What every emergency physician needs to know about swine flu today*
By Amesh Adalja, MD
*This article is adapted from the author’s earlier report in the Clinician’s Biosecurity Network, available at http://www.upmc-cbn.org/report_archive/2009/04_April_2009/04-09_Swine_Flu_2009/cbnreport_SF1_4-24-09_AM.html
On April 21, 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an MMWR Dispatch describing 2 cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) infection that occurred in Southern California in April. While both patients recovered uneventfully, the isolated viruses harbor novel genetic characteristics not seen in swine flu isolates in the U.S. prior to this event. The other striking feature of these cases is that there was no known contact with swine, raising the question of efficient human-to-human transmission of this virus  Subsequent investigation has uncovered 40 additional cases in the United States—all of whom have recovered uneventfully—and reports of severe morbidity and mortality in Mexico. Several other countries including Canada, Scotland, and Spain are reporting confirmed cases.
Why the Emergency Physician Should Know about Swine Flu
As with all emerging infectious diseases, emergency physicians are likely to find themselves on the front line contronting swine flu. It is vital that they be informed with the best information when confronting this potentially deadly virus.
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