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Swine Flu Virus Update--Where We Stand and How We Got Here

by Lynn Shapiro, Writer | May 06, 2009

Flu Treatments and Face Masks

Meanwhile, companies that make viral treatments like Tamiflu, say product is flying off pharmacy shelves.

And Cardinal Health spokesman Troy Fitzpatrick, told DOTmed News that as far back as last year, Cardinal had sold thousands of ventilators to several states, such as New York, Washington, D.C., and California, so that hospitals in the U.S. would be prepared in the event of any sort of emergency.

"Although there have been no new orders for ventilators since the new flu surfaced, demand for masks and gloves that Cardinal manufactures and flu testing kits that Cardinal distributes are way up," Kirkpatrick says.

DOTmed users in Mexico have also reported that they are out of facemasks and surgical masks.

Read DOTmed's exclusive reporting on the vaccine production challenges at DM8975 and DM8964. Just paste the story numbers into any DOTmed.com search box.


Read the latest from CDC:

Read CDC guidance for healthcare professionals:

WHO links:

National Swine Flu Situation Page
(View a comprehensive flu-tracking dashboard):


Wisconsin Health Official Explains the Sheboygan Case:

Below is a response to the 2005 Sheboygan Case from Dr. Jeff Davis at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services:

In Wisconsin, state and local health officials take the protection of the health and safety of the citizens of our state very seriously and we take expeditiously take action to help prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases.

We have a strong influenza surveillance system in Wisconsin, and in 2005, we detected an unusual strain of swine influenza virus that was isolated from one individual. We took aggressive action and this case was fully investigated along with partners from a local health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings were published in a medical journal. Briefly, the individual was infected with a swine influenza A virus that was a triple reassortant H1N1 virus. The individual acquired his infection directly from exposure to freshly killed pigs at a slaughterhouse. No other individuals exposed to the same pigs or in the patient's household were infected with the virus.

Triple reassortant swine influenza viruses have been isolated from pigs in the United States since 1998. Surveillance data suggest that triple reassortant subtype H1N1 swine influenza A viruses are the predominant genotype of subtype H1N1 viruses in North American pigs. While it is prudent to compare strains of influenza virus to monitor relatedness of strains and other important factors, it would be incorrect to infer that the virus isolated from a human in Wisconsin in 2005 is the same virus as the H1N1 virus currently circulating.


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