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Posts Tagged ‘H1N1 Pandemic’

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Flu maps look so pretty with all the colors.  My favorite is The Global Disease Health Map http://healthmap.org/swineflu.  It tracks everything from the seasonal and H1N1 Swine Flu to Chicken Pox, with only 8 cases reported.  Too bad every dot is disease. Rhiza Labs offers a map here http://www.swineflumap.us/.  Another here  http://swineflumaps.com/ , Pediatrics offers this http://pediatrics.about.com/od/swineflu/l/bl_swine_flu_map.htm, The Wall Journal Tracking map is here http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/info-SWINEFLUMAP0904.html, The New York Times map is here, http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/04/27/us/20090427-flu-update-graphic.html cbcnews Canada offers http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/04/27/f-swine-flu-map.html

Whatever map you select, the numbers of H1N1 Swine Flu will vary by source; but Victoria, Australia  now has the highest recorded per capita rate of swine flu in the world and is being blamed for exporting the virus around Australia. It has the fourth highest number of infections worldwide after the US, Mexico and Canada, but the highest per capita load. http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25603115-2862,00.html?from=public_rss.  Sydney, Australia is reporting Patient One.  Six-year-old Nicholas Darcy is the recipient of the first Australian “community transmission” of swine flu – catching the disease from someone with no known links to a host country or source.  http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,25548525-5001021,00.html?from=public_rss NO KNOWN LINKS is a pretty scary prospect. 

While virus knows no borders, the number of new cases appears to be tapering off and I wonder if it is just the calm before the storm.  Previous flu outbreaks like H3N2  Hong Kong Flu, and the 1918 Spanish Flu had a tapering off period that led to full pandemic status. “New viruses sometimes arise late in spring, morph during the summer, and come back in the fall in a more virulent, severe strain says http://hamptonroads.com/2009/06/each-new-outbreak-medical-sleuth-case .

Epidemiology began in 1854, when London physician John Snow suggested removing the handle from a water pump after noting victims of a cholera outbreak had used it. 

While sanitation and science is much improved to prevent H1N1 Swine Flu, are we still only 6 degrees from Kevin Bacon and the concept of the small world phenomenon? You’ve probably heard of the Six Degrees concept. Any one person (including  Kevin Bacon) is connected to any other person through six or fewer relationships, because it’s a small world.  A world so small that Swine Flu has reached nearly every Continent, save Greenland and Antarctica. A six year old provides proof he was not six degrees away from the flu.

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SixDegrees.org harnesses two important online trends: the exponential growth of social networks and the increasing interest in using the web for raising money for charity among family and friends. Through SixDegrees.org, people can upload their own photos and stories and fundraise for the charity of their choice with their own charity badges and AIM Pages.  http://www.sixdegrees.org/ Truly worthwhile.

The trend of previous illnesses asks if  the strain will mutate and change to become more virulent; is it becoming resistant to anti-virals like  Tamiflu? Who is getting sick and where? How old are the infected?  What is the the death rate and infection rate?  How do we begin to deal with a massive outbreak? 

No one is immune, even New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin, who traveled on Friday to Shanghai, China, on an economic development trip, was informed early Sunday that a passenger on the airplane in which he was traveling was confirmed to have signs and symptoms of an influenza-like illness, suspected to be of the H1N1 — or swine flu — subtype.  He is in precautionary quarantine. http://www.wdsu.com/news/19683611/detail.html

Trust for America’s Health, The Center for Biosecurity, and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation teamed up publishing a review of  the initial response to the swine flu called Pandemic Flu: Lessons from The Frontlines http://healthyamericans.org/report/64/pandemic-flu-frontlines that outlines some basic procedural maneuvering.  It reviews 10 early lessons learned from the response to the H1N1 (swine) flu outbreak, 10 ongoing core vulnerabilities in U.S. pandemic flu preparedness, and case studies of challenges communities around the country faced when responding to the outbreak.

Experts predict a severe pandemic flu outbreak could result in up to 1.9 million deaths in the United States, approximately 9.9 million Americans needing to be hospitalized, and an economic recession with losses of over $680 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product says TFAH- Trust for America’s Health http://healthyamericans.org/pandemic-flu/.   Recent economic challenges will be nothing compared to a full blown Pandemic.

