Linundus Kinabalu Headline Animator


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Monday, April 27, 2009

World 'well prepared' for virus

The BBC talks to people in Mexico City about the flu outbreak.

"The world is said to be better prepared than ever for a possible pandemic of Mexican swine flu, which has killed as many as 81". - WHO

The international community is better prepared than ever to deal with the threatened spread of a new swine flu virus, a top UN health chief has said.

As the UN warned the outbreak might become a pandemic, Dr Keiji Fukuda said years of preparing for bird flu had boosted world stocks of anti-virals.

Canada is the latest country to confirm cases after as many as 103 deaths in Mexico and 20 cases in the US.

Washington has warned the flu may yet claim American lives.

"I do fear that we will have deaths," Dr Anne Schuchat of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters.

Eight cases have been confirmed among New York students, seven in California, two in Texas, two in Kansas and one in Ohio.

Several countries in Asia and Latin America have begun screening airport passengers for symptoms.

There is currently no vaccine for the new strain of flu but severe cases can be treated with antiviral medication.

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

It is unclear how effective currently available flu vaccines would be at offering protection against the new strain, as it is genetically distinct from other flu strains.

WHO experts will meet again in Geneva on Tuesday to discuss whether to raise the pandemic alert phase.

1918: The Spanish flu pandemic remains the most devastating outbreak of modern times - infecting up to 40% of the world's population and killing more than 50m people, with young adults particularly badly affected
1957: Asian flu killed two million people. Caused by a human form of the virus, H2N2, combining with a mutated strain found in wild ducks. The elderly were particularly vulnerable
1968: An outbreak first detected in Hong Kong, and caused by a strain known as H3N2, killed up to one million people globally, with those over 65 most likely to die.

We hope that our Country Malaysia (or Malaysian Government) is taking every precautionary measure to prevent this 'Virus'  from reaching our soil.  - Linundus.


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