23-Month Old Boy in Texas 1st Confirmed Casualty of Swine Flu Disease in the U.S.A., Edgar Hernandez, "Patient Zero," Identified in Village in Mexico

There is some very sad news to report this morning. We have our first death from the swine flu. Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that a two-year old child from Texas has become the first fatality from the swine flu in the United States. As a parent, my heart goes out to the family of this child and I am very concerned for what the near future holds for each of us across this nation. Besser said on CNN this morning that the CDC is not changing its recommendations as a result of the confirmed swine flu death. Watch Besser assess the situation »

“I expect we’ll see more cases,” Besser said. “And as we do, we’ll learn more about this, and if there needs to be more stringent or less stringent recommendations, we’ll be making those.”

The only other confirmed swine flu deaths have been seven in Mexico, out of more than 112 confirmed swine flu cases worldwide. “Given what we’ve seen in Mexico, we have expected that we would see more severe infections and would see deaths,” Besser said. However, he stressed that people should maintain their perspective on the swine flu outbreak.

“Seasonal flu each year causes tens of thousands of deaths in this country — on average, about 36,000 deaths,” Besser said. “And so this flu virus in the United States, as we’re looking at it, is not acting very differently from what we saw during the flu season.” Source: CNN

edgar 23 Month Old Boy in Texas 1st Confirmed Casualty of Swine Flu Disease in the U.S.A., Edgar Hernandez, "Patient Zero," Identified in Village in Mexico

It is really scary how this outbreak has spread across four continents in a short period of time. Health officials reportedly said they think they may have found “patient zero,” Edgar Hernandez, 5, in the global outbreak in the village of La Gloria in the mountains of Mexico, where he resides with his family.

As of Wednesday morning, the World Health Organization said at least 112 cases have been confirmed worldwide. On Tuesday it listed 105 cases, including those in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Israel, Spain and the United Kingdom. Additional cases have been reported in Germany and Costa Rica.

Separately, U.S. pork producers have discovered that the name of the virus is bad for their business. U.S. officials want the name changed from swine flu. At a recent news briefing, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack took pains to repeatedly refer to the flu as the “H1N1 virus.” “This is not a food-borne illness, virus. It is not correct to refer to it as swine flu because really that’s not what this is about,” Vilsack said.

According to Reuters, Israel has already rejected the name swine flu, and opted to call it “Mexico flu.” Jewish dietary laws forbid eating pork. The World Organization for Animal Health also objected to the name, saying the virus contains avian and human components and no pig so far has been found ill with the disease. There is growing sentiment in the farm sector to call it the North American virus, though, according to Reuters, disease expert Anthony Fauci told a Senate hearing the “swine flu” designation reflected scientific naming protocol.

To read more on Edgar Hernandez, CLICK HERE.

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 23 Month Old Boy in Texas 1st Confirmed Casualty of Swine Flu Disease in the U.S.A., Edgar Hernandez, "Patient Zero," Identified in Village in Mexico
Janet Shan is a freelance journalist and managing editor of the Hinterland Gazette, who is working on her first novel, a mystery based in the hills on Montego Bay.