Posts Tagged ‘Swine Flu Epidemic’

Perils of a Small World

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

President Barack Obama declared a national emergency, granting additional powers to US hospitals to address the spread of swine flu, the H1N1 virus. This marks the third declaration by federal authorities this year to address this growing public health crisis, which is now widespread in 46 of the 50 states and has killed more than 1,000 people since this spring. According to Tom Frieden, head of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 16 million doses of the flu vaccine are available for the states to order. Concern is rising as winter months bring colder, damper weather that keeps people indoors and may accelerate transmission of the flu virus.

The World Health Organization reports rising infections in Canada, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Israel and India. Confirmed infections in England alone doubled over the past week to an estimated 53,000. Globally, more than 5,000 people this year have died from the fly and an additional 400,000 are infected with the virus. In addition to the economic reasons for cutting back on business travel, now there is another: reduced rates of transmission. Take appropriate precautions at your workplace and urge employees who think they may have symptoms to remain home, just to be extra cautious.