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Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:16 AM

Flu-Related Deaths Rise Above Epidemic Levels in the U.S

Source: Bloomberg

By Shannon Pettypiece - Jan 18, 2013

The number of flu-related deaths in children increased 45 percent last week as the influenza outbreak remains above epidemic levels, U.S. health officials said today.

There were an additional nine pediatric deaths in the week ending January 12 bringing the total deaths in children to 29, the CDC said. The outbreak is now widespread in 48 states with 30 states seeing high levels.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-18/flu-related-deaths-rise-above-epidemic-levels-in-the-u-s-.html

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Reply Flu-Related Deaths Rise Above Epidemic Levels in the U.S (Original post)
Purveyor Jan 2013 OP
Purveyor Jan 2013 #1
Demeter Jan 2013 #7
Marrah_G Jan 2013 #14
ButterflyBlood Jan 2013 #2
AllyCat Jan 2013 #3
Hestia Jan 2013 #4
AllyCat Jan 2013 #6
Purveyor Jan 2013 #16
TM99 Jan 2013 #18
TM99 Jan 2013 #8
axollot Jan 2013 #17
TM99 Jan 2013 #19
axollot Jan 2013 #20
axollot Jan 2013 #21
Ian David Jan 2013 #12
TM99 Jan 2013 #13
Ian David Jan 2013 #15
AllyCat Jan 2013 #5
TM99 Jan 2013 #9
RobinA Jan 2013 #10
TM99 Jan 2013 #11

Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:18 AM

1. Flu Widespread But May be Waning; 29 Children Dead

Flu activity remained high in the United States through Jan. 13 but is decreasing in some areas, numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Friday show. Twenty-nine children have died as a result of the flu since the season's start.

Although there's no national reporting system for adult flu-related deaths, the CDC said that 8.3% of deaths reported in its 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System were due to pneumonia and influenza. That's above the epidemic threshold of 7.2%. The rate of deaths linked to pneumonia and flu the week before was 7.3%.

Forty-eight states reported widespread geographic influenza activity, but the wave is beginning to wane in some areas, CDC said.

In other flu news, the company that makes Tamiflu, an antiviral drug used to lessen the severity of flu in those exposed to the virus, has released reserve stocks to lessen shortages in some parts of the country.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2013/01/18/flu-29-children-dead-flu-waning/1844851/

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:13 PM

7. I'm willing to bet that this "epidemic" of children dying is due to

1. Mothers with no paid personal time and inadequate wages and savings to care for their little ones

2. The resulting "daycare" scenario.

If I hadn't been able to stay home/work weird hours, I'd probably have a dead child to my name, too.

When is this nation, this economy, these 1%er Overlords going to get the message?

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Response to Demeter (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:13 PM

14. Influenza can be very nasty

And it can strike down even the healthy.

Everything else you noted are valid complaints about our society, but even if those were fixed, we would still have to deal with these types of viruses that can be deadly even with treatment.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:37 AM

2. Time to check out Creative Speculation now and see what they're cooking!

I remember the theories being thrown around with the bird flu and swine flu. Quite hilarious.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:43 AM

3. They sure missed the mark with the prediction on the flu vaccine strains this year.

What a mess. I was vaccinated at work, but sounds like it doesn't matter. Many people at my job that got vaccine still got it.

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Response to AllyCat (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:46 AM

4. Exactly - it was reported on CBS that the current flu vaccine doesn't cover this flu

but it does cover 3 other flu's that are not out there. Why get it this year? It's not going to help.

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Response to Hestia (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:57 AM

6. I never got around to vaccinating my kids this year

and now I'm not sure it is worth it. They are out of the mist from what I have heard on the "street" and my kids will dissolve into a little pile of tears if they know they have to have "a shot". I would put up with the screaming and tears if I thought it would help.

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Response to AllyCat (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:39 PM

16. I would get them to taking vitamin D3 then right away. You would have to check for the recommended

dosage for your kids.

I haven't ever take a flu-shot of any kind but start on 2000iu of D3 around labor day when I'm not getting the sunlight need to naturally produce D. I've up the dosage to 3000iu right now due to this flu scare and supplement with zinc and vit C.

This has worked for me for the last 5 years with only an occasional cold or stomach bug.

Good luck and stay well.

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 10:54 PM

18. I agree

I work with and believe strongly in using all types of approaches for healing whether mind or body.

Personally, I recommend 5000 iu's daily as a minimum starting in the waning sun days of late fall, and then suggest 10,000 iu's daily during the height of cold & flu season. When taking high dosages for extended periods of time, it is advisable to get regular blood work to make sure the vitamin D levels do not go too high.

I follow that protocol as well as taking echinacea, elderberry, fo-ti, and astragulus in 10 day on - 5 day off cycles plus the vaccine every cold & flu season. I normally add the homoepathic flu remedy for the year in question as well that I get from my naturopath.

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Response to Hestia (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:17 PM

8. Actually that is incorrect

According to the CDC themselves:

Antigenic Characterization:
CDC has antigenically characterized 612 influenza viruses collected by U.S. laboratories since October 1, 2012.

2009 H1N1 :

All forty-one 2009 H1N1 viruses tested were characterized as A/California/7/2009-like, the influenza A (H1N1) component of the 2012-2013 influenza vaccine for the Northern Hemisphere.
Influenza A (H3N2) :

392 (99.5%) of the 394 H3N2 influenza viruses tested have been characterized as A/Victoria/361/2011-like, the influenza A (H3N2) component of the 2012-2013 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine.
2 (0.5%) of the 394 H3N2 viruses tested showed reduced titers with antiserum produced against A/Victoria/361/2011.
Influenza B (B/Yamagata/16/88 and B/Victoria/02/87 lineages) :

Yamagata Lineage : 118 (66.7%) of the 177 influenza B viruses tested so far this season have been characterized as B/Wisconsin/1/2010-like, the influenza B component of the 2012-2013 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine.
Victoria Lineage : 59 (33.3%) of 177 influenza B viruses tested have been from the B/Victoria lineage of viruses.


