Houston toddler spent day at the mall

A mystery of sorts involving the 23 month old from Mexico who died in a Houston hospital has been solved.

“There is a three-and-a-half day gap no one is accounting for,” said Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos.  “We need to look at the possibility that he may have contracted this somewhere either en route to Houston or in Houston somewhere,” said Cascos.


San Antonio Express-News is reporting that  the “toddler who became the first swine-flu death on U.S. soil spent a day with his family shopping at a huge Houston indoor mall the day before he began to show symptoms.”

Update:

Houston Chronicle has the timeline

Here’s a timeline of the toddler’s whereabouts, according to Cascos.

April 3 – Child arrives with mother and three brothers at the Matamoros airport. The family crosses Gateway International Bridge to Brownsville, and stays with mother for two nights at Staybridge hotel in Brownsville.

April 5 – Family members, including an aunt, mother, and three brothers travel to Houston. According to Cascos, the aunt and mother had medical appointments there. The group eats out and goes shopping at the Galleria.

April 8 – Group returns to Brownsville, child falls ill

April 13 – Child admitted to Brownsville hospital, then to Texas Children’s the next day.

April 27 – Child dies in Houston.


Captain Trips roundup

Here’s a collection of recent links about the hybrid flu …

New information about where the toddler who died in Houston from the swine flu visited before his death.

“There is a three-and-a-half day gap no one is accounting for,” said Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos.  “We need to look at the possibility that he may have contracted this somewhere either en route to Houston or in Houston somewhere,” said Cascos. “We don’t think it was in Brownsville.”


Central New York high school student tests positive for swine flu

The Fabius-Pompey Central School District is closing Thursday and Friday as a precaution after a female high school student who recently traveled to Mexico tested positive for swine flu.

The student lives in Cortland County and is one of three possible human swine flu cases reported earlier this week by the Cortland Health Department.



A Cal State Long Beach student received a “probable positive” test result for swine flu.

The Long Beach Health Department informed the university of the affected student late Tuesday, and early Wednesday morning CSULB Beach President F. King Alexander sent a campus-wide e-mail with information about the student, symptoms of swine flu and a hotline for anyone to call if they have any questions specific to swine flu.

The student who may have been infected lived in the Los Alamitos residence hall. The roommate of the possibly infected student has been moved to a different room where he or she will remain until further notice.



Three probable swine flu cases in state, two in city (Milwaukee, WI)

Officials announced Wednesday evening at least two probable cases of swine flu have been identified in Milwaukee with a third case in Adams County in central Wisconsin.

In Milwaukee, officials said four city schools will be closed through the end of the week.


Suspected H1N1 Flu Case Reported at California Marine Base

The Marine Corps commandant today confirmed a suspected case of what the U.S. Homeland Security Council now is calling H1N1 flu, but has been known as “swine flu,” at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.

A male Marine reported to a medical clinic on base over the weekend complaining of flu-like symptoms. Initial test results indicate the H1N1 virus, and the service is waiting for further results from testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Marine Corps Gen. James T. Conway said.


Will NorthCom take over in Swine Flu Outbreak?

The swine flu outbreak raises a lot of fears.

Here’s one you might not have thought of yet: The Pentagon may be taking over more and more of our civil society in this crisis.

[editor’s note:  cue spooky music]


9 Probable Cases of Swine Flu in Illinois

Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Illinois Department of Public Health Director, announced there are currently nine probable cases of swine flu in Illinois: five in Cook County (all within the Chicago city limits), one in DuPage County, two in Kane County and one in Lake County.


8th Case of Swine Flu Reported in San Diego

“There are now eight cases of human infection with swine influenza A (H1N1) in San Diego County,” Health & Human Services Agency spokesman Tom Christensen said.


Maryland health officials identify 6 probable swine flu cases

Maryland health officials have identified six probable cases of swine flu in the state.

Three affected individuals reside in Baltimore County and three in Anne Arundel County.


Should swine flu get a new name?

The Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said the virus was not swine flu.

“The virus has not been isolated in animals to date. Therefore, it is not justified to name this disease swine flu,” the OIE said.

The virus “includes in its characteristics swine, avian and human virus components”, the OIE said, and urged that it be called “North American influenza”, after its geographic origin.

Soldier’s letters give first-hand look at Spanish flu pandemic

With fears of a swine flu pandemic rising daily, CNN Pentagon producer Larry Shaughnessy remembered a batch of letters from his grandfather, a World War I soldier who battled the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1919.


Nevada: Swine flu patient didn’t travel

A Washoe County official says the 2-year-old Reno girl diagnosed with the first case of swine flu in Nevada does not appear to have traveled to areas of the country where other cases have been diagnosed.

Dr. Randall Todd, state epidemiologist, said during a press conference Wednesday, that another family member is ill as well.

Country don’t mean dumb

“Where the hell it got all these genes from we don’t know, but this is a real super-mixed-up virus….”

“The scary thing is that this virus seems enormously transmissible.”

Robert Webster, a flu virologist at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital (source)

—-

Today’s reader’s email at BBC continues to paint an increasingly bleak picture for our southern neighbors.

The number of cases increases significantly every day. The number of fatalities is also increasing. At least three doctors are said to have died from swine flu. There is great fear among the medical community. We know that the situation is very serious and that we are at high risk of infection.

But we are more scared of carrying it into our homes and infecting our loved ones. One of my colleagues that was exposed chose to stay in a hotel rather than run the risk of infecting her daughters.

These fears are getting worse as we realise that it is not possible to get antiviral drugs from pharmacies and that in the health sector they are close to being delivered in droppers.

Despite this, the government says that it can rely on antiviral drugs to treat a million cases. We do not have easy access to these, even though we are part of the health sector.

In one hospital doctors were given the anti-viral rimantadine, even though there is resistance to this drug. Also, fewer samples are being taken from severe cases, as there is a lack of means of transporting and cultivating the samples.
Dr Guadalupe from BBC

This could easily get much, much worse.

Paging Captain Trips

More from “have your say” at BBC

I am a doctor and I work in the State of Mexico. I don’t work in the shock team; I am in the echocardiography team, but I do get some news from my colleagues in the hospital. There have been some cases of young people dying from respiratory infections, but this happened before the alert and they were not reported because the necessary tests weren’t done. We doctors knew this was happening a week before the alert was issued and were told to get vaccinated. I went to buy some anti-virals for my husband, who is also a doctor, because he had contact with a young patient who presented influenza symptoms and died. I don’t think pharmacies stock enough anti-virals.

I understand the government doesn’t want to generate panic, but my personal opinion is that they issued the alert too late. Still now, the population is not getting the information they need. We have been out in the street and some people are not wearing face masks and are not taking any preventive measures.

M-O-O-N, that spells swine flu

More from BBC

I’m a specialist doctor in respiratory diseases and intensive care at the Mexican National Institute of Health. There is a severe emergency over the swine flu here. More and more patients are being admitted to the intensive care unit. Despite the heroic efforts of all staff (doctors, nurses, specialists, etc) patients continue to inevitably die. The truth is that anti-viral treatments and vaccines are not expected to have any effect, even at high doses. It is a great fear among the staff. The infection risk is very high among the doctors and health staff.

There is a sense of chaos in the other hospitals and we do not know what to do. Staff are starting to leave and many are opting to retire or apply for holidays. The truth is that mortality is even higher than what is being reported by the authorities, at least in the hospital where I work it. It is killing three to four patients daily, and it has been going on for more than three weeks. It is a shame and there is great fear here. Increasingly younger patients aged 20 to 30 years are dying before our helpless eyes and there is great sadness among health professionals here.”

Antonio Chavez, Mexico City

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