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Company warned officials of flu 18 days before alert was issued

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LES BLUMENTHAL
McClatchy Newspapers
Friday, May 1, 2009

A Washington state biosurveillance firm raised the first warning about a possible outbreak of swine flu in Mexico more than two weeks before the World Health Organization offered its initial alert about a public health emergency of international concern.

Both federal and international health officials had access to the warning from Veratect Corp. Later e-mails calling attention to the company’s subsequent report that the disease was possibly spreading in Mexico were sent to 10 officials of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Robert Hart, the company’s chief executive.

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Company warned officials of flu 18 days before alert was issued infoshirts340x169

Hart said he wasn’t sure why health officials didn’t act sooner.

“They have a lot of other responsibilities,” Hart said on Thursday. “But every day makes a difference.”

CDC officials in Atlanta said they were aware of Veratect’s claims and hadn’t been working with the company.

Full story here.

This article was posted: Friday, May 1, 2009 at 1:08 pm





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