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News Reports for February 5, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 18:13:39 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!

• ProMED: Undiagnosed respiratory infection - Algeria (02): (EO) influenza (Link)

• Influenza A: is a very serious one of the nurses (Link)
• Carmen de Areco: the last batch of samples sent to Malbrán was compatible with influenza A (Link)

•  Influenza outbreak results in hospital visitor restrictions (Link)

• Kashmir: Man dies of swine flu in Srinagar hospital (Link)
• Kashmir: Man dies of swine flu in Srinagar hospital (same title but not the same article as listed above) (Link)
• Haryana: Swine flu on the rise, third positive case in a month (Link)

• 10 people die of H1N1 in Iraq (Link)

• Teams of govt vets monitor for avian flu (Link)

United States
• Along with flu and colds, winter brings more fatal heart attacks and strokes (Link)
• Why are so many seniors dying of flu? (Link)
• Why Some Are Calling This Flu Season an Epidemic - And What to Do About it (Link)

• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for February 5, 2013

News for February 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 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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Canada: Influenza outbreak results in hospital visitor restrictions (Ontario)
MIDLAND - Visitors to Georgian Bay General Hospital will need to take extra precautions due to an influenza A outbreak. The outbreak, which was declared Monday by the hospital and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, is currently limited to the 1 North long-term-care unit.

In an attempt to stop the spread of the virus, visitors will be restricted to one healthy adult per patient. (Snip). Visitors who have not had a flu shot will be asked to wear a mask.

All visitors must follow proper hand hygiene when they enter the building (Snip).

This is the second influenza A outbreak at the Midland hospital in recent months. (Snip). http://www.simcoe.com/communit...  

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


ProMED: Undiagnosed respiratory infection - Algeria (02): (EO) influenza
The Pasteur Institute in Algiers has confirmed that the deaths of 3 people attributed to a strange, undiagnosed respiratory infection were the result of seasonal flu virus infection.

(Snip) the undiagnosed respiratory infection responsible for the deaths of 3 people, general panic, and the admission of others to the intensive care unit at Omar Jilali Infectious Diseases Hospital were consequences of seasonal influenza virus infection. Samples of blood from others have been taken for further analysis.

According to the current WHO Global Influenza Update, (Snip) influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 is the predominant influenza virus in the area and likely to be responsible for the outbreak of respiratory disease (Snip). http://www.promedmail.org/dire...

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


Along with flu and colds, winter brings more fatal heart attacks and strokes

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


Argentina: Influenza A - is a very serious one of the nurses

The woman is hospitalized in La Plata, in coma. She traveled to Orlando in December and is suspected to spread to ten other people in the hospital in Carmen de Areco, which was closed.

The hospital nurse Carmen de Areco who have contracted swine flu in the United States is very serious, in intensive care. According to medical sources confirmed, and remains on life support in hospital induced coma Rossi de La Plata, where she was taken five days ago.

It is one of four health workers who (Snip) are affected by a strain of influenza type A. The outbreak began 11 days ago in hospital Our Lady of Mount Carmel and caused the closure of almost all services of this hospital located in the north of the province of Buenos Aires.

In the hospital of the capital Buenos Aires Rossi's total of six affected by the virus. The nurse who traveled between 20 and 30 December at Orlando, on vacation and another companion of tasks in the field of hospital therapy Areco are those more serious. "Both clinical indicators remain stable, but his (her) condition is critical," hospital sources told Clarin. Last night, remove the ventilator evaluating one of the patients. Four other nurses do well. Complications also remain employed both interned in Cetrángolo Vicente Lopez and two women and a man treated at Parchment.

The 38 years  (38 year old) (Snip) works in the intensive care area of ​​the hospital de Areco. There came the focus that the virus spread among employees and also reached a man who cared for a sick relative.

As admitted in the provincial health ministry, at least two of the affected employees of the hospital had no vaccine against influenza A, which is mandatory for agents performing work in sanitary areas. (Snip) ATE provincial leader, told Clarín that "last year in the hospital lacked vaccines de Areco. It's because they recorded severe management problems. "

The Nuestra Señora del Carmen has 96 beds and perform 120 professionals and paramedics. For more than a week is closed. Only emergency care and outpatient adult and pediatric patients for symptoms consistent with influenza.

