Feeds

US declares 'public health emergency' over swine flu

UK advises coughs and sneezes spread diseases

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.