2013 Flu season.

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2013 Flu season.

Post by Horatio_Tyllis » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:23 pm

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... worse.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The U.S. has been hit with a particularly aggressive early flu season this year with widespread reports of the illness across the country, hospitalizing 2,257 people and leaving 18 children dead before the end of 2012.
And health officials say the numbers haven't even peaked yet.

Worth taking a look at. This thread is for tracking this year's flu, and seeing if it goes anywhere unusual, it is NOT for a vaccine debate. This year's season has started unusually early, we will see what that means as it progresses.
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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by Das Sheep » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:03 pm

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/disease.htm#deaths" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Flu in America, according to the CDC, kills between 4k-49k people each year and hospitalizes more then 200,000. Globally it kills even more then that. Most people who die from the flu do not die from the actual virus, but rather from complications leading to heart failure or pneumonia. But 18 deaths really is not that many.

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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by TN-Shooter » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:35 pm

I read an article today that was saying H1N1 is making a comeback in China.
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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by Das Sheep » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:41 am

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/loc ... 47762.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

So many people sick in phili that they put up tents to have more space for folks with flu symptoms. And if people are willing to stay in tents at a hospital they must be pretty sick.

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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by Manliest » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:19 pm

I read that article as "a tent", as waiting space for overflow (or possibly isolation) of patients from the normal waiting areas. I dunno if "surge tent" is literally that; a tent for a surge of patients, or if it's a mis-abbreviation of a "mobile surgical tent".

Our ERs aren't any more crowded than usual, but I'm only in on Thursday nights lately.

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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by Deenie7 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:35 pm

Happening in Chicago too: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/loca ... 8002.story" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

7 hospitals at least temporarily went on bypass due to the number of patients coming in with flu-like symptoms. I know that you may feel like you're dying when you have influenza, but that's not a cause to go to the ER unless you have other serious diseases, are a high-risk candidate in general, or are having problems breathing.

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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by Resolute » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:32 am

My unit at the hospital (and most other units as well) are having staffing issues because the staff are getting sick. I've had to call out the past two days because of the flu. I got the flu shot early this year and it's supposedly a good match for what's going around, but this flu is vicious. I've been down and out, where a trip down the stairs and back up makes me cough up a lung.

BTW, CDC maps here - http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/usmap.htm

You can click back and see the progression in all states on a weekly basis.

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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by phil_in_cs » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:14 am

re: the tents and emergency measures... Don't forget that much of that hardware is provided by DHS for really serious emergencies, and the locals will break it out for less serious events in order to get live run tests of the procedures. For example, Harris County (Houston) yesterday ran its emergency operations center for some really heavy rain. While the official reason is to manage the traffic and emergency responders, its obviously a testing run so that when a hurricane hits they will have had some live fire practice.

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-weath ... 176684.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by AZMedic » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:25 am

I got the flu this year. Just the upper respiratory kind with some diahrea not much and a lot of nausea no vommiting. Did I feel like shit....oh hell yeah.

the 20 people in a 2 weeks for flu like symptoms I transport to the hospital maybe 5 of them needed the hospital for the flu....people in the US are more helpless than in other countries.
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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by polliedes » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:58 am

According to our paper we have had 16 deaths locally from flu complications.
This flu has been double-tapping a lot of people.
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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by juiceleague » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:36 pm

Hey Gang,
I definitely have something.
Symptoms are not too severe: coughing, sneezing, chills, muscle weirdness, etc...
I slept for 2 days and tried to go into work today, kind of got the feeling that people were like "why are you here, take your germs home."
So I left.
About 5 people out of my group of 12 are at home, productivity is low as hell.
This is my first winter in CT in like 10 years, and my first time being sick from something other than food poisoning in at least 7 years.
I just thought it was from getting out of hot showers into an ice cold bathroom, then out into 13deg pre-dawn to go to work.
I dunno, I haven't had a beer in 5 days, so I know there must be something wrong.
Just thought I'd share,

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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by NachoGummyBear » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:13 pm

Pretty bad here in TX. A lot of people calling in, I have had plenty of overtime.
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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by Resolute » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:40 pm

I'm finally going back to work tomorrow after about 6 days out of commission. I still feel like I'm only about at 70-80% capacity, and I'm still coughing up junk. I haven't had a fever for a couple days though so I shouldn't be contagious. Today my main problem has been a headache that makes me want to stab out my own eyes and some moderate vertigo. I took a 3 hour nap in the middle of the day after sleeping for 10 hours last night. I can't believe how much I've been sleeping.

My gf, however, is a few days behind my in symptoms but she hasn't had the constant fevers as badly as I have, nor the horrible headaches. Her problem now is massive gut cramps. Like, borderline fetal position gut cramps. This shit is bad news.

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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by NachoGummyBear » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:14 pm

I am not dead sure what I had about a month ago, everything from my upper chest up felt congested and I had a crazy fever that fluctuated from100-103 throughout the day. Took two week to get over it and I STILL cough up crap.
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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by Sins » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:19 pm

I actually caught it two months ago. It was at a time that I couldn't use sick days (at least my boss wouldn't let me) I threw up for 7 days straight, slept 12 hours a day, hacked up lung buggers, and ran high fevers. Finally after a little over a week of feeling like crap I left work early to go to the doctor. I passed out on the doctors cold tile floor. Doctor gave me a ton of meds and slowly I recovered. I NEVER WANT TO GO THROUGH WITH THAT AGAIN. I think I got a taste of what it was like to feel like you're dying. Never ever ever in all my nearly 40 years of living have I felt that awful.

