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Mystery Illness Maryland Kills 75%.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote issapharma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2012 at 11:18am
Current vaccine version won't do much for low reactors (drift variants or H3N2v).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote issapharma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2012 at 11:34am
In 2009, I have made a child size mask ( protection N95 ), dont hesitate to contact me if it turned out badly! ( Kid-mask.com )
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mahshadin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2012 at 11:38am
It seems the Viral part of this is intentionally being down-played. Most everything I have read is directing attention toward the bacterial side of the cases being the problem.  the last link posted by issapharma had the most in depth information I have seen to date. they should already have confirmation on MRSA, its been almost a week why are they still speculating. I understand the virus need to be sequenced probably by the CDC but even that should be either finished or close to being finshed.
WHY ARE WE GETTING SPECULATIONS ????
____________________________________________________________________________________ 
Her is a portion of the 2 page article:

What's unusual, he said, is that the infection spread from the mother to three children, probably at her bedside.

Most likely, the mother's coughing spread the virulent organisms into the air, and her caregivers, two of whom also had the flu, breathed them in and became infected, he said.

Rogers said the staph infection was probably one of the most virulent strains, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

MRSA is a strain of the bacterium normally treated with common antibiotics in the penicillin family, such as methicillin. Antibiotic-resistant strains of the organism, however, have been turning up increasingly in places outside health-care settings.

"If you get pneumonia with a MRSA staph organism, which we think is what happened here, and if it was transmitted to somebody else, that organism is almost impossible to treat with antibiotics," he said.

He said it was important to emphasize that the illnesses were isolated to one family and that family members were in close contact. "It is not a cause for widespread community alarm," he said.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/5th-calvert-family-member-at-hospital/2012/03/07/gIQAYZYFxR_story_1.html

 
 
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."   G Orwell
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote issapharma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2012 at 11:43am
Look this comments 2 days ago:
darleen Clark on March 6, 2012 at 9:56 pm


"My 33 year old sister died on Tuesday morning in BWMC (old North Arundel) she got sick over the weekend was coughing up blood by Monday and died 4:30 am Tuesday. Hospital said it was pneumonia. but It happened so fast. sounds just like what these people had".
http://smnewsnet.com/archives/10857
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2012 at 1:47pm
hi all
 
it was Pensilvania that the kids at the Ag. show first got  H3N2 last year Aug/sept
and the meek shall inherit the earth:and party!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jdljr1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2012 at 3:44pm
     The latest, more specific analysis is supposed to come from CDC in a few days.  Below they now claim methicillin resistant/MRSA caused the deaths, after H3N2 (current vaccine- matching) flu.  However, the CDC is the organisation helping to choose the upcoming vaccine for 2012-2013 Northern Hemishere, where the diverse authorities have conspicuosly passed over H3N2v test strains in favor of some irrelevant strain from Asia.  I have always felt that the first priority of those choosing the vaccine strain was ease of manufacture and therefore guaranteed profits for Big-Pharma.  The fact the new vaccine may not protect anyone is of less importance. 
     Thus if the CDC admits that this new event involves H3N2v, they have to admit they are now manufacturing a vaccine that will be useless except to drug manufacturer's profits. 
 
Oops.
 
Or am I just being cynical?   Below is the latest from USA Today              Best to All, John L.
 

Officials: Maryland family's flu tragedy was unusual

  •  
By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY < =text/> #post-date-updated {border-top: solid 1px #E5E5E5;}
Updated 1h ago

A tragedy that played out in Maryland, where three members of one family died of influenza-related complications, is unusual, public health officials say.

Four members of the Blake family, in the town of Lusby, Md., had a serious lung infection that was a complication of seasonal flu, according to David Rogers, a health officer with the Calvert County Health Department.

According to the health department, Lou Ruth Blake, 81, developed "respiratory symptoms" around Feb. 23. A son and two daughters took care of her at home, and around Feb. 28, they also developed symptoms. Blake died at home on March 1. Her three children were hospitalized after that and two of them -- a son, 58, and a daughter, 56 -- passed away.

