Sunday, May 03, 2009

Weekend Swine Flu Update 5.1.09 -5.3.09.......Tonight the Number is up to 245 confirmed cases , 35 States ( the Labs are catching up the numbers)

Enigma's Swine Flu Update Blog has updates daily click or see Button on Sidebar, there is much good info from Lancet and Other Health Resources etc.
Disclaimer::: I repeat what I have said, that we have 50-52 Million in this Country, with NO Healthcare and NO Health Insurance, these people need watching and monitoring, they are at risk in this situation. Also Our ER Systems and Public health were dealt a Blow by the Bush Regime- losing 30-40 Billion Federal Funding PER YEAR was slashed from the Teaching Hospitals Budgets in this Country. They are not equipped on ANY level to cope with this kind of situation. WHO is worried about those that are Impoverished and LACK care- these 50 million HERE they fall into that category. But our DHHS and Emergency Preparedness has been broken for 8 long years on this kind of Health front-sadly.

I do think that President Obama has been trying to work with a Broken system and put together the DHHS again- but time wise this was not great, he did speak about the Situation in his Saturday Address....and it is nice to have an Educated , competent president speak to an emergency. Watch his Saturday Address here.

Also the Incubation Period has yet to be fully understood and scientists are trying to ascertain. Do read the Articles below from the Hopkins Global Physician and the Lancet Doctors as well. Also do take a glimpse at my Swine Flu Blog- MANY good links and updates there.

I talked to a school teacher tonight at work and she pointed out some relevant facts:::
(1) 435 Schools Closed NOW, and for many kids- this is where they get 2 meals a day, and also a nurse checks on them medically- some have NO other access to ongoing care.

(2) MANY parents can 't take off work right now, especially in homes that have already lost income or their parent works somewhere that is downsizing- WHO will monitor and check on those kids ? Are they are more risk now ?

(3) Some of these schools also had to close, because Not all Schools have School nurses anymore- some schools share if one school closed- a sister school would have to close.

(4) She also said- wisely- IF all these schools are closing the CDC needs to come forth with the Actual Numbers of Children infected under 18 and Hospitalized- because she said maybe it is worse than we know- we should ask- but schools are not being told either- and she also said that very little information has been properly relayed to teachers, they have been researching on their own.

(5) and Lastly ALL states are slashing their Budgets right now- in almost every state- there have been massive layoffs in Education, Teachers to Custodial Care ( that we need more than ever now ) and of course yes, nurses per school.
Hopkins Global Doctor is interviewed for Voice of America.
BBC has Interviewed Lancet Physicians to answer Our Questions....excellent read.
Consumer Reports has an entire page on Swine Flu, excellently done. ( Some of the Snippets from this page are in the Comments and have been forwarded by Happy in Nevada...really wonderful.)
BBC has More about WHO 's concerns, and that it has now spread to 18 countries and 900 are confirmed. The Mexican Numbers are still fuzzy.
The Guardian has a great article exploring the WHO"S concerns about Impoverished Nations....
Meanwhile in the States it is up to 245 in 35 States, and the labs continue to catch up to the Situation, 435 Schools to remain closed this week. CDC has extended the Incubation phase, up to 2 weeks, so schools will stay closed for two weeks while they are cleansed. I am still trying to determine the Hospitalized numbers and ages.
"US flu tally jumps to 245 as labs catch up////By MALCOLM RITTER – 40 minutes ago
NEW YORK (AP) — The tally of confirmed swine flu cases in the United States jumped Sunday to 245 in 35 states, but officials said that's largely from catching up on a backlog of lab tests rather than a sudden spurt in new infections.
The new count reflects streamlining in federal procedures and the results of tests by states, which have only recently begun confirming cases, said Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Because states are now contributing their results, and because there are many cases to analyze, "I expect the numbers to jump quite a bit in the next couple days," she told reporters Sunday.
Beyond eating into the backlog, the new number also reflects that "we do think this virus is fairly widespread," she said.
"Virtually all of the United States probably has this virus circulating now. That doesn't mean that everybody's infected, but within the communities, the virus has arrived."
LA Times Article (late Sunday Night) about WHY Immigrants deserve Medical Care....


enigma4ever said...

sunday night:::
3 confirmed, 3 probable, and 37 suspected....Ohio.

Fran said...

Hi E ~ I don't understand why it was deadly in Mexico, but not outside the borders?

I am relieved it is not, but what medical explanation?

enigma4ever said...

