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Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq (left) and Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. David Butler-Jones speak to the media in Ottawa on Sunday, April 26, 2009 (Patrick Doyle / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq (left) and Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. David Butler-Jones speak to the media in Ottawa on Sunday, April 26, 2009 (Patrick Doyle / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Joseph Seagram, left, headmaster at King's-Edgehill School, looks on as school physician Dr. Mark Kazimirski fields questions at a news conference in Windsor, N.S. on Sunday, April 26, 2009. (Andrew Vaughan / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Joseph Seagram, left, headmaster at King's-Edgehill School, looks on as school physician Dr. Mark Kazimirski fields questions at a news conference in Windsor, N.S. on Sunday, April 26, 2009. (Andrew Vaughan / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Pat Dunn, the Nova Scotia minister of health and protection, speaks at a news conference in Halifax, N.S., on Sunday, April 26, 2009.

Pat Dunn, the Nova Scotia minister of health and protection, speaks at a news conference in Halifax, N.S., on Sunday, April 26, 2009.

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief public health officer, fields questions at a news conference in Halifax on Sunday, April 26, 2009. (Andrew Vaughan / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief public health officer, fields questions at a news conference in Halifax on Sunday, April 26, 2009. (Andrew Vaughan / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Six swine flu cases confirmed in Canada

Updated Sun. Apr. 26 2009 11:27 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq says the federal government will take whatever measures are necessary to keep the public safe, after confirming six cases of swine flu in Canada.

Four of the cases are in Nova Scotia and another two in British Columbia.

"These are Canada's first confirmed cases, but as we continue to ramp up our surveillance efforts, these cases are likely not the last we'll see in Canada," Aglukkaq told reporters at a news conference in Ottawa late Sunday afternoon.

The health minister said the government is well-prepared to handle the situation.

"I want to assure all Canadians that we are following the plans and the protocols that we have prepared in advance for an event like this," Aglukkaq said. "We will continue to take whatever actions are necessary to protect Canadians and their families with this illness."

Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. David Butler-Jones, said the six affected Canadians have already started to recover from their illness.

"The symptoms in all cases were mild. These were not severe respiratory illnesses," he said. "All have recovered and appear to be doing well."

He urged Canadians to practice "good flu prevention techniques," through frequent hand-washing, coughing into one's sleeve or arm, and staying home when sick, to avoid affecting others.

B.C. confirmed its two cases, both young men, at a separate press conference earlier Sunday afternoon.

Dr. Danuta Skowronski of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, told reporters both of the affected B.C. residents live in the Lower Mainland, and both have recently travelled to Mexico.

None of the cases seen in B.C. are as severe as those seen in Mexico, she said.

The B.C. infections were initially identified as a non-typeable influenza A, and they have since been confirmed as swine flu cases.

Skowronski said respiratory illnesses are not uncommon at this time of year, and that health officials "don't want to make people unnecessarily alarmed."

N.S. cases

In Nova Scotia, health officials say four confirmed cases of swine flu have been identified within the province, all from the same high school. Two of the students recently travelled to Mexico, which has suffered fatalities from the virus.

Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief public health officer, said the Nova Scotia cases are considered "mild" cases of the flu and the affected persons are now recovering.

"These case are mild, no one in Nova Scotia has been hospitalized because of the illness.

All those who have been affected are recovering," Strang said at a news conference on Sunday afternoon. "At this point, we're not seeing severe cases like that occurring in Mexico. We're consistent with the United States where we're seeing very mild illness from the swine flu."

Strang said that the four confirmed cases are students attending King's-Edgehill School, a private high school in the Windsor, N.S., area.

The pair of affected students who went to Mexico were traveling with at least 20 people on a school trip from April 1 to 8.

Later Sunday afternoon, school headmaster Joseph Seagram told reporters that 17 students and four staff members are in quarantine.

Two of the staff members are in quarantine at the school, while the other two remain at home, he said.

Seagram also said that only one of the students with swine flu had attended the trip to Mexico, contradicting the data given by the province's chief public health officer.

Strang stressed that the Canadians who have fallen ill with swine flu have, so far, only very mild symptoms.

"The swine flu that we're seeing outside of Mexico is very mild," he said.

Strang said local health authorities are working with the Public Health Agency of Canada and related agencies across Canada, to monitor the swine flu issue.

Mexico has had the highest number of swine flu cases since April 13. There have been 103 deaths believed to be from the virus. In total, more than 1,600 people have become ill.


Comments are now closed for this story

Rick in NB
Brand new day, brand new comments. I wonder how many times we will be blessed by the sage adage " relax it's only the flu."
Any takers?



Eileen25
Until we know exactly what we are dealing with, WHO should issue a restriction on travel to Mexico(if they have that authority) or at the very least have countries of the world issue Travel Alerts. So far there is next to nothing on our Canadian Travel Advisory-Foreign Affairs website.



doug bc
The 1918 flu swept the entire world, literally.
It started off just like this one too.
whatever improvement we've made in the way of sanitation and procedure etc. is counter balanced by the increase in world travel.
We are no better off today, in other words.
It's arrogant to think we are.
We are due for another pandemic.
It's a fact.
Regardless of whether the media sensationalizes it.