The lung infection, which is believed to be methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), was isolated and there are currently no other affected individuals, health officials say. "Local health care providers are not reporting any significant increase in patients with flu-like symptoms," they say.

This year's flu season has thus far been very mild, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported. Only now, in what's a late start, are cases beginning to pick up around the country and they're still low compared with heavy flu years.

While it's in the nature of influenza to infect people who are in close contact, three fatalities among one family is rare, CDC officials say.

The family is believed to have had the H3N2 strain of flu, which has been circulating in the U.S. for more than two years and has been in the flu vaccine for the past two years. H3N2 can be particularly dangerous for the elderly.

However it wasn't the strain of the flu they had that killed them. What was deadly in this case, and what health officials always worry about, are co-infections. CDC officials believe that all three had MRSA. It's the type of staph bacteria that causes boils. But it can also get in the lungs or the blood stream and cause dangerous infections. People who have the flu can be more susceptible to these infections. "You're sick with the flu virus and that can make you more susceptible to an infection from this really nasty bacteria that can make you really sick pretty quickly," says CDC's Tom Skinner.

According to Skinner, Maryland is sending specimens from the autopsies on all three family members, which should arrive today, and CDC will be able to confirm exactly what happened "hopefully within a few days."

It is common for people who have so-called comorbidities such as asthma, diabetes, cancer, heart disease or infections, to get much sicker -- and even die -- from the flu than healthy individuals. CDC is aware that people who have antibiotic-resistant staph or MRSA are at higher risk as well.

A question and answer page on CDC's website says "the overall risk of developing an MRSA infection after influenza appears to be very low. However, CDC continues to work with state and local public health authorities to better understand this association."

What is unusual is that all three family members were infected with MRSA, which weakened their immune systems enough that they couldn't fight off the flu.

John L
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote issapharma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2012 at 8:06pm

US HHS Contracts for H3N2v Vaccine Clinical Trials

******** Commentary 16:00
January 6, 2012

 "HHS has contracted with pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Sanofi Pasteur to develop investigational lots of the vaccine. Novartis will produce its supply using cell-culture technology at its plant in Holly Springs, North Carolina, and Sanofi Pasteur will grow the vaccine in chicken eggs (a slower method of production) at its plant in Swiftwater, Pennsylvania.

The influenza virus being targeted is a variant of the A(H3N2) virus found in pigs".

The above
comments describe preparations for spring clinical trials for an H3N2v pandemic vaccine.  These developments are not a surprise.  In August the CDC released sequences of vaccine constructs of A/Minnesota/11/2010, which was followed by a WHO September 29, 2011 report on vaccines, showing that the sera against the above target was effective against the first H3N2pdm11 isolate, A/Indiana/08/2011.
 
Although December media reports cited the creation of a seed vaccine, the real drivers for the clinical trials were the H3N2pdm11
cluster at the daycare center in Iowa, followed by the trH3N2 sustained cluster in the daycare center in Mineral County, West Virginia (which has a novel N2 which has acquired seasonal polymorphisms via recombination.

The West Virginia cluster was
alarming, with 23/70 contacts of the index case exhibiting ILI (influenza-like illness), which led to a CDC request to all states to increase surveillance, especially in children.  Multiple states issued advisories or alerts, including Marin County, California, which also cited a new H3N2v case in a Napa county resident in its week 50 report.

Today the CDC published the December 23 early release MMWR, which described the West Virginia cluster, which made it clear that transmission was sustained for a month at the daycare center, but failed to note that 23 contacts had ILI.  In December the CDC also held a 50 state conference call.

An explosion of H3N2v
cases and clusters is expected this month.
http://www.kid-mask.com/blog/last-news/http-www-kid-mask-com-blog-last-news-us-hhs-contracts-for-h3n2v-vaccine-clinical-trials-html.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2012 at 4:09am
Well this is good news.   I will admit that this is the first time i've ever heard of a cluster of co-infection deaths.  The flu had an infection rate of 100% as well as MRSA had an infection rate of 100%, and at the same time.  Truly an unusual event. 
 
