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  #391  
Old 10-18-2018, 06:15 PM
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ACUTE FLACCID MYELITIS

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-...llness-in-kids

Quote:
CDC Investigates Cases Of Rare Neurological 'Mystery Illness' In Kids

Spoiler:
A rare condition causing weakness in the arms or legs — and sometimes paralysis — has been confirmed in 62 children so far this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

One child has died of the condition, called acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM.

At least 65 more cases are under investigation, said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. So far, a common cause linking these illnesses has not been found.

"There is a lot we don't know about AFM," Messonnier said during a teleconference for reporters. "I am frustrated that despite all of our efforts, we haven't been able to identify the cause of this mystery illness."

The average age of the children is about 4, she said, and 90 percent of cases the CDC has been studying since 2014 have involved patients 18 or younger.

Messonnier said scientists don't fully understand the long-term consequences of the illness: "We know that some patients diagnosed with AFM have recovered quickly and some continue to have paralysis and require ongoing care."

Since the condition was first recognized by CDC in 2014, the agency has confirmed 386 cases through Oct. 16, mostly in children. AFM appears to be seasonal, occurring mostly in the late summer and fall, but appears in greater numbers every other year.

The number of cases in 2018 is on track to match a similar number of cases in 2014 and 2016. But Messonnier cautioned that it would be "premature" to be confident that this year will be the same as the earlier years.

It's possible that some milder cases haven't been reported by doctors to their state health department or the CDC, but Messonnier believes that number would be small.

"This is actually a pretty dramatic disease," she said. "These kids have a sudden onset of weakness and they are generally seeking medical care and being evaluated by neurologists, infectious disease doctors and their pediatricians and coming to public health awareness."

Possible causes being considered include viruses that affect the digestive system called enteroviruses, and possibly strains of rhinoviruses, which cause the common cold, she said. The CDC is also considering the possibility that environmental toxins could be triggering the sudden muscle weakness. And it is not ruling out possible genetic disorders.

Media reports in recent weeks have suggested that a "polio-like virus" might be triggering the condition, elevating fears that it might be polio itself.

"Right now, we know that poliovirus is not the cause of these AFM cases," Messonnier said.

She said that CDC has tested every stool specimen from AFM patients. None have tested positive for poliovirus. She also said West Nile virus hasn't been linked to any of these cases, either.

"As a parent myself I understand what it's like to be scared for your child," Messonnier said. "Parents need to know that AFM is very rare, even with the increase in cases that we are seeing now. We recommend seeking medical care right away if you or your child develop sudden weakness of the arms and legs."

Messonnier stressed the rarity of the condition, emphasizing that it happens in fewer than one in a million children in the U.S. So far this year, cases have been confirmed in 22 states, based on findings from MRI studies and the cluster of symptoms a child has.

The CDC says disease prevention steps should be followed, including staying up to date on vaccines, washing hands and using mosquito repellant.


https://nypost.com/2018/10/16/cdc-my...ren-paralyzed/

Quote:
CDC: ‘Mystery illness’ leaving dozens of children paralyzed
Spoiler:
There are now more than 125 confirmed or suspected cases of acute flaccid myelitis — the “mystery illness” that’s been affecting children across the US and leaving them paralyzed.

Federal health officials released the updated numbers on Tuesday, and said they still had no idea what was causing the spike in AFM cases or why kids were getting it in the first place.

“We understand that people, particularly parents, are concerned,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director for the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, during a teleconference call with reporters.

“There is a lot we don’t know about AFM, and I am frustrated that despite all of our efforts, we haven’t been able to identify the cause of this mystery illness”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received reports of at least 62 confirmed cases in 22 states, according to officials.

Another 65 cases are being investigated.

“This is a mystery so far,” Messonnier said, describing AFM as a “pretty dramatic disease,” which preys on a child’s nervous system.

About 90 percent of the cases have involved paralysis, according to the CDC.

“We know that some patients diagnosed with AFM have recovered quickly and some continue to have paralysis and require ongoing care,” Messonnier said, noting how most have a “sudden onset of weakness.”

“They are generally seeking medical care and being evaluated by neurologists, infectious disease doctors and their pediatricians.”

The affected have reportedly ranged in age from 18 to 4-years-old. Officials would not say what states they lived in, but cases have been reported in New York, Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado, and Washington.

