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News Reports for January 20, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 19:59:39 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!

Bosnia and Herzegovina
• KCUS - Of the 13 infected with the H1N1 virus, seven in a hospital (translated) (Link)

Czech Republic
• Influenza epidemic in the Czech Republic has claimed 24 lives part of the hospital moratorium visits (translated) (Link)

India
• Punjab: 6-month-old baby dies of swine flu (Link)

Palestine
• Swine flu sweeps Holy Land (Link)
• Four More Swine Flu Fatalities in Palestine  (Link)

United States
• CDC: Manufacturers making more flu vaccine (Link)
• CDC: Flu activity continues to be high across the United States (Link)
• Flu bug hits U.S. seniors in half of all cases (Link
• Flu season fuels debate over paid sick time laws  (Link
• CA: Flu Outbreak In California (Link)
• NJ: Tracking the flu: RWJ University Hospital-Hamilton saw early spike (Link)
• NY: Flu outbreak prompts hospitals to test tents (Link)

General
• As flu rates rise, ER docs must decide (Link)
• Beating the bug: Flu remedies that actually work (Link)
• Alternative flu remedies and prevention (Link)
• Take care to prevent flu (Link)
• Timely Tips For Fighting Flu (Link)
• Make your own flu remedy: Smoothies can help to keep kids nourished when they're sick (Link)

Commentary
• Recombinomics: US Week 2 P&I Death Rate Spike Raises Concerns (Link)


• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for January 20, 2013

News for January 19, 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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Flu outbreak prompts hospitals to test tents
http://www.timesunion.com/loca...

By Alysia Santo
Published 9:53 pm, Friday, January 18, 2013

This flu season, some local hospitals are preparing for the worst-case scenario: running out of room.

Albany Medical Center tested a heated, 12-by-20 foot outdoor tent Friday to assess how quickly it could be constructed and warmed.

[snip]

The emergency preparedness department at St. Peter's Hospital in Albany put up and took down an outdoor tent on Thursday to analyze whether it is a viable option.

"The impetus to look at it was, what would happen if we had an even greater influx, or there was a disaster and we needed room," spokesman Elmer Streeter said.

He said the tent, described as a 10- by 20-foot heated tunnel, would only be used as "an option of last resort."
[snip]
Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/loca...


Tracking the flu: RWJ University Hospital-Hamilton saw early spike
http://www.nj.com/mercer/index...

By Mike Davis/The Times
on January 19, 2013 at 8:15 AM, updated January 19, 2013 at 9:46 AM Print

HAMILTON - Every day, director Anne Dikon walks into her office in the infection prevention department at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, logs onto her computer and checks the most recent data on disease trends.

The program, MedMined, tracks information about patients and their condition and automatically identifies alarming trends and patterns, allowing doctors to respond quickly.
The routine paid off on Dec. 3, when the program alerted Dikon that the hospital had just identified its first influenza patient of the year.

"We looked at the data from last year which showed didn't see our first case until February. That was a very mild flu season," she said. "The fact that we started seeing them in December meant it could be a rough season, an aberration or a very long season."

Since December, the hospital has positively identified 174 patients with Type-A influenza, double the number of cases identified over the previous two years.

[continued at link...article tells other ways the software is used]


CDC: Manufacturers making more flu vaccine
http://www.upi.com/Health_News...

Published: Jan. 19, 2013 at 1:49 PM

ATLANTA, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Drug manufacturers say they will produce 10 million additional doses of flu vaccine, bringing the total to 145 million doses, a U.S. official said.

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said there are reports of spot shortages of flu vaccine.

"Some people haven't been able to find vaccine and I understand that they're frustrated," Frieden told reporters during a telephone news conference. "Some providers haven't been able to get vaccine for their patients and they're also frustrated and that's understandable."

As this week, about 129 million doses of the seasonal flu vaccine had been distributed and that means there is more vaccine out there for providers to order, he said.