Overall it's good news. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote issapharma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2012 at 7:39am

Flu Infections And MRSA Deaths In Maryland

Sad news out of Maryland, and a reminder of how devastating MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, can be when it combines with flu infection. According to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Washington Post and ProMED, five members of a family have fallen ill and three have died from MRSA pneumonia that took hold in lungs inflamed by flu infection.

The dead are Ruth Blake, 81, and her children Lowell, 58, and Vanessa, 56. Another child, Elaine, also fell ill and was hospitalized, and Ruth Blake’s sister has been hospitalized also. They had all contracted one of the seasonal flu strains circulating this year: H3N2. According to the Post, Ruth Blake was vaccinated against flu this season; her children were not. The assumption is that both flu and MRSA spread from the mother to the children.

From the Post:

Calvert health officials said in a statement Wednesday that the cases were isolated to a single family and that “there are currently no other affected individuals.” Local health-care providers, they said, are not reporting any significant increase in patients with flulike symptoms.

David Rogers, the county’s health officer, said health officials suspect that Blake also had the flu and then suffered a serious lung infection that turned into pneumonia.

“In older people, that can often be fatal,” he said.

Blake had a flu shot, he said. None of the others were vaccinated.

What’s unusual, he said, is that the infection spread from the mother to three children, probably at her bedside. Most likely, the mother’s coughing spread the virulent organisms into the air, and her caregivers, two of whom also had the flu, breathed them in and became infected, he said. (Byline: Annys Shin and Lena H. Sun)

MRSA pneumonia is fast-acting and lethal; it is often called “necrotizing pneumonia” for the way it simply kills lung tissue. Exactly why it has that effect is still disputed — MRSA has so many cellular toxins at its disposal that there could be a number of culprits — but there is no dispute that it is a very serious disease.

MRSA post-flu pneumonia isn’t well-understood because it has been a concern only recently. The first cases to alert the United States this might be a problem were in Baltimore in the flu season of 2003-04. The four patients were all seen at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, and physicians there wrote the cases up afterward. Over two months, there was a 31-year-old woman who was in the hospital for four weeks; MRSA ate holes in her lung, the largest of which was 1 by 1.5 inches. Two other women, 20 and 33 years old, were each hospitalized for three months. The 20-year-old’s heart stopped, and her blood clotting grew so disordered that doctors had to amputate one leg below her knee; the 33-year-old lost both lower legs. The fourth patient was a 52-year-old man, a two-pack-a-day smoker, who died.

Other reports came into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the course of that flu season. When the CDC counted up the following summer, there had been 15 cases of severe MRSA pneumonia in 9 states. Four of them died. CDC personnel wrote another article warning of the dangers of MRSA and flu two years later, after clusters of cases in Louisiana and Georgia during the 2006-07 flu season. They said: “Secondary S. aureus pneumonia is a potentially catastrophic complication of influenza… MRSA [community-acquired pneumonia] often affects young, otherwise healthy persons and can be rapidly fatal.”

Pneumonia that follows on flu is a seriously under-appreciated danger of flu infection: An analysis from 2010 points out that, in 2007, there were 457 deaths from flu in the US and 52,847 deaths from post-flu pneumonia. There is no reliable way to protect yourself against MRSA, since there is no vaccine, and the bacterium can live on the skin undetected for an unpredictable period of time. Hypothetically, if you prevent flu infection you lessen the likelihood of this pneumonia occurring — but as the mother’s case illustrates, flu vaccine doesn’t confer perfect protection, especially not in the elderly whose immune systems are not robust enough to begin with.

It’s a very sad story, and another illustration of how perilous and destructive MRSA can be.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote issapharma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2012 at 10:39am
Flu update 5th family member hospitalized
Deaths were from flu, Testing indicates influenza H3

Three members of a Lusby family have died and another is reportedly recovering due to a severe respiratory illness that preliminary testing indicates was influenza H3, a strain of influenza A.

