The US Department of Agriculture announced that a cheetah in a California zoo and turkeys at a Virginia turkey farm have tested positive for swine flu. A worker on the Virginia farm who was ill with swine flu is believed to have passed it to the turkeys.
Meanwhile, as the Aulacese (Vietnamese) Ministry of Health reports the fifth death from bird flu in 2009, global health officials continue to be highly concerned about the potential for bird and swine flu to merge.
This combination could cause higher infectiousness and lethality, a risk that increases as the viruses pass from one species to another. Swine flu mutations within humans have been occurring as well, with one such new strain having been found in individuals in Norway,France, and now Italy. Two patients with these
new strains succumbed to the disease last week.
Pandemic-caused deaths have risen to more than 50 in Scotland, United Kingdom, while fatalities reported in Canada are at 329, 163 in Colombia, and 600 in India. In China, the official death toll tripled over 14 days to 178 Children in the United States continue to die at an alarming rate of 198 losses so far, more than double the highest annual pediatric toll due to seasonal flu.
There are about 3,900 total US fatalities estimated. Globally, the reported swine flu death toll has reached 11,582. However, experts say this represents a mere fraction of the actual figure. We pray for the victims and families affected by this long-drawn pandemic.
May we quickly realize that meat production threatens human health in such unacceptable, costly ways and adopt the cleanest, immune-supporting plant-based diet.