Joshua in Ottawa
Myth: Swine flu is nothing to worry about. It's only killed 80 people in a city whose population approaches that of all Canada!

Reality: Flu severity is determined by the "Case-to-Fatality Ratio". For example: your run-of-the-mill seasonal flu is fatal in 0.01% of cases. Swine flu, on the other hand, appears to have killed at least 80 in Mexico, out of around 1000 reported infections. That's about a 7% or 8% Case-to-Fatality Ratio. Crikey, use your imagination.



Shannon
I agree Eileen. Traveling to flu affected areas will only speed up the spread of the flu but obviously it isnt a real threat at this point other wise travel advisories would be in effect by now.



Dd
Sure it's the swine flu, Rick...but all reports are that the strain is not that dangerous. Everyone outside Mexico has or are recovering. Without knowing the previous health condition of those that died in Mexico, it's impossible to say that a pandemic will happen or if it does, that it'll have a high death rate.

This is a case of wait, keep informed and be sensible....and wash your hands often and stay home if you're sick.



Hiki
I am soon going to be consulting with experts in the US regarding the infectious disease I had that was being cover up in this Province. My spouse travels to Africa many times a year..We should all be worried about what may be covered up....believe me....



V Sydney NS
I can tell you now..I just came back from Mexico yesterday, and this is the first I've heard of any flu.
We were not asked at the airport if we were sick..no one mentioned anything. So what are they doing to monitor this flu? Nothing. There was 180 people on that plane yesterday, and another flight left before us. People from all over the maritimes. Think about it folks.



Fisher
Relax, it's only the flu.



Dianne
Eileen:

There are Health Advisories on the HealthCanada.gc.ca
web site. The advisories include Mexico, and Texas & California in the U.S.

This outbreak is a concern. However, it is important people remain calm and put this in perspective. Viruses mutate constantly. Also, thousands of people around the world die of the flu every single year.

I do feel it is time for the World Health Organization to upgrade their level of concern to pandemic as there are now all countries in North America involved & New Zealand with confirmed cases of A H1N1 Swine Flu virus.



Gordon in Sarnia
I have read nowhere, how long the incubation period is? Does anyone know? Could be a couple of weeks.

Time for airport screening . SARS was left too long.



Rob
It's the flu! Get over it, have we become complete wimps? Like any flu virus stay home and do not spread it! And stop watching CNN!!!



Stop the panic!
Yes, by all means, let's start a worldwide panic like we did with SARS!

As was noted in the article, the cases outside of Mexico have been mild and I bet a further investigation into those deaths in Mexico would reveal that the victims probably had little to no access to health care and were poor. This is the standard demographic of the yearly flu outbreaks that kill between 250,000 - 500,000/year around the world.

We've had 80 deaths in Mexico so far. While that is unfortunate, there is no reason to push the panic button yet. We just need to be prepared and take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves, i.e. wash your hands.



Eric
The only thing I don't understand about this, not having a medical degree, is did this disease JUST form? I mean... where was it up 'til a week ago? Surely it must have been floating around already before this, but only now are people freaking out about it.

Also, despite Rick's rather pessimistic views, I'm curious if there actually IS a solid way to identify this form of flu as opposed to a normal flu. I'm not going to say 'relax', but I am going to question how come suddenly Swine Flu is popping up all over the place within the last few weeks, but I had never heard of it before that.



Mark in Victoria
To Rick

Except that this strain is new and is killing people between the age of 20 and 40. Not your typical flu.



E.L. O'Connell
The moral of the story: Don't trust government officials. They lie. They knew all along about the cases here in Canada. They have to, because doctors are obligated to inform them when foreign agencies are monitoring known outbreaks.
Why they choose to deceive is another matter. To protect the tourist industry? To prevent widespread panic? Either way, the deception does little to help those of us still healthy to take necessary precautions.
Yes, sometimes government itself is responsible for pandemics.



LUCKY
No they just have a conection to the level three lab and the research going on and the USA military research going on behind closed doors. Just gotto infect a population so we can do drug development.



M Jackson
Should only be a matter of minutes before the swine flu gets blamed on PM Harper or Global Warming.



island girl
At this point the article doesn't say where in BC these cass were found. I'd like to know. Also, does the regular flu vaccine give any protection at all? (makes symptoms milder?) Did any victims have the flu shot?



ric
I really hope Canada does not become America's scapegoat like with the SARS outbreak.

To say that only 27 American outbreaks occurred in country with a population of 3 hundred million, and yet 251 occurred in Canada (population 31 million) is just ludicrous.



Joshua in Ottawa
INCUBATION PERIOD:

White House news conference indicated an incubation period of 24-48 hours.



Jackie
Relax, it's only a flu.



DC in AB
What most of you are forgetting is that the 80 fatalities in Mexico have not been all confirmed cases. Further to this, you must realize that Mexico is a third world nation, and they don't have the level of care that the US or Canada have in which case all those affected in the US and Canada are recovering -- most without any hospitalization. Yes this has the potential to be a pandemic, and therefore we must be vigilant of the possibility and what is going on around us, but this is by no means a time to panic.



