Monday, May 4, 2009

Source of Swine Flu Discovered in Texas

4 May, 09 BP

Health authorities uncover surprising origin of Swine Flu strain in rural Texas.

U.S. Health Authorities from the Atlanta Disease Control Center were calling for county-wide testing to determine if the sometimes fatal disease had been spread throughout a South Texas county. Authorities have not disclosed the exact location or the name of the affected county, out of concern the news might trigger panic and an exodus of persons who might already be infected, thus spreading the disease to other parts of the state or to other states.

At the same time authorities would like to test every individual living in Duval County, to determine how many might already be infected. With a total population of approximately 13,000, authorities estimated it could take as much as 10 days to test everyone, at a total cost of about $250,000. It was not immediately clear where the money would come from but some officials suggested a part of the stimulus money for Texas could be siphoned off for the tests.

An anonymous source, close to Republican Governor Bick Berry, said the Governor was not inclined to divert stimulus money to help prevent a deadly disease in Duval County, which is heavily Democratic and did not support him in the last gubernatorial election. The source, Julian Latterfield, speaking only on condition of severe laryngitis and total memory loss, if his name should be inadvertently revealed, said there was general agreement in the Governor's office that it would be foolish to waste such a large amount of public funds on a bunch of already sick and poverty stricken Mexicans, who are not expected to live long lives and were probably in the country illegally to begin with. The Governor's public relations director, Sam Slick, characterized the Governor's approach as compassionate neglect.

Jorge Amato contributed to this story from Helsinki

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