May 5, 2009 Mexico sent a plane to China to pick up about 70 Mexicans who were quarantined there, Reuters reported today. The plane made stops in Shanghai and Beijing and was scheduled to go on to Guangzhou and Hong Kong before flying home, the story said. Meanwhile, a Chinese plane picked up 79 Chinese in Mexico City and was expected to pick up 20 more in Tijuana before flying them home, Reuters reported, citing a Xinhua story. US Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said today at a press briefing that drug companies will accelerate production of the seasonal flu vaccine to help provide the capacity to make a vaccine against the novel H1N1 virus. Health officials have said the CDC is developing a seed strain as the first step toward making the vaccine, though a decision to use the vaccine would be considered separately. US House Democrats have unveiled a $94.2 billion emergency supplemental spending bill that includes $2 billion for battling a potential worsening of the flu epidemic, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report. President Barack Obama had asked for $1.5 billion for the flu epidemic. Most of the money in the bill is intended for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. [AFP report] Texas reported the nation’s second death from the novel H1N1 influenza (swine flu), in a woman from Cameron County who had a chronic health condition. According to an update posted on the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) Web site, she died earlier this week. The first US death from the new flu strain also occurred in Texas, a 22-month-old boy from Mexico City.
The Chicago infant who was hospitalized in grave condition after being cut early from his mother’s womb has briefly opened his eyes the family is reporting.The family shared pictures of the moment on their Facebook page Sunday.Police say the infant’s mother 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa, who was 9-months pregnant at the time, went missing in April.An investigation later found that Ochoa had been communicating with 46-year-old Clarisa Figueroa on Facebook and that Clarisa invited her to her home with an offer of free baby clothes.Once Ochoa arrived to the home, Clarisa and her 24-year-old daughter Desiree Figueroa allegedly invited Ochoa inside and distracted her with photos of Clarisa’s late son. At some point Clarisa then grabbed Ochoa while her daughter used a cord so strangle her. Once Ochoa was unresponsive, Clarisa forcibly cut the baby from her womb and placed him in a bucket. She then called police and told them that she had just given birth and that the baby was not breathing.When authorities arrived, they reported that they noticed blood on Clarisa’s upper body, however, there was no other indication that she had just given birth.Investigators later connected Ochoa’s disappearance with Clarisa’s story when friends of Ochoa told authorities that she had been communicating with a woman online. Authorities then searched the Figueroa’s home and found Ochoa’s body in a trashcan with the rope still around her neck. A DNA test later proved that the infant who was brought to the hospital belonged to Ochoa.Clarisa and her daughter has since been arrested for the murder of Ochoa. Authorities also arrested Clarisa husband who they believed helped clean up and hide the body after the murder.Authorities reported that Clarisa told friends and relatives that she was pregnant and planned to raise Ochoa’s infant as her own after her 20-year-old son died of natural causes.Doctors are reporting that while the infant has opened his eyes, he still remains in grave condition and is still on life-support.