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News Reports for January 26, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 20:04:53 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!

Cambodia
Bird flu claims two victims in Cambodia (Link)
• Cambodia reports 3 new bird flu cases, 2 fatal (Link)

China
• Beijing reports 5 A/H1N1 flu deaths, outbreak unlikely (Link)

United States
• CIDRAP: CDC sees mixed flu picture, remaining threat for seniors (Link)
• Burt Reynolds in intensive care with flu (Link)
• Flu, weather drain blood donation supplies (Link)
• More Evidence of a Severe Flu Season (Link)
• CDC sees mixed flu picture, remaining threat for seniors (Link)
• IN: Indiana dealing with deadliest flu season in years (Link)
• MD: Intensity of Flu-Like Illnesses Still High in Maryland (Link)
• MI: U-M epidemiologist on preventing flu, norovirus in her own home: 'Impossible' (Link)
• OH: Scourge of flu remains strong;  Multifaceted system measures prevalence (Link)
• TX: Flu keeps thousands of Dallas County schoolchildren home sick (Link)
• WA: With latest death, five flu-related deaths in county (Link)

Research
• CIDRAP: NIH panel supports stronger safeguards for H5N1 research (Link)
• DARPA produces 10 million flu vaccine doses in one month (Link)
• Man flu does exist as men suffer more from high temperatures when ill: scientist (Link)

General
• Flu Forecasts Go Real-Time (Link)
• Home remedies to survive the flu (Link)
• Do you have a plan for flu season? (Link)


• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for January 26, 2013

News for January 25, 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 January 16, 2013
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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Bird flu claims two victims in Cambodia
Cambodia has reported three new human cases of bird flu, two of them fatal, in the first three weeks of this year.

The cases are among the first reported in 2013 for the virulent H5N1 virus (Snip). http://www.scotsman.com/news/i...

(Note: These human cases most likely are caused by the newer clade 2.3.2 strain out of China. (JMO) That clade has spread in the poultry over a large portion of Vietnam during the past year. There were 4 confirmed human cases of H5N1 in Vietnam in 2012 and 2 of them died. This same clade has been found recently in the poultry in Indonesia. Confirmed human cases of H5N1 in Indonesia totaled 9 with 9 deaths in 2012. Cambodia had 3 confirmed human cases in 2012 with 3 deaths and now 3 new cases with 2 deaths in 2013. IMO, the clade 2.3.2 is the scariest strain to evolve so far.)

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

     


More details
...are here. I'll bet that you're right about the new clade.  This would suggest that we'll see an uptick in cases in SE Asia (if Indonesia is actually testing & reporting cases).

[ Parent ]
Cambodia reports 3 new bird flu cases, 2 fatal
http://www.msnewsnow.com/story...

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) - Cambodia on Friday reported three new human cases of bird flu, two of them fatal, in the first three weeks of this year. That's as many cases as the Southeast Asian country reported in all of 2012.

The cases are among the first reported in 2013 for the virulent H5N1 virus, 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 H5N1, better known as 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.

[snip]

Comment: This made it into AP news - but only paired with the news of renewed bird flu testing - which seems like fear-mongering IMO.


[ Parent ]
US: With latest death, five flu-related deaths in county (Washington)
One more flu death has been confirmed in Snohomish County and another death is being investigated as flu-related in what is shaping up to be the most severe influenza season since the swine flu outbreak of 2009.

The most recent death was an Everett woman in her 70s who died on Jan. 14 (Snip). There have been a total of five confirmed flu-related deaths in Snohomish County this season.

(Snip)

The previous confirmed flu-related deaths were of a Stanwood man in his 90s, a Bothell woman in her 40s and two women in their 80s, one from Everett and one from Edmonds. (Snip) 71 people have been hospitalized for flu this season.

"We're not at the end of the current flu season," said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, health officer for the Snohomish Health District. In terms of both local deaths and hospitalizations, this year is comparable to the 2009 swine flu, although the flu strains circulating during the two years hit two very different age groups, Goldbaum said. From September through December of 2009, 100 people were hospitalized and there were six deaths.

