It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one’s own country, than an outcast from one’s self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.
Chris Hedges

Friday, July 10, 2009

Swine Flu Update

Officially, New Zealand is reporting 1,195 people with H1N1 Swine Flu, but the numbers are probably much higher. 47 people have been hospitalized and seven have died so far. Yesterday, I learned that swine flu hit my former workplace. There are about 20 staff there. What happened was one of the staff rushed down to visit a neice who had come down with the flu. On Tuesday she was reporting symptoms. On Wednesday two more staff members got sick - one of them was hospitalized. Who knows what today will bring. Deaths from the flu all carry the same message: "The victim had additional contributing complications." I was there on Tuesday, and met with the woman who was later hospitalized.

Community clinics to fight the pandemic are beginning to pull out of the effort to deal with the disease because of funding fears.

New Zealand has ordered 300,000 doses of vaccine from Baxter Pharma, enough to immunize 150,000 people. The as yet unproven vaccine is still in production. Baxter Pharma was the company that sent 5,000,000 doses of another vaccine to Europe. A Chechoslovakian centre tested the vaccine on ferrets first, but they all died. It was discovered that the vaccine contained live Avian flu.

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