Supreme Court Justice Souter To Retire

from NPR

April 30, 2009 · NPR has learned that Supreme Court Justice David Souter is planning to retire at the end of the court’s current term.

The court has completed hearing oral arguments for the year and will be issuing rulings and opinions until the end of June.

Souter, 69, is said to be ready to leave Washington, DC and retire to his home in New Hampshire.

This will be the first Supreme Court appointment for President Obama, with another appointment expected with the probable retirement of Justice Ruth Ginsberg, who is recovering from cancer.

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Obama staffer is “probable” for swine flu

WASHINGTON (AP) – A member of the U.S. delegation that helped prepare Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s trip to Mexico City has demonstrated flu-like symptoms and his family members have tested probable for swine flu.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Thursday that three members of an aide’s family are being tested to see if they have the same strain of swine flu that is threatening to become a pandemic. The aide worked in presidential advance, which is responsible for planning and preparing trips.

and more prom Politico

The White House is issuing a health advisory outlining “protective measures” for anyone who traveled on President Barack Obama’s trip to Mexico, after a member of the U.S. delegation came down with flu-like symptoms – and tests on his family showed they’re probably infected with the swine flu.

The individual has been identified as an advance staffer for Energy Secretary Stephen Chu.  It appears that the individual infected his wife, son, and nephew.

According to WH spokesman Robert Gibbs, President Obama has not exhibited any symptoms of flu.

h/t conservative express

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Houston toddler spent day at the mall

A mystery of sorts involving the 23 month old from Mexico who died in a Houston hospital has been solved.

“There is a three-and-a-half day gap no one is accounting for,” said Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos.  “We need to look at the possibility that he may have contracted this somewhere either en route to Houston or in Houston somewhere,” said Cascos.


San Antonio Express-News is reporting that  the “toddler who became the first swine-flu death on U.S. soil spent a day with his family shopping at a huge Houston indoor mall the day before he began to show symptoms.”

Update:

Houston Chronicle has the timeline

Here’s a timeline of the toddler’s whereabouts, according to Cascos.

April 3 – Child arrives with mother and three brothers at the Matamoros airport. The family crosses Gateway International Bridge to Brownsville, and stays with mother for two nights at Staybridge hotel in Brownsville.

April 5 – Family members, including an aunt, mother, and three brothers travel to Houston. According to Cascos, the aunt and mother had medical appointments there. The group eats out and goes shopping at the Galleria.

April 8 – Group returns to Brownsville, child falls ill

April 13 – Child admitted to Brownsville hospital, then to Texas Children’s the next day.

April 27 – Child dies in Houston.


Swine Flu, Pregnancy and Fertility

Here is an interesting article by Colette Bouchez that I saw over at NowPublic.

Naturally, this article is of particular interest to me, as young Nuke Jr. and his bride are expecting their first in early September.  (P.S.  sonograms say it’s a boy…. Nuke III, maybe?)

If flu occurs, here are the recommendations …

The first is to control your fever.The March of Dimes recommends acetaminophen (Tylenol) but talk to your doctor first to make certain it’s okay for you. You should also try to keep your body as cool as possible with cold compresses, and drink plenty of fluids. Pregnancy is not the time to “sweat out ” a fever.

Second is continue to take your prenatal vitamins – particularly 1000 mcg of folic acid. Studies conducted at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities in England, found that women who took a multi vitamin high in folic acid during pregnancy decreased their baby’s risk of birth defects, even if they ran a fever while pregnant.


And the use of the antivirals, tamiflu and relenza?

… it’s important to note that there have not been any cases of birth defects or other serious health concerns linked to the use of these drugs in pregnant women who have used them.

All good to know.  Thanks Colette.

Mexico to shut government in flu fight

MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s government is suspending all nonessential activity of the federal government and private business as the number of confirmed swine flu cases jumped.

The decision came as global health authorities warned Wednesday that swine flu was threatening to bloom into a pandemic, and the virus spread farther in Europe even as the outbreak appeared to stabilize at its epicenter. A toddler who succumbed in Texas became the first death outside Mexico.

