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April 30, 2009 – Comments (7)

I am still following the news.  As an educator I consider schools one of the most dangerous places to work in the event of a serious disease outbreak.  Unlike adults, children engage in behaviour that increases the risk and spread of disease and teachers mark their work so we handle papers that kids sneeze on and have their dirty hands all over. 

My first year in schools I caught 12 colds, after only having about 2 the previous 5 years, so I take the spread of disease or the threat of it seriously.  I have also seen schools have 25-30% of students absent in Vancouver during flu and cold outbreaks in the past 5 years.  Additionally, I have been on medication since February that basically has wiped out my immune system and I am not off the medication until June, so I am following it very closely.

Well, there is a school in Vernon, BC that has closed and will be closed next week because a student returned from Mexico and tested positive.  We also have evidence of it spreading in Canada from those returning from Mexico, "Skowronski said in all but one case those infected had travelled to Mexico or California. In one case, the individual had contact with someone who had travelled to Mexico."

I am also concern about it because of where I am right now.  Apparently during the 1918 out break 6 out 7 people in this community died.  It went from just over 2000 people to about 300.  The mortality rate here was 2-3 times what it was elsewhere and the kids here they seem to get a bug and they do seem to get sick more.

And we already have someone who just returned from Mexico who has been put into quarantine.

 

 

 

 

 

7 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On April 30, 2009 at 9:57 PM, Varchild2008 (85.30) wrote:

Can't believe Schools are closing...  Simpler solution:

1)  ZYCAM!           (Preferrably in disolveable tablets in either fruity flavor).

ZYCAM may not stop a FLU... But it can stop watery eyes, sneezes, coughs, and the usual symptoms shared by the common cold.  So, can't spread Swine Flu if you can't Sneeze right?

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#2) On April 30, 2009 at 10:50 PM, TMFJake (75.41) wrote:

Hang in ther Dwot.  Clearly we're still learning about this virus, but I think we have some reason to be optimistic both in terms of the behavior of the virus (notwithstanding the fact that it is spreading) and in terms of public health response.

Be safe!

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#3) On April 30, 2009 at 10:54 PM, MasterMind1234 (23.91) wrote:

use the stuff SKVI(NASDAQ) is developing!

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#4) On April 30, 2009 at 11:03 PM, BravoBevo (99.97) wrote:

Father God, we ask that you use this flu epidemic to draw each of us closer to you, to know and cherish you more than before this happened.

Give each of us, including Deborah, the comfort that you are sovereign and in control of all things, whether they are the circumstances how a child acquires and spreads the virus, to the daily encounters that we have everyday at work and in school and in our neighborhoods. Help us to comprehend the glory of your handiwork and to take it to heart. Father, I ask that you will teach us how to trust you, while using the resources you've provided to us to diligently work to eradicate this flu strain. Some people trust in vaccines and others trust in their personal living environments, but we will trust in the Lord our God.

We ask that you guide our footsteps and help us to be wise in our dealings with other people, mindful to avoid situations that might put them in danger. Please give our civic and governmental leaders and health care workers wisdom in responding to this H1N1 flu. Help us to love our neighbors with the self-sacrificial love with which you cover us, and help us to remember to have an increased diligence in our contacts and our cleanliness habits. And through all of this we thank you for your patience even at this moment, to woo us back to you.  Help us not to fear the flu that might kill the body, but to have a reverential awe for you who are able to kill the body and the soul.

May you be glorified in all of this, we pray in the strong name of our Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

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#5) On April 30, 2009 at 11:46 PM, camistocks (< 20) wrote:

We don't need god, we need to use common sense!

The most important thing to prevent an infection is to be aware and wash your hands.

Be aware means, look if somebody is coughing a lot and act accordingly (help them or go away).

And wash your hands is one of the best ways to wash away so many bacterias you may catch everyday by for example touching doorknobs (who touched it before?) or snoozed on papers from your pupils! :-)

Hey, back in the 1918 I doubt there was soap and running water, and showers. Or good medicinal care for the sick.

Just my thoughts...

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#6) On April 30, 2009 at 11:59 PM, robpotter (44.98) wrote:

Since the infectious agent is influenza, over time nearly everyone will have some exposure over multiple seasons to the new flu strain (or be vaccinated once available) and thereby develop immunity sufficient to provide community immunity to few that have not. 

Thus, the primary objective of public health for influenza is not to prevent any new infections. Rather it is to minimize the rate of spread so that the critical healthcare services are sufficient to address crisis among the most severe cases.

Let's hope that less than 1% of infections require hospitalization, which is similar to a typical flu strain and outbreak. Most severe cases recover with modern supportive care such as the ICU. In comparison the worst known pandemic flu of years 1918-19 led to temporary emergency hospitals in gymnasiums and shelters without modern treatments and therapies. That flu in young, healthy individual often led to pneumonia caused by common bacteria of nose/throat. However, that era did not have antibiotics nor ventilators.

According to 2006 Critical Care, there are approx. 66,000 adult ICU beds currently providing critical care to 55,000 patients daily across the U.S. Additionally, for remaining hospital beds there is a limited # of mobile equipment including monitors and most importantly ventilators.

As a nation we need to take steps to keep the new flu strain's infection rates low enough that percentage of concurrent severe cases requiring ventilators does not exceed the available beds - approx. 11,000 - at any point. 

Since one contagious person may infect many others in close contact, the best strategy to minimize opportunities for new infections is reducing large gatherings and groups. Furthermore, since flu severity is amerliorated by exposure level, reducing time in confined, congested spaces is beneficial as well.

Of course, the parallel course is working on rapid development and testing of appropriate vaccine using latest technologies and methodologies evolved since the SARS outbreak.

I recall the Fool article this week on potential investment opportunities related to the flu but I'll leave such thoughts for another discussion.


 

 

 

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#7) On May 01, 2009 at 12:04 PM, dwot (69.94) wrote:

Here's a story of someone telling their flu experience.  I guess when it is killing people just being so sick that ""It was everything all at once," Mr. Windsor said yesterday in a telephone interview. "All the washroom stuff kicked in; I'd never experienced anything like that before," is mild....

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