Some possible causes being investigated by the CDC include enteroviruses, which affect the digestive system, and rhinoviruses — the infectious agents associated with the common cold.

“Right now, we know that poliovirus is not the cause,” Messonnier said, dispelling reports that AFM was possibly linked to polio.

Physicians first began noticing an increase in AFM patients in 2014, with roughly 120 confirmed cases. Numbers dropped drastically in 2015 and 2017 — to 22 and 33, respectively — but were back up again in 2016 at 149. Officials have been unable to determine why the spikes are coming in waves.

“As a parent myself I understand what it’s like to be scared for your child,” Messonnier said. “Parents need to know that AFM is very rare, even with the increase in cases that we are seeing now. We recommend seeking medical care right away if you or your child develop sudden weakness of the arms and legs.”


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  #392  
Old 10-18-2018, 06:57 PM
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I just appreciate any other example of where the word "flaccid" can be used.
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  #393  
Old 10-19-2018, 11:30 AM
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SEASONAL FLU
UNITED STATES

https://www.wwlp.com/health/unvaccin...son/1530896164

Quote:
Unvaccinated child becomes first Florida pediatric flu death of season

Spoiler:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) - An unvaccinated child has died after coming down with the flu, according to the Florida Department of Health.

It is the first influenza-associated pediatric death reported for the 2018-2019 flu season.

The child, who was not identified, tested positive for influenza B at a local health care provider. The death of the unvaccinated child was reported during the first week of flu season, which was Sept. 30 through Oct. 6, 2018.

Health officials say the child did not have any underlying medical conditions.

The Florida Department of Health receives reports of influenza-associated pediatric deaths each season.

The FDOH says most deaths are reported in unvaccinated children and children with underlying medical conditions. Children, especially those with certain health conditions are at increased risk of severe complications from influenza infection.

Influenza vaccinations have been shown to reduce a child’s likelihood of dying from influenza by up to 60 percent.

Other people who are at-risk for severe illness from the flu are pregnant women and adults who are 65 years old and up.

Pregnant Women

The FDOH says influenza is five times more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women (even those who are generally healthy) compared to women who are not pregnant.

Pregnant women with certain underlying medical conditions (such as asthma or heart disease) are at even great risk for severe complications from influenza.

The FDOH says inactivated influenza vaccines are safe, provide the best protection for pregnant women and their babies, and are recommended at any time during pregnancy. Vaccination during pregnancy provides maternal antibody protection to infants too young to be vaccinated for influenza and has been shown to protect pregnant women from influenza-associated hospitalization and preterm birth. For more information, talk to your health care provider

Adults ages 65 and up

Adults who are 65 years old and older are also at higher risk for severe complications from influenza infection, including hospitalization and death.

While influenza seasons vary in intensity, adults in this age group bear the greatest burden of severe influenza disease.

The FDOT says in Florida, an average of 80 percent of seasonal pneumonia and influenza deaths occurred in adults aged 65 years and up over the last five influenza seasons.

Annual vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza infection.

Check with your physician, your county health department, or use the Flu Shot Locator to schedule your flu vaccine.


https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...ly/1681771002/
Quote:
Mom who suddenly lost her 4-year-old son to the flu: Please get vaccinated early

Spoiler:
A mom and physician was left shocked and heartbroken after her healthy 4-year-old son died within two days of showing flu symptoms.

Leon Sidari died on Christmas morning last year.

He was scheduled to receive his flu shot during a routine checkup days later, mom Laura Sidari said. The boy was known for his infectious smile and gentleness.

"The flu shot fell through the cracks for my children in the midst of caring for my large family at a very busy time of the year," she told USA TODAY. "I have compassion that this also happens for many other excellent and smart parents."

The symptoms she noticed in her son before that day were all but common: fever and body aches. But, hours later, her son who rarely got sick had trouble breathing, and Sidari said she rushed him to the emergency room. He had bacterial pneumonia and the flu, doctors told her.

Leon Sidari showed flu symptoms only two days before his death, his mom Laura Sidari said.
Leon Sidari showed flu symptoms only two days before his death, his mom Laura Sidari said. (Photo: Laura Sidari)

“In the hospital, there came a moment when my brain knew that my son was dying, but my heart simply did not,” she told People. “In medical training, I can remember similar moments in the critical care setting, where death approached like a train hurtling towards its final destination. However, as a mother, nothing can prepare you for watching your child die.”