Initially, Buenos Aires authorities had ruled out the possibility that it was influenza A. And on Saturday evening, the National Minister, Luis Manzur, confirmed the presence of "a genome of influenza A" in samples obtained in four of the 11 patients.

It remains to determine the complete genotype virus. Suspect is a strain on the U.S. winter affected more than 20,000 people this year. And that would be different from that caused some cases in 2012 in Argentina. So in the next vaccination campaign, which will begin in early March, be immunized against the kind that prevailed this year in several U.S. states. http://www.clarin.com/sociedad...

(Note: I'm still not convinced this is influenza. The WHO has recommended that all countries test patients with questionable illnesses exhibiting flu symptoms for the new coronavirus. I wish Argentina would do that now.)

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


or possibly a new subtype of flu?
If it's so virulent, it could be a mutation - another thing to be very, very careful about! I hope all those they evacuated and all those on the plane down from Orlando, etc. are being monitored for symptoms - this could be another pandemic brewing.  

[ Parent ]
Argentina: Carmen de Areco - the last batch of samples sent to Malbrán was compatible with influenza A

The Ministry of Health of the Province of Buenos Aires reported that in the last batch of samples corresponding to four hospital patients "Nuestra Señora del Carmen", sent this week to the Institute Malbrán to be processed and analyzed, was found compatible with influenza genome A free classified.

Previous studies and the first batch of samples, corresponding to 7 patients had tested negative for influenza A. This is a total of 11 patients, of which 9 are employees of the hospital and the other two members of the community.

Note that as of date, no new cases were detected in the working population or hospital, or the community at large.

"Since the beginning of the problem, and even when results were not available, the Ministry of Health took preventive measures and locking action for this type of pathology," (Snip).

"The joint effort and work with the Ministry of Health of Nation, has allowed us to move forward day by day in the diagnostic investigation and continue therapy instituted from day one," (Snip).

Of the 11 hospitalized, two were discharged with personalized daily checks by phone. In the hospital of La Plata Rossi's two critically ill patients while other four are stable and progressing favorably. http://www.genteba.com.ar/comp...

(Note: According to this article, a total of 11 samples have been analyzed. Samples on 7 of the patients were analyzed first and they were found to be negative for flu. Then 4 more samples were sent on different people and they tested positive. Considering the entire hospital was evacuated and closed, along with these test results, I'm just not convinced they are dealing with H1N1 swine flu. JMO)  

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


[ Parent ]
India: Man dies of swine flu in Srinagar hospital (Kasmir)
Srinagar, Feb 5 (IANS) A man died of swine flue infection at the super specialty Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS) Soura here, hospital sources said Tuesday. The sources told IANS that the man died Monday although doctors at the super specialty hospital have not officially confirmed it

"A senior assistant in the administrative section of SKIMS, who had been undergoing treatment for H1N1 infection, passed away yesterday (Monday)," (Snip).

Teams of doctors were seen collecting samples from the family members and neighbours of the deceased person in Tullamulla village of north Kashmir's Ganderbal district to determine the extent of swine flu infection.

Saleem-ur-Rehman, director health services Kashmir, told IANS: "We had sent teams of doctors to the area Monday. "Today (Tuesday) medicines were distributed among the people in the area to create awareness and suggest preventive measures."

A senior doctor at the hospital said last month four people had reported with symptoms of swine flu after tests were carried out on them. Continued: http://www.newstrackindia.com/...

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


NEJM (CDC): Epidemic Influenza - Responding to the Expected but Unpredictable
Epidemic Influenza - Responding to the Expected but Unpredictable
Joseph Bresee, M.D., and Frederick G. Hayden, M.D.
January 23, 2013DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1300375

...We expect annual winter epidemics in temperate regions, although circulation patterns for influenza virus are even more complex and prolonged in tropical and subtropical parts of the world. The fundamental causes of seasonal epidemics, and of the variability in their timing and severity, remain incompletely understood but probably include population factors (prevalence of specific immunity to circulating strains, nutritional status, vitamin D levels), behavioral factors (crowding, school openings, air travel), viral factors (antigenicity, virulence, transmissibility), and environmental factors (humidity, temperature). Recent cases of swine-origin A(H3N2)-variant infections in the United States and of avian A(H5N1) infections in other countries further highlight the challenges of influenza prevention...

