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News Reports for February 8, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 18:14:54 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 fifth Cambodian victim this year (Link)
Bird flu deaths reach five in Cambodia (Link)
•  Girl is Cambodia's 5th bird flu fatality this year (Link)
• Sixth New Human Case of Avian Influenza H5N1 in Cambodia in 2013 (Link)

India
• Haryana & Punjab: Two more doctors from GMCH-32 test positive for swine flu (Link)
• Delhi: Three deaths in a month, hospitals on swine flu alert (Link)
• Fresh cases of swine flu emerge in Delhi (Link)

Indonesia
• Diskes Anticipation of Bird Flu (translated) (Link)

Israel
• Doctors find three newborns with swine flu virus (Link)

Thailand
• Reactive AI controls Thailand (Link)

United States
• AL: Fighting The Flu (Link)
• KS: State's death toll from flu is near 700  (Link)
• NY:  State wants health workers who skip flu shots to wear masks (Link)
• WA: Doctor: Getting fever again after the flu can mean trouble (Link)

Research
• Study: Flu shot may not work as well for seniors (Link)
• Fight school flu: Take the survey (Link)

General
• Doctor warns - never give aspirin to children to relieve flu symptoms (Link)

Commentary
• Carl Zimmer: The Future Evolution of Bird Flu (Link)
• Recombinomics: New York Reports Sixth Pediatric Flu Death (Link)


• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for February 8, 2013

News for February 7, 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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The Future Evolution of Bird Flu
by Carl Zimmer

It's been a rough flu season this winter in the United States and Europe, but it could be worse. A lot worse. The flu viruses that are making us sick go by names like H1N1 and H3N2, referring to the kinds of proteins that stud their surface. There's another sort of flu lurking in other parts of the world, like Egypt, India, and Cambodia, known as H5N1. Since 2003, 615 people have come down with H5N1, and, as of Feburary 1, 364 of them had died. In January alone, 5 people in Cambodia were diagnosed with H5N1. Four of them died.

There's a lot of debate about precisely how bad H5N1 is. It's possible that a lot of people are getting sick with H5N1 without making it onto the official records. They're crawling off into bed for a week, recuperating, and then getting on with their lives. So the 59 percent death rate you get from the official numbers (what's known as the case-fatality rate) may be a serious overestimate. Still, even if the true rate was only half as high, H5N1 would not be a virus you'd want to cross paths with. The most famous flu outbreak of all, the so-called Spanish flu of 1918, is estimated to have killed 50 to 100 million people worldwide. But it infected billions, with a death rate of roughly 2 percent. If H5N1 could somehow take off and become a global pandemic, it would become an unparalleled catastrophe even if its official 59 percent death rate was chopped down by a factor of ten.

Right now, H5N1 does not have what it takes to race around the world. It might someday, although nobody can say for sure what the odds are. And, as a team of scientists now report in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, H5N1 would continue to evolve as it spread. Its ability to spread would evolve, along with its ability to kill. The scientists can't look into their crystal ball and say for sure how many people would die. But they can say this: what we do when and if we face an H5N1 pandemic could alter the evolution of the virus itself. And thousands of lives could be saved or lost as a result.

Continued with much more. I recommend reading the entire article: http://phenomena.nationalgeogr...

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

     


Israel: Doctors find three newborns with swine flu virus
Preemies are carrying the disease but not showing symptoms

Three premature babies at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa were found on Thursday to be carrying the swine flu virus. The H1N1 virus has remained dormant in all three infants, who have been isolated from the other newborns while the hospital conducts an investigation to determine the source of the virus.

So far this winter, two Israelis have died as a result of swine flu. A 3-year-old boy succumbed in mid-January, marking Israel's first swine flu death since 2009. Two weeks later, a 28-year-old woman died as well.

(Snip)

Hundreds of cases of the H1N1 virus were recorded in the West Bank in recent weeks, with at least 10 people dying as a result of the illness (Snip)  http://www.timesofisrael.com/d...

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

     


Cambodia: Bird flu claims fifth Cambodian victim this year
PHNOM PENH: A five-year-old Cambodian girl has died from bird flu, bringing the country's toll from the deadly virus to five so far this year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday.

The girl, from the southern province of Takeo, died on Thursday in hospital and tests confirmed that she had contracted the H5N1 strain of avian influenza (Snip).

