More on the Swine Flu Situation Around Town, posted by Another RN, a resident of the Sycamore Place neighborhood, on Aug 24, 2009 at 12:41 am
Here is more information on the swinw flew situation. We are being updated on the plans at valley care.
WHO official predicts H1N1 'explosion'
updated 12:14 p.m. EDT, Fri August 21, 2009
BEIJING, China (CNN) -- The world will soon see an "explosion" of swine flu cases as the H1N1 virus spreads rapidly around the world, a top World Health Organization official said Friday.
Spread of the virus is entering an "acceleration period" and it is certain that there will be more cases and more deaths, said Dr. Shin Young-soo, the organization's regional director for the Western Pacific.
"Most countries may see a doubling of cases every three to four days for two months until peak transmission is reached," he said at a symposium in Beijing, China. "At a certain point, there will seem to be an explosion in case numbers. I believe it is very likely that all countries will see community-level transmission by the end of the year."
More than 1,490 people around the world have died from the virus since it emerged this spring, Shin said.
Swine flu is the first influenza pandemic in more than 40 years. So far, it has caused mostly mild illness, but Shin warned "the virus has a sting in its tail" because it is very infectious and "has the potential to cause more serious disease."
FREDERICK, Maryland (CNN) -- Andrew Stein, 10, and his brother, Nathan, 7, are having a typical end-of-summer vacation: hanging out at the pool, visiting their grandparents and waiting for the beginning of school
But this week they're doing something most of their classmates will never do. The Stein brothers will be testing the new vaccine to prevent swine flu.
Because the younger population, from 6 months to 24 years, is at high risk of developing complications from the H1N1 virus, the National Institutes of Health is conducting a clinical trial specifically to make sure the vaccine is safe for children. Vaccine developers hope to get the doses out by mid-October, before the flu season really shifts into high gear.
Although both boys dislike needles, they are willing to make the sacrifice. "One boy that I knew at our school died from a type of the flu," said Andrew, frowning. "So I wanted to prevent that as much as I could."
The boys, who live in the suburbs between Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, got their first inoculations at the vaccine satellite office in Frederick, Maryland. The trial is being conducted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, one of 11 institutions across the country holding pediatric trials. Researchers will test the boys' blood, have them keep journals and make sure they have no severe reactions after each vaccine.
Obama administration urges employer flexibility in H1N1 fight
updated 3:04 p.m. EDT, Wed August 19, 2009
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Obama administration Wednesday urged employers to adopt "flexible and non-punitive" sick-leave policies as it released new guidelines for containing the spread of the H1N1 virus in the coming flu season.
Among other things, businesses were asked to keep employees out of the office if they exhibit flulike symptoms and to establish alternative work arrangements for employees considered vulnerable to complications from the virus.
They also were asked to prepare contingency plans -- including telecommuting and staggered shifts -- to ensure that operations can continue in the event a workplace is hit hard this fall or winter by the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu.
Whenever possible, employees should be cross-trained to cover essential functions when co-workers become sick, the administration said.
The business guidelines were unveiled in a joint announcement from the secretaries of commerce, health and human services, and homeland security.
"We already face much economic uncertainty. A flu outbreak is a very scary prospect," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said.
Posted by Tami, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Aug 24, 2009 at 1:58 am
Schools across tha nation as well as across the globe are preparing for this flu, including hand sanitizers on the school supply list. Why have we heard nothing from PUSD?
The novel H1N1 flu strain, commonly known as swine flu, circling the globe has prompted the U.S. government to order 195 million doses of vaccine and prepare for a widespread vaccination campaign that would be carried out along with the already scheduled effort to vaccinate people against seasonal flu. USA TODAY reporter asked vaccine experts to address questions about the pandemic vaccination program and the vaccine.
Q: What makes the new flu vaccine different from seasonal vaccines?
A: The regular flu vaccine always has three different influenza viruses in it, says Baylor College of Medicine vaccine expert Carol Baker, a member of the government's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). That's both the nose spray vaccine and the injectable vaccine. The three strains are the ones that are going to be around in the fall and winter, she says. The H1N1 vaccine will be made of one virus.
