Swine flu news continues to catch people's attention. There are suspect cases in Israel, NZ (confirmed), Spain and France that were airline travelers from Mexico (KS and NYC has similar cases, both now confirmed.) The news hounds at Flu Wiki have all the up-to-date news. Official information from CDC is here (20 confirmed cases in 5 states - CA, TX, OH, NY, KS.) There will be a CDC media briefing today preceded by a just-concluded WH briefing with the "team" (DHS and CDC).
Note that we don't have an HHS secretary yet, something that the Senate needs to address immediately.
A routine step :public health emergency in the US: has been taken. That frees up meds from the Strategic National Stockpile to be pre-positioned in states like Texas (where there are confirmed cases, and a request for meds from the Governor.) This is exactly what they should be doing. Kudos to CDC for doing what's needed, acting aggressively, and communicating with the public (and not waiting for the slowpokes at WHO.) And for those who wish to review the steps taken in a disaster or emergency, see the previous posts on National Response Framework.
Note also that NYC is NOT seeing an uptick of cases that appear to be flu (influenza-like illness.) That's an important observation by the NYC DOH. But we can expect a rise of cases, and in any state, not just known ones. The fact that this tails into seasonal flu makes surveillance and looking for influenza-like illness that much more difficult.
This remains a "evolving" situation, but for now simply a unique outbreak that is getting the attention it deserves. This instructional video will set you straight as to how to cough.
And for those of you who haven't done so, take a look at some of the steps you can take to prepare for a flu outbreak, which may yet come to a town near you.