She had come into contact with poultry prior to becoming sick, the statement said.

Cambodia has recorded 27 cases of H5N1 since 2003, all but three of them fatal. Four Cambodians, including a 17-month-old girl, died from the strain last month. Continued: http://www.channelnewsasia.com...

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

     


Bird flu deaths reach five in Cambodia
The fifth fatality from the H5N1 virus was a 5-year-old from Takeo province, who died in hospital on Thursday, said Sonny Inbaraj Krishnan, a spokesman for the World Health Organization (WHO).

A sixth victim recovered in January, he said, adding that no human cases of bird flu have been reported outside Cambodia this year.

A team from the Ministry of Health had travelled to the girl's village to test residents and advise them on how to avoid infection, he said.

"They will take swabs and draw blood and test it for the virus soas to rule out human-to-human transmission." All human cases of H5N1 have been infected by contact with poultry, but health professionals fear the virus could combine with another or mutate and gain the ability to pass between people.

The authorities in Takeo province in south-eastern Cambodia were also checking that infected birds are not moved. Last month agriculture teams culled 4,700 chickens and ducks in Takeo after another death from the disease. Continued: 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

     


[ Parent ]
Girl is Cambodia's 5th bird flu fatality this year
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

February 8, 2013 08:27 AM EST |  

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - A 5-year-old Cambodian girl has become the country's fifth bird flu fatality this year.

Cambodia's Health Ministry and the World Health Organization announced Friday that the girl had a history of contact with poultry in her village in southeastern Takeo province, where there was evidence of recent deaths among poultry.

Only one of Cambodia's six victims this year of the virus, also called avian influenza, or H5N1, has survived the disease. The country reported three cases in 2012, all fatal.

WHO statistics issued Feb. 1 show Cambodia as the only country so far reporting human cases of the disease in 2013.

The U.N. agency says bird flu has killed 365 other people worldwide since surfacing in 2003. Most human cases have been linked to contact with infected poultry.

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


[ Parent ]
Sixth New Human Case of Avian Influenza H5N1 in Cambodia in 2013
http://www.wpro.who.int/mediac...

(Joint news release of the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Cambodia and World Health Organization)

PHNOM PENH, 8 February 2013 - The Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Kingdom of Cambodia wishes to advise members of the public that one new more case of avian influenza has been confirmed positive for the H5N1 virus.

The sixth case is a a 5-year-old girl from Angk Krasang village, Prey Lvea commune, Prey Kabass district in Takeo province has been diagnosed with H5N1 influenza on 7th February 2013 by Institut Pasteur du Cambodge. She developed symptoms on 25th January 2013 with fever, cough, and vomiting. She was initially treated by local private practitioners. Her condition worsened and she was admitted to Kantha Bopha Hospital on 31st February with fever, cough, and dyspnoea. Unfortunately, despite intensive medical care, she died on 7th February. There is evidence of recent deaths among poultry in the village and the girl had history of coming into contact with poultry prior to becoming sick. The girl is the twenty-seven person in Cambodia to become infected with H5N1 virus, and the sixth person this year and the twenty-four person to die from complications of the disease. Of all the twenty seven cases, 18 were children under 14, and eighteen of the twenty seven confirmed cases occurred in females. (continued)


[ Parent ]
India: Two more doctors from GMCH-32 test positive for swine flu (Haryana & Punjab)
There seems to be no stopping of the swine flu cases in the city with more and more medicos falling prey to the influenza. After two faculty members of the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, tested positive, two more doctors, an assistant professor of the Department of ENT and assistant professor from the Department of Pathology, from the same hospital also tested positive.

Earlier, three lab attendants at PGIMER had also tested positive for the flu.

The increasing number of medicos getting affected by the virus exposes the casual approach of the authorities to ensure safety of the medical staff who deal with such cases.

While the staff members - including doctors and paramedics who are on duty in the Emergency ward, the isolation ward, the screening ward and the sample collection area - are advised to wear the special N-95 mask, most of them do not wear it, saying it is very uncomfortable to wear it all the time.

Also, most of these staff members did not even get themselves vaccinated for the prevention of the flu. Continued: 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

     


India: Two more doctors from GMCH-32 test positive for swine flu (Haryana & Punjab)
There seems to be no stopping of the swine flu cases in the city with more and more medicos falling prey to the influenza. After two faculty members of the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, tested positive, two more doctors, an assistant professor of the Department of ENT and assistant professor from the Department of Pathology, from the same hospital also tested positive.

