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April 27, 2009
Posted: 1604 GMT

swine

At one point yesterday, the streets of Mexico city and its 20 million inhabitants looked like a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie. After humans are gone, this is what megapolis cities might look and feel like: silent, empty; perhaps the sound of a few dogs barking; a stadium that normal holds 100,000 people, barren.

Officials are telling Mexicans to stay indoors and avoid large crowds to contain the spread of the disease. The streets are more or less back to normal today, thought many people are walking around wearing surgical face masks.

We all remember bird flu and SARS. Those global health scares that ended up well contained and much less of a threat to humans as the hype surrounding them suggested.

The numbers on this one are a touch more alarming. And the fact that swine flu is contagious from human to human is also worrying health officials.

We are live in Mexico with Karl Penhaul for the latest from the most affected swine flu area.

We'll also check out the U.S.'s response to the disease and what it's telling its citizens to do with a live report from the White House.

We are also live in New York, New Zealand, Switzerland, Great Britain and right here at the CNN Center with out medical correspondents for the latest on the outbreak.

That and the rest of the day's top news stories at the International Desk.

See you on TV,

Hala

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Filed under: Today At The I-Desk


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Currn   April 27th, 2009 6:38 pm ET

Hi Hala,

Can your show some light on the global efforts in tackling
this potential health threat.

Kind Regards,
Pranay Darda

Luis de Carvalho, Copenhagen   April 27th, 2009 7:46 pm ET

First we had the mad cow disease, then the bird flu, now swine flu. And we might not even know if there have been any more outbreaks of (eatable) animal diseases. The interesting or sad thing is that the world became "dependant" on these animals as a source of nutrition as there is a meat industry behind it that continues to accelerate or distort their growth process. Isn’t obvious that something here does not work in this process, hence all these disease outbreaks? Are we continuing to risk the future of human kind by relying on sources of nutrition that are more hazardous then beneficial? Isn't it time to educate the people about the true healthy and most beneficial sources of nutrition and improve the global health and prevent this type of emergencies that endangers our race? What do animals eat? Vegetables? That is their source of nutrition, which is where they get all the proteins that we then absorb (of course only a tiny fraction, together with tons of fat). Should we not eliminate the "middle step” (eating the animal) and go straight to the source (and our inherent nutrition: vegetables and fruits). Of course this will be a long process that will require a thorough educational process and gradual change. Let’s not forget that there is a huge money machine behind the meat business and the people behind it will do anything to protect their “money machine”. But what is more important? Our lives and the ultimate survival of our race or continuing to feed an industry that constantly fails to provide the world with a safe and healthy source of nutrition which forces governments to spend billions and billions of dollars in containing these outbreaks? And all this money to have a new outbreak in the next few years again. Our lives do not have a price. Let's start educating the world about the reality of the meat business and about nutrition in general and secure the health and survival of mankind.
Thank you,
Luis de Carvalho

Steve Gardner   April 28th, 2009 6:47 am ET

Dear Hala and CNN,
The coverage of the swine flu situation seems to border on idiotic. There must be much more than you are telling us. Why do I say that? You tell us this is very dangerous pandemic and that WHO is concerned. Yet, the bottom line is that there are a few hundred cases and less than 150 deaths - all in Mexico. Why aren't people dying in the U.S. and other places? Only 26 deaths have been attributed to this new strain of swine flu. What's taking so long to confirm or eliminate the other cases? Your reporting of this case is really damaging an already suffering Mexican economy. Now, tourism there will really hit bottom and poor working class people will lose their jobs.
Why am I outraged? You reported that annually 37,000 people die from flu. That means an average of 711 people die each week from the flu. Why isn't that front page news? The body count is much higher. Reporting on malaria should be going through the roof! The only reason I can see for your barrage of repetitious info on this minor outbreak is if you suspect that this strain was bio-engineered in a lab and intentionally released for political and economic reasons but you have no confirmation. This possibility would not surprise me since the genetic analysis shows it to be a combination (or mutation if you prefer) of human, avian and swine flu. Gee! I wonder how they got together.
On a side note, too much news time is spent on things that do not impact anyone's life. Who cares about Palin's daughter getting pregnant out of wedlock? What a new thing! So often, I listen to inane reports about nothing while the bar across the bottom of the screen shows important or fascinating events that are not discussed AT ALL. What determines your story choices? A ferry boat in Asia capsizes and 574 people die and it's a byline on the screen. One person is the U.S. or Europe dies from a hate crime and you can't talk enough about it. Where is your investigation into India's transportation system, for example, that allows conveyances to operate at 300 – 400% capacity?
Get a grip. Stop manipulating people with YOUR agenda. Report news, especially news that affects many immediately and directly. The world has many problems. Your info should lead to solutions.
Steve Gardner

hossein   April 28th, 2009 11:48 am ET

hi hala
I'm sure that your horriblr news will spread panic throughout the world and I have not seen before such a fear in correspondence's faces. calm down .I think we've got much enough bad news at this time from our broken economy, therefore trying to inject hope is better. otherwise every day 200 million africans suffer from drought or desease and you are not in a rush to tell it. our problems are more than enough mam.

Debbie   April 28th, 2009 5:14 pm ET

Hello,
What can we expect, when everybody comes and goes from all these other countries. Any thing can be passed back and forth. We do it to ourselves, no one else to blame. Stay in your own country these kind of things wouldn't happen.

lynda   May 1st, 2009 12:45 pm ET

hi halla,
I am from Tanzania , Africa and a great fan of CNN. Id like to ask you to cover more african issues. on wednesday around mid day we heard a scare here in Daressalaam as Bombs actually exploded from the store at a military barack wihtin the town. so much has been destroyed n so many injured. The help these people are receiving is quite minimal both from private and government sectors.Maybe highlighting this in your news would help. Big ups to the station n pass my thumbs up to Zain Verjee.Shes an example to emulate.

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