More: Unvaccinated child dies from the flu in Florida, state health officials say

Now, Sidari, who lives in Ohio, is pleading with other families to be proactive about getting flu shots as soon as possible. She recently shared a photo of her husband, also a military physician, and their younger sons Tristan, 2, and Cameron, 11 months, after receiving their vaccines this year.

"Leon is my reason this season, and every season, for getting flu shots on time," Sidari said.

She's encouraging others to share their flu shot photos using the hashtag #FluShotsForLeon.


getting my flu shot at work today
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  #394  
Old 10-19-2018, 11:30 AM
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SEASONAL FLU
ISRAEL

https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Fl...-Israel-569738
Quote:
FLU SHOT SEASON BEGINS IN ISRAEL
It's important, however, for everyone to get vaccinated in order to reduce the chance of the virus getting into the community and to protect those with weak immune systems.

Spoiler:
Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) received his annual flu (influenza) vaccination at a Tel Aviv school on Thursday morning.

Litzman was accompanied by Health Ministry Director Moshe Bar Siman Tov, both received the shot by Professor Itamar Grotto.

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"Vaccination is the cornerstone for preventing dangerous infectious diseases," Litzman said.

"In public health they (vaccinations) make a decisive contribution to the health of children and the general population. As I do every year, I came to get a flu shot this morning."

Each year, 20-30% of children and 5-10% of adults contract the flu, according to the Health Ministry website.

The flu usually manifests in a fever, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, among other symptoms, and could lead to complications such as pneumonia or even death.

The Health Ministry urges Israelis ages six months and older to get vaccinated, particularly pregnant women and those suffering from chronic diseases including obesity, heart problems, diabetes and Down syndrome.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


In order to prevent the spread of the flu and to protect those with weak immune systems, it is important for as many people as possible to get vaccinated.

"The vaccines available in Israel today are highly effective and safe," said Bar Siman Tov. "The rates of immunization coverage in Israel are relatively high compared to other countries, but in recent years there have been an increase in parents who chose not to vaccinate their children."

Mistrust in the authorities, fears about vaccine safety and side effects, and the perceptions that vaccines are only partially effective and not necessary for healthy people all contribute to a decrease in vaccinations.

Another factor may be “optimism bias,” the tendency of people to believe that they are at less risk of experiencing a negative event than others. All of us, however, should overcome bias, mistrust in scientific research and optimism and get flu shots.

Flu shots are administered in community clinics of the healthcare providers. The Ministry recommends to get a flu shot preferably before each winter, from September to November, but shots are available until the end of the influenza season, which is usually March.

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  #395  
Old 10-19-2018, 11:31 AM
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SEASONAL FLU

https://www.popsci.com/city-size-flu#page-2

Quote:
The smaller the city, the bigger the flu epidemic
Once again, influenza defies human logic.


Spoiler:
Flu season is upon us, but when exactly it will hit your urban jungle may depend largely on the size of the city, according to a new study published this month in the journal Science.

Densely populated areas like cities are excellent breeding grounds for viruses. They have plenty of human hosts in which to make camp, and those hosts are in close proximity to other humans to whom the virus can spread via a sneeze or a cough. Basic logic would suggest that the more people living a city, the more opportunities for the flu to spread and the more intense an outbreak would be. Smaller cities with less dense populations would simply have a harder time getting the virus from person to person. But no one had ever actually looked at whether small or large cities experience more intense outbreaks, even though the issue is increasingly important as we attempt to stay one step ahead of the tricky disease.

“The increasing majority of humans now live in cities and understanding how size and structure of cities may help us predict and control epidemics,” said Benjamin Dalziel, a population biologist at Oregon State University and one of the co-authors of the new paper, in a press conference.

To the researchers’ surprise, however, Dalziel and his colleagues found that people living in smaller cities like Nashville and Atlanta are more likely to face an intense epidemic of seasonal flu at some point in the annual flu cycle. Denser cities, like New York or Miami, see a steady stream of influenza cases, but no big outbreak all at once. (The researchers only looked at seasonal flu, not pandemic flu strains like the dreaded Spanish flu, which can crop up at any time of the year.) The question, then, was why.