Earlier, three lab attendants at PGIMER had also tested positive for the flu.

The increasing number of medicos getting affected by the virus exposes the casual approach of the authorities to ensure safety of the medical staff who deal with such cases.

While the staff members - including doctors and paramedics who are on duty in the Emergency ward, the isolation ward, the screening ward and the sample collection area - are advised to wear the special N-95 mask, most of them do not wear it, saying it is very uncomfortable to wear it all the time.

Also, most of these staff members did not even get themselves vaccinated for the prevention of the flu. Continued: 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

     


Pogge
Notice the time difference in this double post. It didn't appear to post as in "change the page" to show on the diary. Naturally I didn't think it had posted after that amount of time so I hit post again. Do you know if there is a problem with the server or is this a computer glitch of my system? Please remove one of the double post and this comment after reading it. THANK YOU!

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

     


[ Parent ]
India: Three deaths in a month, hospitals on swine flu alert (Delhi)
With 60 patients testing positive for the H1N1 virus since January 1, against a total of four cases reported during the same period last year, the Health department on Thursday called an emergency meeting.

The department has instructed all government hospitals to immediately open isolation wards and keep dedicated ICU beds with ventilator facilities.

(Snip)

Three deaths have been confirmed due to the virus this year. The diagnostic results of two other patients, who are suspected to have died of H1N1-related complications, is awaited.

Health Minister Dr A K Walia said, "We have designated 17 government hospitals and five private hospitals to provide treatment for swine flu. Eight labs, five private and three government hospitals (Snip) have been authorised to perform the diagnostic tests for swine flu samples."

This was the third advisory on swine flue this year two notices were sent in January.

According to Delhi government hospitals, patients had tested positive for the virus from across the city.

Government officials said of the three confirmed deaths, two were from RML Hospital and one at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. All three deaths were from acute respiratory distress syndrome, a common complication associated with swine flu, the minister said. Continued: 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

     


India: Fresh cases of swine flu emerge in Delhi
New Delhi: Fresh cases of epidemic swine flu emerged in New Delhi, killing three and hospitalising many others.

The number of patients admitted with swine flu is on the rise and hundreds of people are rushing to the general hospitals.

Talking to the mediapersons, Medical Superintendent, H K Kar gave the statistics of the cases reported in the hospital. "I suspected total 26 cases of swine flu, out of them 12 were positive and many others are also found suspected but we are awaiting the blood report.

"Many of them have been discharged, only two cases are in the hospital, one of them is in ICU (Intensive Care Unit), on the ventilator as his condition is very serious and critical and the other one has been discharged today.

Total four deaths have taken place in this case, in which three were from Delhi and one was from Haryana," said Dr. Kar.

The afflicted victims were rushed to the nearby hospitals with symptoms of sudden fever and cough, vomiting, runny nose, Diarrhoea or stomach upset, abdominal cramps, bleeding and headache.

Meanwhile in Gurgaon, the number of patients admitted with swine flu was six. Continued: http://zeenews.india.com/news/...

(Note: Four people with the symptom of "bleeding" and all of them dying? I wonder if they were maybe coughing up blood due to severe lung damage? If so they better be testing for H5N1 and the new coronavirus, IMO.)

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

     


[ Parent ]
Reactive AI controls Thailand
Translated

Bangkok, February 8 (PL) Thai Authorities resumed environmentalists strict sanitary controls of the poultry population in order to keep the country free of bird flu H5NI, cutting any possible outbreak early budding. The Department of National Parks and conservation of fauna and plants reactivated the mechanisms of prevention campaign that began deploying in 1991, when the H5NI was revealed as a threat in the Indochinese region.

Although not mentioned in the announcement of this dependence, the recent report of four fatal cases in neighboring Cambodia, had sufficient visibility in the media here, and to establish a cause and effect.

(Snip) saliva samples were collected from about 300 swallows, Silom, an area near the capital, for submission to laboratory at the Institute of Animal Health and Kasetsart University.

The results will be announced next week, said the head of the department, Teerapat Prayoonsit, leading a team of 100 veterinarians employed in the taking of birds for consideration, while another 800 monitor the situation in the rest of the country.

