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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

The Aussie Flu

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Kilt5 View Drop Down
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    Posted: December 31 2017 at 3:08pm
seriously

Killer flu 'ARRIVES' in UK as 'WORST outbreak in 50 years' hits 1000 ...

Daily Star-30 Dec. 2017
Experts have been warning the Aussie flu could be more dangerous than the 1968 flu pandemic that killed more than a million worldwide. Public health expert Professor Robert Dingwall, of Nottingham Trent University, previously told BT.com: "The reports from Australia suggest the UK might be in for the ...
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Technophobe View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 31 2017 at 3:24pm
It is definitely pandemic.
Our local hospital is on red alert from overcrowding due to the flu (Aberdeen).
The vaccine is only about 10% effective.

I am still not worried.

It is a disabler, not a killer.
Our hospitals were already overcrowded.
Our health service saw it coming and got as prepared as they could.

This is not to say it could not still turn nasty.  It could!  'And it is a big enough spreader to do serious damage if it did.

But, it has not done so yet - despite the numbers.

It would be stupid to relax and say everything is hunky dory, but it is time to be forewarned,  watchful and wary, not time to panic........................................................................................... Yet.
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2018 at 11:17am
I agree, Techno - I don't prep for a severe flu season. This looks like it will be a bad one though, if the last few weeks are anything to go by. I have several friends (all vaccinated) that are really sick, and the numbers are definitely trending upward. I've been feeling pretty crappy past few days, but I don't think it's hitting me too hard. Just enough to sicken me over the holidays and not even buy me a day or two off work...Angry

The biggest problem I foresee is the same kind of pandemic burnout we saw after 2009. Minor pandemics just reinforce the belief that the threat is completely overblown, and the general public are already too way apathetic when it comes to novel disease outbreaks. 





"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 Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 01 2018 at 12:34pm
Exactly JD!  If we cry wolf everytime a dog yaps, no one will hear the howls from the real pack.

So silently wait and listen hard.
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 02 2018 at 1:02pm
Originally posted by jacksdad jacksdad wrote:

I agree, Techno - I don't prep for a severe flu season. This looks like it will be a bad one though, if the last few weeks are anything to go by. I have several friends (all vaccinated) that are really sick, and the numbers are definitely trending upward. I've been feeling pretty crappy past few days, but I don't think it's hitting me too hard. Just enough to sicken me over the holidays and not even buy me a day or two off work...Angry

The biggest problem I foresee is the same kind of pandemic burnout we saw after 2009. Minor pandemics just reinforce the belief that the threat is completely overblown, and the general public are already too way apathetic when it comes to novel disease outbreaks. 


Thanks, JD, excellent post!  

Don't forget that we live in a veritable "soup" of human viruses, including cold viruses (rhinovirus, coronavirus & others), "stomach flu" (norovirus usually) and other bad actors.   These are passed around from person to person like crazy in colder weather for a variety of reasons = locked inside, sniffling noses = snot on doorknobs, etc.

Many of these have "flu-like symptoms" and a lot of folks use the "I have the flu!" meme without really knowing what they have.  

The 2009 pandemic was an interesting case.  Up to then, the public health infrastructure (health departments, hospitals etc.) were on tenterhooks about the H5N1 "bird flu," which we all know has stayed in the can up to now.  2009 was an H1N1, similar to the Spanish Flu, and I knew very brilliant MD/PhD epidemiologists who were scared crazy, stockpiling antivirals etc.  I just shrugged...I had read the genetic map online, it was a neat little reassortment but didn't speak to me about being a game changer. 

Since the early 2000, flu preparations have fallen apart.  Stockpiles of response gear like N95 respirators have now fallen into disrepair and are out of date, antivirals also out of date, and training for pandemic response largely being ignored in the Trump years.  

In other words, we are primed and ready to be hit in the chops by some actor like H7N9 reassortment, new SARS-like coronavirus etc.   Be safe, keep your matches dry and we'll see you in 2018!  

Best, Chuck Thumbs Up
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carbon20 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 02 2018 at 1:38pm
my kids are in the UK ,they had the flu shot here before they left,thought it a  wise move
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 02 2018 at 1:41pm
Doc,

most people get a head cold and think they got the flu,

until you really have it you will never know what its like ,

i'v had the flu 3 times in 60 years,

the one that knocks you out for a week or more ,

then you know what its all about
12 Monkeys...............
1995 ‧ Science fiction film/Thriller ‧ 2h 11m a must for AFT
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 02 2018 at 2:15pm
Even if you are a vaccine avoider, this was a good one to make an exception for.  Over in Ireland there have been fatalites (Ireland has such a small population it is a great study sample) and as far as I can tell those were unvaccinated.  I believe the same was the case in Australia.

Of course, staying out of its way is better still, but not always an option. - Get better soon JD!

