How Many People Have Died of Swine Flu So Far?


A member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has dismissed claims that more than 150 people have died from swine flu, saying it has officially recorded only seven deaths around the world.

Vivienne Allan, from WHO’s patient safety program, said the body had confirmed that worldwide there had been just seven deaths – all in Mexico – and 79 confirmed cases of the disease.
Sydney’s swine scared arrivals

Face masks are worn by some at Sydney Airport, but many say strict new swine flu precautions are in reality ‘low key’.

“Unfortunately that [150-plus deaths] is incorrect information and it does happen, but that’s not information that’s come from the World Health Organisation,” Ms Allan told ABC Radio today.

“That figure is not a figure that’s come from the World Health Organisation and, I repeat, the death toll is seven and they are all from Mexico.”

Ms Allan said WHO had confirmed 40 cases of swine flu in the Americas, 26 in Mexico, six in Canada, two in Spain, two in Britain and three in New Zealand.

Egypt Orders Slaughter of all Pigs Over Swine Flu

Overreact much?

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt began slaughtering the roughly 300,000 pigs in the country Wednesday as a precaution against swine flu even though no cases have been reported here, infuriating farmers who blocked streets and stoned vehicles of Health Ministry workers who came to carry out the government’s order.

The measure was a stark expression of the panic the deadly outbreak is spreading around the world, especially in poor countries with weak public health systems. Egypt responded similarly a few years ago to an outbreak of bird flu, which is endemic to the country and has killed two dozen people.

At one large pig farming center just north of Cairo, scores of angry farmers blocked the street to prevent Health Ministry workers in trucks and bulldozers from coming in to slaughter the animals. Some pelted the vehicles with rocks and shattered their windshields and the workers left without killing any pigs.

Ferris Bueller’s Fight Club

The Fight Club theory of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off:

My favorite thought-piece about Ferris Bueller is the “Fight Club” theory, in which Ferris Bueller, the person, is just a figment of Cameron’s imagination, like Tyler Durden, and Sloane is the girl Cameron secretly loves.

One day while he’s lying sick in bed, Cameron lets “Ferris” steal his father’s car and take the day off, and as Cameron wanders around the city, all of his interactions with Ferris and Sloane, and all the impossible hijinks, are all just played out in his head. This is part of the reason why the “three” characters can see so much of Chicago in less than one day — Cameron is alone, just imagining it all.

It isn’t until he destroys the front of the car in a fugue state does he finally get a grip and decide to confront his father, after which he imagines a final, impossible escape for Ferris and a storybook happy ending for Sloane (“He’s gonna marry me!”), the girl that Cameron knows he can never have.

(via Gerry Canavan)

The Dalai Lama in Harvard Square

I know that he’s in the square because I almost got hit by his motorcade as it was dropping him off at The Charles Hotel. I was walking to JFK park to read (halfway through The Kindly Ones fyi) and about to cross the street when a motorcycle cop told me to stop (the walk light was green but I failed to notice Ponch stopping all traffic because I was on the cell to Mrs. C). I stepped back onto the sidewalk and a parade of motorcycle cops and black SUV’s with the Dalai Lama in one rushed by to The Chuck. I told Mrs. C that I had to go because the Dalai Lama had just almost run me down and I wanted to use my cellphone to get some pictures to which she replied “You don’t have to insult me by making up stupid stories if you don’t want to finish this conversation.”

Here’s a picture of people standing outside greeting the Lama as he goes into the hotel. I didn’t get a better picture because I was too busy trying to make up a more plausible story to Mrs. C as the Lama was fleeing the scene. (This guy is always running from something)