They already knew humidity plays a key role in influenza transmission. The ever-evolving virus moves between human hosts best in cool, dry months when the viruses can survive for longer outside the body. The viruses sit in liquid particles in the air, say from a cough or a sneeze. During warmer, wetter times of the year, those droplets evaporate in the bright sun much more easily, leaving the virus high and dry. During cooler, dryer times, evaporation happens more slowly and the virus can float around in its miniature habitat longer and further.

Humidity alone couldn’t explain the patterns in the data. So, the scientists combined climate data with medical claims data for 603 U.S. cities from 2002 to 2008. They then used census data to estimate population size and density down to the level of a city block. “The increased resolution of the data made this study possible,” says Cecile Viboud, an epidemiologist with the National Institutes for Health and co-author on the new paper. Previous research looked at flu transmission primarily at the state or regional level, says Viboud. This study zoomed in.

Viboud and Dalziel found that when the weather conditions are just right in smaller cities, influenza goes crazy and results in a major spike in flu cases over a period of a couple days or weeks. In bigger cities, constant contact between individuals means influenza can easily hop from person to person without a drastic shift in the weather. These cities may see more total influenza cases than smaller cities do, but the cases are spread out over a much longer period of time.

“The main thing they looked at, which was very clever, was basically within each city does flu tend to be really peaky, or is it more spread out over the course of the year?” says Trevor Bedford, an epidemiologist and computational biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, who was not involved with the study. What the authors have done, says Bedford, is create “a predictive model that seems to work quite well, given… how big a city is, how dense it is, along with where it sits in terms of its climatic patterns. You can well predict how flu behaves and how flu spreads within the city.”

This pattern means the biggest cities can serve as “sentinel cities” for the rest of the United States, says Viboud. By tracking the strains starting to circulate in a place like New York early in the season, scientists can hopefully more accurately predict what strains will later pop up in other cities across the country.

Having a model like this can also help certain cities plan ahead, says Viboud. A sudden spike in cases can stress the local health care system, so this kind of information can help city officials to predict when the flu could hit them hardest, based on the structure of their city and weather patterns, and prepare in advance.

Going forward, Bedford says it would be helpful for scientists to apply this level of detail to flu transmission between cities, as well as within them. Viboud hopes they can expand the model beyond just the United States to see how flu behaves in other cities around the world, and if other diseases follow similar urban transmission patterns. As more and more people move to urban centers, these kinds of models could help scientists stay one step ahead of infectious diseases.


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  #396  
Old 10-22-2018, 05:35 PM
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MEASLES
EUROPE

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-...octors-n922146

Quote:
Measles outbreak raging in Europe could be brought to U.S., doctors warn
“People are dying from measles. This was unbelievable five or 10 years ago.”
Spoiler:
A raging measles outbreak in Europe may be a warning sign of what could occur in the U.S. if something doesn’t change soon, experts say.

So far this year, there have been 41,000 cases in Europe and 40 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. The European experience may offer a window on how quickly things can go awry when parents choose not to vaccinate their children, doctors caution.

Because measles is relatively rare in the U.S., many Americans have no idea of the disease's frightening impact and its stunning contagiousness.




Europe's measles outbreak sparks concern over what could happen in U.S.
OCT. 20, 201802:03
Many forget that measles isn’t just a childhood disease.

Silvia Rosetti, who lives in Rome, still has nightmares about contracting measles when she was 32 weeks pregnant in 2017. When Rosetti, now 41, was a child, measles vaccines were not required and she didn't think about the risk of exposure when she first became pregnant. She was healthy and ecstatic at the thought of having her first child. But then she caught measles and the symptoms came on in a rush: fever, cough and congestion so bad she could barely breathe.

“The situation got worse and worse so they decided to do a C-section,” Rosetti said. “I went into quarantine for five days. I couldn’t see my baby.” Her newborn son, Nathan, was also quarantined until doctors determined he was not infected. Rosetti developed pneumonia as a complication of her measles and was so weak she couldn’t stand up.

"And I had a rash even in my eyes, so I couldn't see anything," Rosetti told NBC News.

Rosetti eventually recovered. Her baby, Nathan is now a year old and has gotten all his vaccinations.

"If you do the vaccination, you love yourself, you love your sons, and you love everybody," she said. "You protect everybody. It's not just for myself or for my son."

