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April 28th, 2009
09:44 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 04/28/09

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Here's your chance to comment on tonight's show. Discuss the swine flu outbreak, Sen. Arlen Spector's party switch, and more with Anderson, Erica Hill, and the AC360° staff.

Don't miss Erica Hill's webcast on this (or change this sentence if needed) the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

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Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")

2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)

3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)

4) No links

5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

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Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (581 Responses)
  1. Jane

    Dr. Gupta, Heard Randi say the germ can stay overnight on the subway, is that the longest it can stay alive? I work with mail and don't want to talk a chance on handling it without possibly wearing gloves while sorting it?

    April 28, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  2. Kathleen Letellier

    Since most deaths from the swine flu appear to be from pnemonia, might it be possible to vaccinate people with the pnemonia vaccine since there is no available vaccine for the flu itself?

    April 28, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  3. Elizabeth

    Is there any reported cases in Oregon? Is there a high risk of it coming to Oregon?

    April 28, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  4. Lori from IL

    @ Kathy with the 22 year old daughter with lung issues. I have basically had one functioning lung my entire liffe (am now 49) and I've found my best line of defense in these situations is a conversation with my primary care physician, my pulmonologist and the respiratory department at my local hospital. I'm lucky in that my medical team works well together and all are aware of my "special" needs.

    Actually I was at the local hospital today for a minor procedure with my pulmonologist and 4 respiratory therapists. Guess what we were talking about - swine flu - how quickly a vaccine could be produced - the preparedness of the local hospital. Since 9/11 it's amazing the level of preparedness of hospitals to deal with such issues.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  5. Hector

    I'm a pediatrician expecting to get several questions about the swine flu when I get back to work later this week. What can you tell me about available tests for this strain? I'm sure the local state health dept will know, but I'm curious to see what you know. Thanks!

    April 28, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  6. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    It is all about selfish ambition with Specter. He just traded in the extremists on the right for the extremists in power on the left just to hold onto his senate seat.

    As Oscar Wilde said, "Ambition is the last refuge of failure." Something to remember...

    April 28, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  7. Vicki from NJ

    Back in the late 60's I almost died from a flu called the Hong Kong flu. Remember that one folks? Why aren't we calling the flu the Mexican flu rather than the swine flu? Could you please ask Sumjay Gupta if that could be corrected since it originated from Mexico and folks that were in Mexico contracted it, so let's call it the Mexican flu.

    Number two relating to Specter. He jumped ship because he knew he was going to lose this time and he realized or thinks he has a better chance switching to Dem party. It's all about him folks, not at all about the parties. Let's get real here...he's just another phony politician, period.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  8. KP

    Has anyone determined whether those in the US who have come down with swine flu have been previously vaccinated, and how this compares to those in mexico?

    April 28, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  9. Karen

    I work at a school and I am a concerned about being around so many kids. I live in California and so far there are no cases of the Swine Flu in my county, but that can always change. I think that anyone who has returned from Mexico should quarantine themselves. I heard there is a company in the Bay Area that is not allowing an employee to come back to work yet because she just returned from Mexico.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  10. Anthony

    My sister got back from Mexico 1 week ago. Should I be worried??????

    April 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  11. holly

    Is there a way to tell after an infection if it was swine flu? My husband and Iwere on vacation in MX last month. About a week later, I got viral symptoms, then each 6-7 days since all 4 of our kids have had the same flu symptoms–high fever, sore throat, cough, malaise, etc. Even my husband has gotten it. We were all vaccinated this year against seasonal flu. We never went to MD because I am a nurse and just figured it was a viral thing, did supportive care-now I am wondering if it was swine flu. We are all recovered now....

    April 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  12. ericacnn

    @Vito – one of the answers I have been given is the way this flu attacks and who it attacks. The most vulnerable are not the very young, very old and infirm, as is typically the case with the thousands of deaths each year from the "regular" flu.

    Swine flu is more aggressive in healthy young adults. Plus, the CDC has said since yesterday it does expect deaths in the US related to swine flu.

