Mexico swine flu deaths spur global epidemic fears

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McLaren

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Well, the idiot that runs the school district that I used to attend closed the elemetary school closest to my childhood home (not the one I attended). Apparently a kid has symptoms of H1N1 (what we're being told to call it here in Michigan), and tied to having had family members return from Mexico on spring break just about a week or so ago... Panic hit, they closed the school for the day tomorrow, and they'll be doing some disinfecting.

Meh. Until kids my age start dropping dead in their tracks, I'm not very worried.
That's really nothing. We've had 3-5 elementary schools closed around Dallas that'll be closed for a full week. Apparently, we've had 3 confirmed cases in our county & 2 possible ones.

Despite this, the schools are the only thing making the news. The rest of the county hasn't been given any warnings except not to share food or interact with "strange/foreign" objects.
 

Alex.

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Is it only me who is seeing this Flu-like symptoms so it MUST be Swine flu?

perhaps it could be the normal flu,It's like everyone who has the flu since the swine flu was discovered automatically has the swine variant:idea::irked:

Lets look at the likely situation. A kid has flu symptoms, he has a cold/flu, his mum rings in to school to say he's sick.

not, a kid has flu symptoms, OMFG IT MUST BE SWINE FLU!!!!!!!111111 CLOSE THE SCHOOLS ORDER 32 MILLION FACEMASKS!
 

FoolKiller

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I have found a bonus to this swine flu hysteria: Fashion face masks.

36-021.jpg

swineflumask.jpg
 
4,387
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I know that the media is exaggerating a bit, but even though, for the Health Organization to put a level 5 warning, we should have some daily careful about something’s, like avoiding very crowded places and having a increasing health care.

The main worries are not how the flu is now, there is really no difference between this flu and the normal flu, but what worries the most is if enough people contract the flu, making the virus gaining resistance to antibiotics of some sort, mutating to a higher level virus, that is the real concern right now.

Meh. Until kids my age start dropping dead in their tracks, I'm not very worried.
I hope nothing happens to you, and that you will be fine and with good health, but what insures you that you are not the first one?
 

FoolKiller

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I know that the media is exaggerating a bit, but even though, for the Health Organization to put a level 5 warning, we should have some daily careful about something’s, like avoiding very crowded places and having a increasing health care.
Do you know what Phase 5 means?
http://newsblaze.com/story/20090430093429mcco.nb/topstory.html

Here is the WHO explanation for Levels 5 and 6:

"Phase 5 is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short.

Phase 6, the pandemic phase, is characterized by community level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region in addition to the criteria defined in Phase 5. Designation of this phase will indicate that a global pandemic is under way."
So, Phase 5 means that they know that it has passed from human to human in Mexico and the US.

Phase 6 will occur the moment it is confirmed to have done so in a European country.

At that point they call it a pandemic and all sort events of biblical proportions will happen, like fire and brimstone raining down from the skies, rivers and seas boiling, 40 years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

All because three countries have seen a previously uncommon disease spread from human to human. In other words, an official pandemic, by definition, can be less spred or deadly than seasonal flu.

but what worries the most is if enough people contract the flu, making the virus gaining resistance to antibiotics of some sort, mutating to a higher level virus, that is the real concern right now.
It's a virus. It is resistant to ALL antibiotics. There is no cure for a virus. No cure for the common cold, no cure for the flu.

No, it will not build a resistance to anything because it is a virus and is not curable by any medicines. Viruses must run their course and the best you can do is take something like Tamiflu, which prevents it from being able to spread in your body further. Of course, most US cases haven't even required Tamiflu, just stay at home and get some rest, drink plenty of fluids, etc.


EDIT:
And our VP is spreading some anger in the travel industry by a inadvertently feeding the panic.

http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2009/04/30/way-to-go-joe/?xid=rss-topstories

Way To Go, Joe.
Posted by Karen Tumulty
Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 7:40 am

In case you weren't already panicked:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden says he's advising his own family to stay off commercial airlines and even subways because of the new swine flu.

Biden said Thursday if one person sneezes on a confined aircraft, "it goes all the way through the aircraft." Going beyond official advice from the federal government, Biden said of his family's personal precautions: "That's me."
He also advises suggests that malls and classrooms could be dangerous.