"There are some formulations of vaccine that may be out of stock while it gets into the system. Particularly for younger children,"
Frieden said. "Providers who want to order more influenza vaccine can visit the influenza vaccine availability tracking system -- IVATS -- and you can find that at www.preventinfluenza.org/ivats."

Providers who have exhausted their vaccine or patients who want to find vaccine can go on to the web site flu.gov.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Health_News...


Sorry! Double post!


[ Parent ]
My finger didn't click twice on these.
I don't know why there are two double posts. I wonder if this one will post twice.

[ Parent ]
Sorry! Double post!


[ Parent ]
Hi bgw in MT
Don't worry about it. I've done it more times than I can count! Sometimes it just happens.

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

     


[ Parent ]
CDC: Manufacturers making more flu vaccine
http://www.upi.com/Health_News...

Published: Jan. 19, 2013 at 1:49 PM

ATLANTA, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Drug manufacturers say they will produce 10 million additional doses of flu vaccine, bringing the total to 145 million doses, a U.S. official said.

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said there are reports of spot shortages of flu vaccine.

"Some people haven't been able to find vaccine and I understand that they're frustrated," Frieden told reporters during a telephone news conference. "Some providers haven't been able to get vaccine for their patients and they're also frustrated and that's understandable."

As this week, about 129 million doses of the seasonal flu vaccine had been distributed and that means there is more vaccine out there for providers to order, he said.

"There are some formulations of vaccine that may be out of stock while it gets into the system. Particularly for younger children,"
Frieden said. "Providers who want to order more influenza vaccine can visit the influenza vaccine availability tracking system -- IVATS -- and you can find that at www.preventinfluenza.org/ivats."

Providers who have exhausted their vaccine or patients who want to find vaccine can go on to the web site flu.gov.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Health_News...


As flu rates rise, ER docs must decide
http://www.utsandiego.com/news...

[This is an interesting article on the difficult decisions emergency room doctors have to make during flu season.

The flu can produce dangerous levels of dehydration and this year's strain is more likely to produce pneumonia, both conditions that can be deadly if not properly managed, Cracroft said.

[snip]

Low blood oxygen levels, especially in elderly patients, Cracroft said, can make him more likely to admit a patient. The presence of other illnesses, from heart disease to HIV, can also make admission more likely.

[snip]

But there are always shades of gray. For example, an otherwise healthy 45-year-old with full-body aches and pains and borderline oxygen levels but no sign of pneumonia could go either way.

These patients, the doctor explained, are probably OK to go home, but only so long as they are able to care for themselves. Flu-weakened patients need a support system to help spot the moment when a borderline case takes a turn for the worse, the doctor said.

"When we judge that someone can go home, we also rely on the patient, the patient's family and the caregivers in the community to help us follow up and to make sure that they're coming back in if their symptoms get worse,"
Cracroft said.


CDC: Flu activity continues to be high across the United States
Flu remains at epidemic proportions across the United States, but flu activity decreased in some areas during the second week of January (Snip).

Officials from the CDC assessed state, local, and territorial health departments, laboratories, vital statistics offices, and health care providers. Surveillance encompassed viral, geographic, outpatient, hospitalization, and mortality monitoring. Activity remained moderate or high in a total of 40 states and New York City, but was considered widespread in 48 states. There were 3,638 new specimens with positive test results (29.4 percent of specimens tested).

During the week of Jan. 6 to 12, (Snip)  nine new influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported. Among all deaths reported, 8.3 percent were due to pneumonia and influenza. Adults 65 years and older accounted for 49.6 percent of all influenza-associated hospitalizations. Influenza A subtype accounted for the majority of positive tests (82.5 percent). Influenza-like illness accounted for 4.6 percent of all outpatient visits for the week. Among the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) and A (H3N2) virus subtypes, high levels of resistance were seen to adamantane antiviral medications (amantadine and rimantadine). Continued: http://medicalxpress.com/news/...

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

     


India: 6-month-old baby dies of swine flu (Punjab)
A six-month-old baby from SAS Nagar succumbed to swine flu in Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, here on Saturday.

