Canada Knew About Rare Flu Before America

UPDATE: New Zealand cases of Swine Flu (not confirmed Mexican Flu) 4/26/09:

I am sure you are curious as to why that is? The exact quote from Mauricio Hernández, deputy minister for disease prevention and health promotion in Mexico’s Federal Department of Health, “The only reason the samples went first to Winnipeg is because the paperwork is easier. We were in a rush,” Hernández said.  Our government at work; aren’t you pleased?  Except this is not the Post Office where mail goes missing, this is the CDC we are putting our faith and trust in to protect us and our children.  Who knew we had one more agency we would have to watchdog?

From The Washington Post:

U.S. Slow to Learn of Mexico Flu

Canadian Officials Knew of Rare Strain Before Americans Did

U.S. public health officials did not know about a growing outbreak of swine flu in Mexico until nearly a week after that country started invoking protective measures, and didn’t learn that the deaths were caused by a rare strain of the influenza until after Canadian officials did.

Whether delayed communication among the countries has had a practical consequence is unknown. However, it seems that U.S. public health officials are still largely in the dark about what’s happening in Mexico two weeks after the outbreak was recognized.

Asked at a news conference yesterday whether the number of swine flu cases found daily in Mexico is increasing — a key determinant in understanding whether an epidemic is spreading — Anne Schuchat, an interim deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “I do not know the answer to those questions.”

As of yesterday, U.S. officials had reported 11 domestic cases, none fatal. Last night, Mexican health officials reported more than 1,300 suspected cases and 81 deaths “probably linked to the virus.”

The earliest case found in Mexico was a 39-year-old woman who died April 12 of severe viral pneumonia in San Luis Potosi, a city of about 700,000 in central Mexico.

“That attracted the attention of the epidemiologist there,” said Mauricio Hernández, deputy minister for disease prevention and health promotion in Mexico’s Federal Department of Health.

6 thoughts on “Canada Knew About Rare Flu Before America

  1. How can we really believe the reports that we receive from the CDC? Does every single department in this government have to be double checked? For crying out loud, as you say, Diamond, this is life or death. The incompetence of this administration is not to be beleved. But then, if the leader is incompetent the people he chooses are more than apt to be also.

  2. Lee,

    The problem lies in who is doing the double-checking. The fox is guarding the hen house these days, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the checking was being done by Roche Labs (the manufacturers of Tamiflu)…

  3. Now we see that NYC has cases of this flu… but just about 10 miles out of NYC on Rte. 3 in NJ there is a huge ROCHE facility…We used to pass it while I was growing up in Rutherford.
    It’s still there in Nutley, NJ…here’s the squib from the website:

    http://www.rocheusa.com/

    Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. (Roche), based in Nutley, N.J., is the U.S. prescription drug unit of the Roche Group, one of the world’s leading research-oriented health care groups with core businesses in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. The company provides innovative products and services that address prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, thus enhancing people’s health and quality of life.

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