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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by williaty » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:56 am

Is there a ZS compendium of recommendations on which masks both are rated effective against viruses and durable/comfortable/usable for a long (8 hour) period?

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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by rhi » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:10 am

Have any of you guys/gals that got hit with this previously gotten a flu shot? Not criticizing if you didn't, just trying to get a feel for how effective it is. I've read it's 50-60%. That just seemed low to me.
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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by iron_angel » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:29 am

I've been lucky enough to not get sick (*) so far, but there've been a bunch of nasty diseases making the rounds in my area. There seem to be two, the flu and something else that's chiefly GI, so probably norovirus or some related calicivirus.

Preps-wise, I've made sure I have naproxen (Aleve), loperamide (Immodium) and meclizine (non-drowsy Dramamine) in my medicine cabinet and I carry ethanol-based hand sanitizer with me. I figure if I get the sniffles, sneezes or other respiratory issues I can probably hack a trip to the drugstore, but if the issue is high fevers, pain, diarrhea or vomiting I might not be able to usefully drive, hence those three drugs. Meclizine, in my experience, is pretty much the most effective OTC anti-emetic you can get in the USA. In the UK apparently promethazine is available OTC, and that stuff will do a better job than pretty much anything that's not a 5-HT3 or NK1 inhibitor, at the cost of severe drowsiness.


(*) - Well, I did get something that amounted to about three days of achiness, fatigue and malaise, but if that was influenza, it was a mighty weaksauce case.
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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by offcamber » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:42 am

rhi wrote:Have any of you guys/gals that got hit with this previously gotten a flu shot? Not criticizing if you didn't, just trying to get a feel for how effective it is. I've read it's 50-60%. That just seemed low to me.
I used to get them, but haven't had one in a long time.

It takes a while to produce flu vaccines, so researchers make and educated guess before flu season what the most common/serious strain will be and produce those. Since it doesn't cover all flu strains, and the virus tends to morph over the course of the flu season, many people will get the flu even though they have had the shot.

A while back (I forget what year it was) the CDC announced that the flu shots produced for the season were not expected to work very well at all since another strain popped up and turned out to be the common strain for that season vs the ones they prepped for..

At that point I decided that the risks of getting the yearly shot outweighed the benefits, since there was no real guarantee that I wouldn't get the flu anyway.. but that's just my opinion.

**edit for spelling

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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by shrapnel » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:54 am

I just got a flu shot, and am crossing my fingers that my procrastinating ways don't result in me getting sick before it kicks in.
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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by Jed_Eckert » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:08 pm

rhi wrote:Have any of you guys/gals that got hit with this previously gotten a flu shot? Not criticizing if you didn't, just trying to get a feel for how effective it is. I've read it's 50-60%. That just seemed low to me.
My wife and I have both been home with the flu (confirmed by doctor yesterday) since Wednesday. She got the shot, I didn't.


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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by Deenie7 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:34 pm

IIRC, there are 3(?) strains of influenza active currently. If they mis-guessed on what even one strain would be, that drops the effectiveness level significantly right there. I'll take an extra 60% chance over not having that extra protection. The CDC is currently recommending everyone over 6 months of age (who does not have serious contraindications) get the flu vaccine.

I get the influenza vaccine yearly. My side effects have been limited to an achy arm. That is worth a reduced chance of contracting the virus, a reduced chance of passing it on to any high-risk groups, and being able to work with our patients without having to wear a mask during flu season.

My husband contracted it a few years back and was utterly laid out by it. He was not vaccinated; I was. I didn't contract it and was able to take care of him, go to work like normal, and so on.

Edit: CDC data on active strains: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/#51" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

So that's about 20% Influenza B, 80% Influenza A, with half of the latter being H3N2, about 1% the H1N1 strain from 2009, and the rest not subtyped. More edit: But there are different varieties of B and H3N2, to the best of my recollection, so you need to hope for good match there. I'd assume they did match the H1N1 correctly since it appears to be the most recent strain.

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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by DarkandShiny » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:51 pm

After two weeks I'm finally recovered from the flu. I went to the doctor twice (I haven't been in more than 10 years) to see what he could do to ease my suffering. I'm the one the family looks to for health suggestions because I rarely get sick - I haven't missed a days work for my own illness in 14 years (I have called in sick when I needed to take care of a sick child). After this experience I will NEVER miss another flu shot.

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Re: 2013 Flu season.

Post by Miss Nothing » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:50 pm

Everyone here in my area (southern Ontario) got this 3-4 weeks before Xmas. My son was extremely ill with the flu and strep throat, he was extremely ill for the first week and a half, then moderately ill for a week, then started getting better but even now he still has a lot of phlegm and a bit of a cough. I had to take him to the local walk-in clinic 3 times because his fever was so bad at times I was scared as hell. He ended up doing a first round of antibiotics (Amoxicillin), then the 2nd time I took him to the walk-in clinic he got prescribed a stronger round of antibiotics and that seemed to help with the painful side effects of strep throat. Although the big first wave of this flu has somewhat passed here because it started 3-4 weeks before Xmas, there's still quite a few people ill. I'm glad my son is doing better though, it was really hard watching him being so sick because I knew there was nothing I could do to make it stop. He's okay now though, and that's what matters.
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