Epidemics

20 Americans Have Swine Flu

“There is not a global pandemic yet,” writes the Associated Press, but it sure doesn’t feel that way. With 20 cases of swine flu confirmed in the US in New York, Texas, California, Kansas, and Ohio, Department of Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano dispatched 12 million doses of flu medication from a federal stockpile. With deaths from swine flu in Mexico topping 100, people in Mexico are getting superstitious: “For the first time in 300 years, the cathedral in Mexico City's main plaza pulled an icon of the Lord of Health from storage, and worshippers placed it on the principal altar,” according to the Associated Press. Russia and China made plans to quarantine anyone with symptoms, while Russia banned meat products from Mexico and some US states. Need reassurance? “Only one of the 20 U.S. patients has required hospitalization, none had antiviral treatment, and there have been no fatalities,” according to The Wall Street Journal, which adds “It's unclear why the U.S. cases have apparently been milder than Mexico's.”