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Old 09-12-2017, 05:30 PM   #1
kelee877
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Default NHS bracing for the 'worst flu season in history' amid fears of a virulent strain that caused havoc in Australia

Simon Stevens said the virus had already caused huge problems in Australia

The strain of flu which is thought to be heading to Britain's way is the h3n2

There are concerns the vaccine will prove to be ineffective against this strain

Australia has just experienced one of its worst ever flu outbreaks on record


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...#ixzz4sVDAZSYX
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


Of course they neglected to mention any type of mutation
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:00 PM   #2
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Worse than 1918................... I AM NOT KIDDING
Yes it has mutated...........
https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/austra...-virus-mutates
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:05 PM   #3
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Ah hah - thanx Malcolm. I'd been looking but gave up in frustration.
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:57 PM   #4
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Chomping through the article & it's already answered 1 question I had - only 20% of Australians get the flu vax. Now... I wonder if they're talking generally. Have more Aussies got the vax this year knowing it's such a tough one? Argh... it's high prying out data!

The WHO isn't terribly helpful - seems they're more into 'historical' reports than ongoing, timely stuff. The AUS Flu Boffins say flu is 2.5 times normal, highest ever. Biggest toll in 80+ & 5-9 age group. Ah - HERE is sort of what I was looking for:

***•To date, based on antigenic characterisation of circulating influenza viruses, the seasonal influenza vaccines appear to be a moderate to good match for circulating virus strains, depending on the strain. Vaccine effectiveness estimates, which provide an indication of how well the vaccine provides protection against influenza, are only available towards the end of the influenza season...***

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ma...lu-flucurr.htm

Doesn't tell me if it's offering any protection against the H3N2 strain. So I'm left with a couple of important & related questions... how many Aussies DID get the vax this year & is it helpful, specifically, against the H3N2?

I checked the more detailed report, (pdf), in the above linked site & it's clearly hitting the 85+ group the hardest. The 5-9s... they're a secondary peak but it's B strain hitting THEM hardest. H1N1 is hitting the under 5s.


I did access the world flu map at the WHO:

http://www.who.int/influenza/surveil...e_297.jpg?ua=1


It's current as of the start of September. Don't know what it is, but I've got a few tiny half unfurled red flags in my brain. I'll have to think about that - it's like I'm seeing something but not quite SEEING it.

I dunno - frustrating - clearly there has been SOME change in the virus. IF Aussies generally vaccinate at the same rate most years, you'd expect roughly the same amount of flu if the virus hasn't changed much. But boy, some months this year 38,000 cases were reported when normally, 3000-4000 cases would be reported the same period.

Time for me to start paying attention as this heads into the northern hemisphere. Canada starts reporting on this year's flu season this Friday - every 2 weeks until case numbers start rising. As it stands now, we're seeing mainly H3N2 as well & even though it's between seasons, more is being seen than is typical.

A few things to keep in mind - the hardest hit have been the very elderly & they are usually the hardest hit. They may have significant comorbidities, vax doesn't work as well & they're simply more frail. That may sound cold but I'd be really freaking if it were YOUNGER groups being hit disproportionately hard.

H3N2 has been with us for years - we're not immunologically virgins to this one & even with significant shift/drift, most of us have seen some form of this strain.

I'd like to think what's happening Aus has given everybody else plenty of warning & they're gearing up for a busy season. I'm hoping we'll see more specific testing - often they don't go beyond A or B except for very sick people or unusual cases. Public Health folks will definitely ramp up flu season warnings, push flu vax campaigns & I'm already starting to watch for sales on tissues, hand sanitizer, my favorite soaps & the other OTC meds I like to have around in case either of us contract flu. Hasn't happened since I was nailed with pH1N1 back in 2009 & frankly, the recovery was the toughest bit; the flu itself didn't hit me that hard.

One thing to bear in mind - any region that's been hit by Harvey or Irma - people may be especially vulnerable. The turmoil, disruption, stress & other health risks may come into play. Those regions might be hit pretty hard this year.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Worse than 1918................... I AM NOT KIDDING
They have been saying this every year for the past decade. The virulence in the Southern Hemisphere is not a very good predictor of the death toll in the Northern Hemisphere. Nor are alleged "misses" in the vaccine, which seem to happen every year now. I am not saying a bad year won't happen; it inevitably will. It's just that the authorities are terrible at predicting such things.

Quote:
One thing to bear in mind - any region that's been hit by Harvey or Irma - people may be especially vulnerable.
The last three or four years it has started in the SE. So, this is something to closely watch.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:33 AM   #6
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Kaiser rolled out its vaccination campaign in Maryland the first week in September, a month earlier than previous years. And instead of a little discreet sign in the lobby, or even a honkin' big poster, they had a table full of clipboards set up right in front of the door, with a nurse and a privacy booth. And she was greeting everyone who came in with, "Have you had your flu shot this year?" (Yep, I got mine and sent DH over there later to get his.) No more being invisible in a room down the hall that you may or may not remember to visit after your scheduled appointment.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:03 PM   #7
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I would like to add that .......... the main hospital admissions where on Mondays and Tuesdays between 2 and 3 thousand several times.
My guess is that the main spread was over week-ends and the incubation period is between 24 and 48 hours.....could be wrong but thats my guess.
If I am right stay home at "WEEK-ENDS"
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:11 PM   #8
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Yup - incubation period generally ranges from 24-72 hours with 48 seeming to be the average.

I was at the 24 hour drug store at dawn, then our regular drug store later in the morning to pick up SO's regular meds. At both stores, flu shot reminders were prominent & the pharmacist at our regular drug store told me, without me asking, it was vital that we not miss our vax this year - especially SO. She offered to put us on a call list to let us know when the vax comes in; probably early next month. I happily accepted that.

Malcolm, when you mentioned 'worse than 1918' - were you speaking of the rate of those seeking medical attention? Because the death stats don't bear out a year that bad... yet.
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:17 AM   #9
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People in Sydney have the habit of just calling "heart failure" if they dont want things in the news.
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:18 AM   #10
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???
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:27 AM   #11
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Thanks for the timely reminder to get the flu shot. Will get it booked in asap
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
People in Sydney have the habit of just calling "heart failure" if they dont want things in the news.
The "un-nerving" thing about walking around in Sydney is the amount of people wearing .......surgical masks.
Its a fear......................
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:24 PM   #13
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It's come to that? I'm used to seeing folks in Asian countries wearing surgical masks when they have a URI or one is going around - not so much western countries.
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Old 09-15-2017, 09:19 AM   #14
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Perhaps it was because of all that H3N2 dog flu 2015/2016?

https://thisbluemarble.com/showthread.php?t=63164
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