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News Reports for December 9, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 14:28:44 PM EST

Reminder: Please do not post whole articles, just snippets and links, and do not post articles from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Thanks!

• Flu hits Alberta hard this season (Link)

United States
• PA: Flu season gets busier in Pennsylvania (Link)

• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for December 9, 2012

News for December 8, 2012 is here.

Thanks to all of the newshounds!
Special thanks to the newshound volunteers who translate international stories - thanks for keeping us all informed!

Other useful links:
WHO A(H1N1) Site
WHO H5N1 human case totals, last updated August 10, 2012
Charts and Graphs on H5N1 from WHO
Google Flu Trends
CDC Weekly Influenza Summary
Map of seasonal influenza in the U.S.
CIDPC (Canada) Weekly FluWatch
UK RCGP Weekly Data on Communicable and Respiratory Diseases
Flu Wiki

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Canada: Flu hits Alberta hard this season
EDMONTON - It's the dreaded, much less festive side of the holiday season: chills, fever, body aches and fatigue.

Alberta health officials say there are more cases of influenza circulating in the province compared with this time last year, in part because the virus got off to a lazy start in 2011.

As of Dec 1, there are 204 lab-confirmed cases of the flu, 100 of which are in the Edmonton area. That compares to only 17 instances of the virus across the province for the same period in 2011.

Calgary has had 60 confirmed cases this flu season. The central health zone, which includes Red Deer, has tallied 37 cases and the north zone, seven. No flu cases have been confirmed in the south health zone of the province.


The fact that so many cases are popping up across Alberta is a good reminder for people to get a flu shot to guard against the illness - especially during the holiday season. "People get together more often this time of year and germs love that," MacDonald said. "Whether it's influenza or some of our other viruses that circulate at this time, it's a way to transmit to more people, so get your vaccine."

As of Dec. 1, 419,533 doses of the influenza vaccine have been administered to the public. Fewer people in Edmonton -
who have received 140,836 doses - have been inoculated compared to Calgary, where 142,799 vaccinations have been done.

Each year, about 22 per cent of Alberta's population gets immunized against the flu each year, (Snip).  immunization numbers were down about seven per cent compared with the same time period in 2011, even though the vaccination was available in a nasal spray for young children scared of needles. But so few chose that option that the spray has since been made available to adults as well.

Alberta has consistently failed to reach its vaccination targets. Alberta Health Services aims to vaccinate 75 per cent of seniors against influenza in 2012-13, but only managed to give the shots to 59 per cent in 2010-11. For children ages six months to 23 months, only 27 per cent were vaccinated in 2010-11 compared to the 2012-13 goal of 75 per cent, notes the latest performance report from the health authority.

Most people who get the flu will recover within one to two weeks, but some people are at risk of developing complications such as pneumonia. The main complications are secondary bacterial infections of the sinuses or lungs. Continued: http://www.edmontonjournal.com...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


Correct link to above:

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


[ Parent ]
US: Flu season gets busier in Pennsylvania
Signs that the flu season might not be anything like last year's mild one grew last week as Pennsylvania health authorities reported increased numbers of influenza cases.

The state Department of Health last week upgraded its report of flu activity from "sporadic" to "regional," one level below the busiest category. It said confirmed flu cases have been identified in 53 of the state's 67 counties; most of the flu activity so far is in the western half of the state.

When the counting is done next week, state officials expect that flu activity will reach "widespread," the busiest category, said Dr. Stephen Ostroff, director of the state Bureau of Epidemiology.

Locally, the department reported that between Oct. 2 and Dec. 1, 15 laboratory-positive influenza cases were confirmed in Lehigh County and 13 in Northampton County. The state reports only laboratory-confirmed cases, which are a fraction of the true burden on society, it says.

Sue Madeja of the Bethlehem Health Bureau said the bureau has not seen unusual numbers of flu cases so far. However, reports that this may be a hard flu season have spurred interest in flu vaccinations, she said. The bureau has administered all but a few hundred of the 2,000 doses it ordered, Madeja said.

Officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week said signs are pointing toward a heavy flu season. "This is the earliest regular flu season we've had in nearly a decade, since the 2003-2004 flu season," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC director. "That was an early and severe flu year, and while flu is always unpredictable, the early nature of the cases as well as the specific strains we're seeing suggest that this could be a bad flu year."
The highest level of influenza-like illnesses so far is in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas, officials said.

Flu activity in Pennsylvania is following the national pattern. According to Holli Senior, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health, officials reported 173 cases in the last full week for which data were collected. During the same week last year, there were 11 cases and there were 17 in 2010, she said.

Over last year's mild flu season, which covers fall, winter and part of spring, health authorities reported fewer than 2,000 flu cases statewide, compared with more than 19,000 the previous year, Senior said. Continued: http://www.mcall.com/news/loca...  

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


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