Where in Mexico Were They?
Interesting how everyone who is from outside Mexico seems to recover from the illness while everyone who had died from it lives in Mexico.

Also, why is is that these news items never mention where exactly in Mexico these people were travelling when they supposedly contracted the illness? They story about the students from New Zealand never mentioned where they were either.



Fisher
The swine flu is a direct result of PM Harper's views on global warming. I've heard that this virus is spread through twitter.



TG
It does not surprise me that the flu virus ended up in Canada this quickly. When ever a virus breaks, out like that it could end up anywhere, and eventually goes everywhere. So this means, that it will end up in Europe, South America, etc. Worrying about it isn't going to change anything, instead what will help is making yourself well aware of the virus, and making every effort to practice "self-pervention". I think important thing that we must do is research this virus thourally from primary sources (libraries, medical books, etc,) on causes, origins, etc. to get a better understanding of it, because I believe right now that their is very little understand of the virus altogether, but I do have to agree that hopefully it does not get too bad.



Jeff
Just yesterday Harper's puppets were saying all is O.K. Sounds kind of like the economy comments.



Don't sneeze into your hands then shake mine!
I've noticed that people often cough and sneeze into their hands and then continue on with what they're doing. It's important to sneeze or cough into TISSUES. It's also important to wash your hands with regular soap.

Apparently, the eyes are a very common entry point for diseases, so don't rub your eyes. Also, when you use eye drops, don't let the dropper touch your eye. Otherwise, if you have an infection, the next person to use the dropper will catch your infection.

Caution is important, but don't go overboard by cleaning your house compulsively with chemicals, especially if you keep the windows and doors closed. Chemicals and fumes can be harmful when breathed in or absorbed through the skin. (When you wash a floor without rinsing and then walk around in bare feet, you are exposing your skin to soap residue. Spraying your carpets with chemicals and then letting your baby crawl around on them isn't a good idea either.)



sheri
Im sure Canada will get blamed somehow for this as well, like we got blamed for 9/11 terrorists coming into the US



WASH HANDS PLZ!
I am a cashier and it makes me cringe when someone sneezes or wipes there nose with their hands then hands me over the money or their debit/credit cards i instantly use hand sanitizer, then when i am on break i wash my hands.. Also people that walk out of the bathroom without washing.. gross!



G
I wonder if any of this is true or just more fear-mongering?



Traveller
One more reason NOT to visit Mexico, our third-world nation to the south.



Mark M
Well if a visit to Mexico doesn't get you murdered or accused of being a murderer now you can come back with a super nasty flu!!! Why are we going to Mexico again? Cuba is sounding a lot safer!



Jessyy Gosbee
Of course we're going to need to keep an eye on this!

Just because we haven't had any serious cases REPORTED... who's to say someone isn't sitting at their home with "just a flu" that really is more??

It's time to go about this issue in a different way other then just telling people that we'll be fine in Canada because it's only been reported as MILD cases... that can change at any time... or could have already changed.. how would we know? Look into it...and raise awareness about traveling to Mexico!!!



Joshua in Ottawa
Interesting! "Swine flu" is an anagram for "We sinful".



Ron J.- Calgary
Yes Chicken Little, the sky is falling. Run out and buy your power generators and fill your houses with canned food. Just like you foolishly did for New Years 2000.



Gordon in Sarnia
The ill NY kids were in Mexico over Easter weekend - 14/15 days ago. Hummm......suggests incubation period is much longer.......no good for your recent Mex travellers.



rose
We had the flu 3 weeks ago . The worse we ever had! In the Vancouver area



Alicia Cameron, On
Canada is aware Health Canada is trying to keep the Country from going overboard, but we have a right to know the truth there have been 80 confirmed case of fatalities in Mexico, 20 cases of the illness in the United States and 6 in Canada. Are we in for another Pandemic that we had in 1918 that killed millions.. Canadians needs to know what we need to do incase a pandemic happens and how Health Canada is going to keeps our country safe as well as the financial help for being off sick or taking care of a loved one




NoFaithInHarper
Does anyone else think it is funny that it was only two days ago that the health minister announced "no swine flu in canada" and a day later we have cases popping up all over the country. How could they make such an irresponsible comment when common sense would tell you that someone would probably get it on a recent trip to mexico?



david sawkiw[saskatchewan farmer]
Yeah,, 'only the flu' until YOU get it ,, then you die.



tdgladwin
If you have any real concerns about swine flu check out the web page www.medicnenet.com/swine_flu/
and it will tell you all you have to know and why not to be in any type of panic it really is only the flu.
there is as some have posted an advisory on the who.int web site but it is more of a know all before you go advisory then a do not go one.But in any event all persons that think they may have had contact with any one with the flu or are havin any symptoms of the flu should visit their doctor to be on the save side.



Phillip-Going to Liberal Convention no matter what
Me and 10 Friends just got back from Mexico and will be attending the Liberal starting April 30th, I hope we are all feeling better by then, I think its just a cold we have, I hope.
As a same-sex activist I wouldn't miss the Liberal Convention for the World it is such a great place to meet people and I really like the Liberal youth, they are so enthusiatic.



