As expected, new potential cases are being investigated in several states, including an additional possible case in Northern California, 2 potential cases in Indiana, a potential case in Ohio and another in Michigan [updated: and some in Massachusetts too]. New York has also confirmed 20 cases now, and 17 more are suspected (check here for additional information–updated as new cases come in and are confirmed or ruled out). Around the world, four in France have apparently tested negative, as have two potential cases in Australia, while 2 in Scotland have been confirmed positive. In Mexico, the current numbers put it at over 100 deaths and above 1600 suspected cases (again, not all of those laboratory confirmed).
(More on these after the jump…)
It’s difficult to be in the midst of this, to know a lot about flu and all the worst-case scenarios, while at the same time to provide some balance and trying to avoid over-hyping anything. According to a CDC conference call PalMD is twittering (tweeting? I’m new at this), there are 40 confirmed US cases, most of them mild, so that’s something to keep in mind for now. And around the web, there are reminders that (cue the Battlestar Galactica themesong) all this has happened before, and will happen again (so say we all). However, that doesn’t mean that the wait for more data is any less frustrating or scary for those in the midst of it, particularly those living in or near affected areas.
I say this especially because one of these affected areas–the case being investigated in Wood County, Ohio–is where most of my family lives, including my pregnant sister and her sons (ages 3 and 1), and her husband who has diabetes (can you find a family with more risk factors combined?) So I am incessantly refreshing my browser, looking for updates and more information. I remember doing this as a graduate student during the SARS outbreak and combing the internet for the latest news, but this one hits home in more ways–being so close to some of the world’s experts on swine flu; doing research involving swine myself; and having this in my hometown backyard. Despite all this, I remain in the concerned-but-monitoring-the-evolving-situation stage, and my logical self even resisted telling my sister to take her family and head for a remote cave somewhere. However, she’s already well aware of my advice on handwashing…and hopefully heeding it.