Flu Pandemonium

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punchbowl
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Flu Pandemonium

I have been following influenza since the "scare" in 2009 and think it is a source of great concern.  Since there has been a number of recent troubling developments in this area I thought it would be a good idea to start a dedicated thread that may give Turdians an edge in coping and recognizing a serious situation that could arrive with shocking swiftness.

Recent Developments:

Bird flu, or H5N1, is now the main topic of concern in the influenza world.  Currently the CFR (case fatality rate) for H5N1 is 60%, meaning for every 10 people infected historically 6 die.  Now there are a couple strains of H5N1 in circulation and the one in Indonesia is reportedly more dangerous than the one in Vietnam.  Virologists havent been too worried about H5N1 because it has not shown itself to transmit readily between humans.  If there isnt easy transmission between humans then the pandemic scenario with a CFR of 60% is more the stuff of movies and nightmares.  But recently there have been a couple of studies done in ferrets that indicate that a couple MINOR mutations on the viral body could not only increase the capacity for transmissibility but in a sustained and virulent way.  This is very dangerous and to make matters worse the modifications that were made to the virus already exist in circulation today.  These dangerous mutations just have not come together to form a "super-flu" that has all of the characteristics to make serious inroads into the human population, yet.  The chance of this happening are real.  As the virus moves through bird (main host) populations it is constantly mutating and recombining with other H5N1 genetics in order to evolve around host immune defenses, so the chances that these particular parts come together is not remote.

Edited by admin on 11/08/2014 - 06:02
punchbowl
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Serious Death Cluster in Maryland

There has been confirmation that the culprit is influenza.  What type is unknown.  But the facts are revealing human to human transmission and powerful virulence.  These are the sort of ingredients that CAN cause epidemic breakouts.

                                                     

"The victims were all related and lived in the Rousby Hall Road neighborhood in Lusby. Authorities Tuesday said two of the victims died from Influenza A that was made worse through an underlying infection. Authorities have also confirmed that a third victim who was hospitalized has Influenza A.

The first patient, 83-year-old Ruth Blake, became sick on Feb. 23. Three of her children--a son and two daughters all in their 50s--arrived on Feb. 28 to take care of her.

Blake died on March 1. One daughter, 56, and her son, 58, both died on Monday while a third daughter, 51, remains at Wash Hospital Center in critical condition."

cont.

http://www.wjla.com/articles/2012/03/calvert-county-deaths-linked-to-flu-like-symptoms-73419.html

punchbowl
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Coughing Blood

Coughing blood is a bad sign and usually indicates the mutation D225G which was found in Spanish Influenza (H1N1) makeup of 1918.  The D225G mutation attacks the lower respiratory system and is associated with a high fatality rate.  Virologist, Dr. Ninam's recent commentary below. 

Maryland Flu Death Cluster Coughing Blood At Admission
Recombinomics Commentary 01:30
March 7, 2012

Tests confirmed the siblings who died had a type of flu virus known as influenza A, and each also acquired a serious staph infection, Orlowski said. She said it was unlikely the infection was acquired in the hospitals because the siblings arrived coughing blood, adding: “It’s likely they came to the hospital with the infection, which is what caused the cough and fever."

The above comments confirm that the death cluster in Calvert County, Maryland were due to influenza A and the siblings arrived at the hospital coughing blood, as indicated in the earlier anecdotal report, which also claimed that the funeral director was hospitalized.

The initial Clavert County announcement described five cases, including four from one family.  The reasons for the downgrade to four remain unclear.  However, the attack rate for the affected family is 100% and the case fatality rate is at least 75%.

These high rates and the coughing of blood raise concerns that the infection is due to H5N1 or a virulent H3N2v, both of which have D225G (as does H1N1pdm09 in severe and fatal cases), which is associated with lung infections followed by organ failure (which was also described in the anecdotal report)

Detail on the serotype of the cluster followed by sequence data would be useful.

http://www.recombinomics.com/News/03071201/Flu_Calvert_Blood.html

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