to see more severe disease in this country."
At a White House news conference, Besser and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano sought to assure Americans that health officials are taking all appropriate steps to minimize the impact of the outbreak.

Top among those is declaring the public health emergency. As part of that, Napolitano said roughly 12 million doses of the drug Tamiflu will be moved from a federal stockpile to places where states can quickly get their share if they decide they need it. Priority will be given to the five states with known cases so far: California, Texas, New York, Ohio and Kansas.

Napolitano called the emergency declaration standard operating procedure — one was declared recently for the inauguration and for flooding. She urged people to think of it as a "declaration of emergency preparedness."

"Really that's what we're doing right now. We're preparing in an environment where we really don't know ultimately what the size of seriousness of this outbreak is going to be."

Meanwhile, cleaning crews spent the day scrubbing down every desk, chair and classroom at a New York City high school. Infected students wore surgical masks as they recovered in their beds. Anxious parents woke their children at night to check their temperature.

The same strain of swine flu that was suspected in the deaths of 86 people in Mexico has infected at least eight students at a large Roman Catholic high school in Queens, and possibly more than 100.

About a dozen students from St. Francis Preparatory school apparently brought back the virus after spending a week in Cancun for spring break. All of the cases were mild.

Officials said several schools, including St. Francis, would be closed for days. In California, St. Mel's Catholic School was closed until at least Thursday while health officials determine if a seventh grader has a flu linked to the outbreak. Near San Antonio, a high school in Cibolo was closed for at least the next week after two students caught the virus.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday that many New York victims are recovering, but said that some family members of students also had flu symptoms, "suggesting it is spreading person to person."

Gov. David Paterson said 1,500 treatment courses of the antiviral Tamiflu had been sent to New York City; it wasn't immediately clear if hospitals were using the doses. Infectious-disease specialists, epidemiologists and disaster preparedness workers have been dispatched to New York to monitor and respond to possible flu cases.

St. Francis is the largest private Catholic high school in the nation, with 2,700 students. The school canceled classes on Monday and Tuesday in response to the outbreak.

Brother Leonard Conway, principal of St. Francis, said cleaning crews sanitized the school during the weekend, using heavy-duty disinfectant to cleanse desks, chairs, labs, offices and classrooms. Outside the school, reporters from around the world camped out.

School officials realized something was wrong Thursday when about 75 students showed up at the nurse's office complaining of fevers, upset stomachs and achy bones. The overwhelmed nurse's office had to make students wait on chairs in the hallway for care.

The school notified the city Health Department, and more students became sick Friday. Many were taken to a nearby hospital, but none had to be admitted.

Students began falling ill after a group of friends returned April 19 from Mexico, where they spent six days lounging around the beach and pool during the day and hanging out in Cancun at night.

Esti Lamonaca, an 18-year-old senior who made the Cancun trip, could hardly speak Sunday because her voice was so hoarse. She spent several days battling a fever of nearly 103 and was wearing a mask to prevent the virus from spreading.

I haven't been out of my house since Wednesday and am just hoping to make a full recovery soon," Lamonaca said. "I am glad school is closed because it supposedly is very contagious and I don't want this to spread like it has in Mexico."

In Ohio, a 9-year-old boy was infected with the same strain suspected of killing dozens in Mexico, authorities said. The third-grader had visited several Mexican cities on a family vacation, said Clifton Barnes, spokesman for the Lorain County Emergency Management Agency.

"He went to a fair, he went to a farm, he went to visit family around Mexico," Barnes said.

The boy has a mild case and is recovering at his home in Elyria, in northern Ohio, authorities said.

At St. Francis, parent Jackie Casola said Sunday that her son Robert Arifo, a
sophomore, told her on Thursday that a number of children had been sent home because of illness. On Friday, he said hardly anyone was in school.

Robert hasn't shown any symptoms, but some of his friends have, his mother said, and she has been extra vigilant about his health.

"I must have drove him crazy, I kept taking his temperature in the middle of the night," Casola said.

Associated Press writers Josh Hoffner, Jennifer Peltz and Deepti Hajela in New York and John Hanna in Topeka, Kan., contributed to this report.

First of all, the title to this post was difficult. I mean, I had a lot to choose from. "What A Swine Mess We've Gotten Ourselves Into", "Roll Out The Pork Barrels", and a host of other silly things to get people's attention, if only enough, to read about the importance of what's been happening the last couple of days.

I was going to write about my very excellent day today, but this is pretty shocking and deserves top billing. I had my radio on in the kitchen and I was in the dining room about to indulge in breakfast. I swear on my stack of pancakes this morning, that I had just placed a piece of crunchy bacon into my eager and waiting mouth, just as 1010WINS mentioned it over my white Sony outdoor radio.

Upon hearing the word 'swine', I immediately thought of my ex-wife in Florida, but, I realized I was being mean yet again, and have been trying to correct my ways of late.

However, when St. Francis Prep was mentioned, I was all ears. And not pig ears that is. I went to St. Francis Prep. And now the school was getting national attention, though not the kind it wanted to get.

So it's apparent by the name is that this is a virus that is normally found in pigs and transmitted to other pigs. What is not yet apparent to the CDC is how and when it became more ambivolent and resistant, and jumped into a human.

Along with the CDC, I don't understand this either. I also don't understand why Prepsters went to Cancun? Wow! My school has definitely changed their lesson plan for sure! We never got that kind of treatment back in my time (1979-1983). In my days (shit, I sound like an old fart now) spring recess meant staying at home, or hanging out in Cunningham Park and making out with girls.

One thing that hasn't changed however is that Brother Conway is still there! The other thing that hasn't change but wished it would, is the school size. At 2,700 children,that is only about 100 kids less then when I went. Too many kids in one school in my humble opinion.

Anyway, I called my kids immediately. They may be 3 counties away from Prep, but I take no chances when it comes to the welfare of my kids. And for anyone that comes across this blog, I have also copied and paste some information that I got off the AOL/AP website that talks to what to do to prevent and deal with Swine Flu. Everybody needs to get educated about this, so as to avert a potential pandemic (a word which on its own has powerful qualities for instilling fear).


1. Stay home from work or school if you have flu symptoms, and don't return until two days after your symptoms are gone.

2. Wash your hands often. And cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.

3. Go to the hospital only if you have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing. Stay home if your symptoms are mild because you risk spreading the virus to other people.

4. Masks, as seen here on this doctor, are probably a good idea for health care professionals and family members who come in close contact with flu patients. But health officials said there is no need for the general public to wear them.
5. Officials said it's safe to eat pork, but they stressed the need to cook it properly. That means cooking pork to at least 160 degrees.

To add to this, let me give you some additional advice.

6. Hand Cleaning Soution. Keep a bottle of hand cleaning solution, the one that's made with alcohol and dries up after a few rubs. If you don't have one, you can get them at your local drugstore (ie. CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens) for cheap.

7. Alcohol Wipes. You may also want to get some alcohol wipes and wipe down door knobs, toilet flushers, refridgerator door handles. In short, anything where your hands may come in contact with other hands.

8. Sneezing. This time of year has the highest pollen counts, so it is the worst for those with allergies. Hence, there is a lot of sneezing going around. If you are going to sneeze, point your schnozz away from the rest of us, looking down at the floor, and covering your face with your hands. Clean your hands afterwards.

9. News. Keep a vigilant eye on the news, especially here in the internet for the latest.

10. I have no '10' right now, but it felt good to write '10'.

1 comment:

Alex Gonzalez said...

I just saw Bro. Conway on TV. He looks great after all these years!