State and Federal officials in the U.S. are proposing  S. 1143, http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-1143 a Public Health Workforce Act to to establish various programs for the recruitment and retention of public health workers and to eliminate critical public health workforce shortages in Federal, State, local, and tribal public health agencies and health centers.  I imagine this bills primary goal is make sure America has the people and resources to vaccinate to people with mass inoculations but in pure socialistic tendency, the bill “…may give hiring priority to any individual who has qualified for and is willing to execute a contract to participate in the Program.”  The private sector gets overlooked, yet again. 

Obama begins his world tour to promote socialized government Healthcare with his Organizing For America group.  Obama recently asked Congress for another $2 billion in supplemental funds to fight the novel H1N1 influenza epidemic, on top of $2 billion requested a month ago, and also proposed to tap federal economic stimulus funds for up to another $3.1 billion for the same purpose according to CIDRAP –http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/swineflu/news/jun0509funding.html 

Flu Wiki http://www.fluwikie.com/pmwiki.php?n=About.About shares flu knowledge support and extends information to advance both preparation for and the ability to cope with events as they unfold primarily without reliance on the government.

Sadly Alberta farmer Arnold Van Ginkel, whose swine farm was Ground Zero for the Influenza A (H1N1) in Canada voluntarily, culled all his 2,000 plus herd which was earlier quarantined by federal health authorities according to http://www.vitabeat.com/alberta-farmer-whose-swine-farm-started-influenza-a-h1n1-in-canada-culls-herd/v/10342/.  Again, so much for Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, this was just One.

Lastly, one bit of good news, a new H5N1 recombinant vaccine virus has been developed by the WHO Collaborating Centerhttp://www.thepoultrysite.com/poultrynews/17890/new-recombinant-h5n1-vaccine-virus-available.   Influenza sequences are available in GenBank as soon as they are processed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genomes/FLU/SwineFlu.html .  Now if they can only identify how this all got started in the first place. 

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Open wide, say ahhh and check out these posts on the A/H1N1 Swine Flu from Ahrcanum, where the conspiracy spreads as fast as the virus itself .  Our disclaimer-Swine Flu Conspiracy theory can sometimes be triggered by real world events.  https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/swine-flu-report/

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On April 26, 2009, pursuant to section 564(b)(1)(C) of the Act (21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1)(C)), the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) determined that there is a public health emergency under 42 U.S.C. § 247d that affects, or has a significant potential to affect, national security, and that involves a specified biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents, or a specified disease or condition that may be attributable to such an agent or agents — in this case, swine influenza A (H1N1).

Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD, Principal Deputy Commissioner, Acting Commissioner for the FDA  wrote he is “authorizing the emergency use of the Swine Influenza Virus Real-time RT-PCR Detection Panel (rRT-PCR Swine Flu Panel) for the presumptive diagnosis of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection in human individuals who have been diagnosed with influenza, caused by a virus not subtypeable by currently available FDA-cleared devices, (emphasis mine) subject to the terms of this authorization.”http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/emergency/panel-authorization.html#ft1 

An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) was issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow either the use of an unapproved medical product or an unapproved use of an approved medical product during certain types of emergencies with specified agents. 

”The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent materials for a quick diagnostic test to Mexico so scientists there can quickly screen people for the new flu.  The centre’s Dr Richard Besser said test kits were also en route to health departments in all US states to speed up surveillance.” http://www.prisonplanet.com/mexico-encouraged-by-fall-in-new-flu-cases.htmlWhatever  Funny thing is, ” Currently, the EUAs do not include translated versions of fact sheets.” 

So what’s the problem?  The tests have not been approved, are unreliable and physicians around the world may not be able to read English! 

Section 8- “While Tamiflu and Relenza have been previously approved by the FDA, certain aspects of the distribution and use of these products are not covered by their approved applications.  An EUA allows these drugs to be legally distributed for the unapproved (empasis mine) uses for which they are being authorized.  FDA has authorized emergency use of disposable N95 respirators by the general public during this declared emergency.  These respirators may help to keep out germs that may be present in the air you breathe.  The rRT-PCR Swine Flu Panel diagnostic test has not been approved or cleared by the FDA. “(empasis mine) An EUA allows this unapproved diagnostic kit to be legally distributed and used for the authorized purposes.

