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Expert: H1N1 death rate similar to seasonal flu

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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:24 PM
Original message
Expert: H1N1 death rate similar to seasonal flu
Source: MSNBC

WASHINGTON - The death rate from the pandemic H1N1 swine flu is likely lower than earlier estimates, an expert in infectious diseases said on Wednesday.

New estimates suggest that the death rate compares to a moderate year of seasonal influenza, said Dr. Marc Lipsitch of Harvard University.

"It's mildest in kids. That's one of the really good pieces of news in this pandemic,"
Lipsitch told a meeting of flu experts being held by the U.S. Institute of Medicine.

"Barring any changes in the virus, I think we can say we are in a category 1 pandemic. This has not become clear until fairly recently."

Read more: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32877953/ns/health-swine_fl... /
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. I got a regular flu shot from my doctor today. He says that there is little to worry about.
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 10:18 PM by onehandle
He also said that some cases diagnosed have been misidentified. Different hospitals use different tests. Not all tests are equally accurate.

He has seen an uptick of people coming in with the sniffles to actual flu, thinking they have swine flu. None so far.

His advice: Wash your hands. Resist touching your eyes and nose. Just like normal.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Good to know.
Thanks. :hi:
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Abacus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:45 PM
Response to Original message
3. It's the infection rate that I'm concerned about.
The fatality rate has been observed at or near 0.5% for months, but if, hypothetically speaking, four times as many people get infected, that's four times as many fatalities.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Good point. I did find a bit more info of interest.
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Abacus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #6
20. Thanks! /nt
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
23. Correct
It's the infection rate plus the fact that it's so early in the season plus the fact that younger/healthier adults are getting it (when we usually worry the most about the very young and very old).

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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
4. LOL. After all the hype here.
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tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:00 PM
Response to Original message
5. France is already in category 5 with 150 000 cases in 2 weeks.
1) not counting the low fever cases
2) 164 hospitalized, 26 deaths this year
3) the virus keeps being contagious 2 weeks after infection
4) it's VERY contagious
5) it's "exactly" the same virus than the Spanish flu which started as a MILD influenza until it mutated

Dr. Marc Lipsitch should be more careful
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. France has 500,000 cases a week of seasonal flu during a typical winter.
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:05 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Its not winter
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. but this article says there are only 20,000 cases a week now.
And only 3 deaths
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tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. the article says more than 100 000 in two week.s
93 000 week 37
23 000 week 36

164 cases for 100 000 inhabitants today

the epidemic threshold is 84
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. What article is that?
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #10
18. And its not winter
Wait till winter

Seasonal flu is dormat right now. This isn't. Come winter, it may get very ugly in comparison, when people are all stuck inside warm buildings, in close quarters.

Its beyond silly to compare it to another flu in another time period, and laugh it off. Thats apples to oranges
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. Do you know what is beyond silly? Ignoring an entire hemisphere
Southern hemisphere offers swine flu lessons

Updated Mon. Sep. 7 2009 10:01 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff

Public health authorities now think they have a good idea of what to expect in this fall's expected "second wave" of swine flu - and most of it is good news.

As the southern hemisphere's winter season ends, an analysis of illness in Australia, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, and Uruguay shows that while H1N1 dominated flu seasons there, it caused only a moderately severe pandemic.

"All countries report that after mid-July, disease activity in most parts of the country decreased," read a report published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other U.S. government agencies.

"This indicates that the duration of the current influenza season in the Southern Hemisphere, in which the 2009 H1N1 virus is the predominate strain, may be similar in length to an average seasonal influenza season."

The pandemic did stress health care systems in the south, but not for long, the report said. Health systems recovered - even without having the benefit of a vaccine to reduce infection rates.

All of that is good news, says infectious disease expert Dr. Andy Simor of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

"It does spread easily, but it is not associated with higher rates of deaths, hospitalizations, or complications than with seasonal flu," he tells CTV. "So it doesn't appear to be more virulent or aggressive."

The southern hemisphere's experience has been similar to what countries in the north saw through the spring and summer's "first wave": high infection rates but generally mild disease, with only a small percentage of severe disease and death. In fact, little has changed since swine flu was first identified in Mexico last spring.

