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  #331  
Old 12-12-2017, 01:37 PM
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Old 12-12-2017, 02:21 PM
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  #333  
Old 12-13-2017, 11:33 AM
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UNITED STATES
SEASONAL FLU

https://www.sfgate.com/technology/bu...t-12416538.php

Quote:
This year's flu shot is not as effective against one of the nastiest strains — but you should still get it

Spoiler:
This year's flu vaccine is not very effective at staving off one of the most virulent and common strains: H3N2.
The shot can still help prevent 40-60% of flu cases and make the virus milder if you do catch it.
Flu season is off to a strong start in the US: three states are already reporting high flu-like activity.
This year’s flu vaccine may not be as effective at protecting people against one of the most common, nasty strains of the flu. But that doesn’t mean you should forgo the shot.
The flu vaccine generally reduces the risk of the overall population contracting influenza by 40-60%, but this year’s shot isn't much help in protecting people from one of the most active, severe strains circulating: the H3N2 virus.
Dr Michael Osterholm, who directs The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told Business Insider that the vaccine is, at best, around 10% effective on H3N2.
A nurse administers a flu shot, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, at Perry Memorial Hospital in Princeton, Illinois, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017. Photo: Daniel Acker, Bloomberg
Photo: Daniel Acker, Bloomberg
IMAGE 1 OF 3 A nurse administers a flu shot, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, at Perry Memorial Hospital in Princeton, Illinois, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017.
"Unfortunately, it's the one strain that the vaccine is really underperforming in, in every regard," he said.
That strain caused some of the most severe illnesses and deaths in the Southern Hemisphere during their flu season this year, particularly in older populations. In Australia, the government reported most of the known influenza cases were H3N2, and Australian labs diagnosed more than two and a half times more cases of the flu this year (compared to last.)

AN ABOVE-AVERAGE FLU SEASON IN THE US?
It’s still early in the flu season, but three US states, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina, are experiencing high "Influenza-Like Illness" activity.
cdc flu view dec 2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Federal flu forecaster Dave Osthus at the Los Alamos National Laboratory told Business Insider that flu levels are looking a little higher than average for this time of year, but they’re still within a normal range. He predicts the peak of flu season will hit sometime between late December and early March 2018.

WHY THE SHOT IS LESS EFFECTIVE THIS YEAR
Labs have updated the part of the vaccine that protects against the H1N1 strain this year.
But the reason the 2017 shot isn't preventing as many cases of the H3N2 strain is that while scientists were growing the virus in chicken eggs, that strain mutated. It's not a harmful defect, but it means that the non-live strain of H3N2 influenza in the injection is slightly different than what's actually circulating in the human population.
h3n2 flu cases 2017Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
That means our bodies don't have the best possible antibodies to fight off real cases of H3N2. Consequently, the majority of flu cases reported in the US so far this season have been that H3N2 strain.
Last week, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases made an urgent plea for better vaccines in the New England Journal of Medicine, saying "longer-term, transformative vaccine approaches are needed to minimize influenza-related morbidity and mortality."
WHY YOU SHOULD STILL GET VACCINATED
Osterholm said it’s still a good idea to get a shot. Roughly 40 percent of the US population opts for the vaccine every year, and the CDC estimates it prevents about 5 million flu cases annually across the country.

Flu vaccination can also come in the form of a live-flu mist, but the CDC is not recommending that anyone get that this year because it's been less effective than the shot in recent years.
In addition to lowering your chances of getting the flu, the shot can also make the illness milder if you do catch it. Studies of pregnant women who get the flu shot have also shown it can reduce their newborns' risk of catching the flu by half.
Getting your flu shot can also contribute to ‘herd immunity’ — less cases of the flu overall means more protection for the most vulnerable people in the population: the elderly, children, and individuals with certain allergies who can’t get the vaccine.
Most importantly, a flu shot won’t ever give you the flu, since the virus that's injected is not live. The shot can come with common side effects, however, including soreness, low-grade fever and muscle aches. But that’s still a lot better than coming down with a full-blown flu, which can knock people out for over a week.