The whole idea of exceptional vaccination is widespread here (I wish I could claim credit for it, but I can't).  As I have already mentioned, our GP practice volunteered vaccines for me this year and added a pneumonia jab as well.  Usually I have to beg for them and I do not always succeed.  This was indicative of planning for an unusually high Ro number.  It, strangely, put my mind at rest, as it showed intelligent planning.  As has already been mentioned (I can't remember who's post it was, but: Thank you!) it is the unexpected, left-field flu that does the most damage.
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kilt5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2018 at 7:25pm

Killer 'Aussie' flu sweeps the UK

9news.com.au-4 hours ago
Cases of the deadly 'Aussie' flu virus have soared by 156 per cent in just one week in the UK. Britain's National Health Service is bracing itself for what's predicted to be the worst flu season in 50 years, with doctors reporting patients overflowing into hospital corridors and ambulances queuing to get into ...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2018 at 2:34pm
England tends to get ambulance queues in winter.  Thank God, this seems to miss Scotland.  Cancelling non-emergency operations until the rush is over, is likewise not unique to this year.  We have been underfunding our NHS quite a bit during this decade.

We also seem to have a huge number of norovirus hospital ward closures across Englaned, currently (10 and counting).

This was not the best year for pandemic flu to hit us, but it is one problem of a big bunch.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2018 at 10:59pm
Relax, I see nothing in these news reports to indicate a true "pandemic" influenza (i.e. a reassortment event that the population lacks general immunity to). 

This is all seasonal stuff.  The present strains are old stuff, and the vaccine was generally effective.   I don't like to use the phrase "pandemic" so lightly.  I'll let you know when the balloon goes up, I'll hear about it before most people. 

  • During the week ending December 23, of the 6,373 (22.4%) influenza-positive tests reported to CDC by clinical laboratories, 5,527 (86.7%) were influenza A viruses and 846 (13.3%) were influenza B viruses.
  • The most frequently identified influenza virus subtype reported by public health laboratories was influenza A(H3N2) virus.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeepThinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 05 2018 at 10:37am
One major problem I see.... research seems to suggest a poor vaccine match might be worse than no vaccine at all.    The theory is that it causes an incorrect immune response that can lead to a much more severe illness.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 05 2018 at 10:30pm
Deep Thinker, that sounds serious...do you have a link or two about that claim for us to follow up on?

I did a quick internet search and here is one result that says a mismatch can provide protection

Quote The TIV and LAIV vaccines can provide cross protection against non-matching circulating strains.
http://https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1741-7015-11-153
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 06 2018 at 1:42am
Originally posted by DeepThinker DeepThinker wrote:

One major problem I see.... research seems to suggest a poor vaccine match might be worse than no vaccine at all.    The theory is that it causes an incorrect immune response that can lead to a much more severe illness.

Thanks, I've never heard of that.  Some immunity is always better than none at all.  

Damage to the body comes from "cytokine storm" and secondary bacterial infections, so anything that mitigates the initial infection is helpful.  

There are a lot of myths about influenza and vaccines, one I hear frequently is that "flu vaccines cause the flu."  Bollocks, doesn't happen.  Sometimes the human body has a slight reaction to being vaccinated, but it happens with live and deactivated viral vaccines.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeepThinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2018 at 12:46am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 09 2018 at 3:20pm
DeepThinker, Great find,what a great artical,very interesting...,well done
12 Monkeys...............
1995 ‧ Science fiction film/Thriller ‧ 2h 11m a must for AFT
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeepThinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 10 2018 at 12:43am
Originally posted by carbon20 carbon20 wrote:

DeepThinker, Great find,what a great artical,very interesting...,well done


Thank you for the props!   That was the only article l that I could find at the moment.... since there is SO much flu news out there, google searches for specific topics was challenging.    There is a lot more out there.    Flu vaccines have been a personal subject of study for me for a while.   The more I research the topic, the more skeptical of flu vaccines I become.   As a matter of fact I can not find a single longitudinal study showing the efficacy of flu vaccines.   Yes the CDC has some research but that is all based in the lab, the real world is different.

For all the vaccine proponents out there can you do me a favor?     Can you show me ANY research suggesting that the flu vaccine.... reduces hospitalizations, reduces sick days from work, or in any way reduce the death rate of flu?   In 1980 only about 1/4 to 1/3 of senior citizens received the flu shot, now around 2/3 of seniors get the shot.   There has been NO reduction of flu mortality.

Before you can me an anti vaccine nut just realize I judge every one on its own merits.   Some are very safe and very effective.   Some aren't.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeepThinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 10 2018 at 12:49am
Here is the problem with most of the research.....   They give you the vaccine and then at a latter date test to see if you have antibodies to what you where vaccinated for.    In the real world having a response to your vaccinated strain is NOT the same as having antibodies for the flu being passed around in the community.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2018 at 3:16pm
At least this Flu has put Australia on the map lol,i quite like the notority....lol
12 Monkeys...............
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