Disposable N95 respirators offered by Survivair say ” The ONE-Fit NBW95 and NBW95V meet NIOSH N95 standards, CDC guidelines for M Tuberculosis exposure control and are recommended as sufficient protection against many substances, including pandemic diseases such as H5N1 Avian Flu and SARS. air-mask-apr_valueairhttp://www.survivair.com/search/searchResults.asp This mask is a far cry from the paper thin masks I see people wearing.  Other sources for masks are here- http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/topics/respirators/disp_part/n95list1.htmlA EUA is currently in effect. ” The FDA made available to public health and medical personnel important diagnostic and therapeutic tools to identify and respond to the swine flu virus under certain circumstances.  On April 27, 2009, the FDA issued EUAs for the use of certain antiviral products (Relenza, Tamiflu), N95 respirators, and for the rRT-PCR Swine Flu Panel diagnostic test. Additional information on these EUAs can also be found on FDA 2009 H1N1 Virus site http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/eua/qa.htm 

Section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act), amended by the Project BioShield Act of 2004, permits authorization of such products for use in diagnosing, treating, or preventing serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions caused by biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agents even when they are not approved AND ,

Even though WHO has renamed the Swine Flu to A/H1N1   or  Influenza H1N1, an FDA, CDC report says, “Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs . Human cases of swine flu virus infection have been identified in the United States and internationally. CDC has determined that this virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human. ” http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/emergency/panel-factsheet2.html

Despite “the fact that it (the test) does not meet certain requirements otherwise required by federal law” it is being distributed to public health and other qualified laboratories and doing so with no liability on the part of the government.  Sharfstein also waived any liability for citizens should the test or cure result in additional illness, death or damages. “The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (“PREP Act”) enacted as Division C of the Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2006, Pub. L. No. 109-148, added new authorities under the Public Health Service (PHS) Act to alleviate concerns about liability related to the manufacture, testing, development, distribution, administration and use of countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents of terrorism, epidemics, and pandemics. http://www.hhs.gov/disasters/emergency/manmadedisasters/bioterorism/medication-vaccine-qa.html

Let’s hope The rRT-PCR Swine Flu Panel speeds up identifying cases.  The vaccine for the original swine flu ended up killing more people than the virus itself.

I would expect numbers to rise due localized testing rather than having to send samples direct to the CDC.  I find it interesting as well that the CDC says “A negative RT-PCR test should not be interpreted as demonstrating that the patient does not have swine influenza virus infection.”  http://www.swinefluprevent.org/interpreting-swine-influenca-rt-pcr-detection-panel-test-results-fact-sheet-for-healthcare-providers

To summarize The rRT-PCR Swine Flu Panel:

1.  The test was never approved for this use.

2.  The test results are unreliable.

3.  There is no liability.

4.  Our tax dollars are paying for this for U.S. and world wide distribution.

5.  The Instructions are in English.

6.  It might save lives just to spite itself.

 You might like these related posts-

The most reliable Google Maps on Swine Flu is being put assembled by Henry Niman, founder Recombinomics, who has been tracing the evolution of influenza for the last five years  http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&t=p&msa=0&msid=106484775090296685271.0004681a37b713f6b5950&ll=47.517201,-109.335937&spn=101.871352,255.585938&z=2 

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Open wide, say ahhh and check out these posts on the A/H1N1 Swine Flu from Ahrcanum, where the conspiracy spreads as fast as the virus itself .  Our disclaimer-Swine Flu Conspiracy theory can sometimes be triggered by real world events.  https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/swine-flu-report/

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A spade is still a spade, no matter what you call it. http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/call-a-spade-a-spade.html)   A pig might be bacon and pork chops but it is still a pig.