I am so so stumped-
a week ago-
they were saying that it was 159 dead in Mexico-
NOW tonight they are saying it is -
19 ????? ( Local News and CNN ?)
WHAT ???
are they changing the numbers ?
or is the 19 for the weekend ?
( I did not get home in time to watch the Mexican News I could see...)

About why it is deadly ?
I don't know...
I also am confused...
mostly because we are lacking data-
we need to know How Many Hospitalized ?
I saw one program and they said 70 % of those hospitalized were under 18 -that is in no way a normal stat...

National News is not doing a good enough job collating the data from ALL states...
they should be giving Stats;:::
Immune status ( ie, chronic illness or compromised),
and definitely telling us hospitlization rates,

CDC and DHHS also should be giving guidelines of where people should go-
and ER's should set up Seperate or Out Door Clinics or Vans- that is what they switched to in Mexico and the infection rates dropped right away...
( I learned that watching mexican news).

this sounds strange...
but the other thing we need to learn is WHAT their diet is in Mexico- is there anything that they are eating or drinking that may have contributed to their cases that made it worse ? ( ie. contaminated water ?) ( the Cases in Mexico had dehyrating Diahrrea and vomiting and Fevers- the GI distress seems to be less here )

or were they possibly exposed the Fumigation Toxins within 20 miles of the Pig Farms- that would definitely contribute to more Respiratory Distress...

I am still trying to find answers to all of this...

D.K. Raed said...

I've never heard of a 2-week flu incubation period. That would mean ... uh-oh ... we have not seen the true extent of it yet.

enigma4ever said...

that is what I was thinking too.....

I still think this is serious...esp for impoverished countries...BUT that includes us- 50-52 Million without Health Care or Insurance...

and the ER's here ALREADY broken...this is going to be
when we see that OUR Healthcare System has been Katrinaed- because Bush CUT 30- 40 Billion from Teaching Hospitals PER year of his administration-
At Most BIG hospitals- they are Laying OFF and ON FREEZE and Have Not enough help in the ER.'s

the Free Clinic here can not see what they have- they don't know how to cope with this....

In Mexico- they set up Mobile Buses and Winny'[s and vans to see people outside and take the Care to the People...

I think we need to do that too...
park at Walmart or walgreens - someplace with cheap pharmacies...
and then you also control exposure-
and take the FLu away from hosp setting-
'if people have Extreme Resp issues or fever higher than 103 or are deyhrated- they could be sent to the ER...

I am going to try to contact Sherrod Browns' office this week- have list of ideas that might help...
also Howard Dean has an Emergency Phone Call tomorrow night-organized by Moveon- you can listen in too...

D.K. Raed said...

I would sure feel better if Howard Dean was on board right about now. Do we even have a Surgeon Gen'l yet? Cuz speaking honestly and carefully to the public about things like this is a Surgeon Gen'l duty. I will look fwd to Dean taking to Moveon tomorrow.

enigma4ever said...

The Dean Discussion is at 9PM...
tomorrow tonight- it should be on the Moveon site..
I think ?

It is supposed to be on a vareity of Health Issues ( aka Problems cough)...

I really wanted him as DHHS or Surgeon General...but ...ce la vie...

( Gutpa would have been good too...damnit)

He went down to Mexico to cover the story for CNN- and his coverage has been good- but very sporadic and limited- I think he got in trouble for going to the SMithfield Hog Carcass capital there- he did a good job- but his stories from there have been very muzzled since that one...


the other thing that keeps me awake at night...
is that Teddy looks good but lets be real = we need a TRUE Health advocate in some old pissed off nurse...

LOL...well hells bells - that could be me , eh???

Fran said...

They are saying we have 5 confirmed cases in the county & town where I live, & 2 more unconfirmed up by Portland, but they have not shown up on the CDC list.
Looks like they only update that chart 1 x a day.
Damn they are slow.

If this is a level 5 serious thing, why are they taking so long to get the updates out???

Mexico is notorious for having not the best water quality in general, but a huge, unregulated pig farm could easily become problematic.

Makes total sense. Thanks for solving that mystery!

enigma4ever said...

about the Water- well- there has to be ONE atleast difference that is confusing this yeah....but then I heard that they also had been using industrial fumigants that are now draining into the Pig Lagoons and the near by water ???hmmmm

About the Testing :

THis is what happens- I have talked to ER and CLinic people now:::
The Person has FEVER. resp and GI= they get tested- then they get swabbed- that is sent to the local HD- then to the State Lab- THEN to the CDC- in batches...

so we are looking at a 4-6 day lag time right now...
and I am still wanting BETTER data- I agree with the teacher I spoke with tonight-- she was very very worried...

