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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic; Now tracking the Aussie Flu.

Severity of Southern Hemisphere Flu Season.

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John L. View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 03 2017 at 4:10pm
It is good to be back.  Albert, you formerly knew me as jdrjr1 but although the system recognised my former name and had all my many old posts on it, it refused to send me a new password.  Since I always hated the former moniker I re-registered but using instead my former signature John L.
Since the flu gave me the pneumonia last season and almost killed me I look with trepadation on two things, H9 mutating, and now reports from Australia of the worst seasonal flu season possibly ever.  This is because we in New York usually get it next.
Looks like I have a lot of good posts and posters to catch up with.

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/australia-hit-by-worst-flu-outbreak-on-record-in-2017/news-story/56d9f7266bcc8a0a7ceacd5298e06d88

AUSTRALIA is in the grip of the worst flu outbreak on record and experts are urging people to have a flu vaccine now to prevent further spread of the disease.

More than 70,000 cases of flu have been reported so far this year including a record breaking 30,000 cases last month.

“I’m confident this is not just the biggest on record but the largest flu outbreak we’ve seen for some time,” Professor Paul VanBuynder the Chairman of the Immunisation Coalition said.

The previous influenza record occurred in 2015 when more than 100,000 people tested positive for the flu.

Flu notifications in South Australia are at a six-year high, with a total of 6203 cases so far this year compared to just 1347 cases at the same time last year. In all of 2016, there were a total of 7851 flu notifications in SA.

In 2015, the state recorded its highest number of flu cases on record, with a total of 15,659 notifications.

Flu vaccinations are available from pharmacies and can cost adults as little as $10, children have to be vaccinated by a GP where the cost should be $25 or lower, Professer VanBuynder said.

It takes ten days for the flu vaccine to work properly so doctors are urging people to act now.

Professor Bill Rawlinson a Senior Medical Virologist at NSW Health Pathology and Prof Lou Irving is Director of Respiratory Medicine at Melbourne Health said they had seen a spike in hospitalisations related to complications caused by the flu.

Katrina Faint gets an injection from pharmacist Nikki Lade. Picture: Evan Morgan

Katrina Faint gets an injection from pharmacist Nikki Lade. Picture: Evan MorganSource:News Corp Australia

Professor Rawlinson says flu can cause pneumonia and death.

Director of Respiratory Medicine at Melbourne Health Professor Lou Irving says it can have a severe impact on people with chronic illnesses such as asthma, chronic obstructive Pulmonary disease, diabetes and heart disease.

He said he had recently treated a 38-year-old new mother who needed hospitalisation for 3 days after contacting pneumonia as a result of the flu.

A 27-year-old man required surgery to drain his pulmonary cavity of pus and fluid after he developed severe pneumonia after the flu, Professor Lou Irving.

Australians are being urged to still get a flu shot. Picture: Thinkstock

Australians are being urged to still get a flu shot. Picture: ThinkstockSource:ThinkStock

One in four elderly people, two in three pregnant women and nine in ten children are not vaccinated to protect against the flu.

Professor VanBuynder says experts have been asking the expert committee that advises the government on which vaccines to fund the make the flu vaccine free for everybody on the national immunisation register for over a decade.

Evidence shows the effectiveness of the flu vaccine begins to wane after six months.

While there is no formal recommendations to give chronically ill and elderly people a booster vaccine some GPs vaccinate chronically ill patients twice a year.

John L.
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jacksdad View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2017 at 4:42pm
Welcome back 😀
"Buy it cheap. Stack it deep"
"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Albert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2017 at 12:16am
Hello there John!  We can fix your original handle if need be and you can email me anytime at ryanevans@aol.com.  I will also update your new profile shortly.   Also glad you survived your bout with pneumonia and was wondering what happened to you my friend.  Glad to have you back.
https://www.facebook.com/Avianflutalk
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John L. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John L. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2017 at 1:22am
Thank you, Albert and Jacksdad.  Updating and linking to the new handle will be fine. 
It is clear how the world situation is now making the Forum even more relevant and necessary than ever before.  The H9N7 threat, the Korean situation again escalating, massive flu outbreaks in India and Australia, massive hurricanes hitting and now again headed for the United States.
There is going to be a lot of work to do here for all....
John L.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John L. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2017 at 11:58am
CNN new article on what the Australian flu situation may mean for the USA, see http://www.krdo.com/health/what-australias-bad-flu-season-means-for-us/616249351
The H3 flu is what got me last winter, the vaccine I took was first supposed to be 65% effective but by Spring they revised this to only 46%.  I had already found out the hard way.  We need new flu vaccines.
John L.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John L. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2017 at 2:24pm
http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/experts-to-scrutinise-the-2017-flu-vaccine/news-story/013a11f21f76e3136f42bd1394d1a791:

A better flu vaccine needed, says expert

Experts say this season's record flu outbreak suggests that next year's vaccine may need to provide greater protection against the Influenza A (H3) strain.