(Snip)

There's also been a higher-than-usual number of flu outbreaks this year in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Nine facilities have reported outbreaks of flu compared with two last year.

Statewide, there have been 17 confirmed deaths from the flu, 15 of whom have been age 65 or older.

(Snip)

A high percentage of patients coming to walk-in clinics have influenza-like symptoms, said Dr. Yuan-Po Tu, who tracks influenza issues at The Everett Clinic. Continued: http://www.heraldnet.com/artic...

(Note: It wouldn't surprise me to see a second wave of flu circulate through the US this year between Feb. and the end of March. If it does, then I think it may be the B strain that gets us then. JMO)

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

     


Beijing reports 5 A/H1N1 flu deaths, outbreak unlikely
BEIJING, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Another two A/H1N1 flu-related deaths were reported last week, bringing the virus' death toll to five this year in Beijing, the city's health authorities said Friday.

From Jan. 14 to 20, two deaths resulting from the A/H1N1 virus were reported as the city entered peak flu season, but a massive outbreak is unlikely, said Xie Hui, director of the disease control department of the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau.

A/H1N1 flu-related deaths have been reported every week this month in Beijing. In addition to the A/H1N1 virus, the A/H3N2 virus is also currently spreading, according to relevant epidemic pathogen tests.

The A/H1N1 flu outbreak peaked in 2009. More than 120,000 A/H1N1 flu cases were recorded that year in the Chinese mainland, with 648 cases resulting in death. Continued: http://news.xinhuanet.com/engl...

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

     


CIDRAP: CDC sees mixed flu picture, remaining threat for seniors
Jan 25, 2013 (CIDRAP News) - Deaths from pneumonia and flu in the United States rose sharply last week, with a rise in hospitalizations that continues to hit older people the hardest, though other disease indicators showed declines, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today.

The severity levels aren't unexpected for a season in which the H3N2 virus dominates, and the later rise in deaths and hospitalizations is a fairly typical pattern, the CDC added.

Two markers that rose early are beginning to drop off. The proportion of clinic visits for flu fell to 4.3% from 4.6% over the previous week, though the level is still above the national baseline of 2.2%. Likewise, the percentage of respiratory swabs testing positive for flu dropped from an adjusted level of 32.5% to 26.1%.

The CDC said though flu seems to be leveling off in some areas such as the South, the Southeast, New England, and the Midwest, activity increased in other parts of the country, including the Southwest and the Northwest.

Last week 47 states reported widespread geographic flu activity, down from 48 the week before.

The CDC called the rise in pneumonia and flu deaths from 8.4% to 9.8% considerable and pointed out that the level was above the epidemic threshold for the third week in a row. 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

     


CIDRAP: NIH panel supports stronger safeguards for H5N1 research
Jan 25, 2013 (CIDRAP News) - A federal advisory committee yesterday recommended increased biosafety precautions for research involving H5N1 avian influenza viruses that can spread among mammals, a step that stems from the ongoing controversy over studies involving lab-modified H5N1 strains that show increased transmissibility in ferrets.

The Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) called for a number of additions to enhanced biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) precautions, which scientists have used in recent studies involving more-transmissible H5N1 viruses. The panel discussed the recommendations at an all-day meeting that was webcast.

In calling for further enhancement of BSL-3 precautions, the committee rejected the option of advocating the highest level of biosafety, BSL-4, a standard that only a few labs around the world can meet. Just one member of the panel supported going to BSL-4.

The aim of the recommended steps is to reduce the risk of infections in lab workers and of accidental release of dangerous H5N1 viruses. The steps include things like more personal protective equipment, a "buddy system" for workers, taking baseline serum samples, giving a licensed H5N1 vaccine, if available, to all lab workers, and requiring personnel to avoid contact with susceptible bird species for 5 days after working with the viruses in question. 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

     


MD: Intensity of Flu-Like Illnesses Still High in Maryland
http://www.afro.com/sections/n...