Fog of Life
How come Canada always seems to get immeditaly have cases of these strange diseases? SARS and now this? What are we or our travellers doing wrong?



PB_Toronto
WoW even the flu bug is guilty of conspiracy and coverups...some people really need to get a life. Only buzzwords missing were "acountability" and "compensation". U forgot those ones Hiki!





Marg in Calgary
People just are not getting the message about travelling to Mexico. The only way to contain it is if people stop going there, and those that want to come here from there need to be checked out first before leaving the country.

Mexico is the last place I would go to anyway, given the violence that has been going on, the fiasco with Conquest Travel, and now this. And the appeal to travel there is.....?



Prof. Pye Chartt
WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!...WAIT...MAYBE NOT.

"At this point, we're not seeing severe cases like that occurring in Mexico. We're consistent with the United States where we're seeing very mild illness from the swine flu."
__________________

This must come as a "disappointment" to some of yesterday's alarmist posters who tried to get everybody whipped into a frantic, cliff-jumping frenzy with their Sesame Street knowledge of influenza, pandemics, and Mexican healthcare itself.

How about we deal with the straight facts as they evolve, folks, instead of bending and twisting limited information to make blind prognostications.

Lose your head if you want to, but I'm going to keep mine on for now.



Jeff
This is unfortunately one of the side effects of agriculture. Keeping swine/poultry in large numbers in close proximity most certainly guarantees a mutation that will jump to humans. What's the best thing you can do? Wash your hands regularly. It amazes me how many people don't do this on a regular basis, even after using a public restroom.



Mike, ON
When you think about the degree to which the world population and global travel have both increased dramatically in the past century, it seems that flu pandemics are becoming ever less destructive on an absolute basis and drastically less so on a per-capita basis.


"1918: The Spanish flu pandemic remains the most devastating outbreak of modern times - infecting up to 40% of the world's population and killing more than 50m people, with young adults particularly badly affected

1957: Asian flu killed two million people. Caused by a human form of the virus, H2N2, combining with a mutated strain found in wild ducks. The elderly were particularly vulnerable

1968: An outbreak first detected in Hong Kong, and caused by a strain known as H3N2, killed up to one million people globally, with those over 65 most likely to die"



I am Legend
At work, some of my professional colleagues don't wash their hands after visiting the washroom. Just the flu? We'll see what happens.



K
The swine flu and casualties will all depend on the countries it spreads to. In Mexico, India or some other high populated poor country it could be devastating.

I would be much more worried if there was a high casualty rate in a highly developed country.



Dave in Lanark
I'm no expert but bare with me. Right now I've got a flu like ailment or a horrible cold. In fact most of where I live have had, have or will have this. So if just one person who has this thing gets the so called mild form of the swine flu watch out. It will mutate, be extremely virulent and perhaps become a major killer. Every one who says it's just the flu has no idea what they are talking about. the flu is never "just the flu". Hang on kids, might be a rough ride, then again it might not.



BC mom
Go to bbc site click on Health read what the drs from mexico are saying.



Carolina Lagos
I'm a canadian residing in Queretaro, Mexico...and quite concerned with this situation. It seems that the information is vague in this particular state that's is only 3 hour drive from Mexico city, Schools were not cancelled here on friday, and tomorrow looks like bussines as usual, everyone here seems to think that this has been contained, and only affected the 2 neighbouring states. My question at this time would be why hasn't WHO done more to put a lid on this as quickly as possible considering how fast this is all transpiring? Also, Being from Toronto and having lived thru sars, makes me question our governments interest in it's citizens, shouldn't they do more to protect our lives, and what more does WHO need to wake up and take the next step. Mexico is a beautiful country, with wonderful people, however not very good at following rules, it only cost me $20 to buy out a cop if I get caught speeding. Something to think about when there is still hundreds of flights coming in from Mexico since Friday. Please wake up people this is nasty, and it's gonna get alot worse. I'm scared, and will not send my girls to school tomorrow...it's insane the being so close to Mexico city, the authorities have done nothing here in Queretaro!!!



Eileen25
Island Girl...the two cases in B.C. are on the lower mainland.



Greg
relax its on the flu



John The End
There will be wars and rumours of war. Plagues and pestilence. Disease and famine. But the end is not yet.



Munam
Its time to start screening in Pearson Airport and other airports through out Canada.As a precaution students returning from Mexico and attending school should be screened beore they start school. Foreign ministry should put alert message on website and advise travlers not to travel to Mexico until absolutely neccssary . SARS in Toronto was not a good experince . The Health ministry and the citizens have to act before its late.




Saskatchewan
I agree with David. Most of you are saying relax it's just a flu...until you get it and end up in the hospital you have nothing to worry about. If it was JUST a flu, then maybe you should explain that to that families of the 80 people who lost their lives from the little flu



Martin Ajax
Want to visit Mexico? You think that Health care in Mexico sucks, then read about their Justice system on CTV.ca latest W-Five article. And thanks God our Health care system works better then our Foreigner Affair Dep’t.



