Thursday, July 09, 2009

Uhhhh - Choo

The Southern hemisphere is engaged in a test run of the 'Swine Flu'. It's 'wintertime' in South America, Africa, South Asia and Australia and theoretically if flu's going to spread, it will happen now. That seems to be the case in Australia.

Australia was one of the first 'outsourcings' from Mexico back in March. Since then the flu has spread widely. No reported out breaks in India, although a unit of the US army was repatriated from Qatar when members fell ill. No significant outbreaks in Africa other than in South Africa. South America remains, surprisingly, unaffected given the travel between there and Mexican destinations. There are enough cases to observe that the major outbreaks will be in 'first world' countries.

The USA and Canada, along with Britain and some other European countries have significant out breaks. Parts of Britain were to-day declared "near epidemic" - with 14 dead. What is interesting is that the summer hasn't ended the outbreak. Par for the course for something incubated in a Mexican 'winter'. Already in these areas the first 'anti-viral resistant' flu has appeared. And a steady number of deaths among otherwise healthy children and young adults is noted. Emergency services are gearing up for what could be a nasty autumn.

Hopefully an anti-flu preparation is in the works. But so far other than 'we're working on it, nothing is reported. Besides the testing for efficacy might have to be done in a real world application. And nobody knows how that might play out.

However, the 'flu' is a non story. Folk are almost as interested in the economy. Stories like Michael Jackson and Iranian protests seem to be more important. The on-rushing advent of Planet X might be still more important, we'll just have to wait and see.

As it is I shudder every time I get near a snot-nosed kid or anybody with a hacking cough.

No comments: