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

U.S. not prepared for a flu pandemic

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arirish View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 13 2017 at 9:45am
U.S. not prepared for a flu pandemic, experts warn

As the U.S. begins its annual flu season, experts warn that the country is ill-prepared for a pandemic flu that could cause widespread disruption and death.

In a webinar Tuesday with the Association of Health Care Journalists, flu experts outlined potential problems that will occur if and when there is another flu pandemic. Those occur when there is a large mutation in the current circulating flu viruses that it is unlike previous strains or the emergence of a wholly new kind of strain, often from one that jumps from animals like chickens or pigs to humans, said Dr. Sonja Olsen, deputy chief of the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch in the Flu Division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since 2013, the CDC has been monitoring an avian influenza strain called H7N9 that has caused some human infections, increasing from 135 cases to 759 in the last season that ended in August. About 70 percent of those patients ended up in intensive care units and 40 percent died, she said. However, the virus has not shown yet it can pass very well from human to human, Olsen said.

In an analysis published in recent months, scientists looked carefully at the virus strain and tried to see if it could be made to create certain mutations that would make it more adaptable to humans, known as “gain of function” studies, she said. They noted that it already had some mutations similar to strains that caused pandemics in 1957 and 1968. And that with a few small changes, it could adapt to attack human cells that line the airway, Olsen said.


It “required only a small amount of change to potentially be more devastating in humans,” she said.

The problem with preparing for a pandemic is not so much in the U.S. as it is with other countries whose infrastructure and public health may not be as robust. That is a problem because of the global nature of trade and in particular our reliance on other countries to supply essential drugs and supplies, said Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

They looked at 30 essential drugs and found that they all are made outside the U.S. except for a couple made in Puerto Rico. Any kind of disruption from a pandemic elsewhere, particularly in India or China, would have a rapid impact on U.S. health care, he said. This is already happening with the devastation in Puerto Rico, which manufactures some drugs for the U.S. already in short supply now, he said. Nor is the U.S. government ready itself to deal with a pandemic, Osterholm said.

“This administration does not have a team in place to deal with that, in my estimation,” he said, though in fairness neither did President Obama. “This is going to take a big team.”

“There are lots of gaps globally,” Olsen said.

http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/2017-10-10/us-not-prepared-flu-pandemic-experts-warn
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jacksdad View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2017 at 10:51am
Originally posted by arirish arirish wrote:

U.S. not prepared for a flu pandemic, experts warn


They think...?


"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 (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2017 at 11:05am
We aren't over here!  But at least 'The powers that be' are worrying about it.  That is a start.ClownClownClown
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arirish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2017 at 1:43pm
Is that you Rashat?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2017 at 2:02pm
It was, Arirish.  Now removed like the rest of his spam.
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arirish View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arirish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2017 at 9:25pm
Can't fault his persistence! He obviously believes in try, try again!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2017 at 2:07am
Try our patience!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2017 at 5:40am
No country can never prepare for a deadly pandemic.  It won't be possible.

Every year for the last decade we have heard "the U.S. is not prepared for a flu pandemic".  In fact, we hear that about basically every country.  Highly doubtful we will ever hear about a country being fully prepared.   I can just see it now.... "Europe claims to be fully prepared for a pandemic , and advises citizens there will never be anything to worry about and all is fine forever". 
https://www.facebook.com/Avianflutalk
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2017 at 11:30am
The US public health infrastructure was somewhat more aware when H5N1 looked imminent....there were all sorts of trainings, equipment purchases etc. for the "inevitable" bird flu pandemic. 

When the threat seemingly fizzled, our PH leaders lost interest.  The grant money & funding dried up, and so did their attention. 

It's always what you least expect that kills you.  I'm most worried about H7N9, but any of a number of flavors could come around to whack us.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kilt5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2017 at 4:20pm
Originally posted by ddddd ddddd wrote:

Хочу Вас пригласить на моё психиатрическое переосвидетествование. Вы же считаете меня психом

translation

I want to invite you to my psychiatric pereosvidetestvovanie. You think I'm crazy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2017 at 4:39pm
LOLClapLOLClapLOLLOLLOLClapClap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2017 at 4:41pm
Thank you Kilt, I missed that one.  I have wiped out five or six of his posts today.  

I am glad I missed one.  I needed a laugh!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arirish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2017 at 8:31pm
Chuck: You are absolutely right! We watch the news about H7N9 and follow it's every move but it's some mutation or drifted strain that we have never dreamed of that will probably kill us! There's no way to resist the new stains, we can only prep to hunker down when they arrive! Every virus we " cure" comes back in time to bite us in the backside! It's just human nature to forget the past and let history repeat itself!
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