Weekly updates here:
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm


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  #334  
Old 12-19-2017, 04:50 PM
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SEASONAL FLU

UNITED STATES

https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2017...l&utm_medium=1

Quote:
New study suggests flu vaccine could work as well as last year's
The flu strain crossing Australia this year -- and limiting the efficacy of the vaccine there -- is different than the one in the United States, which means the vaccine could work.
Spoiler:
MONDAY, Dec. 18, 2017 -- As the flu barrels across the United States, the good news is that this year's vaccine may work better than many expected.

The flu has reached epidemic proportions in seven of the 10 regions in the country, according to Lynnette Brammer, an epidemiologist in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's influenza division.


Even more troubling, the same, more severe H3N2 flu strain that was around last year is circulating again this year, she said.

That concerned flu experts who had watched the vaccine show only 10 percent effectiveness against the H3N2 strain that circulated in Australia, where the flu season has just ended.

But a recent report in the journal F1000 Research found the Australian strain of H3N2 is not identical to the predominant virus circulating in the United States.

"The majority of the viruses are well-covered by the vaccine," said lead researcher Dr. Slobodan Paessler, a professor in the department of pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

"There are some minor groups of viruses that are not well-covered," he added.

"The current vaccine in the U.S., in contrast to the Australian [vaccine], will work because we have most of the American H3N2 viruses, rather than the Australian one," Paessler explained.

Using a computer program to compare the viruses used in the vaccine to the circulating strains of flu in the United States, Paessler and his colleague, Veljko Veljkovic from Biomed Protection in Galveston, found they are a good match. That means the vaccine should be as effective as it was last year.

Last year, the vaccine was 43 percent effective against the H3N2 virus and 48 percent effective overall, according to the CDC.

While vaccine effectiveness can vary from year to year, recent studies show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40 and 60 percent among the general population.

Brammer said that other types of flu are around, including influenza A H1N1 and a couple of influenza B viruses. The flu vaccine is very effective against these strains, she said.

"The vaccine doesn't work as well for H3N2 as we would like, but does work for some, and it may provide partial protection. And there are a lot of H1N1 and B viruses out there," she said.

And even though the vaccine is only partially effective, it still will prevent many people from coming down with flu and make it milder for those who catch it, Brammer said.

If you do get flu, Brammer suggests taking antivirals such as Tamiflu to reduce the number of days you are sick. The drug works best when taken right when you get sick, so seeing your doctor early is a good move, she said.

The CDC also advises people to wash their hands often to prevent spreading flu and to stay home if they're sick so they won't spread it to others.

The flu is being seen throughout the country and is very active in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas, the CDC reports.

And CNN reports that the CDC says more than 6,000 people have tested positive for the flu this year. That number is twice that of reported cases at the same time last year.

It's too early to tell if H3N2 will continue to be the predominant strain or whether H1N1 will surpass it, Brammer said.

Usually, a H3N2 portends a severe flu year, but mild H3N2 years have also occurred, she added.
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  #335  
Old 12-21-2017, 02:20 PM
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YEMEN
CHOLERA

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/1...094230526.html

Quote:
Number of cholera cases in Yemen hits one million
Spoiler:
The number of cholera cases in Yemen has hit one million people according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a new milestone for what was already one of the fastest growing outbreaks of the deadly disease in modern history.

After almost three years of war between a Saudi-led coalition and Houthi rebels, more than 80 percent of Yemenis lack access to food, fuel, clean water, and healthcare.

As of late September, cholera had killed more than 2,200 people in Yemen, according to UN figures.

Although cholera has a death rate of 0.3 percent, the size of the outbreak combined with the lack of equipment and medical staff to deal with the crisis puts thousands more at risk of death.

Both the rebels and the coalition are accused of preventing free access to medical facilities, and compounding the crisis by besieging civilian areas or enforcing blockades.


INSIDE STORY: How can Yemen's humanitarian crisis be solved? (25:00)
The UN says the outbreak has affected over 90 percent of districts and 21 out of 22 governorates in Yemen.

The disease is spread through water and food that has been contaminated with waste from a person who already has the disease, and occurs most frequently in places with poor sanitation and sewage facilities.