Sarah Wiedersehn
Australian Associated PressSeptember 4, 20173:47pm

A fast mutating and highly diverse strain of flu is to blame for the deadly outbreaks in Australian nursing homes, highlighting the need for a better vaccine, says a leading infectious diseases expert.

To date, there have been a record 132,732 laboratory confirmed notifications of influenza in Australia, with several nursing homes residents in Victorian and Tasmania dying as a result of the outbreak.

Professor Allen Cheng at Monash University and Director of Infection Prevention at The Alfred Hospital says a particular subtype of flu circulating this year explains the concerning number of deaths among the elderly.

"The type of flu strain that is circulating this year is [Influenza A] H3 and that tends to affect older people," Professor Cheng said.

He also said this particular subtype strain is harder to protect against via a vaccine.

There are three types of flu viruses: A, B, and C. H3N2 is a subtype of influenza A.

"The flu virus in general changes from year to year, just enough to affect you again," said Professor Cheng.

"With H3, for reasons that aren't entirely clear, it's more diverse so its hard to find a vaccine that will target all the different types of H3 strains that are out there," Prof Cheng said.

Health officials say it's still too early to say if this year's flu vaccine was ineffective.

"We have to wait and see," said Professor Ian Barr, deputy director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in Melbourne.

Professor Barr says an interim report card on this year's vaccine is expected to be released within the next three weeks following a meeting of WHO delegates in Melbourne.

It was confirmed on the weekend that seven people aged between 70 and 94 at St John's Retirement Village in Wangaratta had died between August 16 and 30 as a result of the outbreak.

The outbreak also killed six residents of a Tasmanian nursing home earlier in August, sparking moves by federal health minister Greg Hunt to make the flu vaccination compulsory among aged care workers.

"We'll be moving to ensure all health workers in the aged care sector are vaccinated subject to any medical exemptions," Mr Hunt said on Sunday.

Australian Medical Association President Michael Gannon says the deadly nursing home outbreaks are a 'wake-up call' to all Australians to get their flu shot.

The vaccination rate in Australia currently stands at just 20 per cent, according to the latest estimates. That's about 4.8 million Australians or one out every fifth person.

While its worth getting the flu shot, Professor Cheng says immunisation against the flu only provides a person between 30 to 50 per cent protection.

"That's not very good. The measles vaccine, for example, is 95 per cent effective," he said.

"Ultimately we probably need a better (influenza) vaccine that is 100 per cent effective, obviously we haven't got one yet so it's not that easy a problem to solve but a lot of people are working on it," Prof Cheng said.

John L.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arirish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2017 at 7:49pm
John L - Thanks for the research and welcome back! What's happening in the Southern Hemisphere is a big warning for us up North! Some of us have been discussing the irony of the timing of all this(100 years since the great pandemic)! Glad you pulled through, hope you stick around!
Buy more ammo!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2017 at 2:27am
I don't think a 100% vaccine is possible,its all a guessing game,from the outset,you might be able to get a bit of a heads up, by looking at what is happening down here at the moment,but as I said before, I had a real nasty full on Flu does
12 monkeys!!!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2017 at 2:30am
I don't think a 100% vaccine is possible,its all a guessing game,from the outset,you might be able to get a bit of a heads up, by looking at what is happening down here at the moment,but as I said before, I had a real nasty full on Flu in January this year,no warning just me and two others at work, bed ridden for a week, so very very hard to predict next year's flu strains....
12 monkeys!!!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2017 at 10:34am
Yep - they pretty much guess which strains next season's vaccine should cover. It's a system that doesn't take novel viruses or significant mutations in existing strains into account. Either could render it ineffective. With the lead time needed to produce a vaccine, there's no way to switch late in the game and still manufacture it in any meaningful quantities. Something new and nasty pops up without warning, don't hold your breath for an effective vaccine you'll be able to get your hands on. There's a hierarchy in place to ensure the most important and high-ranking people get it first.


"Buy it cheap. Stack it deep"
"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2017 at 3:22pm
IM IMPORTANT......lol

there wont be a Vaccine for the "SLATE WIPER"
12 monkeys!!!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2017 at 3:46pm
Of course you are Wink

Originally posted by carbon20 carbon20 wrote:

there wont be a Vaccine for the "SLATE WIPER"


Never a truer word spoken. Anything we can come up with be too little, too late.


"Buy it cheap. Stack it deep"
"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2017 at 5:26pm
Noticing alot more coughs and sneezes on the train this week, must be catching up with our eastern state friends here in Perth, here we are 4hours flying time to Sydney,or 3days drive, so we pretty isolated.
12 monkeys!!!!!
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