BC Wet Coaster
Didn't Leona Aglukkaq only two days ago say "no immediate threats to Canadians at this time"?

Another great example of the short-sidedness of our current government. This so reminds me of Flaherty's comments a few months back about no recession, then, oh, okay, we have a "technical recession". Maybe Aglukkaq can call this a "technical outbreak".

And for all of those who have posted "it's just the flu, relax" or something similar, the difference between this flu and the regular flu is that the mortality rate for this flue is several orders of magnitude higher. It kills people with completely healthy and functioning immune systems - not just those with weak or compromised immune systems.



Glamorous Mikey from Downtown Toronto
This is exactly why I am moving into my underground bunker by last year...to avoid the deadly swans and to be away from the flu-causing sun when the world ends in 2013. Relax, it's only the flu says my fortune/bank teller, but i dont believe.



Irene
Joshua, check your math - 80/1000 is not 8%. It's 0.8%. Less then 1%.



CYL
As Mexico is a popular worldwide vacation destination, a warning for Hand Washing and wearing masks should have been broadcast from the day of discovery. Prevention is better than cure, or being dead. Visiting your doctor is spreading unknowingly.
At least the symptoms were published but unless I watch the news all the time I would not have know about this new 'thing'. So, what about those who don't watch the news.



Jason
Holy cow people, get a grip already! This is hardly a "pandemic". Call me when hundreds are in isolation, thousands have died and we'll talk, this is nothing. You people are so quick to work yourselves into a frenzy over nothing that you panic over the slightest bit of bad news.

Go about your day, LIVE your life and stop worrying about what isn't there. When you cough, you don't have the flu people. Bunch of hypochondriacs we have on this boards, I'm ashamed of some of you people, RELAX.



Kerry in Oakville
This flu may cause a pandemic, but at least it so far isn't as lethal as avian influenza! I am not saying that that couldn't change, but if we have to have a pandemic, I'd rather one where I have a 92% chance of being just fine even if I do get it.

Plus, those cases in Mexico, were they treated with anti-virals? I'm guessing not.



SW OTTAWA
KERRI IN OAKVILLE;
Well put, totally agree;
I am figuring, that it being a mixture of strains, it will not be as lethal to humans; I agree, better that the pure avian flu, by all measures.
That being said, I still think dilligence, precautions and good old fashion adherence to excellent hygene, will help enable this awful bug to erradicate. Hopefully, according to the WHO, it will simply burn itself out, as it did in the 1970's.
Here's hoping.



Joe
The Mayan Calendar predicts the end as Dec. 21, 2012, The flu pandemic strikes Mexico city. Is this the start of the end?

Cue: foreboding music.

Sorry, just needed to stoke the flames.


Reece
@Eileen;

"Until we know exactly what we are dealing with, WHO should issue a restriction on travel to Mexico."

Why stop at Mexico? I remember your comment yesterday that specified Mexico only even though the USA is now reporting many deaths. Are you suggesting we shut down the borders to commerce and travel to Mexico and the USA? Are you going to say the same about Mexico and only Mexico tommorow even after deaths in the USA? This isn't region specific anymore. Like all flu's, it has to start somewhere.

Don't ask for the impossible. NOBODY will shut the borders down. It didn't happen during the SARS out-break and it definately will not happen with this one.

20,000 - 30,000 die from flu's every year.



Sandra from Montreal
It appears like they are saying cases OUTSIDE Mexico are mild cases. There seems to be a pattern there. Something in Mexico is making them more sick than those who leave.



Concerned Canadian
Irene- check your math- 80/1000 is 8%, not .8! (80/1000 reduces to 8/100 - 8%.)

Should we panic about this? Of course not. But those who claim that we needn't worry at all are equally wrong.

The flu is not the flu, in this case. The flu mutates, and every time it does, we run the risk of another global pandemic. The reason is that our immune systems are not prepared for many of these mutations - and some of them can be really nasty. If the 8% figure holds up, then this could lead to millions and millions of deaths.

The other thing that disturbs me is posters who point to other diverted near-disasters and reassure us that this will be the same. But the reason that many other disasters were averted in the first place is that people took them seriously and took action.

SARS is an excellent example. That was a potentially deadly outbreak that was only barely contained. Near misses are no reason to celebrate- they're reason for us to become more concerned, because they underscore our vulnerability.

All of these newly emerging diseases are what is known as Darwin's nightmare - the fact that ecosystems have evolved over millions of years in such a way that there are checks and balances built into the system.

Worldwide destruction of habitat and travel, however, allow pathogens to move out of their normal eco-niches and invade others that have no defenses. This is as true for viruses as it is for species. Look what happened in Australia with the introduction of rabbits. Go find out what happened with the Zebra mussel. Or with Carp introduced into African lakes.


Caroline
There are so many wonderful places around the world to visit but too many Canadians and Americans lack the creativity and depth to see beyond cheesy all-inclusive packages in Mexico catering to the uninspired traveller. You get what you pay for.

Caroline, Roblin, MB



Dyane in NW Ontario
After SARS and the Listeriosis outbreaks, it is very troubling to see Canadian Public Health Officials deny one day and acknowledge cases the next day. The BC cases were "mistyped", there's contradictions about whether the NS people had travelled or not to Mexico ?

