Pandemic News/Awareness. - page 21

I had to close the other panflu thread as it was way too long, and becoming unreadable. I am starting this one with info on the agenda of this meeting tomorrow in Congress. I am linking to... Read More

  1. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from indigo girl
    This letter to HHS Secretary, Michael Leavitt, and Labor Secretary Elaine Choe was written in May 2006 addressing the concerns that HCW would not be adequately protected in a pandemic:
    At the request of AFSCME, Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA) and Congressman Steven LaTourette (R-OH), co-chairs of the Congressional Nursing Caucus, organized a bipartisan congressional letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael Leavitt and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao expressing serious concern about the lack of adequate planning and preparation for protecting health care workers and first responders in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak. More than 80 House members signed the letter.

    (hat tip PFIF/Retired Paramedic MI)
    Thank you. I just sent it to two people. One my friend and one in the Oakland office, secretary for the Joint Nursing Practice commission.
    We have worked well with AFSCME at UCLA and I read about a good relationship with the Cook County nurses in Chicago.
  2. by   indigo girl
    Let's look at H5N1 in North America again. I have posted some of this
    information before. Everyone believes that bird flu is far away in Asia or Africa amongst the poor farmers that live with their chickens.

    There is evidence that it exists on this continent in its highly pathogenic form
    (HPAI) via migratory birds. No one can deny that it is certainly here in several states in the low pathogenic form (LPAI) as the govt has a website tracking it on this continent. Why track the low path form? Because if domestic poultry are exposed to it, it can evolve into a highly pathogenic form, and possibly infect humans.

    How to hide the evidence of HPAI? Act stupid. Hide behind privacy issues.
    Call it something else. etc. etc.
  3. by   indigo girl
    Dealing With Pandemic Denial:

    I could write a book, but I'll let Fla Medic say it for me.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Apr 25, '07
  4. by   indigo girl
    On Sentry Duty in Fight Against Avian Flu:

    Quote from
    A small bird dies and within hours a concerned resident has called the authorities, which quickly set up a cordon around the dead creature as if dealing with the scene of a violent crime. Soon, health workers in protective garb remove the carcass for testing at a remote lab and set about disinfecting the site.
    If, or when, the bird tests positive for H5N1, the flu virus that has prompted global fears of a looming pandemic, aviaries within a 3km radius are quickly closed to the public. Anyone who has had contact with the bird is tested by health officials.
  5. by   indigo girl
    Roche Is Cutting Tamiflu Production.
    Quote from
    The wealthier nations of the world have already ordered what they assume will be an adequate supply of Tamiflu.

    Recent revelations regarding the number of pills required per dose have called those assumptions into question, but few nations are likely to double their order of antivirals at this late date.

    As far as the rest of the world is concerned, the Tamiflu option is too expensive to consider. So Roche must tailor their production to meet the current demand. And that means, should a pandemic erupt, we won't have enough to deal with the threat.
    Well, just when you think things might be getting better, and the news has been quiet...

    There goes the Rumsfeld's profit argument for the conspiracy minded.
    Last edit by indigo girl on May 1, '07
  6. by   indigo girl
    Another study reaffirming some of what we already knew. Seasonal flu viruses put the elderly most at risk, but pandemic flu viruses prefer the young.
    (hat tip crofsblog)

    Quote from
    Age-specific patterns of death from influenza vary, depending on whether the influenza season is epidemic or pandemic. We assessed age patterns and geographic trends in monthly influenza-related deaths in Italy from 1969 through 2001, focusing on differences between epidemic and pandemic seasons. We evaluated age-standardized excess deaths from pneumonia and influenza and from all causes, using a modified version of a cyclical Serfling model. Excess deaths were highest for elderly persons in all seasons except the influenza A (H3N2) pandemic season (1969-70), when rates were greater for younger persons, confirming a shift toward death of younger persons during pandemic seasons...
  7. by   indigo girl
    Like many communities across the nation, responsible public health authorities in Alabama are discussing the issue of pandemic preparations. One of the CDC's mitigation strategies is the necessary and possibly lengthy closure of schools.

    Closing schools is a very difficult decision. Parents then become responsible for child care during the work week. Losing numbers of people in the work force effects the economy. We are all going to be impacted by these decisions.

