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Author Topic: Are you ready for pandemic flu?  (Read 10351 times)
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« Reply To This #40 on: August 31, 2009, 04:48:04 PM »

See, I figured I should have some level of immunity.

What makes me far, far happier though is that I thought I was just being a wuss, and went into work when I was still snotty and feverish, so everyone I work with caught it. I actually fear the kids I work with dying of the flu a lot more than I fear my own death, because a lot of them are only toddlers, and they're really vulnerable.

There should be a card for that, shouldn't there? "Sorry I gave your child flu, but hey, at least she's got some level of immunity now!"

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« Reply To This #41 on: August 31, 2009, 05:03:28 PM »

There should be a card for that, shouldn't there? "Sorry I gave your child flu, but hey, at least she's got some level of immunity now!"

You might have to settle for a T-shirt instead:

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« Reply To This #42 on: October 12, 2009, 10:04:37 PM »

Sickest swine flu patients require heroic measures

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Once swine flu patients are sick enough to need hospital care, they decline very fast, requiring ventilators and advanced treatments that quickly strain scarce hospital resources, several teams reported on Monday.

Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association they paint a picture of how younger, previously healthy people quickly developed severe respiratory failure, forcing doctors to use extreme measures to save them.

"The fact that they develop this very rapid, very severe respiratory failure means hospitals need to be prepared to manage these patients at any time of the day or night," said Doug White of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who wrote a commentary in the journal.

He said although the outbreaks in Canada and Mexico were relatively mild, they consumed a vast amounts of life-saving therapies.

If the second wave of H1N1 now spreading across the United States is more severe or broad-based, it may mean some patients will not get the critical life support they need, White said in a telephone interview.

"Saying no will mean they will die," he said.


"This is one of the most difficult conditions I've ever had to treat," said Dr. Anand Kumar of St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba, a hotspot of infection during the first wave of the swine flu in May and June.

Kumar said he normally sees only a few patients a year who become severely ill from an infection.

"In the case of Winnipeg, we saw 40 people on ventilators struggling for their lives simultaneously. It's a bizarre and somewhat frightening experience," he said in a telephone interview.

"At one point, 50 percent of the available ICU (intensive care unit) beds in the entire city were filled with H1N1 patients," Kumar said. "We basically maxed out our capacity."

While 95 percent of the patients he studied had some underlying risk factor, most of these were very common, such as asthma, smoking, obesity or high blood pressure.

"If you'd asked them, they would have said, 'Yes, I'm a pretty healthy person.' That is surprising to me," he said.

Researchers studying the outbreak in Mexico between March and June 2009 had similar experiences.

They saw critical illness mostly among younger people, who developed severe respiratory failure. About 40 percent of them died.


To help some of the very sickest patients who were struggling to breathe even with the assistance of a mechanical ventilator, researchers in Australia and New Zealand tried a type of life support called ECMO that adds oxygen to blood and circulates it throughout the body.

"Despite their illness severity and the prolonged use of life support, most of these patients survived," Dr. Andrew Davies of the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne and colleagues wrote.

Kumar said doctors in Winnipeg used the system for some of their patients who were struggling despite being on ventilators.

"In about 15 to 20 percent of our patients, had to use salvage therapies - basically, stuff that is unproven. But you use them because you've got nothing left," Kumar said.

Kumar said most people who get H1N1 will not have severe disease, which he said only occurs in about 1 in 1,000 patients. "The problem is, if you get half of your population with H1N1, that can turn into a lot of really sick people."
« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 10:12:05 PM by Kay » Logged
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« Reply To This #43 on: October 18, 2009, 04:35:56 AM »

Swine Flu Characteristics Becoming More Evident
Links to Pneumonia, Rapid Effects on Young Noted

By Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 17, 2009

As swine flu continues to spread around the globe, a clearer and in some ways more unnerving picture of the most serious cases has started to emerge, indicating that the virus could pose a greater threat to some young, otherwise vibrant people.

The virus can cause life-threatening viral pneumonia much more commonly than the typical flu, prompting the World Health Organization on Friday to warn hospitals to prepare for a possible wave of very sick patients and to urge doctors to treat suspected cases quickly with antiviral drugs.

Experts stress that most people who get the H1N1 virus either never get sick or recover easily. But some young adults, possibly especially women, are falling seriously ill at an unexpectedly rapid pace and are showing up in intensive care units and dying in unusually high numbers, they say.

Although why a minority of patients become so sick remains a mystery, new research indicates that H1N1 is different from typical seasonal flu viruses in crucial ways -- most notably in its ability to penetrate deep into the lungs and cause viral pneumonia.

"It's not like seasonal influenza," Nikki Shindo of the World Health Organization said at the conclusion of a three-day meeting of more than 100 experts the WHO convened in Washington to review swine flu. "It can cause very severe disease in previously healthy young adults."

