I am surprised when reading Kaltim Post newspaper (Monday, 27 April 2009) about the outbreak of Swine Influenza virus (Swine Flu). Immediately I browse the internet to find more information about these outbreak, and here of what I found for sharing.
What is Swine Influenza ?
According to World Health Organization (WHO), Swine influenza, or “swine flu”, is a highly contagious acute respiratory disease of pigs, caused by one of several swine influenza A viruses. Morbidity tends to be high and mortality low (1-4%). The virus is spread among pigs by aerosols, direct and indirect contact, and asymptomatic carrier pigs. Outbreaks in pigs occur year round, with an increased incidence in the fall and winter in temperate zones. Many countries routinely vaccinate swine populations against swine influenza.
On April 25th 2009, upon the advice of the Emergency Committee called under the rules of the International Health Regulations, the Director-General declared this event as Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
On April 26th 2009, the Government of United States has reported 20 laboratory confirmed human cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 (8 in New York, 7 in California, 2 in Texas, 2 in Kansas and 1 in Ohio). All 20 cases have had mild Influenza-Like Illness with only one requiring brief hospitalization. No deaths have been reported. Also as of 26 April, the Government of Mexico has reported 18 laboratory confirmed cases of swine influenza A/H1N1. Investigation is continuing to clarify the spread and severity of the disease in Mexico. Suspect clinical cases have been reported in 19 of the country's 32 states.
On April 27th 2009, on second meeting of The Emergency Committee, considered available data on confirmed outbreaks of A/H1N1 swine influenza in the United States of America, Mexico, and Canada. The Committee also considered reports of possible spread to additional countries. On the advice of the Committee, the WHO Director-General decided to raised the level of influenza pandemic alert from the current phase 3 to phase 4. The change to a higher phase of pandemic alert indicates that the likelihood of a pandemic has increased, but not that a pandemic is inevitable.
On April 28th 2009, seven countries have officially reported cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 infection. The United States Government has reported 64 laboratory confirmed human cases, with no deaths. Mexico has reported 26 confirmed human cases of infection including seven deaths. The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Canada (6), New Zealand (3), United Kingdom (2), Israel (2) and Spain (2).
On April 29th 2009, the situation continues to evolve rapidly. Nine countries have officially reported 148 cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 infection. The United States Government has reported 91 laboratory confirmed human cases, with one death. Mexico has reported 26 confirmed human cases of infection including seven deaths. The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Austria (1), Canada (13), Germany (3), Israel (2), New Zealand (3), Spain (4) and the United Kingdom (5).
Click here for daily updates from WHO about Swine Influenza and Click here to read frequently asked questions about Swine Influenza.
Meanwhile according to Minister of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, Dr. dr. Siti Fadilah Supari, Sp.JP(K) to the journalist in the press conference about Swine Influenza (Tuesday, April 28th 2009, in Jakarta), this virus usually only live in cold areas that have four seasons. Possibility, H1N1 virus will not be able to live in the tropics such as Indonesia. However, the Ministry of Health has undertaken vigilance steps and prevention in order not to spread to Indonesia.