On the treatment front, unlike the 2008-2009 season, when oseltamivir-resistant seasonal H1N1 virus circulated globally, the current season is dominated by influenza A and B strains susceptible to neuraminidase inhibitors. Observational studies during the 2009 pandemic confirmed that timely antiviral treatment could reduce the duration of illness and functional disability in ambulatory patients and severe outcomes in hospitalized patients. A meta-analysis of 90 observational studies, most of which covered A(H1N1)pdm09 infections, showed that antiviral therapy, principally with oseltamivir, initiated within 48 hours after symptom onset reduced the likelihood of both admission to the critical care unit and death.4 This finding confirms those of observational studies revealing reduced mortality with oseltamivir therapy among patients hospitalized with A(H1N1)pdm09, seasonal, or avian H5N1 influenza, who benefited from treatment even if it was delayed up to 4 to 5 days after symptom onset.5 Current guidance from the CDC and the World Health Organization emphasizes the importance of initiating antiviral therapy as early as possible in patients who are hospitalized with severe or progressive illness caused by suspected influenza and in high-risk outpatients, regardless of whether they were vaccinated or have been sick for more than 2 days. FDA approval of oseltamivir was recently extended to infants as young as 2 weeks.


seems to be pushing Tamiflu
I don't remember the pandemic happening because H1N1 was resistant to Tamiflu, but because it was a new strain of flu - and became resistant because it was exposed to Tamiflu so much. Am I remembering right? So this doc's logic (at least in the clip) seems faulty and slanted toward trusting Tamiflu as a solution, when there is no reason to believe that current strains won't become resistant over time.

[ Parent ]
H Cathy
The pandemic that started in the spring of 2009 was caused by "H1N1 swine flu" and it was a new strain we had never been exposed to. The official name for it is A(H1N1)pdm09. It made the leap directly from pigs to humans. As far as I know it hasn't become resistant to Tamiflu as of yet.

The Tamiflu resistant strain that circulated in the 2008-2009 flu season was the "H1N1 seasonal flu". The "H1N1 seasonal flu" is an avian flu and it was the cause of the 1918 pandemic that killed millions of people. Time, viral changes and exposure made it less virulent and it then became a yearly circulating seasonal flu. During the 2008-2009 season, the "H1N1 seasonal flu" strain that circulated was Tamiflu resistant.  

The 2008-2009 seasonal H1N1 flu circulation in the US was pretty much over by the time the 2009 H1N1 swine flu outbreak started.

Tamiflu isn't the solution, it is a medical aid to possibly help lessen the severity once a person has already contracted the flu. The best solution is the flu vaccine and common sense and even those two don't always guarantee a person won't catch the flu.

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


[ Parent ]
That was suppose to be "Hi"
as in a "hello" to you, Cathy. LOL

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


[ Parent ]
10 people die of H1N1 in Iraq
(Snip) "We have 359 cases registered as infected with the swine flu in Iraq, ten of them have died," Sattar al-Saidy, deputy minister of health told reporters.

Saidy confirmed that the situation is under control and the ministry of health provides all necessary medicines and vaccines.

"The Central Laboratory of Public Health in Baghdad is working 24 hours a day to analyze samples taken from suspected cases," (Snip) all the hospitals across the country have set up separate wards to receive suspected cases of H1N1 flu. Continued: http://www.china.org.cn/world/...

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


India: Man dies of swine flu in Srinagar hospital (Kashmir)
Swine flu claimed yet another life in Kashmir valley bringing the toll to four since December 2012 (Snip)

The sources said that the man who succumbed to the deadly H1N1 infection was ironically an employee of the medical institute and had been under treatment at the hospital.

His condition had deteriorated few days earlier and had been put on a ventilator. A senior doctor at the institute who wished to be anonymous confirmed the man from north Kashmir had died of the Swine flu.

"The institute has been receiving cases of respiratory infection including that of H1N1 flu since the onset of winter in Kashmir. This is in keeping with a similar trend in North America and Western European countries," he said.

"Most of these cases get successfully treated and discharged. Previously we would not know as to what caused the respiratory illness but with the setting up of a specialized laboratory 3 years ago, we are able to diagnose these viral infections in as little as 3-4 hours and institute appropriate treatment. This was simply impossible few years ago," he added. Continued: http://www.rediff.com/news/rep...

