The Swine Flu Update Thread..

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The Swine Flu Update Thread..

Post  flame on 5/9/2009, 2:07 pm

Scale of anticipated flu pandemic 'frightening': Doctor

WINNIPEG — An intensive care doctor speaking Wednesday at a conference on the H1N1 pandemic said the virus is the "most frightening" thing he has seen in his career — and other experts here warned that hospitals are not yet ready for a surge of severely sick patients.


In an interview just prior to his address, Dr. Anand Kumar said he wanted to give the audience "the flavour" of what hospitals can expect to see when the second wave of the pandemic is expected to come this fall and winter.


"I think it's an absolutely massive onslaught of incredibly sick young people that I had never imagined I would see in my life," Kumar said of his experience treating patients in Winnipeg's intensive care units. "It's startling, and more than a little frightening, especially when you don't know what the ceiling of this is going to be."


The two-day conference, which has drawn together about 150 health-care professionals and experts from across the country and around the world, is focused on how to manage severe cases of the swine flu and prevent them from deteriorating. Also on the agenda are discussions about Canada's vaccine strategy — under attack this week from the Canadian Medical Association Journal — the use of antivirals, medical ethics and clinical care guidelines. The sessions are closed to media.


Most cases of swine flu in Canada have been mild, but there is a subset of patients who are getting very sick. At least 72 deaths have been linked to H1N1 and more than 1,366 people have been hospitalized. Of those patients, more than 240 have spent time in intensive care units.


The virus's behaviour differs from that of other flu bugs in that it attacks younger people at disproportionately higher rates, rather than the very old and very young who are normally more susceptible to flu. Researchers still don't know why it is hitting some people so hard, particularly when they have no underlying health conditions or risk factors such as pregnancy.


Kumar said that, of the patients who were hospitalized in Winnipeg, two-thirds were young and healthy people who were "essentially struck down in the prime of their life" and that hospitals were filled with "rows and rows" of young patients in their 20s, 30s and 40s. He called it a "bizarre experience."


"I've been doing this for 28 years and it's probably the most frightening thing I've ever seen professionally," he said.


Some of the people who got "spectacularly ill" could barely get any oxygen from a ventilator into their lungs because they were so filled with fluid, said Kumar, and some patients had lungs so damaged that a ventilator didn't work.


Despite the rather ominous description offered by Kumar, he said young and healthy people shouldn't be scared and that the vast majority of people who contract the virus recover well.


Hospitals, however, know they need to prepare for an onslaught of critically ill patients in the event the pandemic worsens.


Dr. Robert Fowler, a critical care specialist and associate professor at the University of Toronto, said the second wave is not going to hit every city at the same time and jurisdictions should be able to share resources, such as ventilators and personnel. Those plans are not yet ready to be activated, said Fowler, and hospitals in general are not ready for high numbers of swine flu patients to walk through their doors.


"Are we ready? I think lots of work has been done, but we're not ready," said Fowler. "There's still lots more work to be done over the next weeks to months."


Some hospitals are already pushed to their limits when caring for critically ill patients, and the possibility of being pushed beyond those limits is causing a lot of worry, he said.


Dr. Gerald Evans, an expert from Queen's University who will address the conference Thursday, echoed those concerns.


"Canadian health care is sort of premised on the idea that we run at near 100 per cent capacity, so the lack of a surge capacity, the ability to take a big huge surge of people, is a significant problem," he said.


More hospital beds are needed, more advanced ventilators are required, as well as the people trained to operate them, and strategies are needed to prevent serious cases from turning deadly, the experts said. Those strategies will be discussed in detail during the second day of the conference.

http://www.leaderpost.com/health/Sca...388/story.html
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Re: The Swine Flu Update Thread..

Post  Roick on 6/9/2009, 3:24 pm

mmmmmm first post with potential doom....me likey!

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Re: The Swine Flu Update Thread..

Post  flamey on 6/9/2009, 7:43 pm

the way it's going, shouldn't be long before everybody has gotten the flu..

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AFP) – Some 2,000 students at Washington State University have reported symptoms of swine flu, university officials said, in one of the largest reported outbreaks of the virus on a US college campus.

The west-coast school last week instituted a blog to help provide information to students about the sudden and dramatic spread of the A(H1N1) virus on campus just days into the new school term.

