Feeds

US declares 'public health emergency' over swine flu

UK advises coughs and sneezes spread diseases

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.