    Despite the doomsday headlines, this is a good article discussing a realistic but unpleasant scenario. This past regular flu season, Alabama was one of the worst hit states for serious pediatric flu cases. Anything that can help prevent this from happening on a larger scale should be a priority, no matter what it costs.

    Quote from
    The scenarios are grim. Most involve multiple deaths and about half the population being ill. A PowerPoint presentation noted the likelihood that "Illness rates [will be] highest among school-aged children."

    With kindergarten through 12th grades closed indefinitely, the balance of the community work force and life would come unhinged. Schools, after all, provide a form of day care for working parents.
    This is the thread on the seasonal pediatric cases in Alabama, and other localities this past winter:
  8. by   indigo girl
    Autopsy reports of H5N1 victims are rare. Here is a report from cases in Thailand:
    (hat tip crofsblog)

    Quote from
    The pathogenesis of avian influenza A (H5N1) virus in humans has not been clearly elucidated. Apoptosis may also play an important role. We studied autopsy specimens from 2 patients who died of infection with this virus. Apoptosis was observed in alveolar epithelial cells, which is the major target cell type for the viral replication. Numerous apoptotic leukocytes were observed in the lung of a patient who died on day 6 of illness. Our data suggest that apoptosis may play a major role in the pathogenesis of influenza (H5N1) virus in humans by destroying alveolar epithelial cells. This pathogenesis causes pneumonia and destroys leukocytes, leading to leukopenia, which is a prominent clinical feature of influenza (H5N1) virus in humans. Whether observed apoptotic cells were a direct result of the viral replication or a consequence of an overactivation of the immune system requires further studies.
  9. by   indigo girl
    Reseachers create interactive map with google technology to track H5N1
    Quote from /
    As part of the effort, the team looked at two key proteins found on the surface of H5N1 strains known as hemaglutinin, or HA, and neuraminidase, or NA. Scientists think if a virulent strain of H5N1 adapts to succeed at human-to-human transmission, it would likely involve mutations by the two proteins, said Guralnick. No mutations associated with NA and HA were linked to any specific bird or mammal host, he said.

    But the team did find a strong association between a specific genotype, Lysine-627, in a segment of the viral genome called the polymerase basic protein, or PB2, and in mammalian hosts in the field. "While this genotype is not exclusive to mammals, we think it is important to track how this PB2 mutation is spreading because it appears to be so infective and deadly in mice," said Janies.
    They are talking about this change in the virus:

    E627K was never found in birds before. It is a mammalian SNP that allows the virus to exist at the lower body temperature of mammals since birds have a higher body temp.
    This marker is now found in virtually all of the virus west of China.

    Here is a discussion of changes that H5N1 has made as it morphs from an avian flu into a more mammalian virus:
    Last edit by indigo girl on May 1, '07
  10. by   cactus wren
    I came across this document and am not sure if it has been posted here already.. Some of the recommendations I don't *think* I have seen before... was from fall 2006 I believe. U of Pittsburg Medical Center -- Center for Biosecurity

    PPEs for 8 weeks
    use of volunteers for patient care.
    up to 200% surge
  11. by   indigo girl
    I have never seen this document before either, Cactus. Thanks for posting it.

    It is rather amazing in that it does seem to be more realistic about what could actually occur. This was written a year ago, and I believe that the CFR
    is even higher now.

    Even with all that I have read in the past year, I am still somewhat shocked by this document, although I recognize the need for exactly this kind of planning. If I feel this way, I can imagine how those that are in denial would react. We really do have to get serious about protecting our population.
    The care is going to be delivered differently. Yes, volunteers are going to be extremely important. Lots of hands will be needed to care for the many expected cases.
    Last edit by indigo girl on May 2, '07
  12. by   indigo girl
    The possibility of H5N1 in Ghana would not be a surprise as it is surrounded by countries where it has been found.
  13. by   indigo girl
    A severe pandemic would not only affect the health of the nation's citizens, but also the economic health of the nation, itself.

    Wall Street is not ready:

    Quote from 404&intsrc=hm_list
    The General Accounting Office said in a newly released report that if securities exchanges "fail to produce fully robust plans before an outbreak-which could begin at any time-they may have insufficient time and resources to adequately prepare their staffs and customers for changes in how the organizations will operate during a pandemic."