News of the deaths spread quickly on Tuesday and conflicting reports caused confusion and tension across the county as different agencies tried to disseminate facts about the case.

The Calvert County Health Department and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene are investigating the deaths.

Over the last two weeks, four members of the family were admitted to the hospital for severe respiratory illnesses, which were a complication of influenza, and three of them died, according to a health department press release. Symptoms of the respiratory illness were not included in the press release, nor were the names of the victims.

According to the press release, an 81-year-old woman became sick about Feb. 23 at her home with upper respiratory symptoms. Three of her adult children, a son and two daughters, were taking care of her and also developed similar upper respiratory symptoms about Feb. 28.

All four people were hospitalized and became critically ill. The 81-year-old woman died at home March 1 and the 58-year-old son and the 56-year-old daughter have since died. The other daughter is currently hospitalized at the Washington Hospital Center and her condition is improving, the press release states.

According to the press release, preliminary testing at the DHMH Laboratories Administration indicates that all four people had influenza H3, "a strain of influenza A that has been circulating this season"Clap, and these cases were complicated by bacterial co-infections, which is a known complication of influenza infection. Additional testing is being conducted for all cases.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Ann Flanagan, supervisor for disease surveillance and response at the health department, said a Prince George’s County resident, “who was not part of the care of [the] family,” was admitted to the Washington Hospital Center for “other issues and she had developed flu like symptoms … so they’re treating her.” Flanagan said the resident was a family member of the four people, “but was not part of the care of the person who died.”

No other similar incidents have been reported from the county or elsewhere in the state, according to the website. The cause for these illnesses is under investigation and testing is being conducted by the DHMH Laboratories Administration.

Calvert Memorial Hospital received several phone calls from concerned residents, according to a CMH press release, and officials are encouraging area families to follow basic guidelines recommended during flu season, including getting vaccinated, washing hands frequently and limiting contact with sick people. Anyone with flu-like symptoms should check with a healthcare provider, the press release states.

This year’s flu season started late and is expected to stretch into late May, the press release states. Officials said they recommend people who have not received the flu vaccination yet to get one.

While the severity of illness due to the flu varies from season to season, generally very young people, adults older than 65 and people with certain medical conditions are at higher risk for developing flu-related complications, according to the press release.

Calvert County Public Schools sent out a press release Tuesday morning about the incident and said the health and safety of the students and their families is CCPS’s primary concern.

Gail Bennett, CCPS spokesperson, said no students were affected by the respiratory illness but an email alert and an electronic phone message were sent out to parents after the school system received several phone calls. She said both parents and staff members had a lot of questions and CCPS “wanted to make sure they were getting accurate information.”

Bennett said the health department was “sending out press releases but those don’t go directly to our parents or our staff, so we thought we could help disseminate their information by sending the information” to those on the email and phone message lists.

After the alerts were sent, Bennett said the school system did not receive any phone calls from panicked parents, but rather from parents who missed the phone message and wanted to know what it said.

Norma Hoffman of Lusby, said she first heard of the situation Tuesday morning after receiving an automated phone call from CCPS, but she “didn’t know what they were talking about” until she read news reports online.

“The phone call was concerning,” Hoffman said, adding that it made her think that her own two children, a 10-year-old son who attends Dowell Elementary and a 14-year-old daughter who attends Patuxent High School, were exposed to some sort of sickness.

“I think [CCPS] scared a lot of people because [the phone call] didn’t have enough information,” Hoffman said. “I just think the school’s phone call could have had a little more information.”

Huntingtown resident Tammy Marks said the daycare provider at which she drops her daughter off in the mornings told her about the situation and she later received an automated phone call from CCPS. She said the only things she could remember hearing from the phone call was “dead people and we’re on top of it.”

“It was so vague, and all it did was incite terror,” Marks said, adding that if she had not heard the news first from her daycare provider, she would have panicked.

Calvert County Board of Education President Rose Crunkleton said she had not “heard a lot of panicking” from students’ parents and she said the school system did the right thing by sending out a press release because it was already reported in the news.