    There are still a number of questions tonight – we'll try to answer as many as we can.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  13. Robin in Tampa, FL

    The GOP is in a death spiral right now because they are only concerned about achieving 100% conservative purity in the party at the cost of seats. Today the GOP now hold 40 seats .... this is a significant blow.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  14. Samantha M.

    wow, a report card for Congress and the President, that should be interesting. hopefully that special on Obama's 100 days talk about all the problems pushed aside and how if there will be a stimulus 2.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  15. Tom

    Since yesterday i been experiencing flu like symptoms, wondering what should i do? I left a message for my doc and she should be returning my call tomorrow.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  16. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Obama' got everyything thrown at him now the economy the swine flu the pirates at the high seas . The calm nature in which he sadi it was no cause for alarm .It was nice to see him so level headed.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  17. Suzie Rose

    A question for Dr. Gupta: The swine flu virus has been mentioned to have genetic elements of human, avian, and Eurasian swine. Can you provide insight how these three viral signatures combined to "create" H1N1, and how it "jumps" from species to species?

    April 28, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  18. Jennifer

    Will a regular flu shot work for the swine flu. My school is starting to offer the flu shot , but will it really work?

    April 28, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  19. Rich

    it's the flu,,and that's it..
    it's not cancer or aids.
    i wish the goverment would have been more reactive in the 80's during the AIDS crisis

    April 28, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  20. Miss J

    Yeah I was watching that truck-jacking earlier today.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  21. Fere

    How do people die from this? Fluid in lungs? (For example)

    April 28, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  22. mickey

    60 votes–more like 62 given Snowe and Collins
    oh what will Boehner do?????????
    given even Lieberman is prochoice–where will the Prolife camp go with this shift

    April 28, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  23. Maureen T, Canada

    Oh wow, the best political team on television! It's been a while! 🙂

    April 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  24. Michael Balderson

    Dr. Gupta,

    I am a nurse and work in the local hospital. Not knowing who the next person walking through the door is I have in the back of my mind about the reality of Swine Flu and my increased chance of contracting this virus.

    My question is how virulent is this strain? Is simply having a person with the strain comming into our hospital or onto our floor enough to spread it. If you have a healthy immune system can you become a carrier and spread it to others without any signs or symptoms?

    April 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  25. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    Norm Coleman really needs to admit defeat so that Minnesota can get on with business...David and Candy both such intelligent people and an excellent panel this evening!

    April 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  26. Autumn Neil, Indiana

    I'm a teen, and I live in the city where Notre Dame is located, and I can't believe a case popped up here. I'm washing my hands and taking precautions!

    April 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  27. Isabel Siaba

    @ Erica Hill
    I agree with you! Excellent work by Randi Kaye

    @ Anderson Cooper
    It is amazing how public places may have so many germs. We must take care in at any time and any situation ... the mothers always spoke it! 🙂

    April 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  28. Emma Ashtabula, Ohio

    Candy is a great reporter and I love David Gergen.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  29. Norene

    Hello all..
    Just had a couple quick questions...is this now officially a pandemic
    and are there any cases in Illinois yet? I have reason to think it is here already,unofficially.
    N.Y.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  30. LisaL - Canada

    no sniffles – no sneezing – no fever. yay.

    one thing not brought up – grocery store items (not just fruit and produce). it takes only a few minutes – but wipe down canned goods and other containers once home before putting away (something like Lysol 4-in-1 works nicely)

    April 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  31. john TN

    why are we not taking steps in stoping the outbreak like mask and stoping travel to mexico and to places that contain the flu? from,john in TN

    April 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  32. Tony

    Can you make any recommendations for American citizens who are studying abroad in Mexico and may have schedules that are reliant on Mexican policies such as canceling all classes within the 32 states of Mexico until may 6.
    Should the obvious health first approach be taken and we return to the states?
    Also can you address what if any role do local U.S consulates have in disseminating information to American Citizens living abroad.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  33. Janis Warren

    Is it known whether any of the patients in Mexico received any medication such as Tami-Flu before they died?

    April 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  34. John P

    I smell 60 seats!!!! Love it!!

