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News Reports for January 25, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 20:04:31 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!

Bird flu infects three in Cambodia, killing two (Link)

• Maharashtra: 40-year-old man dies of swine flu (Link)

United States
• Flu spreads to all 50 states but on the wane in parts (Link)
• Severe flu virus hits nation early this year  (Link)
• CA: Flu, Cold Cases Affecting Local Schools (Link)
• CT: Connecticut Flu Deaths Now At 17 (Link)
• IL: Flu Epidemic May Be Putting Blood Donors Out Of Commission; Blood Shortage In Flu Season  (Link)
• MN: Minn. flu toll peaks as deaths top '09-10 (Link)
• NJ: Flu Kills Four New Jersey Children, Wreaks Havoc In Hospitals (Link)

• U.S. researchers tracking flu through Twitter (Link)

• CIDRAP: Study puts global 2009 pandemic H1N1 infection rate at 24% (Link)
• Tips to care for your kids when they get the flu (Link)
• Young Kids and the Flu: Prevention And Treatment (Link)

• Recombinomics: US Pediatric Flu Deaths Increase To Fifty (Link)
• Recombinomics: US Cities With Week 3 P&I Death Rates Greater Than 10% (Link)

• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for January 25, 2013

News for January 24, 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 researchers tracking flu through Twitter
Researchers and computer scientists at Johns Hopkins University have devised a way to track cases of influenza across the United States using the microblogging site Twitter.

Twitter is full of tweets about the flu, which has been severe and reached epidemic proportions this year, but it has been difficult to separate tweets about the flu from actual cases.

"We wanted to separate hype about the flu from messages from people who truly become ill," (Snip).  To solve the problem, Dredze and his colleagues developed a screening method based on human language-processing technologies that only delivers real-time information on actual flu cases and filters out the rest of the chatter on the public tweets in the United States.

The researchers at the Baltimore university tested the system by comparing their results with data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"In late December," Dredze said on Thursday, "the news media picked up on the flu epidemic, causing a somewhat spurious rise in the rate produced by our Twitter system. But our new algorithm handles this effect much better than other systems" (Snip).

The scientists (Snip) have also produced maps of the United States that show the impact of the flu on each state. (Snip). http://www.indianexpress.com/n...

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


US: Number of flu-related deaths in Minnesota tops 2009-10 pandemic tally
Fifteen people in Minnesota died from the flu during the third week of January, (Snip) bringing the statewide total for the season to 75.


The latest confirmed fatal cases occurred from Jan. 13 to 19. The latest weekly total is a sharp drop from the 33 fatalities attributed to the flu in the second week of January.

The state Health Department continues to report a significant number of schools registering confirmed outbreaks. There were 112 last week. There were 90 confirmed outbreaks at schools the previous week.

Confirmed outbreaks in long-term care facilities from Jan. 13-19 totaled nine, compared with more than 50 the week before  http://www.startribune.com/lif...

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


US Pediatric Flu Deaths Increase To Fifty
Recombinomics Commentary

NYC (1), FL (2), TX (1), CO (4)

The above numbers from the week 3 MMWR reportable diseases page indicate tomorrow's CDC week 3 FluView will have 8 more pediatric deaths, increasing the season total to 37, which surpasses last season's total of 34 deaths.  However, 4 of the 8 cases listed above are from Colorado, which had been reported in the state reports for weeks 50 and 2.  The FluView numbers have a significant lag.  Colorado reported a fifth death in its week 3 report and as seen in the list below, there are 13 confirmed or probable cases that have already been reported, raising the season total to fifty.  Moreover, many of the state week 3 reports have not been made public yet, so the total below may increase further this week.

The similarities between the 2012-13 season and 2003-04 are increasing.  In late 2003 the Pneumonia & Influenza death rate briefly topped 10%, and the  current week 3 rate is at 9.8%.  Moreover, this level is a large increase over the 8.3% reported for week 2, which was a large increase of the 7.3% reported for week 1.  Thus, the week 4 level may top the peak seen in 2003.


This season most of the pediatric and adult deaths are due to H3N2, which is the serotype causing the large number of deaths in the 2003-04 as well as 2007-08 seasons.