Yemen's conflict has brought its healthcare system to its knees with many hospitals unable to help patients due to a lack of appropriate medicine and damage to equipment caused by Saudi-led coalition air attacks.

Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab and Muslim states intervened in Yemen, with western support, in March 2015.

That followed the capture of the Yemeni capital Sanaa in 2014 by Houthi-allied forces, and their subsequent advance southwards towards the port city of Yemen.

Despite control of the country's skies and a naval blockade, Saudi forces have failed to dislodge the Houthis from much of northern Yemen.

The fallout of the continuing conflict on civilians has been massive with millions facing hunger, according to the UN, which says the country is on the brink of famine and described the crisis as the world's worst crisis.
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Old 12-25-2017, 09:05 PM
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This thread prompted me to bring alcohol wipes to clean the tray table when flying.
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  #337  
Old 12-31-2017, 09:53 AM
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UNITED STATES
SEASONAL FLU

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...rly/990271001/
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  #338  
Old 01-11-2018, 09:00 PM
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SEASONAL FLU

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.8c65b4693487

Quote:
He was 21 and fit. He tried to push through the flu — and it killed him.
Spoiler:
Kyler Baughman seemed to be the face of fitness.

The aspiring personal trainer filled his Facebook page with photos of himself riding motorbikes and lifting weights. The 21-year-old once posted an image of a kettlebell with a skeleton, reading: “CrossFit, hard to kill.”

So when he came down with the flu, his mother said, he possibly assumed he simply needed rest.

“I think he thought, ‘I just got the flu; I’ll be all right,’ ” his mother, Beverly Baughman, told NBC affiliate WPXI.

But days after Christmas, Kyler Baughman was worse — coughing and running a fever, his family told the station.

They said he went to a nearby hospital, in western Pennsylvania — and, from there, was flown to UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh.

Soon after, on Dec. 28, he died of “organ failure due to septic shock caused by influenza,” his mother told WPXI.

Kyler Baughman, from Latrobe, had gone home for the holidays with “a snotty nose,” his mother recalled in an interview earlier this week with WPXI.

“We saw him the 23rd for our family Christmas get-together and we noticed he wasn’t feeling well,” Beverly Baughman told the news station.

The day after Christmas, Kyler Baughman went back to work — he earned a living as a mover at a local furniture store and as an unloader at Walmart, according to his social media accounts.

But he could not make it through the day.

Olivia Marcanio, who was identified by WPXI as Baughman's fiancee, declined to comment to The Washington Post, but told the station that Kyler “just laid down and went about his day, and that was the day he was coughing and said his chest hurt. He had a mild cough.”

Now — not even two weeks after his death — his mother said: “It doesn’t seem real.”

Each year, as many as 650,000 people die from respiratory illnesses related to influenza — an increase from the previous decade, when that number was 250,000 to 500,000, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

“These figures indicate the high burden of influenza and its substantial social and economic cost to the world,” Peter Salama, executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, said last month. “They highlight the importance of influenza prevention for seasonal epidemics, as well as preparedness for pandemics.”

However, according to the CDC, “most people who get influenza will recover in several days to less than two weeks.” Complications range from sinus and other infections to pneumonia and organ failure.

The CDC reported that 6 percent of deaths in the United States during the week of Nov. 5 resulted from complications from pneumonia and influenza.

Kyler Baughman's family told WPXI that they do not believe he got a flu shot this year.

Then, when he got sick, “I just think he ignored it and thought it’d go away like most people,” his mother told the station.

According to his obituary, he enjoyed “motocross, reading, and going to the gym.”

That’s one reason his family wants to send this message to others: Listen to your body.

“Try and know your body. Don’t let things go,” Kyler Baughman’s father, Todd, told WPXI through tears. “Whenever you have a fever for multiple days, don’t let it go, get it taken care of.”


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  #339  
Old 01-13-2018, 02:31 PM
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UNITED STATES
SEASONAL FLU

http://abc7chicago.com/health/cdc-fl...to-20/2934540/

Quote:
CDC: Flu now epidemic, number of fatal pediatric cases rises to 20
Spoiler:
Seven more children have died of the flu in the past week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those deaths bring the total number of fatal pediatric flu cases to 20.