I do not believe for a moment that the level of coordination and communication required between local, provincial and federal health care and health organizations are such that "we are well protected".

If this bumbling of confirmations is an example of "following the plans and the protocols that we have prepared in advance for an event like this", we are ill-prepared to deal with any healthcare threat.

And, by the way, if public health announcements such as these have to come from the Minister - there's a problem. It is not a political event. The message doesn't need to be "filtered" by the PMO's office.

I see the Public Health Agency and Health Canada's websites have not, as I write, been updated. According to those, there are still NO cases in Canada. Outbreaks don't take weekends off. Break the kitty, and get your people in. Again, it is an example of lack of coordination and communication.

Has nothing been learned? Good science, excellent coordination and communications are necessary to deal with emergencies.



KC
My wife is leaving Mexico City in the next few days and she is reporting that the death rates are coming down and people are starting to relax as most people today are walking She believes she herself was inflicted by it but it was towards the end of January and had all the symptoms of a classic flu with a 37c temperature.
People, consider this, hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of Mexicans have already contradicted this illness and have recovered. I believe this illness is coming to a close but since I'm no expert, don't take my word for it and take the precautions as directed.



Melissa
Can you say, blown out of proportion?



1918 pandemic also was just the flu
forty of fifty million people died





Michelle- Timmins
Personaly, I agree I think its going to kee on spreading ALL over the world, not sure why but i have a gut feeling they are keeping somethings from us and making things look better then they actually are.... people have it and dont even know it right now..its getting to more ppl as i speak, and so on and so on.....



Ken Laninga, Grande Prairie
I'm booked to vacation in Mexico in September and am trying very hard to get Travelocity to CANCEL the trip. Why run the risk? They are extremely UNCOOPERATIVE.
The Rest of the Story at http://www.sticksite.com/travelocity.html



island girl
To Irene:
Maybe you'd better check YOUR math. 80/1000=8/100=8%
Joshua is correct according to my tired old brain. (Too much reliance on calculators?)
By the way: Anyone know if the flu shot gives any protection or if any victims had the flu shot?



MarHea
I have no idea why people feel that a virus would discriminate between someone poor vs. someone rich. Population density is more of the factor. To say it's just the flu...how moronic...more people died from the flu in 1918 than in the First World War. As well to say that the number of deaths in Mexico is not that bad is truly inhuman. 80 plus deaths out of 1000 is an 8% death rate. If that rate were to be applicable to Calgary that would mean approximately, 80,000 people could potentially die (if every person was exposed of course). If you look at a 1918 graph chart of deaths in the three month period between Sept 4th and Nov 11, 1918 they increased from under 10,000 to more than 60,000. THREE MONTHS - JUST THE FLU! My other question is if this virus has DNA from the swine, avian and human influenza viruses, wouldn't that be a little scary for you? I'm not saying build a bomb shelter or anything, but at least get your head out of the sand.



Traveler
Mexico is one of the most beautiful countries that I have visited. The media's heyday is annoying. I returned from Mexico yesterday, and the images that show everyone in Mexico City wearing a mask are false. 1/200 people were, and it is not contracted though ventilation... 4000 people in Mexico City die of a flu virus each year - 22 have died from this flu. What a ridiculous way to panic Canadians and create news.



tim
What I find most entertaining about reading all these comments is how off-topic so many people get. Some politician always ends up gettin' kicked in the mouth. LOL

Some events in this world that poke humanity in the side are "nobody's" fault... why always the need to find someone to blame?



moore in winnipeg
Why is travelling allowed? The borders should all be shut down immediatly, but I think it is too late now.



Nancy - Tamiflu Anti-Viral available at Drug Store
Tamiflu an Anti Viral avaiable over the counter boosts immunity. During the Sars epidemic they pulled it off the shelf in case there was a run on it.
Good idea to keep some around the house, with air travel stuff spreads so quick now and flu always mutate.




J in NB
One thing that concerns me is that last month in Mexico there was a cluster of flu cases that sparked some curiosity within Mexico. Then starting in mid April a massive outbreak occurs kiling close to one hundred. I wonder if perhaps in a month we'll see a spike with similarly more serious results.



KCM
There are too many details that the general public do not know (like the health of the dead before they contracted this flu, what kind of medical attention did they receive...)

The flu does indeed kill thousands of people around the world every year. So far, this year was a relatively mild year in terms of influenza related illness and death.

The flu shot will not protect anyone that has this flu. The flu shot will only protect you against a couple different strains of flu, and even then it's not 100% protection or guaranteed. Viruses are CONSTANTLY mutating and the fact that people are freaking out because this is a "mutated version" is a little annoying...all viruses mutate all the time (hence why you have to get a new flu shot every year).

The most important thing to remember is HYGIENE. Wash your hands often, AND DO NOT COUGH OR SNEEZE INTO YOUR HANDS! Cough or sneeze into a tissue or at the very least the inside of your elbow (away from other people!).