Posted by Dan, a resident of Dublin, on Aug 24, 2009 at 2:05 am
This is really something else..
WHO warns of swine flu pandemic's second wave
By Alexandra Troubnikoff (AFP) – 1 day ago
GENEVA — The World Health Organisation is urging the planet to brace for a second wave of the swine flu pandemic as the heavily populated northern hemisphere edges towards the cooler season when flu thrives.
"The WHO is still mobilised and worried," spokesman Gregory Hartl said as the global health watchdog kept an anxious eye on some "mysterious" patterns of illness associated with the new A (H1N1) virus that appeared in April.
Influenza traditionally surges to its peak during the northern autumn and winter.
WHO Director General Margaret Chan warned on Friday that there had been second and third waves in previous pandemics.
"We cannot say for certain whether the worst is over or the worst is yet to come," Chan said in a videotaped address to a symposium on flu in the Asia-Pacific region.
"We need to be prepared for whatever surprises this capricious new virus delivers next," she added.
Some 1,799 people have died since the A(H1N1) was uncovered in Mexico and the United States nearly six months ago, according to the UN health agency.
By comparison, an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 people die around the world every year from seasonal flu, and overall the symptoms of the new pandemic virus have proved to be mild in the great majority of known cases.
However, it has spread swiftly into 177 countries, proving to be more infectious than seasonal flu and more durable through warmer months.
Through a full season in the southern hemisphere, the pandemic strain gradually became dominant.
WHO monitoring showed that it was now on the decline there, except in South Africa, and in some later affected areas of Argentina, Australia and Chile.
Some 182,000 people worldwide are known to have caught swine flu based on laboratory confirmed cases, but the WHO has long advised countries to give up counting; the true number may in the millions, according to some experts.
It is also striking those in a more physically fragile phase of life, such as pregnant women or the chronically ill, as well as those who are obese and younger age groups than usual.
Many of the most severe cases are among 30 to 50 year-olds.
WHO officials are also mystified at the "most worrying" characteristic of this flu virus, Hartl explained.
About 40 percent of the most severe or fatal cases occur in people who are in perfect health, he told AFP.
However, he was unable to say how many severe cases had occurred, although they are generally regarded as a small proportion of the outbreak so far.
With autumn approaching, northern countries have set emergency flu plans into motion, in some instances before the WHO's long heralded formal declaration of a pandemic on June 11 that marked global spread of the virus.
While that includes many of the wealthiest nations -- with the most medicines, access to key antiviral drugs and vaccine development, as well as the best health care -- Hartl pointed out that the hemisphere also includes five-sixths of the world's population.
More than one billion doses of preventive vaccine have been ordered by those countries.
But the vaccine is not expected to be ready for use until October and will only be available gradually, for the most vulnerable groups and health workers first.
The WHO has cut its estimate of maximum annual production capacity of 4.9 billion vaccines, currently focusing on about half or even one quarter of that amount. It is still unclear whether one or two doses will be necessary.
In the meantime, plans to mobilise stockpiles of antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu, reinforce health care capacity and close down schools temporarily to limit the spread of infection have already been tested in the first wave.
Hartl said it was impossible to rule out the resurgence of A (H1N1) before October to November, the more usual period for the growth in seasonal influenza.
"Everyone must be ready," said the WHO spokesman.
"It is already amongst us, as we saw this summer."
Posted by D W, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Aug 25, 2009 at 2:28 pm
To all parents and other school supporters: Next time you bring up H1N1 at the next school board meeting, make sure you bring up scrubbing, as in all buildings. Remove all mold, and H1N1 will be less likely. And be proud hand-washers, too, even if it means using a wipe every time you use a cell phone, iPhone, Blackberry, or other hand-held, blue-tooth gadget. One can never be too careful.
Thank you for all staying vigilant on this issue. All school families appreciate it. [I may not be from one of them, but I love this city, and the schools are a most significant part of it.]
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