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Swine Flu Outbreak Kills 29, Infects Nearly 1,500 in Mexico

An ongoing swine flu outbreak in Mexico has left at least 29 people dead and nearly 1,500 others infected, health officials confirmed on Saturday. Thousands more are also ill as the country faces several types of flu this season.

Since the start of the ongoing winter season, at least 7,069 people have reported suffering from symptoms similar to those of swine flu. Lab tests are still underway and have so far confirmed 1,456 cases of the disease, which is officially known as A/H1N1.

According to Mexico’s Health Ministry, at least 29 people have died of swine flu so far this season. While no health emergency has been declared, officials expect the death toll will rise in the coming weeks as Mexico also faces A/H3N2 and B influenza.

The H1N1 influenza virus emerged in the Mexican state of Veracruz in April 2009 and quickly spread around the world, causing the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a global flu pandemic in June 2009. At least 18,000 people have died of the disease since, although the actual number is believed to be far higher.

In August 2010, the WHO declared that the swine flu pandemic was over. “In the post-pandemic period, influenza disease activity will have returned to levels normally seen for seasonal influenza,” the WHO said at the time. “It is expected that the pandemic virus will behave as a seasonal influenza A virus.”

…(BNO News)

January 31, 2012 Posted by | Health Warning, Outbreak | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anthrax Outbreak Kills 165+ Animals in Zimbabwe National Park

  • 88 hippos, 45 buffaloes, 30 elephants and two kudos found dead in Mana Pools national park

    More than 165 wild animals including 88 hippopotamuses have died amid an outbreak of anthrax in Zimbabwe.

  • Tests confirm hippos were killed by anthrax

More than 165 wild animals including 88 hippopotamuses have died amid an outbreak of anthrax in Zimbabwe.

Hippos were found dead alongside 45 buffaloes, 30 elephants and two kudos in the country’s northern Mana Pools national park.

Zimbabwean Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokeswoman Caroline Washaya-Moyo told the state-owned Herald newspaper that tests had proved the hippos were killed by anthrax. She added that the cause of death for the other animals had not yet been confirmed but said early signs suggested they had also fallen victim to the infectious disease. Ms Washaya-Moyo said she feared the outbreak could spread to other wildlife in the protected reserve, which lies around the lower Zambezi River. She said: ‘Our office has confirmed the anthrax outbreak following the death of the animals in Mana Pools.

Officials are today conducting further tests on the affected animals, which are all believed to have died in the last few weeks. Government veterinary officer Chris Foggin said a team of specialists had visited the area and were burning the carcasses of the dead animals in an attempt to prevent the infection from spreading.

He told the Herald: ‘A number of animals have died, but we have visited the area and we sealed it off and we are burning the carcasses to prevent any further spread, an action well considered now that the lab reports confirmed anthrax as the culprit.’

Mana Pools is one of Zimbabwe’s most famous national parks.

…(Daily Mail)

January 11, 2012 Posted by | Outbreak | , , , , , , | Leave a comment