In Mexico, the epicenter of the Swine flu outbreak, the highest point has already been reached and officials are now considering the flu on the downside part of the hill.
Mexican health minister Jose Angel Cordova considers that the Swine flu peaked between 23-29 April, and his words were: “The evolution of the epidemic is now in its declining phase”. Other statements were made at a news conference, all of them trying to underline the fact that things are getting better. The virus is thought to have killed more than 20 people in Mexico, though official figures blames it for only 19.
WHO official Gregory Hartl backed up Mr. Cordova’s statement, saying “the current round of activity could have peaked.” As the situation can never be a simple one when it comes to a wide-spread virus, he added: “We cannot lower our guard. There is a high possibility that this virus will come back, especially in colder periods.” The WHO food safety team found swine flu in 787 people in 17 countries, while some figures spread via media or from local sources indicate more than 800. Person-to-person transmission has been signaled in five countries.
Even if traces of the virus was found on pigs in Canada, multiple entities of relevance in health and food research insist that pork is safe. “From a consumer point of view there is no risk from consuming cooked pork products,” WHO food safety scientist Peter Ben Embarek said. To be more specific, the pigs were just one herd in the western Canadian province of Alberta, apparently infected by a farm worker who recently returned from Mexico. Mr Ben Embarek said that both the animals and the worker were recovering.
There is also no declared need to cull pigs at the time being, and keeping in mind that the virus seems to be drawing it’s end nor should there be any in the future. It is only in Egypt that the government moved to cull all the country’s pigs following the swine flu outbreak in Europe. This has spawned some controversy, as there have been no cases of Swine flu in Egypt. Among the protesters or you can find the Coptic Christian pig farmers.
In the meantime, the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) said the number of confirmed cases in the United States had risen from 160 to 226 and that it had been found in 30 states. Most people have not fallen seriously ill, but things can get worse without proper care or mass social awareness.
Surely in the following days news of the Swine flu will keep circulating over the web, so keep your eyes open for the evolution in your country – “Knowledge Is Power”. The BBC’s Jon Donnison in Washington says most Americans are still not sure how concerned they should be about swine flu.
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