The CDC's latest report said that the United States is officially in a flu epidemic. The disease is widespread in 49 states.

In Idaho, the situation is so dire that an entire school district shut down this week. Cleaning crews are now working overtime to sanitize the schools.

A school in North Carolina was also forced to close after 160 students were out sick with flu-like symptoms.

During an especially bad flu season in 2014, ABC's Paula Faris tested how fast viruses spread by putting a harmless powder called "Glow-Germ" on two fourth-graders' hands.

The powder was designed to spread just like viruses would - and after one hour, it had spread to every one of the students' classmates.

Officials said the best way to keep the virus at bay is to wash your hands frequently and carefully and get a flu shot if you haven't already.

If you're feeling sick, don't assume it's too late to get treatment with an anti-viral drug like Tamiflu.

"You've heard us in the past say they only work in the first 48 hours," said ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Jennifer Ashton. "New data out of the CDC suggest this is not true, and survival benefits in higher risk patients if given after that two day window. So treatment should not be withheld because you're at 49 hours."

CDC officials said that this is likely the peak of flu season because the spread started early this year. Even so, it could go on for another 13 weeks. Friday's report stressed that the most vulnerable groups are people over 65 and children younger than five.
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Old 01-16-2018, 01:12 PM
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UNITED STATES
SEASONAL FLU
CONNECTICUT

http://northsalem.dailyvoice.com/new...th-salem-25970

Quote:
Complications From Flu Caused Death Of 10-Year-Old Boy From New Canaan
Spoiler:
NEW CANAAN, Conn. — Flu and pneumonia followed by sepsis was the cause of death of a 10-year-old boy from New Canaan who died suddenly over the weekend, according to the New Canaan News Online.

Nico Mallozzi began to feel ill last Thursday, Jan. 11, and traveled to Buffalo, to be with his hockey team over the weekend, New Canaan Director of Health Dr. David Reed told New Canaan News Online on Tuesday.

Nico, who did not feel well and did not play in the hockey tournament, was taken to the emergency room at Buffalo Women’s and Children’s Hospital, where he was diagnosed with Influenza B, New Canaan News Online said.

Related story: New Canaan School Chief Offers Reassurances After Death Of 10-Year-Old

The family decided to return home Sunday but Nico's condition worsened and he was taken to a New York hospital where he died, New Canaan News Online said.

The boy's cause of death was determined by the New York medical examiner’s office.

New Canaan Superintendent of Schools Bryan Luizzi said the school district has taken the precaution of having the custodians perform extra “cleanings” at all school buildings. "These efforts will continue throughout the Influenza season," he said.

At West Elementary, where Nico was a fourth-grader, school psychologists, the social worker, administrators and the school nurse are available for students.

"Counselors at all schools are ready to assist students and parents tomorrow and beyond, as we continue to struggle through this awful tragedy together," Luizzi said.

Luizzi also warned parents that Influenza poses a serious health risk, and "regardless of its possible connection with this tragedy, it is important for everyone to take appropriate precautions, including receiving the influenza vaccination."

Additionally, anyone who experiences flu symptoms should seek medical advice. Parents are asked to keep children home who do not feel well, he said.

The Influenza B is spreading in the Northeast, and over 1,000 cases of the flu with at least 15 flu-related deaths in Connecticut so far this flu season.

Symptoms of the flu include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue.

Nico played hockey for the Norwalk-based Connecticut Roughriders, which posted a statement on its website:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mallozzi family right now. It is a very sad day for all of us, Nico was a great kid with a great smile and he will be missed greatly. We will never forget you, Nico.”
separately, on my blog, on Mondays, I'm pulling news stories from 100 years ago.
http://stump.marypat.org/article/892...f-january-1918

I'm trying to see if I can catch details of the wave of the Spanish Flu (though that will come later in the year).

I also found some stats on flu deaths:
https://www.cdc.gov/MMWR/preview/mmw...cid=mm5933a1_w



Pediatric flu deaths (under age 19) ranged between 41 and 234 for a season over that 30-year period. Most deaths are for the over age 65 group.
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