UPDATE: All in all, not the VP's best day. In that Today Show interview (you can see the video here), he also addressed Matt Lauer as "Sam," confused the Pennsylvania Republican Party with the Democrats and appeared at times to be having trouble staying awake. Meanwhile, Biden's office attempts to clean up the mess clarify what he meant to say:

Statement from Vice President Biden's Spokesperson Elizabeth Alexander:

“On the Today Show this morning the Vice President was asked what he would tell a family member who was considering air travel to Mexico this week. The advice he is giving family members is the same advice the Administration is giving to all Americans: that they should avoid unnecessary air travel to and from Mexico. If they are sick, they should avoid airplanes and other confined public spaces, such as subways. This is the advice the Vice President has given family members who are traveling by commercial airline this week. As the President said just last night, every American should take the same steps you would take to prevent any other flu: keep your hands washed; cover your mouth when you cough; stay home from work if you're sick; and keep your children home from school if they're sick.”
And the travel industry has this to say -- not, of course, to anyone in particular:

Travel Industry Urges Elected Officials to Resist Inflammatory Comments on Swine Flu

Washington, DC - Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, today released the following statement regarding recent comments that might discourage Americans from using public transportation or commercial aviation during the ongoing spread of swine flu:

"Americans should heed the advice of medical experts when determining how best to manage health concerns during the ongoing swine flu outbreak. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and countless other experts, swine flu should not discourage people from traveling to or within the United States.

"Elected officials must strike a delicate balance of accurately and adequately informing citizens of health concerns without unduly discouraging travel and other important economic activity.

"According to President Obama, swine flu is a cause for concern, but not panic. President Obama's measured and responsible comments are appropriate and should provide useful guidance to other elected officials."
 
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39,097
Based on what I "learned" in Health class today from the idiot health teacher, my entire family will probably be dead by Saturday. It was nice knowing you, GTP!
 

FoolKiller

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Based on what I "learned" in Health class today from the idiot health teacher, my entire family will probably be dead by Saturday. It was nice knowing you, GTP!
Did you ask your health teacher of she/he knew the WHO definition of pandemic or if he/she was just an idiot?
 
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It's a virus. It is resistant to ALL antibiotics. There is no cure for a virus. No cure for the common cold, no cure for the flu.

No, it will not build a resistance to anything because it is a virus and is not curable by any medicines. Viruses must run their course and the best you can do is take something like Tamiflu, which prevents it from being able to spread in your body further. Of course, most US cases haven't even required Tamiflu, just stay at home and get some rest, drink plenty of fluids, etc.

I know that medicine cannot kill virus. But your immune system can prevent it from spreading it, as well has some medicine (like tamiflu).

What concerns the most is if that virus mutates to something that can spread through your body in a matter of hours (like the Spanish Flu, that could take up to 24 hours to kill a person), with resistance to tamiflu or other medicine, or in other words (of what I mean from resistance), the virus spreading through the body, even with a dose of tamiflu.
 
39,097
Did you ask your health teacher of she/he knew the WHO definition of pandemic or if he/she was just an idiot?
She's just an idiot, I can assure you. She buys into, and makes part of her curriculum, every single idiotic health scare that happens in the news. As I mentioned in the "3rd Hand Smoke" thread, she felt it necessary to make the whole "3rd hand smoke will kill your babies" crap part of her curriculum last week.
She even handed out the official 10 page "How not to die from swine flu even though you totally will" guideline booklets from the Red Cross when class started. The only reason I even pay attention to her class is because I get to go all Kyon on her in my mind, because I know enough about basic health that I can disprove most of her lectures with minimal effort.

I should have just taken gym.


LdS
I know that medicine cannot kill virus. But your immune system can prevent it from spreading it, as well has some medicine (like tamiflu).

What concerns the most is if that virus mutates to something that can spread through your body in a matter of hours (like the Spanish Flu, that could take up to 24 hours to kill a person), with resistance to tamiflu or other medicine, or in other words (of what I mean from resistance), the virus spreading through the body, even with a dose of tamiflu.
As I understand it, all stuff like Tamiflu does is help fight off secondary infections so that the body can spend more resources fighting the flu.
 

FoolKiller

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What concerns the most is if that virus mutates to something that can spread through your body in a matter of hours (like the Spanish Flu, that could take up to 24 hours to kill a person), with resistance to tamiflu or other medicine, or in other words (of what I mean from resistance), the virus spreading through the body, even with a dose of tamiflu.
But you said antibiotic, which Tamiflu is not. That was my point. Antibiotic resistance is not something viruses need to do, so the antibiotic resistance scare does not apply to any form of flu. I am not sure if Tamiflu can have a resistance built against it as it works on multiple forms of flu virus and does not work to kill the virus the way an antibiotic does a bacteria.

That said, antibiotic resistance fears are linked to viruses because doctors just hand an antibiotic prescription to any patient with a cold or the flu to get them to shut up and leave the office. So, people who do not need an antibiotic take it and allow what bacteria they do have in their system to slowly work up to a possible antibiotic resistant adaptation. Fortunately, according to my pharmacist brother, penicillin based drugs have a very low rate of antibiotic resistance.