......."It is not causing more severe illness than before, there have been no changes in the behaviour of the virus," WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told a news briefing. "We are continuing to see increased number of deaths because we are seeing many, many more cases."

CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden told reporters that's good news.

"So far, everything that we've seen, both in this country and abroad, shows that the virus has not changed to become more deadly. That means that although it may affect lots of people, most people will not be severely ill," Frieden told reporters in a telephone briefing last week.

......In fact, the infection rate may be even higher than we know. Peru's Ministry of Health reported last month that its surveillance found that a third of swine flu cases presented more as the common cold, with no fever, while another third showed no symptoms at all, even though they were infected. ......
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/200...
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Do you have a link with more info?
Thanks.
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tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. only in French
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. Courtesy of babelfish ...
Dynamics of the epidemic In metropolis, the circulation of the virus has (H1N1) 2009 intensifies. From the 7 at September 13, 2009, the incidence of the consultations for clinical influenza estimated by the Sentinelles network is in increase with 164 cases for 100.000 inhabitants and is largely above the epidemic threshold (84 cases for 100.000 inhabitants). In addition, networks S.O.S Doctors and Oscour show a very clear increase in the grippale activity. Lastly, the number of episodes of confirmed grouped cases strongly increased (42 episodes in week 37), in particular in school. The fast and concordant progression of these indicators for week 37 indicates that the epidemic began in Metropolitan France. The excess of consultations for clinical influenza estimated by the Sentinelles network is of 93.000 in week 37, compared to the average of the previous years for the same week. The number of consultations for acute respiratory infections (WILL GO) related to the influenza has (H1N1) 2009 is estimated by the network of Grog at approximately 23.000 for week 36. The virus has (H1N1) 2009 is the majority virus grippal in Metropolitan France. Two deaths were noted this week among patients carrying the virus has (H1N1) 2009. One of them did not have a known risk factor. Three patients remain hospitalized in intensive care. In all the French departments of America, the grippale activity continues to increase. On the island of the Meeting, the grippale activity seems to have reached the peak of the epidemic in week 35. It is much higher than the maximum activity observed at the same period at the time of the five last years. In the moderate areas of the Northern hemisphere, the activity of the epidemic has (H1N1) 2009 is variable. In the majority of the European countries, two to three weeks after the return to school, one does not note increase in the grippaux syndromes. In the moderate areas of the southern hemisphere and in Central America, the epidemic continues to decrease. On the other hand, it progresses in the tropical areas of Asia and South America. During the week of the 7 at September 13 in Metropolitan France * 2 deaths of patients carrying the virus have (H1N1) 2009 * 42 episodes of grouped cases confirmed announced. Since the beginning of the epidemic in France * 26 deaths of patients carrying the virus have (H1N1) 2009 (including 5 in metropolis, including 5 in metropolis, 1 death in Guyana, 5 with the Meeting, 9 in New Caledonia and 6 in French Polynesia) * 210 episodes of grouped cases confirmed in Metropolitan France.

I still can't make much sense of it. ;)
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #5
19. I heard much of that watching France 24 on my iPhone.
BTW, What do you think of France 24?
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Analyticalist Donating Member (12 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
14. while it may be comparable to the regular flu
in lethality in its current form, it is far more contageous.

What that means is more people will die, but at the same ratio of sick people to dead people.

This should not encourage anyone to let their guard down. This is still dangerous to children, who can die from secondary infections too. Just look at the Max Gomez case here in Nashville.

He was 5 years old with no known pre-existing medical conditions. He first showed symptoms on a Friday, but looked like he was getting better on Sunday. At no point during this period did his fever get above 102. Monday, he started feeling worse and was lethargic when his father came home from work at 5....he was dead by 10 pm.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. I think any flu merits concern.
A very sad story. :(
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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:53 AM
Response to Original message
17. Am sick of the PANIC and DON'T PANIC pieces! How about reporting facts
as opposed to speculation...

Some populations (for as yet unknown reasons) are being hit harder by this flu...

In some places (UAE for instance) a high percentage of the deaths have been children and young people.
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robcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #17
21. It seem like an ordinary flu.
I think the hype was unwarranted.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. I don't think they have all the facts yet.
:shrug:
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