The flu strain that has been making many sick in Maryland and around the country may be peaking, but that doesn't mean it's time to cease precautions and skip the flu shot.

Other strains could circulate, keeping the flu around for months.

Overall, the intensity of flu-like illnesses in Maryland remains high, according to the latest Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene report for the week ending Jan. 19.

The influenza virus was geographically widespread according to the last report, meaning there is flu activity throughout different regions, said David Blythe, a medical epidemiologist with the state.
[snip]

Donald Milton, a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, said this flu season seems unusually bad because there was a mild flu season last year.

Milton oversees a research study that aims to find out how much people shed into the air when they have the flu. The study will also look at how long the flu takes to spread from person to person.

"We're actively recruiting people to come early in their flu if they should be so unlucky to get it," he said. "We want to test them as soon as possible to see how much virus they are shedding into the air, as a way to tell how infectious people are."

[snip]

Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez, D-Montgomery, said she hopes communication about the flu will start earlier next season so it will be more preventable.

"I'm sorry (the media) didn't make the big fuss earlier because it seemed like the news was there after there were a lot of cases, so it seems we need to prevent earlier ... I didn't get (a flu shot) because I hadn't even focused on it until I saw the really serious news."


Burt Reynolds in intensive care with flu
http://entertainment.xin.msn.c...

Burt Reynolds is in intensive care after being struck by a virulent flu bug. The 'Smokey and the Bandit' actor has been battling the illness for days, but was ordered by doctors in Florida to seek urgent treatment for ''severe dehydration''.

Doctors remain hopeful the 76-year-old 'Boogie Nights' star will make a full recovery after being hospitalised yesterday (25.01.13).

Referring to his famous facial hair, a spokesperson told E! news: '''He is doing better. They are taking care of him and his moustache.''

[snip]

Comment: See - it hits the wealthy and poor, famous and unknown... take your flu precautions! ;-}


DARPA produces 10 million flu vaccine doses in one month
A familiar news topic during the flu season is the difficulties that the authorities face in producing enough flu vaccine fast enough to control the outbreak. That's a serious enough problem, but when the influenza outbreak turns out to be the start of a global pandemic, then hundreds of millions of lives could be at risk. To combat this, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has developed a new way of making vaccines that has turned out 10 million doses of H1N1 influenza vaccine in a month, in a recent test run.

(Snip) According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 20 to 50 percent of the world's population is at risk from a pandemic outbreak such as that seen in the influenza epidemic of 1918. US military forces are particularly vulnerable because the nature of military life is perfect for the spread of disease (Snip).

The problem is, vaccines for new diseases can't be produced quickly. (Snip) it can take up to nine months to develop and put a vaccine into production. Worse, egg-based and other conventional vaccine production techniques may not be able to scale up sufficiently to meet the demand - especially for diseases where two doses per person are required for adequate protection.

DARPA's approach to solving this is the Blue Angel program. Started in response to the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic, its purpose is to quickly develop practical countermeasures to disease outbreaks due to either natural causes or biowarfare attack. The program has a number of aspects, such as finding ways to identify people who are infected before symptoms show, but one major facet is the Accelerated Manufacture of Pharmaceuticals (AMP) project.

Working with Medicago Inc., AMP uses tobacco plants (Snip). (Snip) introducing viral genes into tobacco has a number advantages: the full-grown plants can be used because the protein is produced in the leaves; it avoids the need to procure eggs in huge quantities (Snip). Medicago said that the tobacco process can generate the proteins within 14 days of the gene sequence of the virus being identified, with vaccine-grade proteins generated within four weeks. In the DARPA tests, 10 million doses of H1N1 influenza vaccine were produced in one month, as defined by an animal model.

(Snip) third party testing confirmed that a single dose in an animal model produced hemagglutinin antibodies at a protective strength. However, only clinical trials can determine how effective it would be on humans, and the entire process still needs FDA approval. http://www.gizmag.com/darpa-fl...