As for a virus mutating: The seasonal flu and cold does it on a yearly (sometimes more frequent) basis, which is why the flu vaccine has to be taken every year because this year's flu is a mutation of last year's flu that your body has little resistant to. Every virus does this.

The difference between Swine Flu and seasonal flu is that the swine flu is a new strain not directly related to the current seasonal flu. But as it so far does not appear to be affecting healthy individuals much worse than seasonal flu there is so far little to fear. Only one country, with relatively poor health care, has had multiple deaths. And the one US death came from that country already very ill.

Think about it: No country with decent health care has had a native death and recovery appears to be just as simple as if it were a seasonal flu.

Now, what exactly is there to be overly cautious about? Why go overboard protecting yourself when it is no more contagious than a cold?


And since you brought up the Spanish Flu, it is now part of our regular old seasonal flu. See how quickly we adapt as well? And do you seriously not see any differences in health care practices and knowledge from 1918 to today? Or do I have to dig up the image of a 1918 Spanish Flu triage unit again? Hint: It was open air tents in the desert.
 

YSSMAN

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Update on my community situation:

We had a person in nearby Ottawa county diagnosed with H1N1, bringing the state count up to two, but no word yet on the young girl from the elementary school closest to my childhood home. But, in addition to that, apparently someone has the symptoms now at the Middle/High school that is also right around the corner from my home (the High School I was "supposed to attend" in 2005), which is somewhat concerning I suppose.

So, the kids get a nice day off tomorrow. I'm interested to hear the results of the test.
 

PeterJB

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Is it only me who is seeing this Flu-like symptoms so it MUST be Swine flu?

perhaps it could be the normal flu,It's like everyone who has the flu since the swine flu was discovered automatically has the swine variant:idea::irked:

Lets look at the likely situation. A kid has flu symptoms, he has a cold/flu, his mum rings in to school to say he's sick.

not, a kid has flu symptoms, OMFG IT MUST BE SWINE FLU!!!!!!!111111 CLOSE THE SCHOOLS ORDER 32 MILLION FACEMASKS!

I know. It's ridiculous at the moment. For all we know Swine Flu may not even exist!
 

Touring Mars

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I know. It's ridiculous at the moment. For all we know Swine Flu may not even exist!
No, this is indeed a new variant of a type A influenza virus. The main reasons that this variant is of particular concern is that its surface proteins (which vary from strain to strain) contain a type not yet seen in human type A influenzas, hence current vaccines may not be of much use against it. It also has demonstrated the ability to pass from human to human - a key property of any virus intent on international stardom.

I agree with what Alex. said though - how anyone can self-diagnose with "swine flu" right now is totally beyond me. Even of those who have died in Mexico during this outbreak, only some have actually tested positive for this new strain. That said, it is very early doors, and although there is no reason to panic, there is even more reason not to be complacent either. Those of us lucky enough to enjoy a high standard of living (ample food, good diet, clean water, basic healthcare and sanitary conditions) are considerably better placed than alot of people are...
 
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FoolKiller

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No, this is indeed a new variant of a type A influenza virus. The main reasons that this variant is of particular concern is that its surface proteins (which vary from strain to strain) contain a type not yet seen in human type A influenzas, hence current vaccines may not be of much use against it. It also has demonstrated the ability to pass from human to human - a key property of any virus intent on international stardom.
And you just defined pandemic (assuming it happens in multiple countries in multiple WHO regions, of course). Honestly, the only difference making this a pandemic over SARS and bird flu is that swine flu has managed to pop up all over the world because it started out in a relatively popular spring break and vacation region.

Those of us lucky enough to enjoy a high standard of living (ample food, good diet, clean water, basic healthcare and sanitary conditions) are considerably better placed than alot of people are...
Which goes back to how I have now addressed SARS, bird flu, and now swine flu. People in Mexico (or from Mexico), or any other poverty-stricken regions, dying does not make it an extremely fatal disease when the condition of their health care may have had an equal hand in it. I'm sure people in those same regions die from stuff we get fixed with a quick trip to the doctor all the time.

When the disease is Captain Trips, then I will worry.
 

Joey D

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Update on my community situation:

We had a person in nearby Ottawa county diagnosed with H1N1, bringing the state count up to two, but no word yet on the young girl from the elementary school closest to my childhood home. But, in addition to that, apparently someone has the symptoms now at the Middle/High school that is also right around the corner from my home (the High School I was "supposed to attend" in 2005), which is somewhat concerning I suppose.

So, the kids get a nice day off tomorrow. I'm interested to hear the results of the test.

I think the state count is at four since someone got it in Livingston county on this side of the state, I'm not 100% sure if it was confirmed or not though since I can not be bothered to watch the local news. There was something in the paper, but since the Detroit News is only delivered two days a week now it makes reading difficult.
 
