4 year old in Veracruz area seen as key in flu virus
A Mexican village whose inhabitants were overwhelmed by an outbreak of respiratory illness starting in February has emerged as a possible source of the swine flu outbreak which has now spread across the world.It is not clear to me why the doctors claim that it was not a flu outbreak that infected 60 percent of La Gloria's 3,000 residents. Most doctors now think the out break is swine flu. It sounds like it s spread may not have been contained because of the early misdiagnosis.
The state government of Veracruz in eastern Mexico has confirmed one case of swine flu in the village of La Gloria with the sufferer named locally as a four-year-old boy, Edgar Hernandez Hernandez. The federal government said tonight that he tested positive for the same strain of the virus which has claimed lives in Mexico.
The boy's case earlier this month came amid an outbreak of respiratory illness in the area in which around 400 people requested medical help. The boy was treated in hospital and survived. But two babies from the same village died during the outbreak. Sufferers complained of symptoms including fever, severe cough, and large amounts of phlegm.
"The symptoms were exactly like the ones they talk about now [with swine flu]," said a local resident. "High fevers, pain in the muscles and the joints, terrible headaches, some vomiting and diarrhoea. The illness came on very quickly and whole families were laid up."
It remained unclear tonight whether the illness was swine flu but the Mexican government appeared to cast doubt on its original diagnosis of the outbreak as a more typical H2N3 flu virus when it revealed that the only sample it sent to North America for swine flu tests came back positive.
"The sample of one of the cases, that of a four-year-old boy, was kept," said federal health minister José Ángel Córdova. "It was among the samples sent [to labs abroad] and that came back confirmed."
The Veracruz state government had previously said the infants died of bacterial pneumonia and said it has no plans to exhume their bodies to find out if the cause of death was swine flu.
Early today the US owner of an industrial pig production facility around 12 miles from La Gloria said it had found no clinical signs or symptoms of swine flu in its herd or Mexican employees. The world's biggest pig meat producer, Virginia-based Smithfield, said it is co-operating with the Mexican authorities' attempts to locate the possible source of the outbreak and will submit samples from its herds at its Granjas Carroll subsidiary to the University of Mexico for tests.
"Based on available recent information, Smithfield has no reason to believe that the virus is in any way connected to its operations in Mexico," it said in a statement. "The company also noted that its joint ventures in Mexico routinely administer influenza virus vaccination to their swine herds and conduct monthly tests for the presence of swine influenza."
The statement came after Mexico's national public health authority, the Mexican social security institute, raised concerns that waste from the Granjas Carrol facility may be responsible for the outbreak of illness, according to local media.
"According to state agents of the Mexican social security institute, the vector of this outbreak are the clouds of flies that come out of the hog barns, and the waste lagoons into which the Mexican-US company spews tons of excrement," reported Mexico City newspaper La Jornada.
The outbreak of respiratory illness in the area of the Granjas Carroll plant was first detected at the beginning of this month by Veratect, a company based in Washington state which monitors the spread of disease and pandemics around the world for corporate clients.
Local health officials established a health cordon around La Gloria and the monitoring company reported that officials launched a spraying and cleaning operation that targeted the fly suspected to be the disease carrier. "State health officials also implemented a vaccination campaign against influenza, although sources noted physicians ruled out influenza as the cause of the outbreak," it said.
The Times also traces the flu to La Gloria.
I am sure that is something else that Democrats will try to blame on Republicans.