Friday, June 5, 2009

A/H1N1 virus invades all U.S. states

A/H1N1 virus invades all U.S. states

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All the 50 states in the United States reported cases of A/H1N1 flu on Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 10,053, according to the latest figures released by the federal government.

Until last week, Alaska, West Virginia and Wyoming were the last three states which had been free of the newly found virus, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday that the state of Wyoming had conformed its first case, and reported Monday that the states of Alaska and West Virginia had finally been invaded by the A/H1N1 virus.

Also on Monday, California health officials reported the state's first two deaths from the new flu virus, bringing the nationwide total to 19 fatalities. Both victims were middle-aged people, a man from San Bernardino County and a woman from Los Angeles County, who had pre-existing medical conditions.

The virus, which spreads easily and causes mostly mild disease, has been diagnosed in 17,564 people in 64 countries, killing 115, according to the World Health Organization.

Experts believe that the world's medical community had based much of their pandemic planning on the 2004 H5N1 "bird flu" outbreak in Southeast Asia, which proved to be a poor model for predicting how the latest novel flu strain, H1N1, would play out.

"Everyone was thinking about H5N1 and the possibility that we would be in for partial global population collapse," influenza expert David Fedson told the Washington Post on Sunday." And now we have this funny virus coming out of pigs."

The consequences were that the world was largely unprepared for the A/H1N1 flu virus that emerged despite five years and hundreds of millions of dollars spent on getting ready, the newspaper said.

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