Saturday, October 31, 2009

California (Swine) Flu in Ukraine

The news, these last three days, has been full of stories about a flu epidemic in Ukraine that so far has killed more than 30 people, mostly in Western Ukraine. BBC has reported nothing yet but I expect a story on Monday. Tanya has been following it on TV news and also on while I have been following

According to MIG, H1N1 which they refer to as California flu has been confirmed in 11 cases in hospital of 30+ tested and in one death (of 1 tested) however there is a very fast acting unknown virus also at work. In Ternopil Oblast some 10,000 people have taken ill and 7 died from the unidentified virus and in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast they are referring to the virus as "pneumonic plague".

Of course, it is silly season on top of it, with presidential elections in January and campaigning "officially" starting tomorrow. All three major contenders are shouting and waving their arms trying to look and sound impressive, concerned and in charge. Yulia Timoshenko as Prime Minister is best situated to take advantage of the situation.

The government has decided to impose quarantine in nine regions of Ukraine, namely: in Transcarpathia, Khmelnitsky, Rivne, Chernivtsi, Volyn, Vinnitsa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil Regions. The movement of people between the regions and abroad –may be under special control - it may be limited due to the epidemiological situation, Yulia Tymoshenko warned.

She has also declared three weeks of holidays for ALL educational institutes AND a ban on public events. Yushchenko was scheduled to kick off his campaign tomorrow with a rally in St Sofia Square. That is off. Yulia was scheduled to campaign in Western Ukraine. She is still going as she needs to keep on top of the situation.

She has also put ALL pharmacies under state control, ordered each to have a supply of meds and masks and threatened licence cancellation for anything that looks like price gouging. They appear to be relying on the drug Tamiflu for control of H1N1. Ukraine has been in contact with India regading supply of drugs, according to the TV news.

Anyhow we are not going anywhere for three weeks, except to the store for groceries.


  1. Why is it called the California flu? California was hardly the first to have it and contributed nothing of note to its transmission or virulence. Half the usual number of ANNUAL flu deaths have already occurred here in the States, yet H1N1 shots are in short supply despite earlier government promises that there would be plenty. I'm scheduled for shoulder surgery (my second this year) on December 11, and am hoping I can get a shot well before then. Since she is a labor and delivery nurse, Peggy has had hers.

  2. Why is it called Californai flu? Who knows. 5 centuries ago syphilis was called Spanish Disease by the English, French Disease by the Spanish and English Disease by the French.

    This virus is attacking young people under 25, leaving their lungs like they had chronic pneumonia. It may not all of it be H1N1 which I gather is a relatively mild disease except in certain cases.

  3. We had our first round of this last May in Washington state and a couple of people died. They closed the schools for about a week then.
    At present (this very weekend) health officials have been vaccinating those at the highest risk, pregnant women and those with low immune systems along with healthcare workers. The problem is lack of supply of the vaccine.
    From what I can tell so far it's only affecting people in their 20s and 30s who have not been exposed to this type of flu and people with weak immune systems. If you are in your late 50s or over you may have already had a strain of this virus in the late 1940s and mid 1970s. I recall getting something like this twice in the 70s so I think I'll be okay.
    My advice is wash your hands regularly and cover your caughs and sneezes.

  4. Peggy speculated that maybe the first Ukrainian to have it had just returned from California, which makes as much sense as anything. I had thought it might have something to do with a dislike for the U.S. (which does indeed make itself easy to dislike). I was just surprised by its designation in your country as I had not heard about it being called anything but H1N1 and Swine Flu.

  5. The official name of the virus is A/California/7/2009 H1N1. That is the virus that the antigen is made from in the H1N1 vaccinations. See the Health Canada site

  6. Gee, Fodder, I just got SPAM for this post (see below). They appear to be going through every post you ever did and SPAMing them all, so I'm going through and unsubscribing to them as the SPAM comes in. I wonder if you couldn't stop the SPAM by changing your settings, so you would have to approve responses.

    Anonymous has left a new comment on the post "California (Swine) Flu in Ukraine":

    Such a excellent blog post and certainly served
    to clear my mind somewhat
    Here is my weblog ::

    Post a comment.

    Unsubscribe to comments on this post.

    Posted by Anonymous to The Blog Fodder at December 19, 2012 6:58 PM


Comments are encouraged. But if you include a commercial link, it will be deleted. If you comment anonymously, please use a name or something to identify yourself. Trolls will be deleted