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News Reports for January 5, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 14:02:30 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 season 'a bit scary' this year, hospital official says  (Link)

• Maharashtra: H1N1 patient in critical condition (Link)

United States
• MN: Sleepy Eye med center restricts visits due to flu (Link)
• MT: Influenza cases on rise in state (Link)
• OK: Flu In Oklahoma Reaching Peak, Expected To Get Worse (Link)
• PA: Flu 'widespread' in Pennsylvania (Link)
• TN: 'Severe' flu season swamps Le Bonheur, prompts calls for shots and doctor visits (Link)
• TX: Flu Season Arrives with a Vengeance (Link)
• TX: Flu, GI Virus Going Around Central Texas (Link)

• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for January 5, 2013

News for January 4, 2013 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 December 17, 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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US: 'Severe' flu season swamps Le Bonheur, prompts calls for shots and doctor visits (Tennessee)
Amid an unusually nasty flu season that has left Le Bonheur Children's Hospital full of sick kids, health officials Friday asked parents and families for help in heading off a possible new surge in illnesses now that schools are reopening after the holiday break.

This flu season began early - around Thanksgiving - and has been especially difficult because it involves at least two strains, including an Infuenza B type (Snip) Influenza A (H3N2) (Snip).

"We're having one of the more severe flu seasons we've had in several years...," McCullers said. "Usually, we see a lull around the holidays because kids aren't in school spreading it back and forth, but it's been real constant."

The approximately 225 beds in service at Le Bonheur "have been full every day for a couple of weeks," McCullers said, largely because of the uptick in flu cases. (Snip).

With schools back in session, there might be "another surge" in flu cases, McCullers said. Continued: http://www.commercialappeal.co...

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


US: Flu In Oklahoma Reaching Peak, Expected To Get Worse
OKLAHOMA CITY - The flu season is already in full swing! The CDC says the flu is reaching a peak in the United States, the earliest experts have seen in a decade.

Over the past three weeks, hospitals in the Oklahoma City metro have been reporting a significant increase in the number of people coming in with flu symptoms, and doctors say the suffering is far from over.

"Everything in my body...ached," OU student Keith Cornelius Jr. said. "I didn't even want to get out of bed."

(Snip) Since Christmas, two people in Oklahoma have died from the flu and 170 have been hospitalized, according to officials at Integris Health in Oklahoma City.

"It's only going to get worse," Dr. Bronwyn Woods said. "Over the next six to eight weeks, it'll get worse then we'll, hopefully, [be] on the down end of it."


Doctors say mild cases of this season's flu can put a person in bed and out of work for seven to 10 days. The majority of people will likely miss 14 to 16 days of work.

"Nationwide, there's been a large epidemic," Woods said. "We have more in store for us."


Doctors say this season's flu shot is not doing that great of a job against the current strain. However, most physicians recommend getting the shot because, while it's not a guarantee you will not get sick, you are still less likely to get sick. Children less than four years of age and people 65 years and older are more likely to contract the flu. http://www.news9.com/story/205...

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


US: Sleepy Eye med center restricts visits due to flu (Minnesota)
SLEEPY EYE, Minn. - The Sleepy Eye Medical Center in south-central Minnesota is restricting visitors because of the flu outbreak.

(Snip) the restriction implemented this week is similar to what the medical center did in 2009 during the H1N1 outbreak. (Snip) until further notice, only immediate family is allowed to visit patients in the hospital.

(Snip) the step was taken to slow the spread of the flu from patient-to-patient, but officials also made the move to keep staff healthy. http://www.startribune.com/loc...

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


India: H1N1 patient in critical condition (Maharashtra)
PUNE: An Alandi Road resident (42) suffering from swine flu became critically ill and has been put on ventilator support at a private hospital, officials said on Friday. "The man was put on ventilator support at the Ruby Hall Clinic on Thursday. He tested positive for the H1N1 virus on Friday," (Snip).

The man started developing symptoms on December 25. "He initially had body ache and weakness. His condition became worse and he started suffering from breathlessness with chills and fever from December 27," (Snip).

(Snip) he had been put on Tamiflu medicines right from the day of admission to the hospital. "His condition became critical. He was intubated and put on control mode ventilator at 10 am on Thursday," (Snip).


This month, seven people have tested positive for swine flu. "This is the first patient this month whose condition has become critical," (Snip). http://timesofindia.indiatimes...

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


Flu 'widespread' in Pennsylvania
 January 5, 2013

The influenza virus is "widespread" in Pennsylvania, and this year's strain is especially dangerous for the elderly, according to the state Department of Health.

