Courtlynn Powell: Swine flu’s making me nervous

Daughter and would-be blogger Courtlynn (below right, exactly as shown) writes that,

“Coming home from school this afternoon, a rush of fear and anxiety seemed to linger. 20 people died in Mexico. 500 nurses in Mexico have this, as well as people returning from Canada, in the past week. It’s spread from California to Texas.”

The N.Y. Times reports this morning that Mexican officials, scrambling to control a swine flu outbreak that has killed as many as 61 people and infected possibly hundreds more in recent weeks, closed museums and shuttered schools for millions of students in and around the capital on Friday, and urged people with flu symptoms to stay home from work. …

The new strain contains gene sequences from North American and Eurasian swine flus, North American bird flu and North American human flu, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A similar virus has been found in the American Southwest, where officials have reported eight nonfatal cases. …

Mexico’s flu season is usually over by now, but health officials have noticed a significant spike in flu cases since mid-March. The W.H.O. said there had been 800 cases in Mexico in recent weeks, 60 of them fatal, of a flulike illness that appeared to be more serious than the regular seasonal flu. Mexican officials said there were 943 possible cases.

Still, only a small number have been confirmed as cases of the new H1N1 swine flu.