Image: Silvia RosettiSilvia Rosetti contracted measles when she was 32 weeks pregnant. "It was really painful and I had a high fever. I was destroyed," she told NBC News. Courtesy Silvia Rosetti
Rosetti is one of the more than 2,000 people in Italy who have been diagnosed with measles already this year.

“We have a very serious situation,” said Dr. Alberto Villani, pediatric infectious disease doctor at Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital and the president of the Italian Pediatric Society. “People are dying from measles. This was unbelievable five or 10 years ago.”

Even in England, which had been declared free of measles by the World Health Organization a year ago, cases are surging.

Related

HEALTH
Vaccines don't overload babies' immune systems, study finds
The reason, experts say, is that in Europe, many parents have opted to skip vaccinating their children. “It’s the main factor leading to the outbreaks,” said Anca Paduraru of the European Commission in Brussels. “It’s unacceptable to have in the 21st century diseases that should have been and could have been eradicated.”

At least 95 percent of the population must have received at least two doses of measles vaccine to prevent outbreaks, WHO said. Some parts of Europe are below 70 percent.

The measles vaccine has been available in the U.S. since 1963, and is now commonly administered to children in tandem with the vaccines for mumps and rubella. The effectiveness of the vaccine led federal officials to declare measles eradicated in the U.S. back in 2000. Before the vaccine, there were 3 million to 4 million cases annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“They don’t realize their child is at risk for measles meningitis, encephalitis and permanent brain damage.”

But the success of vaccines has at least in part been their undoing.

Many parents are unfamiliar with the havoc measles can wreak because there have been few cases in the U.S. since the vaccine became widely available, said Dr. Jeffrey D. Klausner, a professor of medicine and public health at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“People don’t see them and so they forget about them or they think the diseases don’t exist anymore,” Klausner said. “They don’t realize their child is at risk for measles meningitis, encephalitis and permanent brain damage.”

As in Europe, the number of children in the U.S. going unvaccinated has been increasing in certain parts of the country, said Dr. Albert W. Wu, an internist and professor of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


“This is a real setup for disaster since measles is insanely contagious,” Wu said. “This is an accident waiting to happen.”

Why, when vaccines have been so successful at wiping out scourges like smallpox and polio, have parents become so skeptical of them?

“What has been happening in Europe is now happening in the U.S. — on a smaller scale at this point,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development at Baylor College of Medicine and author of “Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism: My Journey as a Vaccine Scientist, Pediatrician, and Autism Dad.”

The problem is the plethora of misinformation online, Hotez said. “The anti-vaccine groups have made very strategic use of the internet and social media,” he added. “It’s estimated that there are more than 400 anti-vaccine websites now, and when you put ‘vaccine’ into a search engine, it’s almost inevitable you’re going to get an anti-vaccine website popping up.”

And it’s not just the internet, Hotez said. “Now there are political action committees popping up in several states, including Texas,” he added.

Related

HEALTH
Thousands of young U.S. children get no vaccines, survey finds
It’s not clear what exactly is driving the anti-vaccine movement, Hotez said. But “there’s an element of the anti-vaccine movement that is peddling alternative therapies and making money off of phony treatments,” he said. “And there’s an element that have tied themselves to different political groups. In Texas the major anti-vaccine lobby likes to use libertarian garbage terms like ‘medical freedom’ or ‘medical choice.’ ”

The anti-vaxxers have had such a large impact that “now there is a terrific vulnerability in states like Texas and up in the Pacific Northwest,” Hotez said. “People forget that before kids were getting vaccinated we had between 400 and 700 deaths from measles annually in the U.S.”

Right now, there is no public relations campaign to explain why vaccines are so important, Hotez said. “It’s left to a handful of academics who are willing, like me, to go out and tell their personal stories,” he said. “And we’re clearly outgunned.”

Hotez said he wouldn’t be surprised to see a major measles outbreak in the U.S. this year.

That might help people understand what’s at stake, Wu said, adding, “I’m afraid it will take a really big outbreak in the United States before we begin to see a reversal of this anti-vaccine sentiment.”




Here are the European child vaccination rates:



And according to this, Canada has the lowest vaccination rates of the countries being compared:
https://data.oecd.org/healthcare/chi...tion-rates.htm
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