Since the beginning of October, 7,181 confirmed cases of flu were reported in Pennsylvania, including 46 in Lackawanna County, 222 in Luzerne, 34 in Wyoming, 19 in Wayne, 28 in Susquehanna, 12 in Pike and 60 in Monroe, according to the department. Four flu-related deaths have been reported this season.

Laboratory-confirmed cases represent only a fraction of the population affected by the flu. Last season, 19,000 confirmed cases were reported to the state.

This year's strain, H3N2, is a strong flu, but people can diminish the risk of falling ill by getting a flu shot, said Joseph C. Koval, M.D., medical director for clinical performance at Geisinger CMC.

full article

United we stand: Divided we fall

Flu Season Arrives with a Vengeance
January 5, 2013
The flu has arrived with a vengeance -- both locally and statewide -- as the number of people going to clinics and hospitals with flu-like illnesses continues to rise.
And officials are concerned that it could get worse as the influenza season moves into January and February -- its peak months.

"This season started very early and then it expanded," said Donald Murphey, medical director of pediatric infectious disease at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. "It's blossomed through December and they flooded into our clinics and our emergency rooms. Our emergency room volume through December and January has been very high."

Cook's has seen the number of flu-related visits to its emergency room jump from 41 by Nov. 24 to 479 through Dec. 29.  Other hospitals say that they are seeing spikes in flu-like cases as well.

"We are seeing a higher volume at this time," said Robert Genzel, an emergency medicine physician with Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.

Denton County hospitals reported 269 positive flu cases through Dec. 29. During the same period last year only two flu cases were reported, said Juan Rodriguez, Denton County health department chief epidemiologist.

"The numbers are just the tip of the iceberg," Rodriguez said. "Doctors don't have to report the flu to us, so we are just capturing a sample of what's actually out there. It's looking bad, but it's hard to say how bad it's going to be."

"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson

Flu, GI Virus Going Around Central Texas
January 5, 2013
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention  says we haven't seen such an early flu season since about 2003. Texas is one of 29 states with reported high levels of flu activity.
Between four and five flu cases a day are being diagnosed at one local clinic. Compare that to last week, these doctors were only seeing one patient a week with the flu.  

The doctors at Cedar Park Pediatric and Family Medicine say the number of patients with the influenza virus has doubled.

"Within the past month, it has really picked up...me, personally, have been diagnosing at least four cases of flu each day," said Dr. Lindsey Moore.

Flu cases are happening earlier than usual this year, but it's not the only virus bringing more people in to see the doctor.
"A lot of adults they have been seeing have been having vomiting and diarrhea without the other flu symptoms, which means the high fever, the body aches and chills and typically, without those other symptoms, it's some other virus and not the flu itself," said Moore.  It's called the GI virus.
Dr. Moore said, "The GI viruses can actually go year round. Their typical seasons are actually in the summer and you can get it year round.  From my experience, both of them are very highly contagious," Dr. Moore said. "The influenza virus can, in addition to causing the typical symptoms...can also lead to vomiting and diarrhea as well."

"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson

Canada: Flu season 'a bit scary' this year, hospital official says
CBC Sudbury: Flu season 'a bit scary' this year, hospital official says
Residents at Pioneer Manor in Sudbury have been hit hard by a nasty influenza bug that struck more than 60 residents over New Year's weekend.

Health care staff said it's a normal occurrence around flu season, but this year the disease has come earlier and hit with more force.

"It was quite overwhelming because of the number of people that got sick very quickly and how sick they got," said Nicole Haslam, who manages infection control at the residence.

Additional story from Toronto Star: Flu season hits the GTA hard.

GTA = Greater Toronto Area. Still in Ontario but it's a long way from Toronto to Sudbury.  

Influenza cases on rise in state

Incidents are hitting earlier, but it's not too late to get a shot
11:54 AM, Jan 5, 2013   |   Comments

Written by Briana Wipf -Tribune Staff Writer

Great Falls
Compared to this time last year, Montana and the entire nation are experiencing higher incidents of confirmed or suspected cases of influenza, state and county officials said.

"Nationally, we are three to four weeks ahead of where we normally are," said Jim Murphy of the Montana Department of Health and Human Services Communicable Disease Control Bureau. "We're hoping it means (the season) will end earlier."

When graphed, influenza cases tend to form a bell curve over a season, climbing steadily, peaking, then falling off, said Pam Webb, infection control officer at Benefis Health System in Great Falls.

"We don't know exactly where we are on that curve,"
she said. The Cascade City-County Health Department noted 57 cases of influenza were reported during the last week of December, compared to one reported case during the last week of December 2011. According to data from Benefis, 87 cases of influenza have been confirmed there since Nov. 1. Nearly 40 percent of those patients were sick enough to require hospitalization, according to a Benefis media release.

In memory of pogge: Peace, order and good government, eh?
[If we want it, we'll have to work at it.]

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