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

     


Flu, weather drain blood donation supplies
http://www.usatoday.com/story/...

Janice Lloyd, USA TODAY8a.m. EST January 26, 2013

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Blood donors are canceling appointments
O-negative blood is needed the most
Some agencies say blood demand is higher than normal
As flu and frigid weather force many people across the nation to stay bundled up inside, blood banks are reporting donors are canceling appointments and supplies are dropping.

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


More Evidence of a Severe Flu Season
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01...

By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.
Published: January 25, 2013

Death rates from flu and pneumonia have soared well above those of the last few years, confirming that this will be a fairly severe flu season, figures released Friday by federal health officials show. At the same time, new infections with influenza continued to fall, suggesting that the season has peaked almost everywhere in the country except in the far West. Because so many of those hospitalized and dying from the flu are geriatric patients, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines to doctors who care for older patients, suggesting giving high-dose flu shots to the elderly and starting antiflu drugs as soon as an infection is suspected.

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


Flu Forecasts Go Real-Time
http://www.livescience.com/265...

Emily Carlson, National Institutes of HealthDate: 24 January 2013 Time: 01:34 PM ET    

What if the morning news, in addition to telling you the chance for rain, could tell you the forecast for flu peaking in your city? In November, researchers at Columbia University and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) reported the development of a tool that could predict when cities would see the highest number of flu cases. They used data from past flu seasons to test it, and now they're using real-time statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Google Flu Trends to make predictions for the next week. Their work could turn these forecasts into a regular feature of the annual flu season.

Adapting Weather Models

Flu forecasting adapts approaches used by meteorologists to predict temperatures, precipitation and even hurricane landfall. The project is funded by the National Institutes of Health, including its Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) program, which develops tools for simulating and analyzing different infectious diseases.  

[snip]

Weather prediction relies on numerous mathematical and computational models to generate the probability of a certain outcome, say snow. The models are fed climate data as it becomes available so that they closely reflect current conditions, and then they simulate future outcomes. When the models converge on a similar distribution of outcomes, meteorologists are more confident in their forecasts.

The flu forecasting works in a similar way. Like weather, infectious disease spread occurs non-linearly. This means that details like how transmissible a virus is, the number of days people are contagious and sick, and even how much humidity is in the air can greatly influence future outcomes. Including near-real-time observations refines the model, so that it can more closely simulate what has happened and can produce more reliable predictions.

[continued at link]

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


Scourge of flu remains strong; Multifaceted system measures prevalence
http://www.dispatch.com/conten...

By  Sara Jerde
The Columbus Dispatch Saturday January 26, 2013 6:15 AM

In Columbus, flu-severity indicators were mixed for the week ending Jan. 19, the most-recent data available. The local figures also were released yesterday. But how do health agencies know? Tracking individual flu cases is next to impossible. Millions of people might have the flu and ride it out without seeing a doctor.

And even if they do go to a doctor, they might be sent home with a prescription based on symptoms alone but no test to confirm flu.Instead of actual counts, local, state and federal health agencies use a relatively new tool called "syndromic surveillance" - a mix of data sources including positive flu specimens at state labs, emergency-department visits for flulike symptoms and hospital admissions for flu-related illnesses.

The system also uses less-traditional sources, including thermometer and cold-medicine sales at grocery and drug stores and Google searches for information about the flu. In all, eight data sources are analyzed by state health officials.

"Syndromic surveillance has been really key,"
said Dr. Mary DiOrio, state epidemiologist with the Ohio Department of Health.
[continued at link]

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


Flu keeps thousands of Dallas County schoolchildren home sick
http://www.dallasnews.com/news...

By SHERRY JACOBSON Staff Writer sjacobson@dallasnews.com
Published: 25 January 2013 10:58 PM

Link: TexasFlu.org
[snip]
The number of students absent with flulike illnesses jumped from 3,937 in the week ending Jan. 12 to 5,539 last week - a 40 percent increase, Dallas County schools reported. The county's flu-related hospitalizations, with last week's new cases, have hit 664 this season. The primary reasons for admission were respiratory distress and pneumonia.

