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Swine Flu

SCIENCE
December 23, 2009 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
Veterinarians in White Plains, N.Y., have identified the first known case of pandemic H1N1 influenza in a dog -- a 13-year-old mixed-breed male who is now recovering. The dog was tested because his owner previously had swine flu. The virus has been found before in other pets, including at least three ferrets, several cats and pigs and a cheetah named Gijima at a wildlife preserve in Santa Rosa, Calif. A couple of the cats died, but most of the animals recovered. In each case, the virus is thought to have been transmitted to the animal by its owner or handler; there is no evidence of the virus being passed back to a human.
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NATIONAL
December 18, 2009 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
Available doses of the vaccine against pandemic H1N1 influenza will top 100 million in the United States by today, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday. The vaccine has become sufficiently plentiful, prompting at least 24 states and some other communities to lift restrictions and open distribution to everyone. And some pharmacies are starting to get the vaccine for general distribution. Earlier, supplies had been targeted at those most at risk, including children and pregnant women.
SCIENCE
December 16, 2009 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
Vaccine manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis is recalling 800,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine meant for children younger than 3 because the influenza vaccine has lost potency since it was shipped from the factory. "This is non-safety-related, but is part of a routine quality assurance program," Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a telephone interview Tuesday. There are now 94.6 million doses of vaccine available, "so this is not as big a deal as it might have been earlier," she said.
SCIENCE
December 11, 2009 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
About 50 million Americans had contracted pandemic H1N1 influenza through Nov. 14, according to the newest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday -- meaning that about 15% of the entire country has been infected, about 1 in every 6 people. "That still leaves most people not having been infected and still susceptible," CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden said at a news conference. The agency also reported that more than 200,000 people had been hospitalized and nearly 10,000 had died.
WORLD
December 10, 2009 | By John M. Glionna and Ju-min Park
Reclusive North Korea on Wednesday took the unusual step of acknowledging that it had suffered an outbreak of H1N1 flu, with foreign aid officials saying the virus has killed dozens of people. The Public Health Ministry confirmed an outbreak in the city of Sinuiju, on the border with China, and in Pyongyang, the capital, according to the official Korean Central News Agency. But so far, North Korea has acknowledged only nine deaths. "The relevant [agency] is further perfecting the quarantine system against the spread of this flu virus while properly carrying on the prevention and medical treatment," the agency said.
NEWS
December 9, 2009 | John M. Glionna & Ju-min Park, Los Angeles Times
Reclusive North Korea today took the unusual step of acknowledging that it has suffered an outbreak of swine flu, with officials saying the virus has killed dozens of citizens. The Public Health Ministry confirmed one outbreak in the city of Sinuiju on the Chinese border and a second in the capital city of Pyongyang, according to the official Korean Central News Agency. "The relevant [agency] is further perfecting the quarantine system against the spread of this flu virus while properly carrying on the prevention and medical treatment," the agency said.
NEWS
December 5, 2009 | P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Times
Hog farmer David Moody has stopped letting strangers into his barn because he's afraid they'll infect his pigs with swine flu. Not that he would ever call the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus by its colloquial name. Like many pork producers across the heartland, he has spent months railing against the term "swine flu," which he says has caused so much fear that the bottom has fallen out of the pork market. It doesn't seem to matter that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that the disease is spread by humans, and is impossible to get from eating pork or standing next to a pig. "Every time I turn on the TV, they're talking about it: swine flu," said Moody, 46, from his farm about 10 miles east of Ames, Iowa.
NATIONAL
December 5, 2009 | By P.J. Huffstutter
Hog farmer David Moody has stopped letting strangers into his barn because he's afraid they'll infect his pigs with swine flu. Not that he would ever call the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus by its colloquial name. Like many pork producers across the heartland, he has spent months railing against the term "swine flu," which he says has caused so much fear that the bottom has fallen out of the pork market. It doesn't seem to matter that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that the disease is spread by humans, and is impossible to get from eating pork or standing next to a pig. "Every time I turn on the TV, they're talking about it: swine flu," said Moody, 46, from his farm about 10 miles east of Ames, Iowa.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 4, 2009 | By Rong-Gong Lin II
Nearly 800 people in California were hospitalized with the H1N1 flu last week, the largest one-week number of hospitalizations since flu cases began escalating this fall, state officials said Thursday. The number indicates that H1N1 flu, also known as swine flu, continues to be widespread throughout California and remains a significant threat to public health. Health experts have said there could be a second wave of cases in the coming months. "Pandemics are very unpredictable.
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