Swine Flu Links Roundup - Legitgov.org

And 2 not included:
DHS Sets Guidelines For Possible Swine Flu Quarantines

Homeland Security preps flu quarantine guidelines [commentary on CBS-obtained memo and additional info]

hyperlinks here:
Last updated: Tue, 28 Apr 2009 23:45:10 GMT

Involuntary quarantine an option if swine flu explodes into epidemic 28 Apr 2009 Quarantine may seem the stuff of mediocre melodramas, but if the swine flu explodes into an epidemic, involuntary isolation could become a reality for more than a few unlucky Americans. The federal government can declare a state of emergency. But the power to isolate or quarantine citizens, rests in the hands of the states, or in some cases, local governments. In a health emergency, people can be forced into isolation or quarantine without the government getting a court order first. [See CLG items: DoD to carry out 'military missions' during pandemic, WMD attack 08 Mar 2009 and DoD to 'augment civilian law' during pandemic or bioterror attack 11 May 2007.]

California declares a state of emergency over swine flu --Governor, L.A. County declare state of emergency 28 Apr 2009 Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) today proclaimed a state of emergency over the spread of swine flu, expediting state agency responses to the outbreak. The proclamation orders all state agencies to use staff and equipment to help the Department of Public Health under coordination of the California Emergency Management Agency. The order suspends rules requiring competitive bids for services, material, personnel and equipment needed to respond to this [US generated] outbreak and waives some certification requirements for public health laboratories to help in the state’s expansion of testing capabilities. [Heads up! US pharma-terrorists are poised to make an even bigger killing than those who benefited from the 9/11 terror attacks (Rudy Giuliani, Lucky Larry), the Iraq-Afghanistan-Pakistan oil/gas/opium pipelines (Bush, Cheney Halliburton, etc.), and the Wall Street bailout.]

KBR awarded Homeland Security contract worth up to $385M 24 Jan 2006 KBR said Tuesday it has been awarded a contingency contract from the Department of Homeland Security to supports its Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities in the event of an emergency. The maximum total value of the contract is $385 million and consists of a 1-year base period with four 1-year options. The contract provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to expand existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs, KBR said. The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster, the company said.

Obama seeks $1.5 billion for swine flu 28 Apr 2009 President Barack Obama asked Congress on Tuesday for an additional $1.5 billion to fight swine flu as the confirmed caseload jumped to 65 people across six states in what doctors fear may become a pandemic. Lawmakers convened an emergency hearing on Capitol Hill to assess the government's preparedness for a more severe outbreak.

Scientists in global race to turn swine flu virus into a vaccine --Pharmaceutical companies prepare for WHO call to start producing prevention treatment for swine flu 28 Apr 2009 A global race to prepare a vaccine 'against' swine flu was under way yesterday as health officials confirmed that the disease had spread to at least seven countries. The World Health Organisation has contacted vaccine manufacturers, who are on standby to produce the vaccine should the virus continue to spread. A WHO spokesman said it had not yet advised pharmaceutical companies to begin producing a vaccine, but he confirmed that work had already begun at collaborating laboratories in the US.

CDC to mix avian, human flu viruses in pandemic study 14 Jan 2004 One of the worst fears of infectious disease experts is that the H5N1 avian influenza virus now circulating in parts of Asia will combine with a human-adapted flu virus to create a deadly new flu virus that could spread around the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will soon launch experiments designed to combine the H5N1 virus and human flu viruses and then see how the resulting hybrids affect animals. The goal is to assess the chances that such a "reassortant" virus will emerge and how dangerous it might be.

Army Investigating Disappearance of Lethal Pathogen at Fort Detrick 23 Apr 2009 The U.S. Army is finishing an investigation into the disappearance of three vials of a potentially lethal pathogen from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md., the Washington Post reported today. The inquiry begun in 2008 by the service's Criminal Investigation Command. The Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus is considered a possible tool of bioterrorism, but poses a significantly smaller threat than anthrax and other disease agents handled at the institute.