“Our school system was alerting our parents so that they could hear it from the school that we hope our children are safe and we would let them know if there was anything else that we needed to do to make sure the children were safe,” Crunkleton said.

She said most people that she spoke to were saddened by three people in one family dying so suddenly.

“They were ... helping their mother and in doing that, they got sick themselves,” Crunkleton said. “It’s just really tragic.”

Lusby resident Suzanne Pucciarella said she heard about the situation Tuesday morning after a friend posted a link to a news website that had reported on the deaths. She said the information on the news site was vague and confusing, so she called the health department. Since initial reports only identified those that have died as a “family,” she said she thought children may have been involved and wanted answers.

felt that information wasn’t complete and I know that rumors can spread very quickly so I wanted to kind of cut to the chase,” Pucciarella said.

After calling the health department and speaking with two people, she said, she was relieved to hear that her own two children, her 9-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son, who attend Our Lady Star of the Sea, would not be exposed to it at school because no children were affected.

As more news outlets began reporting on the incident, Pucciarella said, information continued to become available “in bits and pieces,” which caused the public to start drawing their own conclusions.

While Pucciarella said she understands that the health department probably had a lot of phone calls and inquiries to deal with following the announcement of the deaths, she said she thinks “that things should have come out maybe in one message.” She said different newspapers and radio and television stations were all giving different information.

Part of the reason Pucciarella said she thought there were conflicting news reports was because “people are using different resources.” Many news reports she has read have listed different ages for the victims and even a different number of victims, she said.

“The numbers were all messed up and there were just a lot of different pieces that were confusing,” Pucciarella said. “There’s so many ‘maybes,’ so many things that they didn’t tell us.”

Pucciarella said this is a good lesson “for us to realize that we need to get the message across a little bit better.”

In a press release sent Monday from the health department, officials initially reported that five people were affected by a severe respiratory illness and that four people had died. An updated press release was sent out Tuesday stating that an 81-year-old woman and three of her children had become critically ill with upper respiratory symptoms, and three of those people had later died.

David Rogers, health officer for the health department, said the first press release was sent out stating that five people were affected “because it was believed there were five.” The second press release was sent out stating only four people were affected because “it was determined that there were only four.”

Dan Williams, deputy health officer for the health department, said officials tried to get accurate information out as quickly as possible.

“We were trying to get information out as quickly as possible and as we refined the numbers that’s how we adjusted,” Williams said. “We wanted to make sure we got information out as accurate as we could early in the investigation.”

He said the press releases that were issued Wednesday contained accurate information.

Calvert County Commissioners’ President Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark (R) said he felt the health department and county handled the situation as well as it could have and blamed wrong information on social media like Facebook and Twitter.

“Unfortunately we don’t have any control over rumors or misinformation put out at the street level,” he said, which is why he said the board read correct, updated information to the public at the start of its Tuesday meeting. “I’m not sure there was any other better way it could have been handled.”

Clark said county emergency management staff opened the Emergency Operations Center to coordinate information being relayed between the hospital, health department and public, and to make sure responders were ready in case another instance of the illness cropped up.

“It’s a sad situation,” he said. “We won’t know the whole story on it for a while now, I think.”

Commissioner Susan Shaw (R) also attributed Facebook misuse to Tuesday’s panic.

“If people would just wait until they get it right, it would be helpful,” she said of those who posted updates online, some of whom included unofficial names of the victims.

“Until we get an official word everybody needs to calm down. People need to start respecting other people’s privacy.”
http://www.somdnews.com/article/20120309/NEWS/703099832/1074/deaths-were-from-flu&template=southernMaryland
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote issapharma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2012 at 10:57am
The flu was passed from the Index Case (Mother), to her children (2 of 3 died), and spread on to a 3rd contact, most likely on the day that the Index Case died.
As was reported in the post located here:http://www.somdnews.com/article/20120309/NEWS/703099832/1074/deaths-were-from-flu&template=southernMaryland


"As of Wednesday afternoon, Ann Flanagan, supervisor for disease surveillance and response at the health department, said a Prince George’s County resident, “who was not part of the care of [the] family,” was admitted to the Washington Hospital Center for “other issues and she had developed flu like symptoms … so they’re treating her.” Flanagan said the resident was a family member of the four people, “but was not part of the care of the person who died.
hat-tip PFI
excerpt:
Across the street from Blake’s white Cape Cod lives a great niece. Next door to the great niece is a brother-in-law. And the next few houses in either direction are occupied by cousins of her late husband, Leroy Blake.