Two years ago it was estimated that there were 500 thousand swallows Silom but have been reduced to about five thousand (Snip).

Thailand recorded 25 bird flu-affected and 17 deaths since 2004, and in recent years there were no infections or deaths from this cause (Snip). http://www.prensa-latina.cu/in...


This was posted by me.
Sorry.... I have a one track mind that only occasionally functions anywhere near normal. LOL

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

     


[ Parent ]
LOL! n/t


United we stand: Divided we fall
www.flunewsnetwork.com


[ Parent ]
New York Reports Sixth Pediatric Flu Death
February 7, 2013

The Erie County Health Commissioner urged all parents to immunize their children from influenza following the death of a six-year-old girl from Erie County.

The girl died at Woman and Children's Hospital on Monday afternoon. Officials did not release her identity, but Eyewitness News has learned that she attended Saint Amelia School in Tonawanda where she was in first grade.

The above comments describe the sixth confirmed pediatric flu death in New York this season (assuming that the two deaths reported by New York City are included in the New York state totals).  As seen in the list below, the six deaths in New York are the second highest in the country (behind the nine deaths in Texas).

After the 2003-04 flu season, reporting of lab confirmed pediatric deaths became mandatory in the United States.  However, as seen in the list below, the number of reported cases is somewhat uneven.  New Jersey is one of the states with five reported cases (in addition to Colorado, Florida, and Michigan).

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

United we stand: Divided we fall
www.flunewsnetwork.com


Diskes Anticipation of Bird Flu
http://www.riaupos.co/daerah.p...
February 8, 2013
Pelalawan, Indonesia:  Anticipating an outbreak of bird flu, the Department of Health (Diskes) Pelalawan is asking the public to be alert to outbreaks of disease.  Diskes will attempt to prevent this through several strategies in anticipation of bird flu in the area. This was conveyed by the Chief Medical Officer Pelalawan Drs Dervish Alkadam MSI, through the Head of Disease Control and Environmental Health (P2PL) Pelalawan Asril SKM Kes, the Riau Pos, Thursday (7/2) Base yesterday afternoon in Kerinci.

"We ask the community to raise awareness.  And also with the Department of Animal Husbandry agencies we will monitor and be aware of the mobility of birds, especially those from outside the area, not to carry the bird flu virus,'' explained Asril.

Asril said that in anticipation of bird flu, it had ordered any existing health centers to continuously monitor Pelalawan for indications of bird flu.  That is, although until now there has been no case of bird flu in Pelalawan, they do do not want this to be missed.

"We obviously do not want this to be missed, since we have been ordered each health center in the area to monitor bird flu in their respective areas,'' he explained.

He explained that, although there have been no cases of bird flu, several cases of bird flu in poultry existed a few years earlier.  For handling cases of bird flu, the institute is working with the Animal Husbandry Department Pelalawan.

"Because of these concerns with poultry, then we cooperate with Disnak Pelalawan.  So if humans and poultry are exposed to a new bird flu, the Disnak authority can handle it,'' he said.

In mentioning how to handle it, Asril explained they have been continuously anticipating the spread of bird flu virus and not ceasing to counsel.  Whether through health centers, integrated health and administrative forums, it is expected that more and more people understand the ways of handling cases of bird flu.

"Extension and appeals are conducted mainly in residential areas where there are still are many dirty chicken coops.  Then the community clean poultry farms are also targeted with socialization.  Such areas are a priority to our attention,'' he said.

Continued Asril, if there are people who have a fever or high heat for three consecutive days and does not go away, they should be immediately be brought to the nearest hospital or health center.  Patients like this will receive the full attention of health workers in the field.  And to the owners of poultry, they are asked to continue keeping the cages and the environment.

"Because it is possible, and a lazy slob nature clean up, triggering the onset of various diseases.  As for culling, it is the authority of the Department of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Pelalawan,'' he concluded.

Regarding poultry infected with bird flu, it can be seen from the clinical symptoms, the comb and wattles are swollen and bluish.  Then the bleeding feet flat on the poultry red spots form, there is fluid in the eyes and nose and breathing problems.

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


Kansas: State's death toll from flu is near 700
http://hutchnews.com/Todaystop...

Rate of Kansans treated exceeds the prior two seasons.

