April 30th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 04/30/09

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Tonight on AC360°, the swine flu flight risk.  Vice President Joe Biden took a lot of heat today for saying "I would tell members of my family - and I have - I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places right now.  It's not that it's going to Mexico.  It's you're in a confined aircraft. When one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the aircraft."  Is that true? Tonight, 360's Randi Kaye is Keeping them Honest.   She spoke with a doctor who studies germs and viruses like swine flu to find out how they spread in air travel.  Don't miss her report.

Don't miss Erica Hill's webcast on germs in flight during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

Want to know what else we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

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

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And take a look at our live web camera from the 360° studio. Watch the WEBCAM

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (417 Responses)
  1. MarieAnne Sam - Alabang in the Philippines

    Ohhh Ms. California, she's more popular than the crowned Miss USA! Love this girl!

    April 30, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  2. Kriss - Washington, DC

    I've heard and read that antibacterial soaps kill good bacteria as well as the bad stuff and our resistance to germs decreases. Are antibacterial soaps more or less effective than just regular soap?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  3. Lauren--NY

    Erica, you crack me up. 🙂

    April 30, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  4. Anne

    Hi everyone,

    I have a flu-related question. What are people's thoughts about cruise ships??? I have a cruise booked in a week. With everyone flying in from different destinations and travelling through all those airports and on so many different flights and then spending a week together on a ship....don't you think there is a high risk for contracting the flu??? It would seem so to me. I haven't heard anyone talk about cruises yet, so I thought I'd see what you think or have heard.


    April 30, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  5. Lilnda M

    It is interesting that now handrails,turnstills ,the use of hand sanitizers are being used,,why not "all the time"? not just now .germs are everywhere all the time....Bosses make their staff come to work sick or not..and we are the ones who are being served up a nice helping of what ever they might have...the crisis will blow over and all will go back ...to slack.................

    April 30, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  6. Melissa, Thornville, OH

    Is this really a 'mild' form? Isn't it just a matter of time before we see severe syptoms here in the US? What is the average duration of the illness? Are the deaths in Mexico from flu or pneumonia?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  7. Martha

    Could the discrepancy in the degree of illness between Mx. and the US be because one of the four strains making up this virus was in this year's flu vaccine and fewer people got the shot in Mx?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  8. MarieAnne Sam - Alabang in the Philippines

    H1N1A = root cause of this sudden 'near pandemic scenario'!

    I think this will not invade Asia specially the Phils as we have the lots of sunshine here! Thanks God!

    April 30, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  9. Michael In South TX

    As reported on Action 4 News at 5 and 6 on 4/30. Cameron County Texas has over 220 possible cases of Swine Flu that they are currently awaiting conformation from the state and CDC.
    And yet the Federal government does not believe that closing the borders is necessary?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  10. Katheryn

    There is some confusion about Tami-flu. Is it over-the-counter medicine or does it have to be prescribed by your doctor?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  11. Alison

    Of the confirmed cases, has information been released on the cause of death ? I am interested in understanding more about the sequence of organ and /or body system failure.

    April 30, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  12. Leanne

    What about cruise travel? Even though ships are not sailing into Mexico, is being on a cruise ship safe given the fact that there are often outbreaks of Norovirus on ships?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  13. Jonny, KY

    Rahm Emanuel better be one of the sexiest! Goodness, that man.

    Gives me the vapors!

    April 30, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  14. Merv

    Much is being made about washing your hands often. However, if a facial typr soap, nongermicidal is used, is this effective?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  15. Zoee - Canada

    How generous of her, Erica! haha

    April 30, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  16. Jerry Sanders

    My wife has COPD with lung cancer and she's doing chemo. We live at 5000 ft elevation. What extra precautions should she take?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  17. John Gabaldon

    Hi Anderson, My two sons were sick about a month ago. They are 7 and 4. I have never seen them this sick before. they both had high fever for over a week straight and OTC medication did little to break the fevers. Is it possible that the CDC could have gotten the timeframe wrong?

    could H1N1 have been around much sooner than currently being reported?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  18. Ginger in Houston

    I am confused about why this is such a high health alert when more people than the 176 deaths in Mexico die each year as a result of the flu. Are the numbers in Mexico correct? Also what is the incubation period for this flu ?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  19. Nancy

    How virulent is this flu, is it known how many deaths will occur per 1000 infected?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  20. Isabel

    Anderson Cooper,

    Do you follow this procedure in your travels?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  21. Bernadette M. Nelson

    Dr. Gupta traveled to the area of the first case of swine flu in Mexico. Locals commented on a local US Industrial Pig Farming operation. Has this played a role in this epidemic?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  22. Andrea - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    If H1N1 hits a country where Avian influenza is active, could Avian "learn" from H1N1 how to transmit from human to human? Could the 2 viruses create a new superbug?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  23. Miss J

    lol – Erica says she's normally in the baggage hole – cute

    April 30, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  24. Jean Meske

    Flu virus mutate rapidly. Why isn't anyone talking about this?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  25. ericacnn

    hi, everyone. fear not, randi lets coop take the plane... sometimes 😉

    April 30, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  26. Jerry

    We're leaving on a long planned trip to Spain next week. Would you advise taking Tamiflu or some similar preparation prophylactically before we leave? Thank you.

