Compiled by Crikey intern Chris Kohler:
Swine or Pig Flu, a new strain of influenza believed to have spawned in Mexican pigs, has so far caused the deaths of as many as 81 people with cases reported around the world. Highly contagious, highly reportable:
How Mexicans awoke to the news. A wrap of today’s Mexican dailies.
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Two weeks for Britain. Swine flu virus could spread through Britain in two weeks The H1 virus in Mexico appears to show signs of spreading quickly between humans through contact as brief as a handshake. As nearly 1.4 million people travelled between Britain and Central America last year, we can probably expect this strain to come to the UK. — David Rose, The Times
Swine flu “debacle” of 1976 is recalled. Warren D. Ward, 48, was in high school when the swine flu threat of 1976 swept the U.S. The Whittier man remembers the episode vividly because a relative died in the 1918 flu pandemic and the 1976 illness was feared to be a direct descendant of the deadly virus. “The government wanted everyone to get vaccinated,” Ward said. “But the epidemic never really broke out. It was a threat that never materialized.” — Shari Roan, LA Times
Firm set to reap rewards on swine flu. The swine flu outbreak is likely to benefit one of the most prolific and successful venture capital firms in the United States. Shares of two public companies in the firm’s portfolio of eight Pandemic and Bio Defence companies jumped Friday on news that the swine flu killed a reported 60 people in Mexico and has infected people in the United States. — MSN Money
Close schools in NY, Texas, Calif. Cleaning crews spent the day scrubbing down every desk, chair and classroom at a New York City high school. Infected students wore surgical masks as they recovered in their beds. Anxious parents woke their children at night to check their temperature. About a dozen students from St. Francis Preparatory school apparently brought back the virus after spending a week in Cancun for spring break. All of the cases were mild. — Karen Matthews, AP
Google maps. Swine flu outbreak worldwide, on a map.
Russia Suspends Mexican meats. Some U.S. Meat Imports on Swine Flu Russia suspended imports of all meat from Mexico and the U.S. states of Texas, California and Kansas shipped after April 21 on concern about the spread of swine flu, the country’s veterinary watchdog said. — Yuriy Humber, Bloomberg
SARS braces Singapore. Singapore will be pro-active in handling possible swine flu outbreak Singapore will take a pro-active stance should the threat of a flu pandemic surface following the swine flu outbreak in Mexico. Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan also said the SARS epidemic has equipped Singapore with the skills to handle a similar outbreak. — Chinaview
“I felt shocked. What if I was bringing the virus to Britain?” On Saturday afternoon I switched on the television over lunch and caught the news of the swine flu virus. Suddenly the runny nose and sore throat which I had picked up in Mexico and put down to jet lag and too much partying mutated into feelings of paranoia and guilt. –– Kate Corbett, The Independent
Twitter: Fear and misinformation. Swine Flu, another media designed panic button to keep people scared in front of their TV. It’s truly disgraceful and apparently only 22 out of the 86 swine flu deaths are confirmed as swine flu.