6:41 PM, Feb 7, 2013
The Associated Press

TOPEKA - Kansans are reeling from influenza and flu-like symptoms, government health officials said, and the state's death toll is near 700 since the flu season began.

The state has recorded 699 deaths from Sept. 1 through Monday in which flu and/or pneumonia was a direct or contributing factor, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported Thursday.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment spokeswoman Miranda Steele said the rate of people being treated for influenza-like illness in Kansas is about 5 percent.

[snip]

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


The Future Evolution of Bird Flu
http://phenomena.nationalgeogr...

[Note: This article is a publication from the National Geographic. In my opinion the whole article is not to be missed. Please go to the link and read the entire article! This is only a snippet from the middle part of the article.]

by Carl Zimmer

[Big snip]
Human flu viruses have this tradeoff flipped. They tend to latch onto cells in the upper respiratory tract. They're less deadly than H5N1, but they also have an easier time getting sneezed or coughed into the air. Instead of dying in a few days, people with human flu are far more likely to remain alive and infective. They can even walk around, transporting their virus to stores, schools, and subways.

Boni and his colleagues created a model of an H5N1 outbreak spreading through a population of 10 million people. In their model, the virus could evolve a stronger or weaker preference for the lower or upper airway. That preference would influence how deadly it was and how easily it could spread.

They could also include the human factor as well. When flu outbreaks occur, one of the most effective strategies is to keep people away from each other. No school, no movies, no parades. Boni and his colleagues analyzed the course of the outbreak if this isolation did or didn't happen. They could examine the difference between a brief "flu weekend" or a long shut-down.

First the scientists looked at what it would take for a human-adapted H5N1 virus to trigger a full-blown pandemic. If it had the 60 percent case-fatality rate that doctors have seen in bird flu, it would fail. People would die so fast that the virus wouldn't have enough time to replicate and spread to other people.

Sounds great, right? Not so fast. If the mortality rate dropped to roughly 15 percent, the scientists found, the flu would take off. So we'd be facing a fast-spreading virus that was far deadlier than the 1918 pandemic. Boni and his colleagues point out that in Egypt, the fatality rate of H5N1 is dropping to about 36 percent. They call the drop "worrying." Normally, you'd think a milder pathogen is a better one. But thanks to the quirks of the flu, it might actually be entering its pandemic sweet spot.

[another big snip]

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


Doctor: Getting fever again after the flu can mean trouble
Read more: http://q13fox.com/2013/02/07/d...
Read more at http://q13fox.com/2013/02/07/d...

15 hours ago
by John Hopperstad

EVERETT - The flu has been blamed for 28 deaths in Washington state so far, including an otherwise healthy 23-year-old woman in Thurston County and six people in Snohomish County.

[snip]

Dr. Diana Yu, a Thurston County health officer, said the 23-year-old woman who died of complications from the flu had no risk factors.  She "gets sick for a couple of days, starts to feel better, and then all of a sudden feels worse and the next thing you know she's dead," Yu said.

Doctors said those symptoms are the most dangerous - when someone who is rebounding from the flu gets a fever again.

"We become concerned when you get secondary fevers a week or two or three weeks later, that's when we really worry," Tu said.

That means a person is developing complications, even pneumonia, Tu said, adding that an ill person should go to the hospital immediately at that point.

[snip]

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


New York: State wants health workers who skip flu shots to wear masks
http://www.syracuse.com/news/i...

By James T. Mulder | jmulder@syracuse.com
on February 07, 2013 at 4:38 PM, updated February 07, 2013 at 5:30 PM Print

Syracuse, N.Y. -- Health care workers who do not get flu shots would be required to wear masks under a regulation proposed today by the state Health Department.

The requirement would apply to workers in hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic and treatment centers, home care agencies and hospices. Unvaccinated workers would have to wear surgical or procedure masks in areas where patients are present.

"This regulation will enable health care workers to meet their obligation to do no harm to patients," Dr. Nirav R. Shah, the state's health commissioner, said in a prepared statement.

He said all health care workers should be vaccinated.