    April 30, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  27. Tim

    I would like to ask Dr. Sanjay this... is it likely that "cytokine storm" is the reason for so many of the deaths in Mexico being in young adults? and if so shouldn't we be focusing efforts to come up with a drug to stop this deadly phenomenon?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  28. Jon

    Hi Anderson,

    Flu outbreaks in the past have been known to be fairly mild in the spring, decrease in prevalence over the summer, but then reemerge much stronger the following fall. Are there any theories about this H1N1 virus reemerging, and will there be a vaccination program to prevent it?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  29. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    Joe, don't upset the people. Don't you have some Vice President stuff to do?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  30. Fay - California

    The reports about swine flu are disturbing, but I still haven't quite reached the *panic* stage yet – it's just made me a little more conscientious about germs and keeping my hands as clean as possible.

    April 30, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  31. Dan - Tacoma

    Why are we not hearing about flu cases in the Southern Hemisphere? Although the land mass south of the 30th parallel is much less than north of 30, it is now Fall going into Winter. Prime flu season.

    Is there flu cases, or concern about swine flu cases in places like Brazil, Argentina, South Africa or Australia which are now entering the prime of the flu season?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  32. Kathy, Chicago

    They have closed 5 schools in Chicago, 1 in the city and 4 southwest. None are close to me.

    April 30, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  33. cheree

    Surely Biden knows more than we do. I heard you Mr. VP and I'm not flying

    April 30, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  34. Lynn Hansen

    I'm normally pretty healthy, but right now I have a headache, fever, upset stomach, runny nose, and my lungs have fluid in them. (It's a little uncomfortable to breathe.) How do I know when it's time to go to the doctor?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  35. MarieAnne Sam - Alabang in the Philippines

    Maybe if you have no urgent travel-then better stay home! -specially during theses times where risk is huge in contacting the disease!

    April 30, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  36. Karen

    If you contract this flu while the strain in the United States seems to be milder than in Mexico, will that give you an immunity to the flu if it becomes a more serious strain in the United States?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  37. Jeni

    Did I understand that wearing a face mask will help prevent catching this flu?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  38. Maureen T, Canada

    Good evening Anderson. I guess Joe Biden's honesty isn't always the best policy!

    April 30, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  39. Isabel

    Air quality in aircraft creates health risks and this was said well before the swine flu.

    The low humidity and cold temperature triggers the breathing problems.

    The low temperature combined with low relative humidity decreases the immunity.

    April 30, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  40. Maggie

    you only talk about Mexico City, what about the rest of Mexico. are there any other parts of Mexico that are having out breaks?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  41. John Troll, Compton, CA

    Is H1N1 airborne, or you're not sure about this yet?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  42. Michael C.

    If this strain of H1N1A makes it into Indonesia, Vietnam or a country which has had H5N1 cases/deaths, would it be possible for the H1N1A strain to become stronger, thus more virulent?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  43. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    @Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio I like the way the Obama administration has to translate everything Biden says as though he isn’t speaking English.

    He would seem to be the only one who is. Hopefully this isn't a 'man caused disaster' that will result in another 'overseas continguency operation'.

    April 30, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  44. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    We certainly may not travel in fear.

    April 30, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  45. margarita

    How do you notify the state if someone has this flu? How do they keep track? Is there a hotline to call and inform them of the symtoms?
    I'm sure most people will not go to the hospital or dont have the insurance money to go the Dr????

    April 30, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  46. Sherri, Somerset MA

    I'm not sure if anybody has asked this question or answered it but if you are feeling ill should you see a doctor immediatly? Or if there is a chance that you may have the swine flu can you just recover at home? I'm not sick but just curious.

    April 30, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  47. Cindi

    I work in a school in California where there are many students that went to Mexico during the spring break two weeks ago..what is my risk in reference to the incubation period with this flu?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  48. Kathy

    I just got over a flu. I volunteer, and would like to know if I am now immune – but like most, I wasnt tested, I stayed home so as not to infect others. Should I just assume I have immunity?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  49. Bruce Willey

    My wife is 6 weeks pregnant and we are about to fly. How much should we be worried for her, the future baby, and the papa to-be?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  50. Nick, Toronto

    Does Joe Biden know something we don't? Or is he just overly cautious?

    April 30, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
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