Saturday, May 02, 2009

Swine Flu Fever

There is one universal response to disease in Taiwan, and that is BUY A MASK. So, in response to this cultural programming, my wife got on Yahoo and was bummmed to find that masks had already been sold out. Everyone had the same thought. I'm a bit skeptical that the usual masks here can keep viruses out, but I guess they can't hurt. Maybe it is time to begin all my classes by asking: "Did anyone go to Mexico this week?"

Apparently some Taiwanese did, and are now quarantined in Hong Kong, thanks to a Captain Trips Swine Flu case that was on board the plane with them:
The Taiwanese government was trying to track 19 people who had travelled on the same flight from Mexico to Shanghai as a Mexican man later confirmed to be suffering from swine flu.

The 19 were among 25 people who had travelled on to Taiwan from Shanghai on six flights, said Shih Wen-yi, a spokesman for Taiwan's Centres for Disease Control (CDC).

Shih urged the 19 travellers to call a hotline set up by the Taiwan government, for a health check.

The Taiwan government also issued a travel advisory urging its nationals to protect themselves against infection while touring Hong Kong and South Korea, whose first cases of swine flu were confirmed in recent days.

Hong Kong Friday quarantined for seven days 300 guests and staff at a hotel where the Mexican man had stayed after arriving from Shanghai.
Taiwan has also developed a new test kit for the disease:
The CDC official said 12 of 18 suspected swine flu case in Taiwan have been ruled out, and the rest are still being investigated to see whether they have been infected with the new H1N1 strain of influenza A virus.

Some of the persons suspected of being infected asked to be tested for infection when they arrived at airports from overseas trips, Shih said.

The CDC has developed a test kit that can diagnose within six hours whether someone is infected with the new virus, Shih said.
It's nice teaching at a medical university where everyone has some dim idea that the threat, at present, is low. Of course, if the historical trend of slowing rising virulence is followed.....

Meanwhile, the Swine Flu story makes a nice filler for the one million 24/7 news channels clamoring for eyeballs in Taiwan, and a good distraction from the fact that the Taiwan side was owned by the CCP in the recent talks in Nanjing.

Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!


peter said...

What it seems like is that Windows 7 is at best 3 to 4 months away. However, we all know Microsoft's record for accurately predicting release dates. Vista was delayed almost a year after the initial release date was set.

Jenna said...

It's gotten to more than just masks in Taipei (though I've been seeing an increase in those). Many of the office buildings where I work have set up anti-bacterial handwash stations at doors and make everyone coming through swab their hands with the stuff.

I'm not convinced that's effective either, but it can't hurt.

CJB said...

Windows is utter garbage. It's amazing that a product that inferior still exists and is even considered an option at this point.

That OS should have gone the way of the Atari or the Texas instruments computer years ago.

Mailani said...

Our Rotary group was stopped in Tokyo traveling from a month-long business exchange in Taiwan back to the USA. They were asking members of our group who were obviously Western if they had been in the USA or Mexico recently. Japanese medical teams were also boarding flights inbound from North America to screen for temperatures, etc. We have pictures of these medical teams in the airport posted on our blog: We like the name the flight attendants came up with for Swine Flu / H1N1...R2D2!

Chiang Mai said...

H1N1 (referred to as “swine flu” early on) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. Symptoms of swine flu are similar to those caused by other influenza viruses. Health authorities across the globe are taking steps to try to stem the spread of swine flu after outbreaks in Mexico and the United States. The World Health Organization has called it a "public health emergency of international concern."

hyperhidrosis said...

The the original study, most the viral genes found to respond to influenza virus, which usually occur in pigs in North America. But other education have showed that this new virus is very different. It also features two genes for influenza viruses in pigs in European and Asia and the genes in strain of avian and human....