Swine flu outbreak causes global concern

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine flu outbreak causes global concern

An outbreak of swine flu that started in Mexico appears poised to spread across the globe, with confirmed cases in California, Texas, Ohio and New York. The possibility of a pandemic is causing worldwide concern. The Center for Disease Control joins The Takeaway to talk about what you need to know to stay healthy. Also joining the discussion is epidemiologist Dr. Richard Wenzel, immediate past President of the International Society for Infectious Diseases and Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, for a look at the the flu, the symptoms, and how we, and the government, should respond.

The Takeaway then turns to Ioan Grillo, Mexico Correspondent for Time Magazine, for look at how Mexico is responding to this health crisis.
"We saw this with avian flu. Primarily young people with what was called cytokine storm, a storm of our own reaction to the virus. So it's possible that that's what's going on in Mexico."
—Dr. Richard Wenzel on the outbreak of swine flu

Ever wonder how the CDC works? It's exactly like this:



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Highlights and lowlights of the NFL draft

The NFL Draft took place this weekend. The focus was on the big spending Detroit Lions, who after going 0 and 16 last season, ponied up a guaranteed $41.7 million for Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford. Also making headlines? The New York Jets, who traded with Cleveland (whose coach they fired in January) to move up to the fifth spot to take Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez. Blogger and Takeaway contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin joins The Takeaway with his thoughts on these and other draft picks.

See what Matt Stafford has to say about being the first pick in the video below.

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The Takeaway checks in with enterpreneur Jim Svetz and student Jesse Acosta

This week we’re marking The Takeaway's one-year anniversary by checking in the people who have been, in many ways, the backbone of the show. We’re not talking about the newsmakers, we’re talking about the folks who have been living the news. From the plummeting economy to the Presidential election, we’re returning to those who gave these big national headlines a very real and personal voice. We’re kicking off the conversation with entrepreneur Jim Svetz. We first met him last September. He was the CEO of Muddy Cup, a small coffee house franchise in upstate New York. He was dealing with hostile bankers, an uneasy partner, and customers who had financial jitters. And back then economists weren’t even confident that we were in a recession. Jim joins us from Beacon, New York with an update.

We also are checking back with Jesse Acosta, a student in the Class of 2009 at the Yale School of Management. As a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars he is used to surviving in tough times. And all his hard work has paid off, because he has a job lined up for next year. He joins us with his take on the mood on campus.

The Takeaway is looking at the economy through the eyes, webcams and cell phones of Americans. Watch the stories and add your own.

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U.S. automakers facing federal deadlines

Chrysler and the United Auto Workers have reached an agreement that will allow the automaker to receive more federal funding. The deal eliminates some of the non-salary benefits the autoworkers had earned over the years, but even with these concessions it is likely that Chrysler will still seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Also in the deal is a partnership with Italian automaker Fiat, a collaboration which the U.S. government ordered.

Also in the news GM is expected to unveil its own federally-mandated reorganization plan. One unexpected item in the works? The shuttering of the company's storied Pontiac brand. To talk us through all of this upheaval in the car world is Micheline Maynard, senior business editor for the New York Times Senior Business Correspondent in Detroit.

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This week's agenda with Marcus Mabry

It’s Monday, and time for our weekly agenda segment—a look ahead at important events of the next five days. This week New York Times International Business Editor Marcus Mabry examines some of the tests President Obama will face as he reaches the 100-day mark of his presidency on Wednesday. Among them: On Monday the Administration will push Congress to pass a budget resolution. On Tuesday the World Health Organization will decide whether to raise the flu outbreak alert level. And on Wednesday, figures on the GDP for the first quarter will be released.

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The global response to the swine flu outbreak

While Mexico struggles to manage the outbreak of swine flu and is rushing to confirm cases by sending samples to the United States, Hong Kong is already performing genetic tests and has mobilized their hospitals and medical facilities to test and track any possible outbreak. Hong Kong has contingency plans in place and 1400 isolated hospital beds reserved. Just in case! Why are they so prepared? SARS. Keith Bradsher, Hong Kong bureau chief of the New York Times, joins The Takeaway with a look at lessons we can learn from Hong Kong's reaction to the SARS scare.