"We estimate that we have been in contact with about 2,000 students with influenza-like illness in the first 10 days of our fall semester," the latest online posting said.

"At this time of year, we would typically only see a handful of patients with influenza-like illness. Health care providers in the local community have also seen WSU students with influenza-like illness, but we have no way of knowing how many.

"We also have no way of estimating how many students are self-caring at home without contacting us," school officials said.

They also said they had been asked by the county health department "to track numbers in this way to give us a better idea of how many students at WSU actually have influenza-like illness."

The university of about 19,000 students added that it is following guidelines issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in advising students how to avoid catching and spreading the virus.

WSU said it has begun handing out flu self-care kits to students.

"Two hundred of these kits have already been distributed with 1,000 more in process," university officials said, adding that none of the cases of swine flu so far has required hospitalization.

"The overwhelming majority of our patients have had mild symptoms and are usually better in three to five days," the university said.

None of the WSU cases have been fatal. There have been 593 swine flu-related deaths in the United States, however, second only to Brazil which has recorded 657 deaths.

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Re: The Swine Flu Update Thread..

Post  flame on 6/9/2009, 7:47 pm

Guest posting worked, yayyyyy..


oh and one more flu thingie..

Two interesting facts about the manufacturers of the H1N1 vaccine:
– Baxter and Novartis patented the H1N1 vaccine in August of 2007, after the Bear market started, but two years before the first swine flu case.
– The US government gave Baxter and Novartis legal immunity in advance for any injury and death caused by H1N1 vaccine.
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Re: The Swine Flu Update Thread..

Post  flame on 6/9/2009, 7:50 pm

okay, one more..


From Monotreme's Blog (a moderator at the PANDEMIC FLU INFORMATION FORUM)

Recently, the federal government held a private meeting with selected members of the media and flublogia. The stated purpose was “to prepare for some possible communications challenges” associated with the ongoing pandemic. Here’s the thing: many members of the public who participate in flu forums and read flu blogs are furious that supposedly independent bloggers went to this event and agreed not talk about it. For many in this community, those bloggers who agreed are “burned”, ie, identified with the government. They have lost credibility and will not get it back. Second, people who were suspicious of the government before are even more suspicious now. It is not enough that the mainstream media kowtow to politicians, they are now reaching into the blogosphere to “turn” the last vestige of free reporting into yet another wing of their PR campaign.

Government attempts to control the media are understandable. From the government’s point of view, journalists just make their job harder. Things are so much easier if the press get their notes directly from the government. The thing is, a free press is a critical feedback mechanism the prevents wrong policy from being implemented without challenge. Remove this feedback, and there is no limit to the damage that can be done. There are many examples of disasters that occurred in the US when journalists did not do their jobs, some of them quite recent. A pandemic is exactly the wrong time to shut off external critiques, imo.

One good thing has come out of this conference. We have three new flu blogs today (see my blogroll), born out of outrage at government attempts to control the blogosphere . . .

http://monotreme1000.wordpress.com/
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Re: The Swine Flu Update Thread..

Post  Roick on 9/9/2009, 8:28 am

There are now posters all over the campus telling us that flu shots are now available at student health. On the bottom of the poster in huge print it says "NOT H1N1 VACCINE"...although, I am sure that will be on its way in October or a little after.

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Re: The Swine Flu Update Thread..

Post  flame on 10/9/2009, 6:41 pm

yeah, my doc told me not until October or even a bit later..if he gets any in at all..

he didn't recommend it anyways and I agree..I don't even take the regular flu shot.
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Re: The Swine Flu Update Thread..

Post  Roick on 11/9/2009, 8:47 am

I just got an e-mail this morning stating that we have our first case of swine flu on campus. They said that the student has been isolated, but wanted to make everyone aware...

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Re: The Swine Flu Update Thread..

Post  flame on 11/9/2009, 12:30 pm

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Re: The Swine Flu Update Thread..

Post  Roick on 11/9/2009, 1:09 pm

update:

I guess the student is to leave campus...ruh roh, shaggy!!!

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Re: The Swine Flu Update Thread..

Post  Roick on 11/9/2009, 5:35 pm

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Re: The Swine Flu Update Thread..

Post  flame on 11/9/2009, 8:20 pm

a kitty..



omg KITTEH DOOM..
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Re: The Swine Flu Update Thread..

Post  Roick on 11/9/2009, 9:23 pm

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