Feeds

US declares 'public health emergency' over swine flu

UK advises coughs and sneezes spread diseases

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Britain's medical system has started gearing up for a flu pandemic and the US has declared a "public health emergency", after it became clear that an outbreak of swine flu in Mexico had worked its way into the human population.

The outbreak in Mexico has been blamed for over 100 deaths. While the disease has now surfaced in the US, there have been no deaths attributed to it there.

The US's Department of Homeland Security secretary, Janet Napolitano, told a press conference yesterday that she had declared a public health emergency, before suggesting "that sounds more severe than really it is."

She said that the declaration kicked the country's federal, state and local agencies into gear, "and allows us to use medication and diagnostic tests that we might not otherwise be able to use, particularly on very young children; and it releases funds for the acquisition of additional antivirals."

Napolitano said the country had already started creating seed stock for possible vaccines.

At the same time, the US has "implemented passive surveillance protocols to screen individuals who may arrive at our borders."

The agency then took journalists' questions, with the most pressing concern apparently being how president Obama was feeling after his recent trip to Mexico.

In the UK, the NHS website says "GPs and hospitals across the UK are preparing for a pandemic and the UK government is working with the WHO to monitor the situation."

More practically, this means "The Health Protection Agency (HPA) is closely monitoring the situation and is working with the UK Government to review the current incident and any threat it poses to the UK. "

It advises anyone returning from an affected area to monitor their health closely for seven days. If during this period they develop a feverish illness, accompanied by one or more of a cough, sore throat, headache or muscle aches, they should stay at home and contact their GP by phone, or seek advice from NHS Direct (0845 4647).

The Health Protection Agency has prescribed a list of sensible advice, including disposing of used tissues, and covering your nose and mouth while sneezing. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.