"We are still at the height of flu season, unfortunately," Dr. Wendy Chung, chief epidemiologist for Dallas County Health and Human Services, said Friday. Her staff has been tracking the local outbreak since early September."We hope for a downturn soon," she said.

Although the number of patients showing up in hospital emergency rooms with flulike symptoms appeared to be dropping in the week ending Jan. 19, Chung said it was only one sign that the situation might be improving here.

"Flu surveillance is very complicated," she said. "It requires multiple indications to show something is changing, and it takes more than one week to make a trend."

A key indication of the virus' continuing spread is the percentage of influenza tests that returned with positive results last week, a number that has hovered around 30 percent for the past five weeks.

"We're at 29 percent for last week, which is high," Chung said. "It's less than the 30.5 percent rate of a week ago, but too small a change to be significant."
[continued at link]

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


U-M epidemiologist on preventing flu, norovirus in her own home: 'Impossible'
http://www.annarbor.com/news/u...

By AMY BIOLCHINI County, health and environment reporter 24 Comments

Posted on Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.
University of Michigan associate professor of epidemiology Allison Aiello has dedicated her career to studying disease transmission.

Using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funding she's studied the effectiveness of hand washing and using facial masks among college students to prevent flu-like disease transmission.

And Aiello's entire family -- her husband and two young children -- have been vaccinated against influenza.

In an ironic twist of fate, there came a point when even the most stringent of procedures couldn't prevent the coughing, sneezing and vomiting from spreading in her own home.

[continued at link]

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


Indiana dealing with deadliest flu season in years
http://newsandtribune.com/loca...

January 26, 2013
By PAMELA ENGEL
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana, like most states, is in the midst of one of its worst flu seasons in recent years, and health officials said Friday that it's too early to tell whether the season has peaked.

The season's 40 flu deaths make it Indiana's deadliest in five years, and with several months of cold weather still in store, that figure is almost certain to rise. Flu season typically runs from October through mid-May.

Last flu season, only three Indiana residents died of the disease. In the flu season that ended in spring 2008, however, 73 people died, and four seasons before that, there were 91 Indiana flu deaths.

[continued at link]

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


CDC sees mixed flu picture, remaining threat for seniors
http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidr...

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidr...      

Lisa Schnirring  Staff Writer
Jan 25, 2013 (CIDRAP News) - Deaths from pneumonia and flu in the United States rose sharply last week, with a rise in hospitalizations that continues to hit older people the hardest, though other disease indicators showed declines, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today.

The severity levels aren't unexpected for a season in which the H3N2 virus dominates, and the later rise in deaths and hospitalizations is a fairly typical pattern, the CDC added.

Two markers that rose early are beginning to drop off. The proportion of clinic visits for flu fell to 4.3% from 4.6% over the previous week, though the level is still above the national baseline of 2.2%. Likewise, the percentage of respiratory swabs testing positive for flu dropped from an adjusted level of 32.5% to 26.1%.

The CDC said though flu seems to be leveling off in some areas such as the South, the Southeast, New England, and the Midwest, activity increased in other parts of the country, including the Southwest and the Northwest.

Last week 47 states reported widespread geographic flu activity, down from 48 the week before.

The CDC called the rise in pneumonia and flu deaths from 8.4% to 9.8% considerable and pointed out that the level was above the epidemic threshold for the third week in a row.

Lyn Finelli, DrPH, who leads surveillance and outbreak response team in the CDC's influenza division, said in a flu news update that last week's percentage of pneumonia and flu deaths is the highest the CDC has seen in nearly a decade, but it's comparable to past severe flu seasons. For example, she said the level reached 10% during the 2003-04 season and 11.2% during the 1999-2000 season.

She said the CDC is closely watching the hospitalization rate, especially for seniors, because over the first half of January the level for that age-group has risen steeply, from 50 hospitalizations per 100,000 people to almost 98 hospitalizations, surpassing the previously highest rate for seniors of 73.7, which occurred during the 2007-08 flu season.