FluView pediatric cases (37)
Wk   #    Location
03    8    NYC FL(2) TX CO(4)
02    9    MA NY(2) OH MN NE TX(2) MI
01    2    KS TX
52    2    MI NY
51    8    AR FL ME MI(2) TX WA WI
50    2    NJ
49    1    TX
48    3    IN FL SC
46    1    TX
41    1    TN

Pediatric deaths not in FluView (13)
03    6    PA#  MI+ CO HI* AZ* NJ*
02    6    OH+ DE* MD* CA* NJ* IL+
52    1    IN

*  = Lab confirmed but not in state updates
+ = Under investigation
# = Obituary report


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


US Cities With Week 3 P&I Death Rates Greater Than 10%
Recombinomics Commentary

The week 3 Pneumonia and Influenza (P&I) Death Rate jumped to 9.8% from 8.3% in week 2.  The 8.3% in week 2 represented a full percentage point jump from the 7.3% in week 1, which was just above the epidemic threshold. (Snip) However, the steep curve in the recent rates suggests the rate in week 4 may be higher than the record level in 2003.

(Snip).  In week 3 the number of cities that match the above criteria increased to 36 (see list below) including six with a rate above 20% (Canton OH, Duluth MN, New Haven CT, Knoxville TN, Worchester MA, Waterbury CT) as well as 9 more with rates above 15% (Erie PA, Ogden UT, South Bend IN, Akron OH, Des Moines IA, Washington DC, Syracuse NY, Providence RI, Austin TX).

Regions (6)

Cities (36)
Canton OH 31.9%
Duluth MN 26.8%
New Haven CT 25.5%
Knoxville TN 22.6%
Worchester MA 21.7%
Waterbury CT 20.8%
Erie PA 19.1%
Ogden UT 17.9%
South Bend IN 17.8%
Akron OH 16.4%
Des Moines IA 16.2%
Washington DC 16.2%
Syracuse NY 16.0%
Providence RI 15.8%
Austin TX 15.0%
Los Angeles CA 14.9%
Boston MA 14.8%
Richmond VA 14.7%
San Jose CA 14.4%
Dayton OH 14.1%
Indianapolis IN 14.1%
St Paul MN 13.9%
Buffalo NY 13.0%
Memphis TN 12.7%
Salt Lake City UT 12.4%
Tulsa OK 12.4%
Peoria IL 11.8%
San Diego CA 11.4%
Las Vegas NV 11.0%
Cleveland OH 10.9%
Omaha NE 10.9%
Birmingham AL 10.8%
Tacoma WA 10.7%
San Antonio TX 10.7%
Baltimore MD 10.5%
Albuquerque NM 10.2%


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


CIDRAP: Study puts global 2009 pandemic H1N1 infection rate at 24%
Jan 24, 2013 (CIDRAP News) - In a new analysis of serologic studies from 19 countries, researchers estimate that about 24% of the population were infected with the 2009 H1N1 influenza (pH1N1) virus during the first year of the pandemic, a finding modestly higher than what US health officials estimated in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic.

When the estimate is combined with recent estimates of the pandemic's death toll, it appears that about 1 in 5,000 (0.02%) of those infected with the virus died, (Snip).

(Snip) the analysis showed that pH1N1 incidence varied widely by age-group, with the highest rates in children and the lowest in people 65 and older, who enjoyed a degree of protection by virtue of exposure to related H1N1 viruses much earlier in life. The study was published Jan 21 in Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses.

The popular view of the 2009 pandemic is that it was fairly mild, even though it defied the typical seasonal flu age pattern by hitting younger adults more often than the elderly. But the authors note that its global impact is not well understood, largely because with the high volume of cases, the WHO recommended early on that testing focus on severe and fatal illnesses only. As a result, the numbers of cases and deaths reported to the WHO-fewer than 1 million and more than 18,449, respectively-are believed to be small fractions of the true numbers, they write.

They say their study is the first to assess pH1N1 serologic data by age-group from countries and regions around the world. Continued: http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidr...

