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Swine Flu

When tragedy strikes, people are supposed to band together and find strength in numbers, right? When the well-being of your community is threatened, it's important to look out for your neighbors and lend a hand to those in need, no? Well, that's what many of us may have thought before all the hysteria about the looming swine flu pandemic.
September 18, 2009 | Karen Kaplan
As health officials brace for a new onslaught of illness from the novel H1N1 virus, they remain perplexed by one of the most unusual and unsettling patterns to emerge from this pandemic -- the tendency of the so-called swine flu to strike younger, healthier people. The initial explanation was that the elderly, who are usually most vulnerable to the flu, have built-in immunity as a result of their exposure more than 50 years ago to ancestors of today's pandemic strain. But the limits of the theory are becoming more clear.
May 3, 2009 | Jia-Rui Chong and Alan Zarembo
The feds were on the phone explaining that a 10-year-old boy had a strain of swine flu no one had ever seen before. As Dr. Michele Ginsberg listened, her mind flashed back to the days before the AIDS virus had been identified, when people were showing up at emergency rooms in California with a mysterious pneumonia. Ginsberg, community epidemiology chief for San Diego County, where the boy was from, picked through her reports of unusual deaths, looking for similar cases.
April 30, 2009 | John M. Glionna and Sebastian Rotella
Reaction to the spread of swine flu may seem muted in the United States, despite its proximity to the deadly outbreak in Mexico. But that's not the case in Asia, Western Europe and the Middle East, where the threat of a pandemic has quickly led people to don protective masks and officials to screen tourists, ban meat imports and advise against travel to the Americas.
August 8, 2009 | Seema Mehta
Educators should be conservative when they consider shutting schools because of outbreaks of swine flu, or the H1N1 virus, federal officials said Friday as they released guidelines for school districts. While emphasizing that such matters are local decisions, the officials said a desire to prevent the virus' spread must be balanced with the fallout from school closures -- parents struggling to find child care, children left unsupervised, and disruption to education. "Once you close a school, as we saw last spring, that causes a very significant ripple effect because children need to stay home," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said at a morning news conference with education and health officials in Washington.
October 23, 2009 | Rong-Gong Lin II
Many doctors' offices across the Los Angeles area are fielding frantic calls this week from patients demanding the swine flu vaccine, only to be told that none is available despite urgent warnings from the federal government that people need to be inoculated. Patients report calling numerous doctors in hopes of getting flu vaccines for children -- who, in general, are hardest hit by the swine flu. Some even plan to attend Los Angeles County flu shot clinics, which begin today in Encino and Culver City, that are intended for the uninsured, because they say it is their only hope of getting the vaccine soon.
July 29, 2009 | Tami Abdollah
Orange County men's jail will remain closed today as part of a continuing, temporary quarantine. The closure was ordered after five inmates were infected with swine flu last week and more were diagnosed over the weekend, officials said. Three inmates were diagnosed with the H1N1 virus Thursday, and two more on Friday. Those cases prompted the jail's quarantine at 6 p.m. Friday, said Orange County sheriff's spokesman John McDonald.
October 18, 2009 | Diane C. Lade
An ultraviolet light that its sellers promise will "destroy swine flu virus." A dietary supplement claiming to be "more effective than the swine flu shot." Pills, hand sanitizers and air filters galore. Through daily Internet searches, the Food and Drug Administration found hundreds of suspect items advertised as swine flu deterrents and cures, and over the last six months warned 80 Internet purveyors to stop peddling unproved or illegal treatments. The FDA has issued an advisory, telling consumers to use "extreme care" when purchasing online products claiming to diagnose, treat or prevent the H1N1 virus.
October 25, 2009 | Janet Hook
President Obama on Saturday declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency, a procedural step designed to allow healthcare providers to speed treatment and slow the spread of the disease. The action gives Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius temporary authority to grant waivers that would expedite steps such as setting up off-site emergency rooms to treat potential flu victims apart from other patients. Administration officials said the move was not made as a result of any particular development, but as a preemptive measure to ensure that the tools for a quick response were in place.
April 26, 2009 | Tracy Wilkinson and Thomas H. Maugh II
International officials Saturday declared the swine flu outbreak in Mexico and the U.S. a "public health emergency" as new cases were reported on both sides of the border and fears grew of a possible global epidemic. The Mexican government indicated that the outbreak was more severe than originally acknowledged, announcing that more than 1,300 people are believed to have been infected.
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