Daily Archives: April 28, 2009

Swine flu outbreak continues to grow in U.S. and internationally

[Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] — The human swine flu outbreak continues to grow in the United States and internationally.  Today, CDC reports additional cases of confirmed swine influenza and a number of hospitalizations of swine flu patients.  Internationally, the situation is more serious too, with additional countries reporting confirmed cases of swine flu.  In response to the intensifying outbreak, the World Health Organization raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 4.  A Phase 4 alert is characterized by confirmed person-to-person spread of a new influenza virus able to cause “community-level” outbreaks.”  The increase in the pandemic alert phase indicates that the likelihood of a pandemic has increased.

U.S. Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection

As of 11:00 AM ET on April 28, the CDC has confirmed 64 human cases of swine flu infection in the United States:

  • California: 10 cases
  • Kansas: 2 cases
  • New York City: 45 cases
  • Ohio: 1 case
  • Texas: 6 cases

Yesterday, CDC issued a travel warning recommending that people avoid non-essential travel to Mexico.  CDC continues to issue interim guidance daily on the website and through health alert network notices.  CDC’s Division of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is releasing one-quarter of its antiviral drugs, personal protective equipment, and respiratory protection devices to help states respond to the outbreak.  The swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is susceptible to the prescription antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir.  This is a rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated guidance and new information as it becomes available.  For more information, see the CDC Swine Flu website.

International Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection

For information about investigation into cases outside the United States, see the World Health Organization website.

What You Can Do to Stay Healthy

There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.  Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.  Germs spread that way.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

For more information on what you can to stay safe and healthy, check the CDC Swine Flu website.

Additional Updates on the CDC Swine Flu Website

To learn about other updates made to the CDC Swine Flu Website in the past 24 hours, please check the “What’s New” page on the CDC Swine Flu website.

Viewpoint: How to drive in Phoenix, Arizona

Okay, this is one of those chain e-mails from a friend.  But it’s all about Phoenix.  Which is what we communicate here.  And we can’t be serious all of the time, right?  So here goes: How to drive in Phoenix, Arizona…

  1. “Phoenix ” actually consists of Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Glendale, and half of border with Mexico.
  2. The morning rush hour is from 5 a.m. to Noon.  The evening rush hour is from Noon to 9 p.m. Friday’s rush hour starts on Thursday morning.
  3. The minimum acceptable speed on most freeways is 85 mph.  On Loop 101, your speed is expected to match the highway number.  Anything less is considered “Wussy.”
  4. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere.  Phoenix has its own version of traffic rules.  For example, cars/trucks with the loudest muffler go first at a four-way stop; the trucks with the biggest tires go second.  However, East Valley, SUV-driving, cell phone-talking moms ALWAYS have the right of way.
  5. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear ended.
  6. Never honk at anyone.  Ever.  Seriously.  It’s an offense that can get you shot.
  7. Road construction is permanent in Phoenix.  Detour barrels are moved around for your entertainment pleasure during the middle of the night to make the next day’s driving a bit more exciting.
  8. Watch carefully for road hazards such as drunks, dogs, barrels, cones, cats, mattresses, shredded tires, rabbits, vultures, javelinas, roadrunners, and the coyotes feeding on any of these items.
  9. Maricopa Freeway, Papago Freeway, and the “I-10” are the same road.  SR202 is the same road as The Red Mountain FWY.  Dunlap and Olive are the same street too.  Jefferson becomes Washington, but they are not the same street.  I-17 is also called The Black Canyon Freeway as well as The Veterans Memorial Highway. The SR 51 was renamed to Piestewa Freeway because Squaw Peak Parkway was too easy to pronounce.  SR 101 is also the Pima FWY except west of I-17, which is also The Black Canyon FWY, and The Veterans Memorial HWY.  Lastly, Thunderbird Rd. becomes Cactus Rd. but, Cactus Rd. doesn’t become Thunderbird Rd. because it dead ends at a mountain.
  10. If someone actually has their turn signal on, wave them to the shoulder immediately to let them know it has been “accidentally activated.”
  11. If you are in the left lane and only driving 70 in a 55-65 mph zone, you are considered a road hazard and will be “flipped off” accordingly.  If you return the flip, you’ll be shot.
  12. For summer driving, it is advisable to wear potholders on your hands.

Phoenix’s Tres Rios wetlands project gains federal stimulus funding

street map depiction of Tres Rios Wetlands east of 91 Ave. and south of Broadway Rd. The site is north of the Salt River and south of the 91 Ave. Wastewater Treatment Plant.[Source: City of Phoenix] — Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced federal stimulus dollars for the city of Phoenix.  The Corps is committing $36.4 million for additional construction at the Tres Rios environmental restoration project.  The project will restore the ecosystem in this 8-mile reach of the Salt River, including re-establishment of native vegetation and wildlife habitat.  The wetlands will work in conjunction with a regional wastewater treatment plant that currently services about 2 million residents in the Phoenix metropolitan area.  Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon stated, “We are thankful to the Army Corps of Engineers for recognizing the importance of this project and to Congressman Ed Pastor (D-AZ 4th) for his help and support.”

The additional funding means that work will continue on what will someday total 380 acres of wetlands, riparian habitat, and trails at Tres Rios.  When completed, the project will be a multi-purpose environmentally effective way to treat wastewater, which is sustainable and more cost effective than traditional treatment methods.  The source water for Tres Rios is highly treated wastewater from the 91st Avenue wastewater treatment plant which is located on the northern bank of the Salt River.  ”Three hundred eighty six jobs will be maintained or created due to this funding, so we are not only able to continue with this critically important project, but keep people at work as well,” said Councilman Claude Mattox, chairman of the National League of Cities’ Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Advocacy Committee.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District Commander, Colonel Thomas Magness said today, “We will do some remarkable work and employ a whole lot of people.  So everyone, get your hard hats ready.”