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I wonder if the media forgot about the time it went around in the 70's (I think it was then)... I am completely sick to my stomach with all this pandemic crap... They are acting like if you get the flu you will die, when in Mexico only 3% that got it have died.

I don't know if anyone mentioned that as I didn't read the thread, but I assume that most of you are sick of the media too...

And I heard from someone that a Fox analist reported that somthing like 10 million people are likely to get infect and may die... Wow...
 

FoolKiller

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And I heard from someone that a Fox analist reported that somthing like 10 million people are likely to get infect and may die... Wow...
The only Fox analyst I saw was on their morning show and was saying that as it is a flu it can become as widespread as seasonal flu (10 million would be about right) and of course there is a chance of dying, but it is actually appearing to be less so than seasonal flu, especially now that the WHO is realizing that many of the victims did not actually die from swine flu, but have underlying problems. He also pointed out that if it doesn't get out of hand by this fall it could be incorporated into the annual vaccine.

In fact, they are now saying only 10 deaths worldwide are actually from swine flu.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-05-01-swine-flu-main-friday_N.htm?csp=34

WHO: 331 swine flu cases worldwide, 10 deaths
By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY

The official world count for the fast-spreading swine flu, or H1N1 influenza, virus was 331 cases in 11 countries with 10 deaths, the World Health Organization said in a briefing Friday.

A Mexican tourist visiting Hong Kong was diagnosed with the H1N1 strain of flu Friday and has been isolated in a hospital there in stable condition. This is the first cases of the strain in Asia.

In the United States, President Obama closed out a meeting with cabinet members that was devoted to swine flu, saying it was not clear that the swine flu was any more serious than any other form of flu, but added that federal agencies were preparing for the worst. Even if the new flu "is relatively mild on the front end, it could come back in a more virulent form during the actual flu season," the president said.

He added, "I'm optimistic that we're going to be able to manage this effectively."

Schools across the country continue to close because of concern over actual or suspected cases. Close to 300 schools have closed as of Friday, including as many as 200 in Texas and 60 in Alabama, as well as New York, California, South Carolina, Connecticut, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Arizona, Ohio, Utah, Washington state, Michigan, Maine and Maryland.
So for this year that is:

Swine flu: 10
Seasonal flu (estimate based on average): (hang on 160 * 7) 1,120

And that is just from when I heard about it on Saturday.


Oh, and ABC News decided to interview one of the better known members of congress who has an actual medical degree, Dr. Ron Paul.
http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2009/04/swine-flu-skept.html
Video found in link

Dr. Paul's diagnosis for parents wanting to help their kids avoid getting sick: Let them play their sports and get plenty of rest and exercise with a good meal. Don't send them home so that they can sit in cramped indoor spaces playing video games in large groups.
 
21,161
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Good Afternoon,
There is no current indication that the Swine/H1N1 Flu will affect Local college adversely. We are, however, taking precautionary measures to protect our students, faculty and staff. No symptoms of the Swine Flu have been reported by any of our students or employees. We are taking simple, but effective preventative measures. Local college officials are in communication with county health officials and will provide updates of the sutuation as it progresses. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that washing your hands is the single most effective preventative measure against the spread of the disease. Here are a few tips from the CDC:

* Wash your hands often and use instant hand sanitizers in between washings.
* Cover any cough or sneeze, use a tissue and dispose of it after use.
* If you contract flu symptoms, stay home and contact your health-care provider.
Somehow, I really wanted to wear those fashionable surgical masks...
 

Northstar

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Somehow, I really wanted to wear those fashionable surgical masks...
Those don't do anything as the virus is smaller than the holes in the mask. The only reason surgeons wear them is to prevent bodily fluids from entering their body.They work awesome if you are painting though.
 

Philly

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There were a lot of people running around wearing masks at the Chicago airport today. Apparently they are actually becoming a new fashion trend...

I sure am glad that the flu that went around Hope's campus last week wasn't the Swine flu. Either way, it was no good the weekend before finals.
 
21,161
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Those don't do anything as the virus is smaller than the holes in the mask. The only reason surgeons wear them is to prevent bodily fluids from entering their body.They work awesome if you are painting though.
Some of the uses is not to spread the virus from a person's sneezes or cough. But somehow, I forgot to put that tags.
 

Philly

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I sure am glad that the flu that went around Hope's campus last week wasn't the Swine flu. Either way, it was no good the weekend before finals.

I lied. Chalk up nine more cases for Michigan. Looks like Hope had a small outbreak, I'm guessing the same time that flu was going around.

Between this and Norovirus, we're putting up a great health record this year...