About the People in mexico- if they decide to retest the dead people that have not been buried- it will be difficult- they will have to use live tests or swabs- blood test is still difficult and being perfected...

enigma4ever said...

*** Seattle King 5 twit page-
10 Probable, 10 more confirmed ( PI)- and more schools closing....

enigma4ever said...

Utah stats::
4 new 'probable' swine flu cases in Utah
MAY 3, 2009
T The Associated Press reported Sunday that state health officials are saying the number of ’probable’ swine flu cases in Utah has grown to 13.

In a news release Sunday, the Utah Department of Health says four new cases have been identified by Summit County health officials.
Utah’s only confirmed case of the H1N1 virus was also identified in Summit County.

Summit County health officials say the virus was contracted by a Park City school student while traveling to Mexico over spring break. The child has fully recovered.
UDOH says no additional cases of swine flu have been confirmed by labs at the federal Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

According to the AP, of Utah’s identified probable cases, 10 are in Summit County, two are in Salt Lake County and one is from the Weber-Morgan Health District area.

Further updates will be posted here as they become available.

enigma4ever said...

Pandemic Chronicle::::

I was surprised to read that at this point in time there is a question about whether or not to produce a vaccine against 2009 H1N1.

Officials Face Dilemma Over Whether to Order New Vaccine

Global health officials trying to gauge the severity of the swine-flu outbreak face a tough call on how quickly to move on creating a vaccine for the new virus.

As confirmed cases of the new A/H1N1 flu virus mount and spread around the world, health officials must balance the desire to stop the spread quickly with some serious risks of moving too fast.

Even with a full push, it would take months to get a vaccine ready, and the effort could force drug companies to cut corners on safety or reduce production of regular flu vaccine needed for the winter. But waiting too long could allow the swine-flu virus to have a much more deadly impact.

Either way, hundreds of thousands of lives could be at stake.

Work has already begun on a vaccine. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has created the basic components for a swine-flu vaccine, and is studying the biological makeup of the virus to better understand a central mystery about the bug: why it has caused serious illness and deaths in Mexico but generally milder symptoms elsewhere.

If the CDC and the World Health Organization decide the virus is threatening enough to warrant a vaccine, they will pass the basic ingredients to drug companies, which will carry out further studies, including some tests in humans, and try to produce the vaccine in mass quantities. Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s interim deputy director for science and public-health programs, said in a Senate hearing Wednesday that "under the best-case scenario" the first doses of vaccine could be available by September.

Producing enough vaccine to combat a pandemic, though, would put a heavy burden on the drug companies’ manufacturing capacity. Despite investment after the avian-flu outbreak several years ago, drug companies can produce only about 780 million doses of flu vaccine a year, according to the latest WHO estimates, far short of the world population of 6.8 billion.

The limitations stated would seem to argue for the sooner we get started the better. We do well to remember that the virus will likely still be around infecting people come the fall/winter flu season. Deploying enough vaccine into a population, preferably to our children, we will go a long way to creating enough “herd immunity” in our communities to blunt the infection on a community level.

Herd immunity refers to the epidemiological phenomenon of having enough people immune that a pathogen has little or no opportunity to take hold. It’s one of the major reasons that our seasonal infection rates only range between 5 and 20%.

Since with a pandemic strain, by definition a novel pathogen never before circulating in a significant way in human beings, we have no existing level of “herd immunity” most everyone has a naive immune system. A naive immune system that can be given immunity with a vaccine – or by suffering an infection.

Is it not far better to acquire immunity with a vaccine rather than spending a few weeks sick, perhaps very sick, perhaps fatally so?

If health officials want drug companies to devote their facilities to a swine-flu vaccine, the firms may have to curtail production of regular vaccine for the next flu season — a move that could have dire consequences. While swine flu appears to have killed about 150 people as of Wednesday, seasonal flu kills 250,000 to 500,000 people world-wide every year and causes three million to five million cases of severe illness, WHO says.

"That will be a very difficult choice," Christopher Viehbacher, chief executive of vaccine maker Sanofi-Aventis SA, said Wednesday. "If you make a swine-flu vaccine and the pandemic doesn’t actually occur, we could end up with no seasonal flu vaccine."