Also joining us is Donald G. McNeil, a New York Times science reporter who has been covering the swine flu outbreak in the United States. For more, read Donald McNeil's article, U.S. Declares Public Health Emergency Over Swine Flu, in today's New York Times.
"The question is: Has the rest of the world taken the warnings that you could see coming from avian flu to heart?"
—Keith Bradsher of the New York Times on preparing for swine flu


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The Released: A new Frontline documentary on life after prison for the mentally-ill

Five years ago, in the FRONTLINE documentary, The New Asylums, filmmakers Karen O’Connor and Miri Navasky, documented how the Ohio prison system struggled to provide care to thousands of mentally ill inmates. This year, in the new FRONTLINE documentaryThe Released, they return to Ohio to investigate what happens to mentally ill offenders when they leave the prison system. Typically, these offenders leave prison with a bus ticket, $75 in cash, and two weeks’ worth of medication. Studies show that within 18 months, nearly two-thirds of mentally ill offenders are re-arrested. The Takeaway is joined by filmmaker Karen O’Connor for a look at how the prison system has changed since she first captured it on film five years ago.

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Round two on the Kyoto Protocol

The beleaguered Kyoto Protocol, enacted in 1992 to limit global greenhouse gas emissions, but was never ratified by the United States, is back up for negotiations this year. Will the U.S. be a real partner to the cap-and-trade agreement? In advance of the new Kyoto discussions, President Obama is meeting with the representatives of 17 governments at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate in Washington D.C. The governments will be looking for indications of how others will navigate the Kyoto Protocol negotiations. For more The Takeaway turns to Andrew Revkin, New York Times environmental reporter.

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The Takeaway checks in with small business owner Laura Richards

This week we’re marking our one-year anniversary by checking in the people who have helped us understand the lives behind the numbers on the news. Real people with real stories about every issue from the Presidential campaign to the impact of the housing crisis to the state of the economy. Laura Richards is one of the voices we heard earlier this year. She owns two California Tortilla restaurant franchises in Maryland. We met her in October when small businesses were the canaries in the economic coalmine. At the time Ms. Richards was hoping to expand her franchise, just as credit was freezing. She joins us from Annapolis with an update.

The Takeaway is looking at the economy through the eyes, webcams and cell phones of Americans. Watch the stories and add your own.

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Don't panic! Pandemics and epidemics throughout history

An outbreak of swine flu is raising alarms from Mexico to New Zealand. But this isn’t the first epidemic to cause widespread concern. From the great influenza pandemic of 1918 to the much-hyped, but far less deadly bird flu outbreaks, we’re nothing if not prepared to worry about a global disease threat. So, how might this current outbreak compare to others throughout history? And how much should we really worry? We’re joined by Philip Alcabes, professor of urban public health at Hunter College of the City University of New York, and the author of Dread: How Fear and Fantasy Have Fueled Epidemics from the Black Death to Avian Flu.

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Swine flu update with epidemiologist Dr. Richard Wenzel and BBC's Ros Atkins

We are closely tracking the swine flu outbreak in Mexico that is rapidly spreading across the globe. There are confirmed cases in the United States and Canada and now Spain's health ministry has confirmed that nation's first case. World health officials are bracing for a potential worldwide pandemic of the swine flu that is being linked to the deaths of more than one hundred people in Mexico. More than 1600 people are believed to have caught the virus. The Takeaway is joined by Dr. Richard Wenzel, immediate past President of the International Society for Infectious Diseases. Dr. Wenzel is currently Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University. He can help us understand the symptoms, the causes, and the best ways to prevent transmission of this flu.

Also on The Takeaway is Ros Atkins, presenter of the BBC's World Have Your Say. He is in Mexico and joins us with a look at how Mexico is handling the outbreak.

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Swine flu update with Laurie Garrett and Keith Bradsher

We are continuing our coverage of the swine flu outbreak. The flu started in Mexico, which is reporting over 1600 people believed to have contracted the virus resulting in 103 deaths. The flu has since spread across the United States from New York to California and there are now confirmed cases in Canada and Spain. Across the globe public health officials are swinging into action, spreading the word of hand washing, warning against large public gatherings, stockpiling Tamiflu treatments, and engaging the public. But countries like Hong Kong, who learned their lessons from the SARS scare, are already completely prepared for the possibility of an outbreak and have all their health care infrastructure in place. Keith Bradsher, Hong Kong bureau chief for the New York Times, joins us with a few ideas we can learn from Hong Kong and a look at the global response.

Also joining the discussion is Laurie Garrett, Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist and writer of two bestselling books, including The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance. Ms. Garrett is now the senior fellow for global health Council on Foreign Relations and is well poised to understand this crisis.

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Rudy Maxa answers your flu-related travel questions

In the wake of an outbreak in swine flu in Mexico that has been spreading, a health official for the European Union urged Europeans to avoid non-essential travel to the United States and Mexico. And here in the United States many of our listeners are concerned about travel to Mexico. Rudy Maxa is the Host and Executive Producer of the PBS travel series Rudy Maxa's World. He joins us now with answers to your travel questions.

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