The baby girl, Vrishti, was earlier taken to a private hospital from where she was referred to GMCH on Friday. She was on ventilator since she was admitted to the hospital. This is the second death due to swine flu in the tricity and first from SAS Nagar. (Snip) the officials concerned in SAS Nagar have been asked to put the family of the baby girl on tamiflu.

(Snip) January 11, Seema Sharma, 29 (Snip)died at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). She was taking treatment at a private hospital and was admitted to the hospital a day before.

"The total number of cases of swine flu in the city hospitals have reached 27, including seven deaths. Continued: http://www.hindustantimes.com/...  

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

     


Bosnia and Herzegovina: KCUS - Of the 13 infected with the H1N1 virus, seven in a hospital
Translated

Of the 13 patients infected with the H1N1 virus in the Clinical Center University of Sarajevo, Department of Infectious Diseases, seven are hospitalized, while others are released for outpatient treatment.

Status of patients who are hospitalized is moderately hard (moderately severe), "said the Klix.ba Biljana Jandric, a spokeswoman KCUS.

Most infected with H3N2

In the four cantons health facilities have reported patients with flu-like symptoms - Sarajevo, West, Zenica-Doboj and Una-Sana. (Snip) (between) 10 to 17 January, 48 laboratory samples was taken. Most showed the presence of H3N2 virus of type A, and some of the H1N1 virus, and influenza virus type B.

As pointed out by epidemiologists, in cases of H3N2 virus infection, the clinical picture is the same as in patients suffering from seasonal flu, and the symptoms and course of the disease are the same. Continued: http://www.klix.ba/vijesti/bih...

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

     


US Week 2 P&I Death Rate Spike Raises Concerns
Recombinomics Commentary

The graph (see graph here: http://www.recombinomics.com/N... ) includes the dramatic spike (to 8.26%) in the United States Pneumonia and Influenza Death Rate in the CDC week 2 FluView, (Snip).  This rate coupled with the spike in hospitalizations (especially for those over 65) precipitated the Friday's CDC telebriefing.

The briefing noted that additional vaccine was being made available in the United States by companies with FDA approval, and the FDA waived a repackaging requirement for Tamiflu with older package inserts.  (Snip).

The jump to 8.3% from 7.3% in week 2 was dramatic, and well above the epidemic threshold (Snip).  However, the spike in hospitalizations in the past two weeks raise concerns that the high P&I rate will continue to increase.

Below is a list of the two regions and 16 cities which have at least 10 P&I deaths and a rate of at least 10.0%.

Regions
NEW ENGLAND 15.2%
PACIFIC 11.9%

Cities
Springfield MA   22.4%
Knoxville TN       17.4%
Akron OH           15.8%
Nashville TN       15.4%
Hartford CT        14.7%
Charlotte NC      14.4%
Omaha OH         13.3%
Boston MA         13.2%
Dayton OH         12.7%
Syracuse NY      12.2%
Los Angeles       12.1%
Birmingham AL  11.7%
Lansing MI          10.9%
Memphis TN       10.2%
Albuquerque       10.2%
Las Vegas NV    10.2%

http://www.recombinomics.com/N...

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

     


Influenza epidemic in the Czech Republic has claimed 24 lives part of the hospital moratorium visits
(translated)

Prague January 20 flu epidemic in the Czech Republic has claimed the lives of 24 people, about 140 patients hospitalized.

(Snip)

Reported that more and more hospitals and nursing homes has been temporarily banned visits to hospitalized patients, to prevent the spread of the epidemic.

The Czech Ministry of Health has been paid to use the prevention and treatment of influenza drugs influenza virus neuraminidase inhibiting agent Tamiflu (Tamiflu) and Relenza (Relenza), of which 17 approved the issuance of 9000 boxes of Tamiflu drugs. http://news.yninfo.com/world/2...



This was posted by me.


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

     


[ Parent ]
Beating the bug: Flu remedies that actually work
http://www.nydailynews.com/lif...