The Blakes’ roots run deep here. They have their own folder at the county historical society. They were among the earliest members of a nearby Methodist congregation that dates back to the end of the 19th century.

The Blakes married some of the other congregants. And the headstones in the cemetery next to Eastern United Methodist Church bear the names of those interconnected families, just as do the mailboxes that line the roads near the church.

Many members of the extended family stopped by March 1 — not long after Ruth Blake, 81, died — to be together and to pray.

A family member had asked her pastor, the Rev. Irving Beverly, to come to pray as well. Inside, he was surprised to see two sheriff’s deputies. At that point, the cause of Blake’s death was unknown.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ ... tional_pop


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote roni3470 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2012 at 8:34pm
Do not like it when this site is quiet.......any news?!.!?!
NOW is the Season to Know
that Everything you Do
is Sacred."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote issapharma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 13 2012 at 9:12am
Originally posted by roni3470 roni3470 wrote:

Do not like it when this site is quiet.......any news?!.!?!
Sequence haven't been released from cdc, black out total of the media, no more news since 4 days ago.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote newgirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 13 2012 at 9:26am
I have also been keeping my eye on this and searching for news - absolutely nothing for the last 4 days. I find that very concerning and I'm not sure why it would be so quiet, although I don't think there has been an "outbreak" or anything from this cluster. Actually, I guess they could be keeping that quiet too. Sigh.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote issapharma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 13 2012 at 12:06pm
Published on Tuesday 13 March 2012 12:04


Speedway star Theo Pijper today told how what he thought was a bad dose of the flu almost killed him.


The 32-year-old Dutchman said he was lucky to be alive after being rushed from his home off Willowbrae Road to the ERI coughing up blood.

Doctors then revealed that rather than flu, he had in fact contracted pneumonia.

He said: “The week it happened, my wife and two sons were suffering from flu and when I went to the doctor he told me I just had flu as well.

But when I got home from the doctor’s I went to bed at four o’clock in the afternoon because I felt so tired and four hours later I was in an ambulance on my way to hospital after I was coughing up blood.“I didn’t know what was going on, they had me in hospital right away, but once I was there, they got straight on it, because they knew what they were doing.”

Doctors told him he had sought help just in time, and he was kept in hospital for a week after his emergency admission in mid-February.

“I was told had I left it 24 hours longer my lungs would have filled up with blood and anything could have happened after that, it could easily have proved life-threatening, looking back it was so scary,” he said.

He had been told it would take up to two months for him to recover, which would have wrecked the start of his 2012 season riding with Edinburgh Monarchs.

But after recovering at home, he confounded the predictions of medics – and went against the advice of his wife – to take part in a practice session at SBLEEPhorpe last week.

He said: “My wife told me it was far too early to go to SBLEEPhorpe but I needed to know if I could do it. I did 16 laps and didn’t feel tired and I felt good afterwards and now I’m looking forward to our first meeting at Redcar.

“The medicine I got from the hospital was heavy duty stuff but I’ve finished it now. I’ve to go back for a check up just to make sure I’m all right.”

He now hopes to be fit for the Monarchs’ league cup tie at Redcar Bears next week, and is putting his near-miss behind him. “I’m still here and that’s in the past now so I don’t really want to think about anything like that too much.”