WHO has a new designation for The Swine Fly Outbreak that is more politically correct,  user friendly, non- offending to Mexicans or to The Pork Industry. H1N1 influenza A., the swine flu virus originated in pigs, and has genes from human, bird and pig viruses. Scientists are trying to figure out how it jumped and mutated to humans. In the current outbreak, WHO says the virus is being spread from human to human, not from contact with infected pigs.

“The name of the flu led several countries to slap bans on imports of pork from Mexico and the United States, where the outbreak first appeared, and authorities in Egypt have ordered a cull of pigs. European Union health commissioner Androulla Vassiliou told reporters in Brussels yesterday the EC has “decided to call it novel flu from now on.” http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0430/breaking66.htm I hardly call this never before seen strain of flu that is spread by human contact, “novel”

“The scientific nomenclature assigned to the virus is a recognition that it causes influenza in humans.  According to the World Health Organization influenza viruses are grouped into three types, designated A,B, and C.  Influenza A and B viruses are of concern for human health and only influenza A viruses can cause pandemics. Components that make up the virus include subtypes.  Influenza A have 16 H subtypes and 9 N subtypes.  Pathogenicity (the capability to produce disease) sometimes is ascribed to the increased number in the subtype, but not always.  http://www.butasforme.com/2009/04/30/deciphering-the-name-change-from-swine-flu-to-ah1n1-virus/vfyg 

Contrary to labeling it H1N1, “Scientifically this is a swine virus,” said top virologist Dr. Richard Webby, a researcher at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis . Webby is director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Studies on the Ecology of Influenza Viruses in Lower Animals and Birds. He documented the spread a decade ago of one of the parent viruses of this strain in scientific papers. “It’s clearly swine,” said Henry Niman, president of Recombinomics, a Pittsburgh company that tracks how viruses evolve. “It’s a flu virus from a swine, there’s no other name to call it.”  http://freedomeden.blogspot.com/2009/05/swine-flu-h1n1-mexico-flu.html

In changing the name, does it impersonalize it?  Will it bring awareness that while this outbreak seems to have originated in Mexico, it is in fact a worldwide threat of near epic proportion. While not always accurate in naming the flu from it’s point of origin- Legionaries was from The American Legion conference, Asian Flu from Asia,  Swine Flu from Swine, Spanish Flu (1918-1919), Hong Kong Flu (1968-1969), Russian Flu (1977-1978), Beijing Flu (1993-1994), Sydney Flu (1998-1999).  Americans from America, Italians from Italy, the flu from Mexico- H1N1.  

WHO apparently is more worried about not hurting anyone’s feelings that working on how this virus mutated into humans and how to prevent it as it continues to raise it’s threat levels.  “The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent materials for a quick diagnostic test to Mexico so scientists there can quickly screen people for the new flu.  The centre’s Dr Richard Besser said test kits were also en route to health departments in all US states to speed up surveillance.” http://www.prisonplanet.com/mexico-encouraged-by-fall-in-new-flu-cases.htmlWhatever At the very least this should speed up identifying the pathogen whose numbers I would expect to rise with easier test tests in place; rather than having to send samples direct to the CDC.  Wonder how they accomplished manufacturing the test kits so rapidly and who manufactured them? 

Whatever you call it, a spade is still a spade and dead is dead.

In other news, The Wachovia Security brand names begins it’s name change today Wells Fargo Advisors. http://www.charlotteobserver.com/breaking/story/696978.html 

You might enjoy these related posts-the most reliable Google Maps on Swine Flu is being put assembled by Henry Niman, founder Recombinomics, who has been tracing the evolution of influenza for the last five years  http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&t=p&msa=0&msid=106484775090296685271.0004681a37b713f6b5950&ll=47.517201,-109.335937&spn=101.871352,255.585938&z=2  Another data map is up at http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2009/apr/27/flu-flu-pandemic.

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Open wide, say ahhh and check out these posts on the A/H1N1 Swine Flu from Ahrcanum, where the conspiracy spreads as fast as the virus itself .  Our disclaimer-Swine Flu Conspiracy theory can sometimes be triggered by real world events.  https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/swine-flu-report/

 Photo props from hk.myblog.yahoo.com/jw!DCFyAT…MygSZSw–article?mid=21259

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