Monday, August 13, 2012

CDC reports number of cases of new swine flu now at 165.

A story on a new strain of swine flu garnered moderate coverage, mostly online. Many of the sources quote CDC flu epidemiology chief Dr. Joseph Bresee. USA Today (8/10, Weise) reports, "Cases of a new flu variety so far this year have soared from 16 last week to 165 now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday." The new strain, "called H3N2v, isn't any more dangerous than regular flu, but children are most vulnerable. They are 90% of those infected so far, almost all of them by being up close and personal with sick pigs at fairs."
        The Los Angeles Times (8/10, Brown) "Booster Shots" blog reports that during a news conference, Dr. Bresee said, "We're seeing a big increase, and we think it's a real increase." So far, "two people have been hospitalized with complications from their illness, but both are now home, Bresee said," but "no one has died from H3N2v infections in 2011 or 2012, he added."
        The AP (8/10, Stobbe) quotes Bresee as saying, "This is not a pandemic situation." However, "any flu can be a risk for some people, and people should be cautious when they can, he added." While "health officials don't think it's necessary to cancel swine shows," they "are urging people to take precautions."
        The New York Times (8/10, A12, Tavernise, Subscription Publication) reports, "The C.D.C. has created a seed virus - the beginnings of a vaccine - and has shared it with manufacturers who will put it through clinical trials," but "mass production will not happen without evidence of widespread human transmission, Dr. Bresee said."
        Modern Healthcare (8/10, Daly, Subscription Publication) reports, "Bresee said he expects more cases in the coming weeks and they will likely include some transmissions between people."
        The ABC News (8/10) "Medical Unit" blog reports that "Bresee said the dramatic increase in the number of cases could be attributed both to more cases being reported, and actual spread of the disease."
        On its website, FOX News (8/10, Serrie) reports, "Of the 145 cases reported nationally, 113 are in Indiana, 30 in Ohio, one in Hawaii and one in Illinois."
        On its website, CNN (8/10, Hagan) reports, "The agency's numbers did not include seven new cases reported in Indiana. Dr. Gregory Larkin, Indiana state health commissioner, said the number of cases has risen to 120 as of Thursday." Also covering the story are MedPage Today (8/10, Neale), Medscape (8/10, Crane), and WebMD (8/10, DeNoon).

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