Monarchs co-promoter John Campbell said he was amazed by the rider’s resilience. “What happens with speedway riders is they dismiss all ailments and injuries and the like and carry on as if nothing has happened, so his approach doesn’t surprise me, but from being very, very seriously ill to riding a motorcycle competitively in about a week from now is quite a turnaround in about four weeks.”

http://www.scotsman.com/news/health/flu ... -1-2169395

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mahshadin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 31 2012 at 11:30pm
Officials examine response to flu deaths

by KATIE FITZPATRICK, Staff writer

 

The news that three members of a Lusby family died from a severe respiratory illness spread quickly throughout Calvert County two weeks ago, inciting alarm and confusion in some residents.

On Feb. 23, Ruth Blake, 81, became sick at her home with upper respiratory symptoms. Three of her adult children, Lowell, Vanessa and Elaine, were taking care of her and also developed similar upper respiratory symptoms about Feb. 28.

All four people were hospitalized and became critically ill. Ruth Blake died at home March 1 and Lowell Blake, 58, and Vanessa Blake, 56, have since died. Elaine Blake was hospitalized at Washington Hospital Center and has since been released.

Now, reports about what may have happened to the Blake family are becoming clearer. Press releases from the county and state health departments said preliminary testing indicates the family had influenza H3, a strain of influenza A. David Rogers, health officer for the Calvert County Health Department, said Lowell and Vanessa Blake died from �very severe and unusual complications caused by the flu and he is still waiting on Ruth Blake's medical examiner's results.

Rogers said where and how the family members got the flu is speculation, but there are two known events that may have exposed Ruth Blake to the flu.

Brian W. Buck, 50, who Rogers said was related to the Blakes, was killed Feb. 25 after a 10-ton root ball of a tree fell on top of him. Rogers said Ruth Blake�s home was where the entire family gathered after Buck�s death, and if another family member had the flu, Ruth Blake may have been exposed to it then. Ruth Blake also attended a birthday party on Feb. 15 for one of her grandchildren, which is another place she may have been exposed to the flu, Rogers said.

Rogers said Ruth Blake �was not any more sick than one would expect with a mild case of the flu.� She went to her doctor and was prescribed antibiotics on Feb. 29, Rogers said, and the following day she died. Rogers said she likely died from �some complication of the flu� and the medical examiner�s results will not be available for several weeks, but �she did not die of a secondary pneumonia infection as far as we can tell right now.�

Lowell and Vanessa Blake apparently developed flu-like symptoms around the same time as their mother, Rogers said, but began to develop symptoms of a more serious respiratory infection, pneumonia, about March 2 or 3. Rogers said both Lowell and Vanessa Blake also had Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, a strain of staph bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

On the morning of March 4, Lowell Blake went to CMH with pneumonia and was later transported to Washington Hospital Center where he died March 5. Rogers said he died from the pneumonia due to MRSA infection. Vanessa Blake went to CMH the evening of March 4 with pneumonia and later died the following day.

�Either one or both of them I�m assuming must have been a carrier [of MRSA] and when they got the flu, somehow [it] � may have made their respiratory system less resistant to the MRSA, which then invaded the lungs and caused fatal infections.�

Elaine Blake, who �simply had nothing more than the flu,� is also apparently a carrier of MRSA, but it is a different bacterial strain, Rogers said. Elaine Blake started having flu-like symptoms about March 2, Rogers said, and she probably got the flu from one of the other three family members.

When she went to CMH on March 5, because other family members who died had similar symptoms, hospital staff were concerned that the same thing might happen to her, so she was taken to Washington Hospital Center but later released.

Elaine Blake, the youngest of seven siblings, said she had been taking care of her mother for the last five years and is taking her death, as well as the deaths of her brother and sister, extremely hard. She said her entire family is still grieving.

�We�re still mourning,� Elaine Blake said. �It�s going to take a long time [to heal from this]. It�s something that�s not easy to just get over.�

As word of the flu death spread early this month, news reports containing different information from different press releases confused and panicked the public and rumors quickly spread. Soon, other organizations, including Calvert Memorial Hospital, Calvert County Public Schools and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, sent out multiple press releases at different times, all containing seemingly conflicting reports.