    April 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  35. Katrina

    Perhaps Dr. Gupta could address my question: Are the authorities advising Tamiflu and Relenza to be used sparingly, only for those who need it, only for those who have more than a mild illness? Otherwise, the swine flu might develop resistance to it, and we might run out of enough to help those who really need it. Serious business if we have resistance show up in the anti-virals, as they appear to be our only weapon against this new virus.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  36. Wayne

    Just returned from Mexico, wife got sick and was checked for flu and was neg. I have sore throat cough but no temp. What are the symptoms I need to watch for. I was in Playa el carmen Mexico south of Cancun. How long after being infected can I develop symptoms?
    Thank yo

    April 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  37. Patricio Arias

    Is there any special risks with swine flu among pregnant women and the fetus because of the low inmune defense aquired in pregnancy ?
    Is Tamiflu ( oseltamavir ) safe to use during pregnancy as treatment for swine flu ?

    April 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  38. David, Indiana

    Watching Randi Kaye's rept my thought is that it's impossible to avoid this flu, nowhere to hide, so to speak.

    Very sad to hear the number of fatalities is increasing in Mexico.

    @Isabel, that's a good question about certain foods that boost the immune response, I hadn't heard that about yams. I do know that generally being well nourished helps, and vitamin C found in citrus fruits and tomatoes also backs up the immune system. Drinking plenty fluids is undoubtedly part of treatment for the flu, but maybe part of prevention too.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  39. Raj

    Please ask Sanjay Gupta, how the Mexican boy – patient zero- got the swine flue virus. Does he live close to pigs? or he got by food or any other means?

    Raj

    April 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  40. Shams

    Can Tamiflu or relenza be used for prophylaxis if someone is in the pandemic area and also can it be used after the exposure

    April 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  41. Jasmine-Spokane, WA

    @Eddy, oh don't ruin the goodness of chocolate! lol

    April 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  42. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    @David Gergen: I feel a bit sorry for Pres. Obama. Here he has yet another crisis (i.e. Swine Flu) to deal with. I just hope we don't have any deaths result from the Swine Flu and that we don't have to resort to closing down businesses, schools, etc. Definitely won't help our economic woes.

    As far as Specter goes, that was a shocker for me! I think he's just looking for some publicity. Afterall, he could still support Pres. Obama and not necessarily switch parties. Sometimes I think we should get rid of political parties. Not sure what purpose they really pose anymore.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  43. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    How can people be dying of the flu now in the year 2009 it doesn't make sense .

    April 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  44. BettyAnn, Nacogdoches,TX

    Does a flu shot give any protection from swine flu?

    April 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  45. Rich

    Good for Senator Spector.........he's had enough! just like Americans in general have had "enough" of the extreme right wing that have influenced the Bush adminstration the last 8 years!!

    April 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  46. Diane

    I agree Randi's piece was a real eye opener, but what about money? Look how our currency changes hands on a daily basis. Equally yucky when you stop and think about it.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  47. RUTH A.

    i have a question – my husband and i both received the swine flu vaccine in 1976. was just wondering if it would still offer any protection??????? may be a dumb question!!!!!!

    April 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  48. ed

    Why is it not obvious that the current seasonal flu vaccine which, according to the CDC website, contains A strain H1N1 would be effective during this current "swine flu" epidemic?? All confirmed reports state that the current swine flu virus is also H1N1. Don't we already have at least a partial vaccine to the swine flu.

    Any individual who's been routinely getting the flu vaccine each year should have a great boost with this year's vaccine and pretty much have an immunity of sorts to this swine virus. Booster responses are always more effective than primary responses.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  49. Annette

    If all of the deaths are in Mexico, and first spread from pigs to humans and this is an anomaly that it is being transmitted from person to person. Could it be that those that first got sick would have been the ones that would have been in contact with pigs resulting in being the sickest and then maybe somehow mutated and less severe once transferred from human to human??

    April 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  50. Tony

    Well,I just came from our local pharmacy and I was told that Tamiflu is not available.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
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