Saturday 4 July 2009


While you were sleeping, the Bear was watching. Not saying, just watching.

Now, time to talk.

Over the last two days, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported almost 13,000 new cases of a/H1N1 Influenza, and 50 more deaths. That's in just two days. Total recorded infections world-wide are about 90,000, with 382 deaths.

If we're at 6,500 new cases a day right now, we could well see 10,000 new cases a day by August or September.

But there is good news. It came at a meeting of officials from Canada, Mexico and the U.S., held in Cancun, Mexico on July 2nd. The speaker was Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the WHO. Here are some excerpts from her speech.

• "We have seen some social disruption, especially when schools and camps have to close, bringing added demands on parents and their employers. Most health systems have coped well, though some have reported some strains on staff, hospital beds, laboratories and resources."

"The overwhelming majority of patients experience mild symptoms and make a full recovery within a week, often in the absence of any form of medical treatment." (Emphasis mine.)

If you want more information, Dr. Chan's speech is available on the WHO web site. It is worth the read, if you're interested in keeping up on the details -- which could save your life.


  1. Rob thank goodness someone is stating what is going on in real language.

    Renee xoxo

  2. Plenty of it around here, I have noticed lately. Thanks for the heads up.xx♥

  3. "Between the extremes of panic and complacency lies the solid ground of vigilance."
    I read the speech - thank you for the link - and it makes a lot of sense.

  4. ® Hi, Renee: Thanks for dropping by, and your comment about putting things in "real language." That's important for everyone.

    ® Natsy: Things are heating up a bit in Australia -- that's not the weather. So far, 4,500 confirmed cases (9 deaths); with about 500 of those cases (and 2 deaths) in the last few days.

    ® Pondside: Welcome to the Bear's den. I saw that line in the speech and was going to quote it, but forgot (sleepy ol' Bear). Thanks for picking up that bit. Very important.

  5. Hi Rob-bear,

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I enjoyed my visit and just love your Avatar bear and your blog.
    The H1N1 Influenza is scary. Over here in NZ there have been 3 deaths which is awful. One of the guys did smoke cigarettes and had other problems I read in the newspaper.
    Stay well


  6. Deaths over here have been people with other serious medical problems, not sure whether to worry or not...MH

  7. ® Carolyn: Thanks so much for dropping by -- I had fun visiting you and your bees. Bears do love hunny!

    ® MH: Thanks you also for taking time to visit and read.

    Note to both of you: at this point in this flu cycle, most of the people who have died (among those about whom I have read) have been those with "underlying health problems." The challenge is that this flu bug is apparently changing a bit -- antiviral drugs which worked initially are no longer (particularly) effective. No hitting the panic button yet, but Dr. Chan was right -- we need to keep our eyes clearly focused on this.

  8. Glad to see a good blog get good readers. "Wash your hands" is a bandaid on a bullet wound. As we do our thing throughout the day, opening doors, unpacking groceries that were packed by strangers, we are constantly touching our faces. So you come home and wash your hands....and close the barn door after the horse is long gone.

  9. ® Hand washing works well, if you do it REGULARLY. If your working at home, you're much less in need of it than if you're out and about.

    If you're out and about, and shaking lots of peoples' hands, it might be worthwhile to carry some hand sanitizer, and put a bit on your hands from time to time. That's also a very effective solution.

  10. This flu is no more severe - in fact, in most cases, rather less so - than seasonal flu. In the vast majority of deaths (it may even be all of them) here in Britain, there has been some underlying medical problem. I refuse to worry!

  11. Did the 50 more deaths all occur in the two day period or was that just when they were confirmed as being related to this strain of virus? With 382 deaths today, having 50 in two days seems disproportionate...?

    As I understand it, the medical professionals here are no longer routinely testing whether a patient with relevant symptoms is actually infected by H1N1 if they are managing the symptoms. I was horrified to learn that a friend with a five year old daughter who spent the first few months of her life undergoing multiple heart operations, the first few years of her life hooked up to support equipment and who has recently developed asthma, was suffering what the parents believed to be H1N1 but they were not able to get her tested because she was coping well and managing her symptoms. Her parents were actually quite calm and did not feel the need to have her tested but sheesh! considering her age and medical history I was really surprised. I guess that reflects on the extremes of panic and complacency quote.

    Thanks for your updates on all of this, Rob-bear!


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