Dr. Prarthana Beuria of Mt. Sinai Hospital tells us which medicines do the trick (like Tamiflu) and which don't (like tequila)

BY NICOLE LYN PESCE / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
SUNDAY, JANUARY 20, 2013, 6:00 AM

We get it, everyone has the flu.

Chances are either you have the flu, know someone who has the flu or are avoiding someone who has the flu.

Nearly 20,000 people are suffering from influenza-like symptoms across the state, compared with just 4,400 in 2012. And according to Dr. Tom Farley, commissioner of the New York City Health Department, the worst is yet to come....

[Read story at link]

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/lif...


Alternative flu remedies and prevention
http://centralny.ynn.com/conte...

Updated 01/19/2013 06:26 PM
By: Elyse Mickalonis

It's already been a long flu season, with thousands of cases across the state. Many people are looking for new and different ways to give themselves a boost. Our Elyse Mickalonis talked to people about other options.

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- With winter, comes cold and flu season...and doctors are asking everyone to get vaccinated, but some are looking for other ways to fend off the virus

"Even in stores there's a wide array of different alternative therapies now. Some of them being Sambucol, which is an elderberry syrup that works very well with the flu," said Abigail Stevens, Ravenwood Gardens owner.

The Otsiningo Winter Farmer's Market held its first ever Health and Wellness Fair on Saturday, offering up a variety of natural ways to stay healthy.

"Garlic in general is known to boost your immune system. It's something that if you eat it every day, put it in your diet, it give your immune system something you need to fight colds and the flu," said Niechelle Wade, Sunny Hill Farm owner.

[more]


Flu bug hits U.S. seniors in half of all cases
http://www.nydailynews.com/new...

Half of all flu cases this season affect people aged 65 and older. Officials say 90 percent of those who die from the flu are elderly.

BY DANIEL BEEKMAN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

SATURDAY, JANUARY 19, 2013, 9:54 PM

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Officials say that half of all cases of the flu affect people aged 65 and older.

An unusually severe flu season is exacting a heavy toll on older people in New York and across the country, federal health officials revealed Saturday.

Half of confirmed flu cases are in people 65 and older, and about 90% of people who die from flu are elderly, officials said.

In response to a dramatic spike in hospitalizations of older people, the feds are urging sick people to seek treatment right away and are taking unusual steps to make more flu medicine available.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new...


Flu season fuels debate over paid sick time laws
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

JENNIFER PELTZ | January 20, 2013 11:05 AM EST |  

NEW YORK - An unusually early and vigorous flu season is drawing attention to a cause that has scored victories but also hit roadblocks in recent years: mandatory paid sick leave.

Supporters and opponents are particularly watching a debate over a paid sick time proposal in New York City.

Dozens of doctors, nurses, lawmakers and activists pointed to the flu outbreak as they rallied Friday on the City Hall steps for passage of the measure. It's awaited a City Council vote for nearly three years.

[snip]

Advocates see paid sick time as a workforce issue and a public health priority.

But some business owners say it's an impractical and unfair burden for small businesses. Critics also say the timing is bad, given the shaky economy and the damage done to businesses by Superstorm Sandy


Flu Outbreak In California
http://www.cbs47.tv/news/local...

Video
Reported by: Ken Malloy Email: kmalloy@cbsfresno.com
Print Story Published: 1/19 1:40 pm Share Updated: 1/19 1:55 pm

For weeks now we've been talking about the flu in other parts of the country, but now, the seasonal flu is finally hitting California. So far it's killed five people in California, including a 61-year-old woman from Madera County.

This year the strain of flu that doctors are seeing in California is one that presents some of the most severe symptoms. They include fever, sore throat and body aches.

The past two flu seasons in California have been fairly mild, but this one is poised to be the worst in several years.

"We started seeing cases a couple weeks ago and so our numbers have jumped," Dr. Lisa Winston said.  


Take care to prevent flu
http://www.republican-eagle.co...

