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Flu + La Nina = Pandemic? 105

New submitter MrEricSir writes with some scary speculation from a BBC article about the confluence of climate and disease: "A correlation between illness and cold weather is nothing new but this one is very specific: La Nina changes the migratory patterns of birds which can (and often does, according to this theory) cause flu pandemics."

WHO Declares H1N1's Spread Officially a Pandemic 368

juggledean writes "The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global flu pandemic after holding an emergency meeting, according to reports. It means the swine flu virus is spreading in at least two regions of the world with rising cases being seen in the UK, Australia, Japan and Chile." Whether it's called a pandemic or not, there's a hopeful note in the story about H1N1's spread: "...there were people who believed we might be in a kind of apocalyptic situation and what we're really seeing now with H1N1 is that in most cases the disease is self-limiting."

New Flu Strain Appears In the US and Mexico 315

Combat Wombat writes with this excerpt from Reuters: "A strain of flu never seen before has killed up to 60 people in Mexico and also appeared in the United States, where eight people were infected but recovered, health officials said on Friday. Mexico's government said at least 20 people have died of the flu and it may also be responsible for 40 other deaths. [The government] shut down schools and canceled major public events in Mexico City to try to prevent more deaths in the sprawling, overcrowded capital. ... Close analysis showed the disease is a mixture of swine, human and avian viruses, according to the CDC. Humans can occasionally catch swine flu from pigs but rarely have they been known to pass it on to other people. Mexico reported 1,004 suspected cases of the new virus, including four possible cases in Mexicali on the border with California.

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