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Swine flu subject of today’s breakfast

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POSTED August 26, 2009 2:51 a.m.

RIPON — Louise Nan’s continuing series of “Breakfast with the Superintendent” promises to focus on the potential for Novel H1N1 swine flu strain that may hit the Ripon Unified School District in the fall.

The 7 a.m. breakfast today is open to members of the public and is held at the Barnwood Restaurant in Ripon lasting about an hour in an informal “think tank” chat about what’s best for kids in education as well as looking at the future of Ripon’s school district.

The Novel H1N1 is a new influenza virus that was first detected in the U.S. in April.  It has been spreading from person to person worldwide similar to the regular seasonal influenza viruses progression.

On June 11 the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that a pandemic of the new strain was underway.  Every 100 years there are two to three pandemics reported as worldwide outbreaks.  The reported swine flu cases in Florida alone are now over 3,500.

Scientists are calling the new strain a “quadruple reassortment” virus because it contains two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia, bird or avian genes and human genes as well.  

The virus was first referred to as “swine flu” due to laboratory testing that showed many of the genes in the new virus were similar to influenza viruses usually found in pigs in North America.

The symptoms reported in the Novel H1N1 virus include fever, sore throat, cough runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. 

There have been a significant number of flu patients who have also reported diarrhea and vomiting.

In Florida alone there have been over 3,500 cases reported as of this week.

The illness has ranged from mild to severe cases and most have recovered without needing medical treatment, however hospitalization and deaths have occurred from the virus.

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