Maryland-ers Quarantined!

A group of students and teachers from my home state, Maryland, have been quarantined in a hotel in China because a passenger on their flight to China was suspected of having the swine flu. “School officials have been told the quarantine will end tomorrow evening, leaving the students one day to tour China before their return flight Sunday.”  This is probably pretty disappointing for those kids.

Though the swine flu news seems to have quieted down (temporarily I believe, at least until the winter), China is taking it extremely seriously:

“…throwing several thousand foreigners and Chinese nationals into quarantine facilities for having little more than a cough, runny nose or slight temperature and having been in contact with someone with a suspected case of swine flu. Some public health experts say its aggressive measures to deal with a possible pandemic — devised after China’s slow and secretive response to the deadly SARS virus in 2003 was blamed for spreading the respiratory disease — should serve as a model for other countries. Statistically speaking, China’s efforts have been an amazing success this time around. Of a total of 13,400 confirmed infections worldwide, only 14 have been in China, though nearly a fifth of the world’s population lives within its borders.”

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Updates

A school in Rockville, Maryland has been closed due to a suspected swine flu case that appears to have been acquired in the community.

“In all the other cases, the patient had some link to a person who had recently traveled to Mexico, where the disease seems to have begun. But in this case, officials said, neither the student nor his immediate family had traveled recently, which makes it more worrisome…”

The number of possible swine flu cases at the Harvard Dental School has risen to 9.

8 students at Amherst College have been isolated due to possible infection.

A man in the UK has been confirmed as the first person to have contracted the virus without visiting Mexico.

Around 300 people staying at a hotel in Hong Kong have been quarantined after a guest was confirmed to have the swine flu.

The CDC says it’s “good news” that this current strain lacks the genes of the 1918 virus that was so deadly, but the fact that “the new virus is a very unusual four-way combination of human genes and genes from swine viruses found in North America, Asia and Europe” does not make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

People are still wearing those ridiculous masks around as if they help.  They only really help if you’re sick in not spreading around all the germs that come out of your mouth.

Tonight seems like a good night for zombie movies.

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