May 2, 2009
Swine flu, aka A (H1N1) and North American influenza.
1994 Smithfield Foods Inc. who own half of the Granjas Carroll de Mexico, began operating pig farms in the region By the time of the pandemic in March 2009, they were the major producer in the country, with 907 workers, 500,000 thousand pigs in developing states of Veracruz and Puebla. Their website from their headquarters in Perote, Mexico claimed that they 56,000 sows in 2008 producing 950,000 hogs. They are 12 such mega farms surrounding La Gloria, Mexico, a hillside hamlet of c. 3,000 people in the located in the municipality of Perote, Veracruz. Residents of La Gloria, Mexico have long complained that some of the pits that hold pig waste are not properly lined; they fear their groundwater is contaminated. They’re frustrated and angry, too, about the stench and the swarms of flies that invade their village. Granjas Carroll de Mexico, half-owned by U.S.-based Smithfield Foods Inc., operates dozens of farms around La Gloria.
2009-02 In the end of February in La Gloria, Mexico, a hillside hamlet of c. 3,000 people in the located in the municipality of Perote, Veracruz, many people became ill with symptoms similar to a bad cold.
2009-03-18 Mexican government reported an unusually high level of flu-like illnesses.
2009-03-23 Veracruz health officials arrived in La Gloria, Mexico to take saliva samples. About a third of some 1,300 townspeople who sought medical attention – 450 or so – were diagnosed with acute respiratory infections and given surgical masks and antibiotics. (Washington Post).
Edgar fell ill a bit later; the energetic 5-year-old retreated to his bed with a high fever. Other kids in his school already were sick.
2009-04-12 “By early April, the Veracruz government notified Mexican authorities of a possible flu outbreak in La Gloria. This alert happened to come around Holy Week, a time when lots of people in this largely Catholic country travel to visit family. On April 12, Mexican health authorities notified the CDC and the Pan American Health Organization of the unexplained cases of severe respiratory illness. One day later, people started dying (Cohen and Rodriguez 2009-05-01).”
2009-04-13 Adela Maria Gutierrez, a 38-year-old mother of three, was the first to die of H1N1 influenza virus. She had “arrived at a hospital in Oaxaca, in far southern Mexico, gasping for air, her oxygen-starved hands and legs a ghastly shade of blue. Her death was not just tragic, but alarming: Gutierrez had worked door-to-door for Mexico’s tax collection agency, interviewing scores of people. As it turns out, one of her co-workers, a temporary employee, was from Veracruz, the state on the Gulf of Mexico where the first swine case was confirmed. Family members said that woman had a bad cough (Cohen and Rodriguez 2009-05-01).”
2009-04-12 First two cases of A (H1N1) in California BBC 2009 Outbreak Map.
2009-04-25 “A day after seven new cases are confirmed in the US, the World Health Organization declares a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. From April 17-25 1, 455 cases of suspected A (H1N1) flu investigated. BBC 2009 Outbreak Map.
2009-04-26 Canada had 6 confirmed cases of A (H1N1); US had 20; Mexico had 18 BBC 2009 Outbreak Map.
2009-04-28 Confirmed cases of A (H1N1): UK had 2, Spain had 2, US had 64; New Zealand had 3; Mexico had 20. BBC 2009 Outbreak Map.
2009-04-29 Confirmed cases of A (H1N1): Canada: 13; UK:5 (London, Polmont, Redditch, Paignton); Israel:2; Spain:10; US:91; New Zealand:3; Austria:1; Germany:3; Mexico: 26. Deaths caused by A (H1N1) Mexico: 7; US:1; BBC 2009 Outbreak Map.
2009-05-01 Confirmed cases of A (H1N1): Canada: 35; UK:10; Israel:2; Spain:13; US:109; New Zealand:4; Austria:1; Germany:4; Mexico: 300; Peru:1; Costa Rica:2; Netherlands:1; Switzerland:1; Hong Kong:1. Deaths caused by A (H1N1) Mexico: 12; US:1. The UK, US, Canada, Spain, Germany confirm cases of secondary transmission. BBC 2009 Outbreak Map.
2009-05 “Influenza A(H1N1) – update 8.1. 1 May 2009 — “The situation continues to evolve. As of 23:30 GMT, 1 May 2009, 13 countries have officially reported 367 cases of influenza A(H1N1) infection. The United States Government has reported 141 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death. Mexico has reported 156 confirmed human cases of infection, including nine deaths. The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths – Austria (1), Canada (34), China, Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region (1), Denmark (1), Germany (4), Israel (2), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (4), Spain (13), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (8). Further information on the situation will be available on the WHO website on a regular basis. WHO advises no restriction of regular travel or closure of borders. It is considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention, in line with guidance from national authorities. There is also no risk of infection from this virus from consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products. Individuals are advised to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis and should seek medical attention if they develop any symptoms of influenza-like illness.”
2009-05-01 “Swine flu has been confirmed in 16 deaths, all from Mexico (one Mexican toddler died in Houston). It has sickened nearly 350 people in Mexico, and about 200 others from New York to New Zealand, including children, teens, adults, students and tourists. It has rattled the world’s financial markets, pushed oil prices down, caused a run on surgical masks and hand sanitizers, closed schools and churches, postponed sporting events, prompted travel bans, rerouted cruise ships(Cohen and Rodriguez 2009-05-01).”
BBC. 2009. Outbreak Map.
Cohen, Sharon; Rodriguez, Olga R. 2009-05-01. “How swine flu virus hopscotched the globe.” Washington Post
WHO. 2009-05-01-23:30 GMT. “Influenza A(H1N1) Update 8.1.