NO
Remember when everyone got so concerned about SARS? Anyways, it's just a cycle. People get sick from something so a vaccine is made and then something new comes around because the old bug got distroyed. It's going to keep happening, the media will continue to keep blowing it out of proportion (that is their job after all) and people will freak out for a bit then realize it's no big deal.



Derek
If you have recently been to Mexico and have children, do us all a favor and keep your kids out of school for a week or two!
The last thing my kids need is to contract this flu because of disrespectful parents!



CC
I was wondering how long it would take someone to lay blame on the government, Wet Coaster. Yes two days ago, there WASN"T a threat. You must think that the cases around the world should have been known by OUR government as well, eh? This is a serious topic and no government is going to take it lightly. So why don't you get serious too, ok Wet Behind the Ears BC COaster!



US has declared public emergency.
Now the Harper government may take this disease outbreak seriously.

Never until US gives orders, though. Right, Harper?

Or is Harper not back in Canada yet?



Allen
Irene check your math
(80/1000)*100=8%



Bob Smith
Gotta love the usual "science is evil" crowd who use any article such as this to bash science in their usual right-wing nonsensical fashion.

Fact: It's not a pandemic yet, we all know that, but if a it's not dealt with properly in the early stages, it very well could be. Regardless of how badly the right-wingers want to use this opportunity to belittle science.

Fact: Hopefully it won't be a pandemic. Nothing worse than having a conservative "hate-science-because-it's-too-complicated" at the helm when something like this happens. Hopefully we can keep this at bay until the Liberals return with a majority in the fall - we need a PM who believes in science at the helm when this breaks loose.



Eileen25
@Reese

I maintain my opinion that if WHO had acted more quickly and monitored the planeloads of people coming and going to and from Mexico sooner, your comment "This isn't region specific anymore" would now probably be redundant.

By the way, I made no comment on Mexico yesterday.



TC
This Swine Flu can easily be a very wide-spread flu since it is so contagious to humans through air-borne transmittion. Practise your health-cautious measure------Wash your hand regularly.



Kimberly
It's just a slow news day people. Don't fall victim to the drama and panic. It's JUST a flu virus. Take care of yourself, wash your hands, stay home if you get sick and TURN OFF THE TV! This too shall pass.....



Elizabeth, Ontario
Why does PM Harper get blamed for everything? Take precautions - wash your hands often and thoroughly. Stay away from anyone who has recently visit Mexico. We all need to do our part to reduce the spread of this disease. If you've recently visited Mexico go see your doctor if you have any symptoms of cold or flu. Panic is not helping nor is blaming the PM!



Matt in Hfx
Is anyone else sick of the word pandemic? It's like the media can't wait for all of us to be taken out by some sweeping illness so they can have something to report.

And I'm pretty sure medicine in 1918 wasn't what it is in 2009.

I bet this will be over in a month or two.



Cambob
I may have the swine flu. Where's my bail out?



Joe Bideener
Oh my Lord, this is absolutely terrible. What will we do? I'm so afraid to leave my house. This is it, our demise - then end of the human race.
LOL



brainchild
yeah I love this..just like SARS...lets trust our government officials to handle this one just as well as they handled the SARS debacle. I especially enjoy the advice which even most adults don't follow let alone kids...wash your hands,use hand sanitizer, use common sense blahblah..the US declares a public health emergency while Canada washes their hands...nice!!



Nathan
Rather then sending out a "WATCH OUT" Media release, how about you people get together the facts of the Swine flu so that we know who should be worried, the severity of this strain, and what kind of vaccines or preventions can take place to fight off this flu outbreak!



Ted
The US has 20 confirmed cases of Swine flu and it is an emergency. Here, with one tenth the population, we have six and it is business as usual. Wouldn't it be a good idea to halt cross border travel to and from Mexico until we get a handle on the problem. Surely the people of Toronto haven't forgotten what happened the last time the system got last and the whole mess blew up in their faces.



Chris
Kirk: "Scotty...what's the matter?"
Scotty: "I dunno, Cap'n. Headache, fever runny nose. I dunno if I kin fixit."
Kirk: "Bones...what...is it?"
McCoy: "It's the flu, Jim."



Ann in Trenton
All I know is that I have been sick for seven days now, and counting. I hope no one else gets this and has to wonder if it is swine flu or not. "Just the flu" has left me with the worse sickness I've ever had in my 50 odd years. Yes, I did get the flu shot in the fall.



Doctor Doo Little
I have noticed many people spit on the streets and some of the spits are full of viruses. With Swine Flu already arrived to the shores of Canada, how do we promote or educate people from "spitting" on the streets? It is disgusting and so unclean.

We won’t spit while at home so why are these people openly spiting on the street, it is a sign of “no respect” for self and for our Country.




Dave
It's awesome when the media lights its hair on fire. Makes me take them seriously!