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


US: Connecticut Flu Deaths Now At 17
The number of flu deaths in Connecticut has reached 17 (Snip). The state Department of Public Health reported Thursday that 11 more people died from the flu last week, including two between the ages of 54 and 65. All other flu deaths in the state this season have been of people over 65.

Officials for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said that this year's flu season has been particularly hard on the elderly. Of the 5,249 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations from Oct. 1 to Jan. 12, almost half of the patients were at least 65 years old. Continued: http://www.courant.com/health/...

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


US: Flu, Cold Cases Affecting Local Schools (California)
Absences are about 10 percent above normal at SDUSD schools

Cold and flu season is in full swing in San Diego, and health experts are predicting it will only get worse in the weeks ahead.

Locally, the latest numbers include eight deaths last week with a death toll of 14 this season from influenza. All but one person had underlying health issues.

The number of people seeking emergency room help is rising with more than 1,000 cases reported from area hospitals. Continued: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/new...

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


Flu spreads to all 50 states but on the wane in parts

By Maggie Fox
Senior Writer, NBC News
updated 1 hour 59 minutes ago

Flu viruses have already evolved to resist the effects of the two oldest flu drugs, amantadine amd rimantadine.
"Influenza activity remains elevated in most of the country. Like last week, some national indicators are declining while others are increasing," the CDC said in a statement.

Flu is spreading more in the southwest and northwest, but on the decline elsewhere.


The CDC decides whether flu is epidemic by comparing flu infections to those for the same week in previous years. Last week, 9.8 percent of all people who died succumbed to pneumonia and influenza - above the epidemic threshold of 7.3 percent for that week.


The agency reminded people they can get prescription drugs for flu, which are the most effective if taken as soon as symptoms start. But there was one case of a person whose infection wasn't helped by Tamiflu, known generically as oseltamivir. "The first oseltamivir-resistant 2009 H1N1 virus detected in the U.S. during the 2012-2013 influenza season is being reported this week," CDC said.
"The majority of currently circulating influenza viruses are susceptible to the neuraminidase inhibitor antiviral medications oseltamivir and zanamivir; however, rare sporadic cases of oseltamivir-resistant 2009 H1N1 and A (H3N2) viruses have been detected worldwide.
" Zanamivir, known by the brand name Relenza, is administered through the nose. Tamiflu is available as a pill or liquid.

Bird flu infects three in Cambodia, killing two

BS/AP/ January 25, 2013, 10:08 AM

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIABird flu has infected three humans in Cambodia, killing two, health officials said Friday.

The cases that have occurred in the first three weeks of this year amount to as many cases the country reported throughout all of 2012.

The cases are among the first reported in 2013 for the virulent virus, known as H5N1, which the World Health Organization says has killed 360 other people worldwide since surfacing in 2003.

WHO and Cambodia's health ministry announced that a 15-year-old girl in a village in southeastern Takeo province and a 35-year-old man in central Kampong Speu province died after being hospitalized with bird flu. An 8-month-old boy in the capital, Phnom Penh, was treated and survived.

Cambodia reported three cases last year, all of them fatal. Since 2005, it has recorded 21 cases, 19 of them fatal.

[continued at link]

More details
From the joint press release from the MOH and WHO:

The first case, an 8-month old infant boy from Chrey Korng Village, Sangkat Chorm Chao, Khan Por Sen Chey, Phnom Penh has been diagnosed with H5N1 influenza. He developed symptoms on 08th January 2013 then was brought to the National Paediatric Hospital for consultation on 9th January with fever, cough, runny nose, and vomiting. The boy was registered in the Influenza-Like Illness Sentinel Surveillance and the samples were sent to the National Institute of Public Health's laboratory on 11th January. The result was confirmed by Institut Pasteur du Cambodge on 22nd January 2013. The infant has recovered and had history of coming into contact with poultry prior to becoming sick.

The second case, a 15-year-old female from Snao village, Snao commune, Prey Kabass district, Takeo Province, has been diagnosed with H5N1 influenza on 22nd January 2013. She became sick on 11th January suffering with fever and cough. She was initially treated by local private practitioners. Her condition worsened and she was admitted to Kantha Bopha Hospital on 17th January with fever and shortness of breath. Unfortunately, despite intensive medical care, she died on 21st January. There is evidence of recent deaths among poultry in the village and the patient prepared sick chicken for food prior to becoming sick.