[snip]

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


Doctor warns - never give aspirin to children to relieve flu symptoms
http://www.wwltv.com/news/heal...

wwltv.com
Posted on February 7, 2013 at 6:17 PM
Updated yesterday at 6:21 PM
Meg Farris / Eyewitness News

[snip tells of terrible consequences to a child suffering  Reyes syndrome following administration of aspirin]

But there's another problem Dr. Wasserman is seeing. Parents who already know not to give aspirin to a sick young person may not know that aspirin is hidden in many other over-the-counter products.

"I've seen several children and teen agers where the parents will come and say, 'I gave my child Alka-Seltzer in the hopes of diminishing the symptoms.' And I full well understand it, but unfortunately they're giving a medication which does have a risk, not a great risk, but the risk of the disease is so bad and so devastating you don't need to go there," explained Dr. Wasserman.

Products that have aspirin in them include Goody's, Alka-Seltzer to name a few. Sometimes it is listed as aspirin on the label but in the case of Pepto-Bismol, it is listed by one of it's chemical names.

That's why even if you give your child or teenager Pepto-Bismol, you need to make sure that it has "child" or "children's" on the label.

Tylenol which is acetaminophen, or Motrin or Advil, which is ibuprofen, are safe and not associated with Reye's syndrome. Some parents make sure they don't make a mistake, by sticking to products labeled "children's."

"As far as I'm concerned, anybody below age 20 years should not have aspirin at all when they're sick," warned Dr. Wasserman.

[snip]

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


FIGHTING THE FLU
http://www.andalusiastarnews.c...

Published 12:05am Friday, February 8, 2013

Flu season is well under way and local school officials are reminding parents of the necessity of keeping sick children at home.

Andalusia City Schools head nurse Melinda Carrasco said that flu season is currently in its peak, and they are seeing an increase in absences in the workplace and in schools due to Type B flu.

Type A flu, which is considered more aggressive, peaked before Christmas, she said.

Absentee reports show that 82 students were out at Andalusia Elementary School on Wednesday and 90 on Thursday; 28 students were absent both days at Andalusia Middle School; and 32 out on Wednesday at Andalusia High School and 43 on Thursday.

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


Study: Flu shot may not work as well for seniors
http://www.sctimes.com/article...

Feb 7, 2013

[snip]
For the study, which appeared Feb. 6 in the journal Science Translational Medicine, researchers analyzed blood samples from 17 volunteers who'd gotten the flu shot. Four of them were aged 70 or older, while the rest were 8 to 30 years old.

They used gene-sequencing technology to get a "head count" of immune system cells called B cells during the volunteers' peak immune response to the vaccine, explained lead researcher Ning Jenny Jiang, currently an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin. The study took place while she was based at Stanford University.

B cells are important because they produce the antibodies that the immune system launches against invaders, like the flu virus. When B cells are exposed to the dead or weakened virus in a vaccine, they "tweak" their antibody weapons to be more effective against the real virus.

But Jiang's team found that after the flu shot, elderly people had lower numbers of distinct B cell types, compared to young people. That essentially means they had a less diverse array of weapons against the flu.

"We also noticed that B cells from elderly people had a higher level of mutation, or tweaks, to their antibody-coding genes compared to other age groups," Jiang said. That suggests their B cells are already very "specialized" - and possibly more resistant to further "tweaks" from the flu vaccine.

"This basically confirms what we've believed to be true," Kelley said. "But this is the first time (the research) has gotten to this technical of a level."

[snip]

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


Fight school flu: Take the survey

With 55 million US children mixing in the classrooms and corridors each day, K-12 schools are a natural transmission zone for the flu virus. Anyone-adult or child-can take an online survey that will help public health researchers understand influenza spreads among schoolchildren.

JOHNS HOPKINS/ U. PITTSBURGH (US) - You can help fight flu outbreaks among US schoolchildren simply by taking a survey.

http://www.futurity.org/health...

Public health researchers are asking anyone, of any age, living in the United States to take the web-based survey as part of the Social Mixing and Respiratory Transmission in Schools (SMART) study.
[snip]

The survey, available at www.smart.pitt.edu/contactsurvey, takes 15 to 45 minutes to complete.

SMART's online questionnaire asks about your previous day's interactions with people at work or school, in the home, and elsewhere. You can take the survey once or take it once a day as often as you want.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Pittsburgh will use your answers to investigate how influenza spreads. The data will enable them to build models of schoolchildren's daily interactions with each other and with other people in their lives. The models will help researchers develop effective preventive measures.

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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