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


Thailand: Teams of govt vets monitor for avian flu
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has resumed its nationwide campaign to randomly test birds for the deadly avian influenza virus (H5N1), to ensure Thailand is free from further outbreaks.

Over 300 barn swallows were collected from Silom by a veterinarian team from the department. (Snip) they also collected bird saliva and dropping samples, to be sent for lab tests at the National Institute of Animal Health and Kasetsart University.

The lab results should be known next week (Snip).
To date, his department has found no spread of the virus among birds in Silom since the department started a campaign to detect H5N1 (Snip).

The number of barn swallows in Silom was around 500,000 two years ago, but has dropped to 3,000-5,000 birds as local agencies have cut trees and removed electricity posts. (Snip).

"We are collecting samples from birds in Samut Prakan, Trang, and Krabi and we will do the same in other areas later," he said.

Thailand has reported 25 confirmed cases of human infection and 17 deaths since 2004. But over the past nine years there have been no reports of human infection or deaths. http://www.nationmultimedia.co...

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


Why are so many seniors dying of flu?

February 5, 2013 10:30 AM

(CBS News) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says senior citizens are dying at the highest rate ever seen from the flu.

They're dying more often because this year's flu strain is "a bit more virulent" than previous years, according to Dr. William Schaffner, of Vanderbilt University, past president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

Seniors are often more susceptible to flu, according to Schaffner, because their immune systems are more frail than young, robust people. He said, "When flu strikes, they're more likely to get the complications of influenza."

But this year's strain is "more apt to cause serious disease," he said. "That's a nasty combination -- more virulent virus and seniors, of course, who are frail," Schaffner said. "So we're seeing complications, hospitalizations, and some deaths in seniors now."


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

US: Why Some Are Calling This Flu Season an Epidemic - And What to Do About it
The current flu season is driven by 3 influenza viruses: 2009's Influenza A H1N1, another Influenza A virus (H3N2) and Influenza B virus.

All flu seasons are especially hard on children and the elderly.

Avoiding the flu is getting more and more difficult. All over the country, an alarmingly high rate of hospitalizations and deaths from the flu are being reported, especially among people 65 years and older. Most hospitals are currently recording higher numbers of visits to the ER for flu-like symptoms than the corresponding period last year.

The rising number of flu cases has placed this year's flu season right on the threshold of an epidemic. Experts warn that if the number of new cases does not drop sharply soon, we may well be experiencing the 2009 flu epidemic all over again.

While the CDC won't provide the official count of flu deaths until the end of the season, early figures (undercounts, really) are already alarming. So what is the official response to the 2013 flu season?


They are only 62% effective (actually good enough for the average flu vaccine).

However, these vaccines have been beset by supply issues. First, the amount of vaccines needed for the 2013 flu season was significantly underestimated. Currently, the government is scrambling to deliver 10 million more vaccine doses than it estimated. Even then vaccine manufacturers cannot produce more vaccines because they had already turned their production capacities towards making vaccines for the next season.

To make up for the shortfall, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) turned to Tamiflu, an antiviral drug, to meet the urgent need for protection against the flu viruses surfacing this season. The manufacturers of Tamiflu were asked to release the 2 million doses they had in storage.

Because it would take weeks to repackage this drug for 2013, the FDA gave a special concession to release the stored Tamiflu with its old label. So how can you protect yourself if vaccines and antiviral drugs are in short supply? Continued: http://www.webwire.com/ViewPre...

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


India: Swine flu on the rise, third positive case in a month
Gurgaon, Haryana - The health department on Tuesday registered another case of swine flu, putting the count of positive swine flu cases at two and one death.

The latest case was reported by Aarvy Hospital, wherein a 39-year-old man (Snip) tested positive for the H1N1 virus. He has been quarantined at his residence.

"Suspected cases of swine flu have started to come in. We test one sample every day," (Snip) However, disparity exists in the figures of cases provided by the Gurgaon health department and private hospitals.

While the health department has tagged H1N1 cases at two with one death, private hospitals put the figure at three positive cases and one death. The case which has not been reported by the health department is of a man in his mid-thirties admitted at Artemis Health Sciences. (Snip)

"A number of suspected H1N1 cases are being reported in the OPDs. All suffering from common flu have to undergo a test which costs Rs. 4,500 but not many can afford it. (Snip). http://www.hindustantimes.com/...

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 ]
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