Published January 20, 2013, 09:00 AM

By: Rebecca Rudolph, The Republican Eagle

When to call a doctor

Seek immediate attention if a child has any of these emergency warning signs:

• Fast breathing or trouble breathing

• Bluish skin color

• Not drinking enough fluids

• Not waking up or not interacting

• Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held

• Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

• Fever with a rash

• If you are concerned that something does not seem right with your child

Emergency warning signs in adults include:

• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

• Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen

• Sudden dizziness

• Confusion

• Severe or persistent vomiting


Timely Tips For Fighting Flu
http://atlantablackstar.com/20...

[snip]

1. Each member of your family should use their own tube of toothpaste. Sharing the same tube spreads the virus as it can reside on the outside edge of the tube.  Germs can sit on the outside surface of the toothpaste container and thereby spread to your toothbrush as well.

2. Wash your hands before brushing.  The hands can carry germs that infect your mouth and spread throughout your body.

3. If you do get sick, replace your toothbrush immediately.  It is likely to host the flu virus.  We find it useful to keep spare toothbrushes to supply to you and your family as needed.

4. Do not keep family toothbrushes together in a cup. The flu virus can spread to the other toothbrushes transferring the infection from one person to another.

5. Rinse with a mouthwash after brushing.  Brushing your mouth only removes some of the bad germs.  Rinsing with mouthwash has been shown to reduce bacterial and virus counts on the oral cavity.

6. Refrain from kissing others.  As soon as you, your family, spouse, or friend can detect the flu, do not kiss them or allow them to kiss others.  The flu virus is contagious and can easily spread through mouth to mouth contact.

7. Do not share food or drink.  Just as kissing is contagious, so is sharing food and drink...

Read More: discovery.com: http://blogs.discovery.com/dhc...


Make your own flu remedy: Smoothies can help to keep kids nourished when they're sick.
http://www.mcall.com/business/...

[snip

Fortunately, we've got a great tip for any parents struggling through flu season, courtesy of Becci Earnshaw in Macungie. It's not going to get you out of cleaning yucky sheets. But it can help keep those sick kids nourished and soothe a sore throat.

"With the cold and flu season here, I wanted to share a couple of cheap tips for sick family members," Becci said. "When my kids are sick, they love the Dannon drinkable probiotic yogurt ... Too bad it drains my budget at the same time." Becci said that stuff costs about $1 per serving. With a couple of sick kids, that can add up fast.

One morning, Becci's daughter was sick and wanted drinkable yogurt but they didn't have any.

"I had purchased the regular, store-brand, probiotic yogurt," Becci said. "She turned her nose up at it. In a moment of inspiration, I offered to make her a smoothie. I put a carton of yogurt in the blender and then poured juice into the empty carton to get an equal portion and poured the juice into the blender. I hit whip and - voila - drinkable yogurt with the probiotic benefits that was easy on my pocket."

Becci said she spent about $6.50 on ingredients to make a large batch of smoothies that would have cost her more than twice that amount if she purchased individual servings of drinkable yogurt. Convenience packaging comes with a big markup, and making your own is not all that inconvenient.

We made a demonstration video you can see at http://www.mcall.com/onthecheap.

[snip]


Palenstine: Swine flu sweeps Holy Land
The total known Palestinian cases of the disease are at over 600, including 30 in Gaza.

The 3-year-old boy who died in Israel became the first swine flu fatality since 2009 (Snip).

The figure came from the World Health Organization. http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_01...  

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

     


That's suppose to be "Palestine"


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

     


[ Parent ]
Four More Swine Flu Fatalities in Palestine
RAMALLAH, January 20, 2013 (WAFA) - Four people died in Palestine in the last few days of swine flu epidemic, (Snip) bringing the total to 21, a health official said Sunday.

(Snip) the four included an infant from an area south of Hebron with heart and kidney problems and elderly people.

Two of the dead were from Ramallah and the fourth was from the Gaza Strip (Snip). Continued: http://english.wafa.ps/index.p...

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

     


[ Parent ]
Please post new news stories to...

News Reports for January 21, 2013

Thank you!

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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