In the third case, a 35-year-old man from Trapeang Sla village, Preah Nipean commune, Kong Pisey district, Kampong Speu province has been diagnosed with H5N1 influenza on 23rd January 2013 by Institut Pasteur du Cambodge. He became sick on 13th January, 2013 suffering with fever and cough. He was initially treated by local private practitioners. His condition worsened and he was admitted to the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh with fever and dyspnea on 21st January. Samples were taken the same day and sent to the National Institute of Public Health's laboratory. Despite intensive medical care, the patient died soon after the samples were taken. There is evidence of recent deaths among poultry in the village and the patient prepared sick chicken for food prior to becoming sick. The man is the twenty-fourth person in Cambodia to become infected with H5N1 virus, and the third person this year and the twenty-first person to die from complications of the disease.

Of all the twenty four cases [to date], 15 were children under 14, and fifteen of the twenty four confirmed cases occurred in females.  

[ Parent ]
Flu Kills Four New Jersey Children, Wreaks Havoc In Hospitals

January 25, 2013 9:43 AM

HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - Influenza is running rampant. It hit early and hard and it's showing no signs of letting up.

In New Jersey, the flu has killed four children. Three of them had prior health complications, including a 12-year-old girl in Bergen County, a 14-year-old boy in Ocean County, and an 8-month-old boy in Camden. A 14-year-old boy in Westfield did not.

According to The Record, Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack and The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood have had to close their emergency rooms intermittently because of a flood of flu patients.

Dr. Gary Monk, Director of Clinical Virology at HUMC, said it is not too late to get a flu vaccination.

"This is the time to do so because with cold temperatures, we're huddling again and we're planning some Super Bowl parties and get-togethers where we're packing the house. So we want to make sure that we don't bring the uninvited guests," he told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams.

[continued at link]

Tips to care for your kids when they get the flu

Posted: 7:36 AM
By: Linda So

Kids needs a lot of care when they get the flu. They're dealing with a fever, muscle aches, sometimes even vomiting and diarrhea. Here are some ways to treat those symptoms to help your child feel better:

If your kid has a fever, acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help bring it down. But never give your child aspirin because it can cause a rare but serious illness.

Do not bundle your kid up with extra layers or a blanket, even if they have the chills. This will keep their fever from going down or it might make it worse. Try a lukewarm bath instead.

A sick child will usually not want to eat. But try to keep them hydrated as much as possible with lots of water. Popsicles and warm soup may be good alternatives.

If your child has other medical conditions like asthma, an anti-viral treatment may be needed.It's important to see your doctor right away because an anti-viral needs to be given in the first 48 hours to be effective.

You should take your child to the ER if they have no tears when crying, that's often a sign of dehydration.

Also, if your child is getting better but then the fever and flu symptoms return, they could be dealing with a secondary infection that needs to be checked out.

Takes steps to battle the flu

Do you know what you have? More important, do you know what to do about it?

By Diane Cowen | January 23, 2013


This is important: If you had the flu, felt like it went a way and now feel like Round 2 has hit you, get to a doctor right away, Mouzoon said. She explained that the flu won't really come back. It may, however, dampen your immune system and make you vulnerable to a secondary infection from some germ that's sitting around in your body waiting to pounce. It could be pneumonia, a bacterial infection, sinus or ear infection or, in some cases, meningitis.

[most of this article has been snipped]

Severe flu virus hits nation early this year

[Big snip]

"There's a lot of research going on towards improving influenza vaccines by novel approaches like looking at different proteins on the surface of the vaccine," Bresee said. He noted the quadrivalent vaccine could be used by the CDC as soon as next year.

"We tend to think of influenza as one entity because the experience of the illness is very similar. But on a genetic and molecular level it turns out that there are diverse strains of flu," Weinreich said.