Most of those illnesses and deaths quoted above are because people currently do not receive an annual influenza vaccine, either by choice or by lack of access to them. Changing the seasonal vaccine production will not increase those deaths or cause them – they happen yearly, year in and year out.

What a change in production risks is that the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) virus does not reappear this fall in a second “wave” and those that traditionally receive the annual seasonal vaccine will not have it and they risk getting seasonal flu, perhaps resulting in severe illness, perhaps fatally so.

Were the decision mine – and it’s not – I would have already started the necessary steps to produce 2009 H1N1 vaccine, and I still find it rather difficult to understand why they have not – why it’s even a “decision that needs to be made”, instead of one already decided.

enigma4ever said...

Mercury News ::: California Update :::Sunday night::::

"Number of probable swine flu cases in California doubles to 110

By Sharon Noguchi
Mercury News
Posted: 05/02/2009 07:14:30 PM PDT
Updated: 05/02/2009 07:14:38 PM PDT

Related Stories
May 3:
1,000 irate Egyptian pig farmers battle police over swine flu slaughter
226 confirmed swine flu cases in U.S., officials optimistic strain isn't too dangerous
Official: Swine flu in 'declining phase' in Mexico
May 2:
Obama: U.S. taking 'all necessary precautions' to fight swine flu
Star Report: Mexican filmgoers suffer amid swine-flu fears
Swine flu: San Francisco biotech company races to develop vaccine
Swine-flu symptoms: Checklist to see if you may be infected
Swine flu first: New virus spread to Canadian pigs after farm worker's Mexican visit
Editorial: Swine-flu vaccine: $1 billion U.S. investment in research was a bargain
Swine flu questions and answers with Stanford's Dr. Cornelia Dekker
Ventura County stops jail visits due to suspected swine flu cases
In the parking lot near Kaiser Permanente's former hospital in Santa Clara, a tent is getting ready to open its front flaps to flu patients on Monday.
Similar tents — equipped with computers, gurneys, hand gels and masks — opened Friday at Kaiser Redwood City, and at other medical centers around the Bay Area.
"This enables the medical centers to minimize potential exposure and expedite care in a setting that protects other patients and employees," said Dr. Stephen M. Parodi, chief of infectious disease for Kaiser Permanente Northern California.
Just as steadily as medical tents have popped up, hand sanitizers, face masks and antibacterial soap have been flying off drugstore shelves. Meanwhile, the state has been shuttering more schools. Well into the second week of California's bout with swine flu, precautions against spreading the virus continue to heighten.
The number of confirmed cases in the state grew from 17 Friday to 24 Saturday, and the number of probable cases doubled, from 55 to 100 on Saturday. More schools in Marin, Yolo, Tulare, San Joaquin and Contra Costa counties have closed.
More testing
Along with all the high caution, laboratories are steadily making headway against the backlog of tests for the H1N1 virus, said Terri Stratton of the California Department of Public Health.The count in

Santa Clara County remained stable with nine probable cases "We're treating them as if they're confirmed," said Teresa Chagoya of the county department of public health.
In order to speed up the testing processs, the county purchased a $20,000 "Light Cycler," a machine that doubles its capacity to test for swine flu. Or technically, to test for its absence. When suspect samples arrive at the health department, the lab tests for the presence of Influenza A virus. If positive, the sample is tested for various strains of human flu. Together the tests take eight hours for each batch of about 12 samples.
Like the 22 other respiratory labs across the state, Santa Clara County's lab has been inundated by hundreds of samples that clinics throughout the county have sent in from suspected flu patients.
Once other flu strains are ruled out, the specimen is labeled "probable" and sent out for confirmation.
Until late last week, that process had to be done by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. But to speed the testing processes, the CDC has equipped California and other state health departments to perform the final test — so a slew of confirmations are expected early this week, state officials say.
Across the country, the number of confirmed cases of swine flu rose to 160, in 21 states. Thirteen have been hospitalized. The median age of patients is 17 years. Officials say most of the patients have not have contact with Mexico, indicating that the virus has established itself in the United States.
Authorities cautious
While Mexico reports that the spread of swine flu has slowed there, the CDC is cautious. "We are remaining vigilant," said Anne Schuchat, the federal interim deputy director for science and public health. Schuchat stood by CDC recommendations to close schools for up to 14 days, but said the decision remains with local authorities. On Saturday, Santa Clara County health officials restated recommendations that schools close for up to seven days, not the extended 14.
The Associated Press contributed to this story. Contact Sharon Noguchi at or 408-271-3775.

rickdog said...