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday that vaccine production was proceeding more slowly than hoped. Officials had predicted that about 40 million doses would be available by the end of October, but that projection will probably fall short by about 10 million to 12 million doses, said Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

"Eventually, anyone who wants to be vaccinated will be able to be, but the next couple of weeks will continue to be a slow start," she said. So far, 11.4 million doses have become available and states have ordered about 8 million doses, but the vaccine will not become available in large amounts until November, she said.

The WHO's warning came as U.S. health officials reported that the number of states reporting widespread flu activity was up to 41, including Maryland and Virginia, and that the death toll among children had climbed to 86. Maryland has reported 10 deaths and Virginia health officials say eight people, including one child, have died. There have been no reports of deaths among District residents.

So far, the virus does not seem to sicken or kill people more often than the typical flu. But the pattern of people getting seriously ill is far different than in typical flu seasons. The elderly, who are usually most vulnerable, are generally spared; children, teenagers, pregnant women and young adults are the most common victims.

Officials have been closely monitoring the virus for signs it has mutated into a more dangerous form, and they have also been testing animals for the virus because of fears that infected livestock could cause more-lethal mutations.

Federal agriculture officials said Friday that pigs from the Minnesota State Fair had tested positive for H1N1, which would make them the first documented pig infections in the United States, if follow-up tests confirm the results. But there are no signs that the pigs were sick or that the animals had infected any humans. Children staying near the fair had gotten the virus, but there was no sign they were infected by the pigs.

Seasonal flu viruses tend to infect primarily the upper respiratory system. But recent animal studies and autopsies on about 100 swine flu victims show that H1N1 infects both the upper respiratory tract, which makes it relatively easy to transmit, and also the lungs, which is more similar to the avian flu virus that has been circulating in Asia.

"It's like the avian flu on steroids," said Sherif Zaki, chief of Infectious Disease Pathology at the CDC. He noted that unusually large concentrations of the swine flu virus have been found in the lungs of victims: "It really is a new beast, so to speak."

About a third of patients who required intensive care had bacterial pneumonia, but H1N1's proclivity to infect lung cells makes it more likely than seasonal flu to cause viral pneumonia, which can lead to life-threatening lung damage.

"Remarkably different is this small subset of patients that presents very severe viral pneumonia," Shindo said.

One of those patients was Karen Ann Hays of Sacramento, Calif., an otherwise healthy nurse whose hobby was tackling grueling triathlons. Despite desperate measures to keep her alive, Hays, 51, died in July within days of coming down with swine flu.

"I have seen more cases like this in the last three months than I have in the last 30 years," said Peter Murphy, director of intensive care at the Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael, Calif., who tried to save Hays.

Although it remains unclear how frequently the virus makes people seriously ill, recent reports from Mexico, Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand indicate that perhaps 1 percent of patients who get infected require hospitalization. Between 12 to 30 percent of those hospitalized need intensive care, and 15 to 40 percent of those in intensive care die.

While about two-thirds of U.S. patients who were hospitalized in the spring had other medical conditions, the CDC reported this week that an analysis of more than 1,400 hospitalized victims found perhaps half had no serious health problems.

About one-third of those around the world who have died or became seriously ill from swine flu appear to have been vulnerable because they had heart or lung disease, chronic kidney problems, or other ailments that usually put people at risk. But others had conditions that many may not immediately associate with frailness, such as mild asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity.

"Many of these people look just like you or me," said Anand Kumar, an associate professor of critical care and infectious disease at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, which was hit hard by the pandemic's first wave last spring.

There appears to be no way to predict with certainty who may suffer serious, life-threatening complications, since some victims have had no other health problems.

For instance, Stacey Hernandez Speegle, 30, of Madison, Calif., who died in July, "was in great shape. She was on the softball team. She had two young children. She was renovating her house," said her mother, Tamara Brooks. "It's just so hard to believe."

Although it has been well publicized that pregnant women appear to be at increased risk, some evidence has started to suggest that being female may itself be a risk factor, for reasons that remain unclear.

"There's no question that women, and particularly young women, are getting hit disproportionately," said Kumar. He noted that women tend to have more fat tissue, which can help stimulate a dangerous inflammatory response to infections.

And some of those who develop serious illness deteriorate soon after starting to feel ill. They require oxygen masks, ventilator machines to pump oxygen into their lungs to keep them alive, and drastic, often rarely used measures to try to save them within days of the first fever, ache or cough.

"The rapidity of it is striking," said Andrew R. Davies, deputy director of intensive care at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.

Some of the cases in Australia and New Zealand were so severe that doctors resorted to a much more aggressive, less commonly used treatment known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). It involves siphoning patients' blood into a machine to remove carbon dioxide and then infuse it with oxygen before returning it to their bodies.

"It's quite an extreme form of treatment," said Steve Webb, a clinical associate professor at the Royal Perth Hospital in Australia.