A Koster - BC
This flu is a combination of human, swine, and avian flu... never seen before and I would guess that the chances of it being naturally occurring are astronomical.
There's a huge difference between being prudent and panicking. The government preparedness plan has been going now for a couple of years and they
advise a 3 day stock of water, food, etc. The website is getprepared.ca
So you can do nothing as some are suggesting, or you can get a piece of security by having on hand what they suggest... not just for now but for any unforseen emergency... I don't see face masks in their lists so I'd consider adding those.




mr
I would bet more people are killed in Mexico in a day than the total killed by this bug. So why isnt the world worried about that? I will tell why it's Mexico and nobody cares about a third world country. Lets face it Mexico City has the population of Canada for crying out loud. When we have ONE city with 30 million then we can start to think different. For now live your life and take your chance when you travel this world. God knows it is only going toget worse. After all I am sure CNN will make us all hide in fear. Because they never lie.



MB Hoot Owl
When it comes to the probability of a worldwide pandemic, and the speed at which it will spread,
I have two words for you folks to ponder: AIRLINE TRAVEL. I worked for a company which overhauls aircraft for various domestic and international airlines. If ANY of you globe-trottin' critters had the slightest clue how little effort airlines actually put into cleaning the crud out of air circulation systems on their aircraft, you'd cancel your expensive vacations and never get on a plane again.

Stay tuned, folks.....this latest plague may or may not be fatal, but one thing is certain...the concept of geometric progression guarantees there's a helluva lot more cases out there....

PS. By the way, don't panic. If it's a pandemic, there's nothing you can do about it, anyway. Panic ruffles your plumage, and y'all look hysterically funny as tanned screeching feather dusters....




Andrew
In a matter of days we will no longer hear of this "crisis" Great way to control the public and to divert their attention by keeping the population living in fear



YouandMeTogether
I think we should quarantine any visitor to outside Canada until they can be checked by a health professional. How long do you think the that period would be, at least a lifetime. Just not possible. And all those blaming the government and in particular the health minister, They can only report what then know. In this day and age they could get thousands of reports within a day or two of getting none. This is not the only virus they are tracking.

I just fail to see how any of this global outbreak is the government's fault. Canada does not control the world people.



Jordan form BC
This is something to worry about to say the least. As a commenter below said, "It's only the flu, until you get it." I hope this thing can be stopped.



YouandMeTogether
Bob Smith - to name call and intimate that conservatives in society are to blame for this is just plain idiotic. Nor are they the only ones that are saying stay calm. It simply tells everyone that you are much more intelligence adverse that those you claim have none.



dbeale
why do all the reports fail to state where in Mexico the sufferers of this flu had been. Mexico is a big place.
Had everybod visited Mexcio City or had some been to other places and why can we not know where this places are?




T, mtl
Ok, people seriously need to relax. Yes we must close all the borders at once, c'mon, honestly thats just ridiculous.

You cant say that is just the flu, it might begin to be a problem, but its not a pandemic.

And why wouldnt you travel to Mexico?? Ive been there maybe 10 times and it is a really beautiful country with nice people and I never came back sick or was convicted for murder, some people are really ridiculous, it amazes me lool.

Btw those who died in Mexico waited to long to see a doctor, by the time they went to the hospital, they were taken straight to ICU and already had pneumonia.



The Pinch
You don't need a vaccine. You need Valium.

It's a matter of probability that a nasty version of flu will emerge somewhere, somehow, from a human, a pig, or an anthill, for that matter.

It's also a matter of fact that nasty flus tend to crop up during a change in the weather - spring and fall.

Most new flus have never been seen before - because they are new. It takes time to develop a vaccine, and we should not be dependent on one.

The symptoms described are classic nasty flu symptoms that will morph into pneumonia if not treated properly. This is not news.

People are in a flap about what to do about doctors, travel arrangements, someone's brother in law, and that old standby, the government conspiracy.

Why not use some common sense? Wash your hands. Keep kleenex on you. Cover your mouth when you yawn (please). And remember that excess worry can depress an immune system.





Do not be fooled
keep those drug people down in Mexico and the flu bug will be here very fast if people keep going there. Just the flu people have you seen anyone die from the flu,don't worry if you get it----just the flu.



Rob
Rob, yes, it's the flu. It's the flu that has killed 86 people and closed my kids school here in Mexico. Thousands have become ill from it in the last 4 days here, and thousands more have had mild cases and managed to pass it on to others whohad serious cases. Rob, it is a big deal. Believe me! I'm watching it unfold in front of my own eyes, I hope you don't have to see what I see.



Chris
Should I come out of my bunker now? Seriously folks - with 30,000 children dying every single day from hunger and preventable diease, we're worrying about the flu?

If only we took the time to look past ourselves and into an already hurting world, we would see that this is the least of our problems.



When a country becomes a city...
One bad sardine makes the whole package bad!

Crammed cities are produced by the inordinate land ownership laws and borders. A border is good for some protection, but not ALL protection results, unless closed tight shut and even that.

All cities are a breading ground for problems after problems.



To Irene - Check YOUR math
8/1000 is 8% NOT 0.08%



Rob
Irene, honestly, check your math....... 80 out of 100 is %80. 80 out of 1000 is %8. Nice try!!!



Ekup
I sure hope this flu stays out of Toronto,otherwise they will have to call in the army and the Rolling Stones.If it stays out of Toronto we won't have to worry about it because it will not be news worthy.



 

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