Flu pursuit a "marathon"

    Philadelphia’s health department has found that a traveler sent to Methodist Hospital in Philadelphia for flu symptoms does not have the dreaded swine flu

    Philadelphia’s health department has found that a traveler sent to Methodist Hospital in Philadelphia for flu symptoms does not have the dreaded swine flu. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware are all still free of any confirmed cases (although New Jersey is testing several people).
    (Photo: Flickr/greekadman)

    Still, the tally of confirmed swine flu incidents in the U.S. has jumped about 50 percent to 64 since yesterday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Federal officials held a press conference on the H1N1 strain of the globe-trotting influenza this afternoon, and say they expect to see more cases. “Our best estimate right now is we are at the beginning of a long flu cycle,” Janet Napolitano, head of Homeland Security said.

    Tom Vilsack, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, pointed out that despite a drop in U.S. hog futures, meat eaters should not fear pig. Swine flu is not transmitted by eating pork, and at this point, the virus is only a human-to-human bug.

    Which means humans should instead be cautious around other humans. Art Caplan, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, points out in a recent article that isolation from other people will be the ultimate flu stopper — not medicines or hospitals. He writes: “Heading out to church, the movies, restaurants, subways, supermarkets, day care centers, schools and other places where large numbers of people gather is a recipe for spreading the virus.”

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