Baby can you dig your man?

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Captain Trips roundup

Here’s a collection of recent links about the hybrid flu …

New information about where the toddler who died in Houston from the swine flu visited before his death.

“There is a three-and-a-half day gap no one is accounting for,” said Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos.  “We need to look at the possibility that he may have contracted this somewhere either en route to Houston or in Houston somewhere,” said Cascos. “We don’t think it was in Brownsville.”


Central New York high school student tests positive for swine flu

The Fabius-Pompey Central School District is closing Thursday and Friday as a precaution after a female high school student who recently traveled to Mexico tested positive for swine flu.

The student lives in Cortland County and is one of three possible human swine flu cases reported earlier this week by the Cortland Health Department.



A Cal State Long Beach student received a “probable positive” test result for swine flu.

The Long Beach Health Department informed the university of the affected student late Tuesday, and early Wednesday morning CSULB Beach President F. King Alexander sent a campus-wide e-mail with information about the student, symptoms of swine flu and a hotline for anyone to call if they have any questions specific to swine flu.

The student who may have been infected lived in the Los Alamitos residence hall. The roommate of the possibly infected student has been moved to a different room where he or she will remain until further notice.



Three probable swine flu cases in state, two in city (Milwaukee, WI)

Officials announced Wednesday evening at least two probable cases of swine flu have been identified in Milwaukee with a third case in Adams County in central Wisconsin.

In Milwaukee, officials said four city schools will be closed through the end of the week.


Suspected H1N1 Flu Case Reported at California Marine Base

The Marine Corps commandant today confirmed a suspected case of what the U.S. Homeland Security Council now is calling H1N1 flu, but has been known as “swine flu,” at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.

A male Marine reported to a medical clinic on base over the weekend complaining of flu-like symptoms. Initial test results indicate the H1N1 virus, and the service is waiting for further results from testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Marine Corps Gen. James T. Conway said.


Will NorthCom take over in Swine Flu Outbreak?

The swine flu outbreak raises a lot of fears.

Here’s one you might not have thought of yet: The Pentagon may be taking over more and more of our civil society in this crisis.

[editor's note:  cue spooky music]


9 Probable Cases of Swine Flu in Illinois

Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Illinois Department of Public Health Director, announced there are currently nine probable cases of swine flu in Illinois: five in Cook County (all within the Chicago city limits), one in DuPage County, two in Kane County and one in Lake County.


8th Case of Swine Flu Reported in San Diego

“There are now eight cases of human infection with swine influenza A (H1N1) in San Diego County,” Health & Human Services Agency spokesman Tom Christensen said.


Maryland health officials identify 6 probable swine flu cases

Maryland health officials have identified six probable cases of swine flu in the state.

Three affected individuals reside in Baltimore County and three in Anne Arundel County.


Should swine flu get a new name?

The Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said the virus was not swine flu.

“The virus has not been isolated in animals to date. Therefore, it is not justified to name this disease swine flu,” the OIE said.

The virus “includes in its characteristics swine, avian and human virus components”, the OIE said, and urged that it be called “North American influenza”, after its geographic origin.

Soldier’s letters give first-hand look at Spanish flu pandemic

With fears of a swine flu pandemic rising daily, CNN Pentagon producer Larry Shaughnessy remembered a batch of letters from his grandfather, a World War I soldier who battled the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1919.


Nevada: Swine flu patient didn’t travel

A Washoe County official says the 2-year-old Reno girl diagnosed with the first case of swine flu in Nevada does not appear to have traveled to areas of the country where other cases have been diagnosed.

Dr. Randall Todd, state epidemiologist, said during a press conference Wednesday, that another family member is ill as well.

Mayhap it is, and mayhap it ain’t

WHO has raised the Pandemic Threat Level from the hybrid flu to Level 5.

“All countries should immediately now activate their pandemic preparedness plans, Dr Chan said. “This is a signal to governments, the pharmaceutical industry and business community to take action.”  source

This is serious stuff.  It will get worse.  Plan on it.  Prepare for it.

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