Elaine Blake said she thinks the media reported on different information too quickly and did not know �what really went on.� She said the media did not get the facts right and it was �very upsetting� to her and her family.

Rogers said he knows that �not everything worked perfectly� when information was being relayed. He said he realizes that the first press release sent that Monday evening was �perplexing to people,� and he and other staff members will review the situation to see how it can be handled better in the future.

�I think there are things we could�ve done better,� Rogers said. �We�re going to review the things that we did and what we can do better, particularly communicating with the media.�

Rogers said the situation became very newsworthy because three family members died at about the same time with similar symptoms, which was unusual.

�If it had just been one [person], it might not have gotten all the attention it did, but because there were two [adult children] and the mother that just died, there was a lot of concern � that we might be dealing with something very dangerous,� Rogers said. �The question was whether it posed any hazard to the community.�

Rogers said staff members worked tirelessly Tuesday, March 6, to try to reassure the community that they were not in danger and that the deaths may be coincidental.

�It was something of a coincidence that you had these three family members all die within two or three days of one another,� Rogers said.

Calvert County Public Schools issued a press release March 6 to try and quell some of the panic. The press release stated that the health and safety of the students and their families is CCPS�s primary concern. School officials said the purpose of the press release was to answer questions from parents and staff.

Bill Chambers, vice president of the school board, said the school system�s press release was geared toward trying to eliminate thoughts that school children were involved.

�I think that was the purpose of putting a release out, to try and keep folks from not assuming that there were young, school-aged children involved in that,� Chambers said.

When the incident was initially reported, because the word �family� was used, �most people would assume� that it�s a parent or guardian with children, Chambers said. The initial reports from the health department didn�t state that those affected were adult family members, Chambers said, which �naturally� caused �some concern and even mild hysteria.�

Chambers said in his �dream world� he would like for the initial reports to have included that the affected family members were adults, and because they weren�t, he believes the school system did the right thing by informing parents of the issue.

�I think the end result was to err on the side of caution and our system does a pretty good job [of that],� Chambers said. �I thought we did the right thing.�

In response to many phone calls from concerned residents, CMH issued a press release March 8 that said three members of the family had died from a strain of the flu and encouraged people to follow basic guidelines, such as washing hands, to keep from becoming ill. The press release said hospital staff was monitoring any flu-like illnesses seen in the emergency room, urgent care centers and the hospital.

James Xinis, president and CEO of CMH, in a written statement Monday said he was proud of how the hospital staff responded to the public�s concerns about the Blake family�s illnesses.

�We always follow the CDC isolation guidelines when caring for anyone with a suspected infections illness and we take precautions every day in every department to prevent the spread of infection,� Xinis said. �This situation demonstrated the extreme importance of the diligence of healthcare providers in that regard. Our infection control department identified the commonalities between the patients quickly and promptly and alerted the health department per our policy.�

The county opened the Emergency Operations Center, which marketing and communications specialist Mark Volland said was �partially opened� to monitor information and help get accurate information out to the public. Volland said representatives from CCPS, the county public information office and the health department worked together to help relay information.

�The county didn�t mobilize in any way other than to support the health department,� Volland said.

 
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."   G Orwell
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jdljr1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 01 2012 at 2:42am
     Since I initially began this thread I think I have seen how a great deal of the confusion caused by the authorities was partly to deflect from the likelihood of the current vaccine's inefficacy against the new flu strains that constitute 60% or more of the flu now circulating.  The need for these obfuscations is fortunately passing, as flu season is now running out of time and we have just past peak in the U.S.  So you are quite right, big pharma profits are now safe, so enough already!
     What remains to be seen is whether the new vaccine being made for next season will work on the new strains.  Unfortunately,  candidate vaccines are selected partially for ease of manufacture, in other words, ease of big pharma profits.   Watch out, Southern Hemisphere!
     So stay away from any last minute flu cases around you-last falls' vaccine is already obsolete, and next years was selected primarily for ease of growth in eggs.  Whether it works will be a crapshoot.
John L
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