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Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
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A New Patient Zero*
5 May 2009 7:02 pm
Mexico has confirmed that a person from Mexico City infected with the swine flu virus developed symptoms on 11 March, 6 days earlier than a case that many in the media dubbed “patient zero,” ScienceInsider has learned. The finding not only adds a new entry to the left end of the outbreak’s timeline, but it also calls into question the geographical link between the former patient zero and a huge pig farm.
Epidemiologist Mauricio Hernández-Ávila, the vice minister of disease prevention and health promotion for Mexico's Ministry of Health, stressed to ScienceInsider that the Mexican labs still have many older samples to test. “My guess is that we will have some earlier cases, and we are working on that,” said Hernández-Ávila, noting that they have other untested samples from early March and possibly February.
The previous patient zero, a 4-year-old boy from La Gloria in Veracruz state, lived near a huge hog farm in Perote, Granjas Carroll, that some suspected may have housed an infected pig that kick-started the outbreak. But testing has not found a pig infected with what’s now called the 2009 A (H1N1) influenza virus, nor have any farm workers tested positive.
Hernández-Ávila says he remains open-minded about the origin, and it may eventually point back to the Perote region when they do more testing. “It is remarkable that in a such a small community, which is isolated, that we have one swine-flu-positive person,” he says.
* Warning: Likely to change.