Looks like the ol' Flu is petering out, the media did it's job in getting everyone hysterical about it. Mexico just confirmed that really only 20 people died from it, it's turning out to be a mild one, especially considering that 36,000 people die from the flu each year in the US alone.

When digging a little deeper one finds that of those 36,000 that die each year attributed to the flu that the large majority actually die from other diseases that they get in the hospital after being admitted for the flu, mostly by pneumonia. The lesson here? STAY OUT OF THE HOSPITAL IF YOU GET THE FLU!

The 36,000 figure is from the CDC page here:
But the real number of 1,806 can be found from this CDC page that breaks out the factors:

I have a dim view of the Pharmaceutical industry in the US and feel people should speak out. The thermiosol in a single flu shot contains 10 times the maximum safe level, yet they recommend the shot for children under 6. Many people poo-poo the mercury/autism connection but the situation is not yet settled, and recent studies have shown some connections. There are no studies that actually prove that the flu shot prevents death from the flu. I'm convinced that the billions of dollars involved with the flu shot campaign is the real reason for it's existence.

enigma4ever said...

Rick Dog::
(1) I totally agree with you about the Vaccine issues and unanswered questions about Autism ( and no I am not at all falling for the GENE link- oye)...

(2) You don't know my- my speciality of study regarding toxins is mercury/methylmercury and heavy metals- but we can talk of that another time ( that is why I blogged down below about women and their hair levels of mercury..)

So no, I am not a big supporter at all of Vaccines...

(3) yes, I have blogged here on the swine updates and the Swine Flu blog I set up- the CDC does want us all to THINK that 36,000 die per year of FLU- it is actually a misnomer- approximately 30,000 die, but it is due to COMPLICATIONS of the flu and OTHER pre-existing conditions, whether it be chronic respiratory disease, immune damage etc.It is Unusual for YOUNG healthy people to die of the Flu. ( or healthy children).

Another contributing factor is NO healthcare of insurance- more than 30,000 per year die now- ad the actual number may be even higher, hence I keep blogging about Swine Flu as a Public Health Issue.( that is what makes it worth monitoring).

About Mexico Numbers- 159 died and were all originally thought to have Swine- and yes, some of them tested postive that last week in April- and 19 have died since then ( I have been watching Mexican News.) There are also problems with testing - that made it diffictult for them to track- there over 600 hospitlized- healthcare there is chaotic and disorganized at best- the situation did improve when they brought in Mobile units to help bring care to people- and stop the flood of people to the ER"s....

CDC 's numbers are about 6 days behind - there is lag of people tested and Suspect Cases, Probable Cases- vs Confirmed.

It's the severity - hospitlization rates, and gender and age and Health Issues that are all NOT being reported by the CDC, but state by state is being tracked.

It is NOT normal to have a Flu attack healthy young teenagers in such numbers.And High Fevers in Young People are and can have effects, that are worth tracking.

But the main thing is for people to get treated- and in England and the UK- Docs phone the Tamiflu script in and have it couriered to people's homes...
much smarter....

Yes the MSM has hyped it- but not educated....
I attempt to educate here and at my Swine Blog...

( and yes, it is Swine Flu- ALL the virologists call it that...and yes, it is actually Hog Waste that was the Petrie dish....So I won't be calling it anything else..)

As an RN- I would never tell anyone to stay out of the hospital- if they have Symptoms::::
CALL Doc...
Nausea , Vomiting Diahhrea, and Respiratory symptoms: cough, , chills , fever ...

IF they are dehydrated, or have trouble Breathing, or Chest pain or High Fever- they must go to the Hospital....

( About the vaccine- it is 6-8 monthes away- and by then it all will deciphered....and patterns studied..and I doubt it will produced in any volume or pushed....)

On another level- then populations worth monitoring here- children and young adults-and the Uninsured to see how ALL of them fare...IF we can get the Accurate data from the CDC.


Good comments. Glad you pointed out the problems associated with closing schools and the way it's affecting the families and children who depend upon those school meals.

I just got the 'all clear' today from the doctor, but I do have to say while I was darned sick, the Hong Kong flu' and the Asian flu' hit me a lot harder, and I was much younger than I am now.

I think there's more to this story - something doesn't 'smell' right, and it's not just the pig manure either.........

enigma4ever said...

so true Happy...
what is going on ..and yes, something smells- and we are not be told ALL the data...we need better info...I did add new links over at the swine blog too....

I am so glad that you are better...

take care...