Other doctors have tried administering nitric oxide and putting patients in a bed that turns them upside down to help their lungs work better. "Our back was against the wall," Murphy said, adding that after the deaths of patients such as Hays his hospital is working to make ECMO available.

"It's very difficult to get this double-barreled message out that: 'Yes, most cases are mild, but in a small percentage of cases these cases are disastrous,' " Vanderbilt University's William Schaffner said. "But the message is: Don't underestimate H1N1."

Of the at least 86 Americans younger than 18 who have died from H1N1, 11 deaths were reported in the past week. About half of the deaths in the past month were among teenagers, Schuchat said. Since Aug. 30, 43 pediatric deaths have been reported, including three in those younger than age 2, five among those ages 2 to 4, 16 in those ages 5 to 11, and 19 among those ages 12 to 17, she said.

"These are very sobering statistics," Schuchat said, noting that only about 40 or 50 children usually die during an entire flu season.

Virginia Health Commissioner Karen Remley said Friday that although the majority of H1N1 cases in the state are "mild and moderate," significant numbers have become seriously ill.

In Maryland, at least 257 people have been hospitalized with confirmed cases of H1N1 since June, health officials said.

At least 2,914 Americans have died from flu-related illnesses since the H1N1 began, the CDC said.

Staff researcher Madonna Lebling and staff writer Michael Laris contributed to this report.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2009, 05:12:33 AM by Kay » Logged
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« Reply To This #44 on: October 18, 2009, 05:39:29 AM »

If it hasn't mutated your body should be able to fight it off  (    And I would imagine you would have an upper hand either way, since I would think that even if the virus mutated it would be similiar enough that your body could fight it off relatively easily.   Smiley
Yay! At least then there will be some good out of my rather unpleasant swine flu experience. I started getting symptoms 5 days after arriving in the tropics from the middle of southern Australian winter. I was already struggling enough with the tropical heat. I had to stay shut in my un-airconditioned room sweating both from the fever and the heat. I occasionally had to go out with a facemask on to get food because i didn't know anyone here yet that could do it for me.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2009, 05:44:41 AM by joanna_h » Logged
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« Reply To This #45 on: October 18, 2009, 07:56:45 AM »

I work at a university, and as soon as fall classes began, the students were getting hit much harder than faculty and staff.  However, one of the most recent deaths in our state was an adult from the area.

Yet more cases of flulike illness at Purdue

By Jeanne V. Norberg, Purdue University News Service
Posted October 13, 2009

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue Student Health Center reported that health-care providers there treated 63 students for flulike symptoms between Oct. 5 and 3 p.m. Monday (Oct. 12).

Since Aug. 30, 457 students have been seen for flu symptoms at the Purdue Student Health Center or at a local urgent care. Patients continue to have had relatively mild cases, much like the seasonal flu, and there have been no reported hospitalizations. ...

Deaths bring state H1N1 toll to seven

By Shari Rudavsky,
Posted: October 17, 2009

Two more Indiana residents died from H1N1 flu-related complications this week, bringing the death toll to seven since spring, the state reported Friday.

One death occurred in Tippecanoe County, the other in Morgan County. The Indiana State Department of Health refused to release any additional information about the individuals.

But the Lafayette Journal & Courier reported that a 40-year-old Tippecanoe County woman who had underlying health conditions died Thursday. ...

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« Reply To This #46 on: November 10, 2009, 05:23:17 PM »

Got my vaccine last week, so I should be immune by the weekend. But, here's a loan connected to H1N1. Maybe not the right place to put it, but it seemed to fit this thread:

Sagitario Group

The Alcancía Communal Bank is comprised of ten responsable members who live in the Huachipa community in Ate Vitarte. The president, Teresa Huilcapoma, raises and sells pigs. Her father-in-law gave her daughter two piglets, and they later had babies. She had the idea to sell them. Little by little she started to investigate raising pigs. That gave her very good results. Now she can contribute to the necessary family expenses because the work is shared.

The majority of the members work in this business. Like all fields, it has its disadvantages. The members tell us that when the AH1N1 flu started, they lost a lot, prices dropped, and they were not paid what the pigs cost them. In order to be able to get by they had to sell them a very low prices that did not cover any of their costs. To the contrary, they had big losses. During this time they looked for other work that would allow them to cover their expenses.

Now that the situation is normalizing they can continue with their business. They know that with good feeding and by always maintaining hygiene they are able to sell their quality products to consumers.

The members are asking for loans to buy balanced food for the pigs because there is much demand in December.

Peru, 3*, No Currency Risk, 4 payments, $200 left

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"When I feed the poor they call me a saint; when I ask why people are poor they call me a communist."
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« Reply To This #47 on: November 23, 2009, 12:25:25 AM »

In three words: "GET YOUR SHOTS".

Then, you'll be ready.  Laugh

Lorna (& "The Critters")

P.S. got mine a couple of weeks ago.  Smiley
« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 12:26:15 AM by Canadian Here » Logged
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