U.S. officials want "swine" out of flu name 28 Apr 2009 U.S. pork producers are finding that the name of the virus spreading from Mexico is affecting their business, prompting U.S. officials to argue for changing the name from swine flu. At a news briefing, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack took pains to repeatedly refer to the flu as the "H1N1 virus." Israel has already rejected the name swine flu, and opted to call it "Mexico flu." Jewish dietary laws forbid eating pork. [Right, it should be called 'Baxter's flu,' or 'Fort Detrick flu,' depending on which bioterrorists created it.--LRP]

'The swine flu helps illustrate the threat of bioweapons.' Israel Updates Biodefense Program to Counter Terror Threat 27 Apr 2009 Israel has updated its biological defense efforts to counter threats from terrorists and regional rivals such as Iran, the Jerusalem Post reported yesterday. Responding last year to warnings about the danger posed by weaponized disease agents, the Israeli Defense Ministry launched a new biological defense research effort at the Ramle-based headquarters of its Home Front Command. "Israel has the best solution to this threat in the world," Giora Eiland, former head of the Israeli national security council, said yesterday. "I can say with certainty that Israel has prepared a series of steps designed to deal with biological warfare." ['Weaponized disease agents.' Who would do that?]

CDC: 'Fully expect we will see deaths' 28 Apr 2009 U.S. health official said at least five people are hospitalized with swine flu in the United States and deaths are likely. "I fully expect we will see deaths from this infection," as swine flu cases are investigated, said Richard Besser, acting director of the federal Centers for Disease Control.

Swine flu 'unstoppable,' WHO warns --World Health Organisation says crisis is at 'turning period' and urges governments to plan for mass outbreaks 28 Apr 2009 The World Health Organisation warned today that swine flu can no longer be contained, as the virus spread to Asia and the Middle East, with the first cases confirmed in New Zealand and Israel. The virus, an apparently new strain of the H1N1 flu, has now been confirmed in seven countries, and suspected outbreaks are being investigated in other places including Ireland, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Denmark.

WHO raises its pandemic alert level on swine flu 28 Apr 2009 The World Health Organization raised its global alert level Monday, signaling the swine flu virus was spreading from human to human in community outbreaks, but it stopped short of declaring a full-blown pandemic. Mexico health department spokesman Carlos Olmos confirmed the move by the WHO to raise the alert level from Phase 3 to Phase 4. Putting an alert at Phases 4 or 5 signals that the swine flu virus is becoming increasingly adept at spreading among humans.

Cases of swine flu confirmed in Marin County 28 Apr 2009 (CA) A 60-year-old Marin County woman and her 20-month-old granddaughter have been diagnosed with the Bay Area's first confirmed cases of swine flu, local health officials said Wednesday afternoon.

Swine flu fear for hundreds of NY children --US has more than 60 reported cases of swine flu, mostly in New York City 28 Apr 2009 'Many hundreds' of New York children are sick with suspected swine flu, it was reported tonight. The news was revealed by city's Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden. The city's mayor Michael Bloomberg said the children were separate from those in a suspected outbreak at a private school in Queens. Mr Bloomberg said that two people were being treated in hospital with suspected swine flu - a child in the Bronx and an adult in Brooklyn.

NJ identifies 5 probable swine flu cases 27 Apr 2009 New Jersey health officials say they've identified five probable cases of swine flu in people who recently traveled to Mexico and California. The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services said Monday that all have mild forms of the flu and none has been hospitalized. The department says it's arranging for confirmatory testing at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC Testing for Possible Cases of Swine Flu in Conn. 28 Apr 2009 Connecticut has two probable swine flu cases that have been sent to the CDC for testing, Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R) said Tuesday. One is from an adult in Stratford and the other is an adult in Southbury, both of whom recently traveled to Mexico. Concerns about swine flu also closed East Haddam schools after two students who recently returned from a family trip became ill.

Texas teen recovering from swine flu 28 Apr 2009 High school senior Hayden Henshaw went to his doctor late last week suffering the classic achy, sniffly feverishness of a flu bug... The 18-year-old was among the first confirmed cases of a new flu that combines bird, swine and human viruses. He and two other classmates at Steele High School were the earliest confirmed cases in Texas, which now has six confirmed statewide, and among the first reported cases in the United States.

UK on alert after suspected swine flu hits Manchester 27 Apr 2009 Health authorities in Manchester are carrying out urgent tests on a suspected case of swine flu as governments around the world move to contain the deadly virus. Officials said tests were being carried out on a Canadian woman who displayed flu-like symptoms while on a visit to Sale in Greater Manchester.