Because the immune systems of young people are stronger than those of the elderly, the vaccine tends to be more effective in younger recipients, Pop-Vicas said. This is a public health challenge because the people who are most susceptible to severe flu - the frail, the elderly and people who have had cancer - are also the least likely to benefit from the vaccine, Frieden said.

Despite the flu virus' propensity to mutate, the vaccine is an effective measure against the flu, Weinreich said.  While the vaccine will help prevent infection in individuals, perhaps a greater benefit is that it shuts down the widespread transmission process, he said.

"There's a certain population effect," Weinreich said, "and the fewer people who are infected, the harder it is for the virus to get traction in the population."

Flu Epidemic May Be Putting Blood Donors Out Of Commission; Blood Shortage In Flu Season

January 24, 2013 8:12 PM

WBBM Newsradio's Bob Roberts

(CBS) - The flu epidemic is being blamed for another problem in the Chicago area: a shortage of certain blood types.
Donations generally drop mid-winter, but this flu season hit far more people far earlier than usual. As a result, both Lifesource and the American Red Cross say they're in need of RH-negative donors.

Both are calling for Type O-negative donors, while the Red Cross also seeks Type B-negative.

Lifesource spokesperson Tammy Basil said O-negative is the "universal donor," a blood type that can be given to anyone in the event it is needed in an emergency.

But when is it OK to give?

Red Cross spokesman Ben Corey said being vaccinated for the flu is not a problem.

"There is no waiting period to give after receiving the vaccine, as long as you're feeling healthy and well the day of the donation," Corey said.  "Donors experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as fever, appetite loss, coughing or sore throat should not donate until 24 hours after the symptoms have subsided."

Both agencies require blood donors to be at least 17 years of age, although those who are 16 can donate with parental consent. There is no upper age limit. Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds.

Correct link:

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


[ Parent ]
Young Kids and the Flu: Prevention And Treatment

[big snip]

measures that can be taken to prevent the flu in young children. These include:

Constant hand-washing.
Eating immune-system boosting foods rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Zinc.
Keeping countertops, doorknobs, and other frequently touched surfaces clean. The flu virus can survive for up to 24 hours on surfaces.
Getting everyone in a young child's household the flu shot.

What if a young child does start showing flu symptoms? "Many over the counter medications are not safe for young children ages birth to five years," said Heinrich.

To treat the flu in young children, Heinrich recommended:

Parents call their health care provider within 48 hours.
As for all flu cases, the child should get plenty of rest and be given plenty of fluids.
Steam and humidity (such as from baths) can be helpful to clear up congestion.
Nasal saline can also be useful for congestion.
Honey: for children older than 12 months, a teaspoon every hour. "It's one of the best things you can give a child older than 1," said Heinrich.

Heinrich emphasized that these are helpful tips, but should not replace a doctor's visit. More information about preventing and treating the flu can be found by calling your pediatric health care provider and by visiting cdc.gov/flu. For more information about free parenting classes like this one, please visit parentsAZ.org.  

India: 40-year-old man dies of swine flu
PUNE: A 40-year-old man died of swine flu in Pune city on January 24 (Snip). The victim also had developed altered sensorium among other usual symptoms. Altered sensorium means limitations on or problems with the brain's ability to receive, process or interpret sensory information.


(Snip) the man had fever, cough and vomiting from January 20 and breathlessness and altered sensorium since January 23.

(Snip). the victim also had underlying medical conditions like TB with HIV and meningitis," officials said. He was admitted to Poona hospital on January 24. His conditions worsened and he died at 12.50 pm the same day.

(Snip) senior physician R B Kulkarni said, "Swine flu infection can involve brain, although rarely, and produce neurological deficits including convulsion, stroke and altered sensorium. Many countries have reported one or two cases of swine flu involving central nervous system."

Aurangabad man critical

A 42-year-old man from Aurangabad is critical with swine flu and is being treated at a city hospital. "The man got admitted to Ruby Hall Clinic at 1.45 am on Friday. He was put on ventilator support," said the civic health official. The man delayed medical treatment for 10 days which resulted in worsening of his condition. http://timesofindia.indiatimes...

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


Bronco Bill, it's Friday joke time!
Your giggles are here: http://www.newfluwiki2.com/dia...

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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