(Source - http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/)

So actually they were dead on. The effectiveness this year has been about normal which is 62%. It normally ranges from a little lower and up to about 70% to 75% effectiveness.

The amount of the American population that is immunized only stands at about 37% which helps explain why so many are falling ill with this. The H3N2 strain is the most prevalent strain and is particularly viscous so more people are getting that. The amount of secondary infections due to a more potent strain such as H3N2 leads to more deaths - this year it has been pneumonia but also a surprisingly high number of MRSA sepsis infections leading to kidney failure. I have sadly already know of three of these such cases personally - one of my partner's friends spouse, a former colleague in NY, and a friend of my mother's in a retirement apartment community in MD.

This is a very bad flu season, and as someone with a compromised immune system I do worry about admittedly.

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Response to TM99 (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:34 PM

17. Yes. The healthy may be able to "weather" the flu better...

which means they will often go to work etc. They'll survive but they can kill others and not even realize they are doing it.
Sad.
Cheers
Sandy

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Response to axollot (Reply #17)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 10:58 PM

19. You nailed it!

Yes, that is my biggest problem with the current flu situation in America.

People can't afford to take days off, true, but there are many who simply won't either. They don't think about the other people they will come in contact with. There are numerous populations that can be affected quite badly by the flu especially one as virulent as this one. So if they must work or they want to not be in the house due to an illness, just get the damned vaccine. Only a very tiny percentage of the population will have any type of adverse reactions. I am allergic to almost everything it seems, and even I am fine with it. I pay for it out of pocket at Walgreens who always has the preservative free ones available for pregnant women. I have never had a reaction, and I am allergic to eggs.

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Response to TM99 (Reply #19)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 10:56 AM

20. Agree with the need to be vaccinated...

sadly I came down with this right before leaving for an 8hr drive back to Florida (was really worried we left my parent's in a dangerous situation and I told her to spray everything with Lysol). All of us have been vaccinated for the flu tho. Thankfully the parent's didn't get it and I rarely stop. (once for gas).

Had a room mate many years ago with HIV/Full blown and I learned a helluva lot because of it. Tho that's far from the only immune compromised illnesses it is one of the better known ones.



cheers
sandy

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Response to TM99 (Reply #19)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 10:59 AM

21. Mom is allergic to the type of vaccine that is cultured in eggs (?!)

but she says she can now take the flu vax every year. The regular injection. They must do it a different way now. BTW she's not allergic to eggs if she eats them! Crazy.

Cheers and again

Sandy

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Response to Hestia (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:40 PM

12. The good news is, next year they expect to have approval for a four-strain vaccine. n/t

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Response to Ian David (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:45 PM

13. For me that is indeed good news, and

I look forward to that.

When I first got ill in 03' I got the flu. It nearly killed me, and I was lucky to survive. I became ill at the beginning of October, was hospitalized a week later, released in the end of November, and was not fully 'well' again until mid February.

I have gotten a flu vaccine every year, and outside of a few mild colds I have not gotten the flu again since then.

I don't screw around with not getting one due to my health especially when this year's strain and severity is being compared to the 2003-2004 flu season which was also a H3N2 influenza type A virus.

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Response to TM99 (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:15 PM

15. I used to get the flu once or twice a year.

And the flu would often develop into bronchitis or pneumonia.

It got to the point where when I would get the flu, my doctor would proactively give me antibiotics, which is problematic for many reasons.

But since I've been able to get vaccinated, I haven't gotten the flu, haven't gotten bronchitis, haven't gotten pneumonia.

But please, I hope they invent a vaccine against strep throat soon.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:55 AM

5. If there is no reporting system for flu-related deaths,

where do they get the "30K people die of the flu each year" claim? It is hard for the public to trust their claims when they make statements like this. Would help if there was some data they could reference.

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Response to AllyCat (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:20 PM

9. This article helps to explain...

http://www.decodedscience.com/h3n2-flu-season-update-deaths/24352

2013 Flu Deaths

The CDC does not require the reporting of adult deaths from the flu. There are a few reasons for this, including the fact that influenza is very rarely listed as a cause on a personís death certificate. In addition, the victim may have developed a secondary infection such as pneumonia. Also, influenza can aggravate chronic, pre-existing conditions such as COPD or congestive heart failure.

However, the CDC does estimate the number of deaths that occur because of the flu. To estimate adult deaths the CDC uses two categories on death certificates: pneumonia and influenza (P&I) causes and respiratory and circulatory causes to determine the estimate for flu deaths. Since the flu is so unpredictable, a range of estimated deaths provides a better look at how serious influenza is.


Pediatric deaths only started being reported from 2004 onward.

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Response to TM99 (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:26 PM

10. In Other Words

It's all unscientific baloney.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:35 PM

11. Bullshit

Of course it is science.

The flu does not directly kill. The secondary infections, however, do. Death certificates rarely list 'flu' however they will list pneumonia, sepsis, etc. Take that information and statistically compare it to previous population death stats for previous yearly periods and extrapolate from there.

Yeah, statistics, that mathematical science used to collect, organize, analyze, interpret, and present data in a variety of disciplines including epidemiology, economics, and chemistry to name just a few.

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