However, Finelli cautioned that the CDC has been collecting the hospitalization rates for seniors only since 2007. "So it's difficult to make the same kind of historical comparisons that we can for mortality," she said.

"The overall picture is clear. This season is severe for seniors, who are being hit hardest in terms of serious illnesses and deaths. It's really important that these people seek care and get treated promptly,"
Finelli said.
[continued at link]

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


If you are being called on to take care of a flu sufferer, follow these simple tips.
http://thelcn.com/2013/01/26/h...

Home remedies to survive the flu

January 26, 2013 by Pam Maxson

Note: This article reminds us of several common sense actions that can make someone with a respiratory infection feel more comfortable.I have just clipped the broad headings. Read the article for more explication.

1. Breathe steam.

2. It's true; drink a lot of liquids.

3. Use moist heat compresses. For a throbbing head and difficulty breathing through the nose, relief may be had by applying warm, moist compresses to the cheeks and sinuses

4. Try nasal saline irrigation or saline sprays.

5. Consider decongestant nasal sprays.

6. For a cough. Some studies have shown that a teaspoon of honey is as effective as over-the-counter cough syrups for calming a nagging cough.

7. Eat your favorite chicken soup. If it's loaded with pepper, ginger, garlic, curry powder or other hot spice it will aid in thinning mucous in the throat and lungs. If it is steaming hot, it will also function like the steam methods above.

8. Find relief for fever and body aches. Remember that a fever is the body's natural way to fight off an infection. If the fever is more than 101 degrees, an over-the-counter fever reducer/pain killer is indicated. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen are both good choices, as is aspirin in adults only.

9. Rest, rest and more rest.


[Further note: Snips were made throughout. The article is worth reading in full.]


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


Do you have a plan for flu season?
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-50...

[This article suggests some practical ways to help a business suffer less during flu season.]

(MoneyWatch) Flu season this year is hitting with a vengeance. Google's flu trends index  is showing intense flu activity across the country, at levels far beyond those of recent years. Obviously, illness is going to take its toll on any business, but there are ways to make it less awful, at least from a productivity perspective.

1. Don't scrimp on days off.

2. Make remote work possible.
If an employee is sick in bed, he's not getting any work done. But if he's home because he's caring for a child who can't go to school or daycare, he might be able to offer feedback on documents or take a call or two while the child is resting. It won't be a 100 percent productivity day, but if he's up for it, a 50 percent day is better than nothing.

3. Get serious about hand-washing. Yes, signs in the bathroom seem silly, but the flu is pretty awful, too. Or deliver little bottles of hand sanitizer to every desk.

4. Prevent it (next time). Smart companies already bring in someone to administer the flu vaccine to employees so no one has to leave the office to get the shot. Just keep in mind that if someone in your employee's family gets sick, your employee will still be affected because she'll probably miss work to care for that person. So encourage employees to get their children vaccinated (we try to schedule annual check-ups in the fall so our kids can get that year's shot without a special visit).

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


Man flu does exist as men suffer more from high temperatures when ill: scientist
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/hea...

Man flu is not a myth as men suffer more from a high temperatures than women when they are ill, a neuroscientist has said. Men have more temperature receptors in the brain

By Rebecca Smith2:27PM GMT 24 Jan 20131 Comment
Dr Amanda Ellison, a neuroscientist as Durham University, said that men really do suffer more with coughs and colds despite being accused of exaggerating symptoms to gain sympathy. She said men have more temperature receptors in the brain which causes them to experience the symptoms more acutely than women.

The difference is in the area of the brain which balances a variety of bodily mechanisms, including temperature.
The area is the same size in children, but when boys hit puberty testosterone starts to act on the area, known as the preoptic nucleus, making it larger.

Dr Ellison, 38, a senior lecturer at Durham, said: "When you have a cold one of the things that happens is you get an increase in temperature to fight off the bugs.

[continued at link]

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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