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Swine Flu National Emergency

  1. Oct 24, 2009 #1

    russ_watters

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    Obama has declared a national emergency due to swine flu: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-10-24-Obama-swine-flu_N.htm

    This allows for suspension of federal rules/guidelines governing the operation of hospitals in order to speed care, segregate patients, etc.

    The move was pre-emptive.

    So my question is: does the evolution of the outbreak so far suggest this is really going to be necessary?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 24, 2009 #2

    Evo

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    No. He just doesn't want to be said to have acted too late, so he'd rather act unnecessarily.
     
  4. Oct 24, 2009 #3

    Astronuc

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    Some data - http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/
    http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1FLU/
     
  5. Oct 24, 2009 #4
    The ability to move emergency medical care off site, is a very good idea.
    Last week here in Michigan, they closed 70 schools state wide because more then 50% of the students, at each of the schools, had the flu. We have several state buildings prepared to handle this over-flow, if needed.
     
  6. Oct 24, 2009 #5

    Pythagorean

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    It got over-hyped right away and people realized it and now there may be a natural reaction to under-hype it. I'm obviously under-hyped by it, since I don't really care about vaccinations or prevention. But I may be wrong to be under-hyped by it, I guess.
     
  7. Oct 24, 2009 #6

    Evo

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    This is more a case of people seeking treatment when in the past they would not have.

    Where they wouldn't have gone in the past, more people going to the doctor due to fear from the media causing more people to worry . This results in the increase in hospitalization, and the testing of every patient causes more cases to be detected.

    I'm not seeing a larger number of sick people at work. Just that one woman, and she didn't even miss work, she just went to the office clinic and got some cough syrup.

    I *DO* want to emphasize that I think that everyone that can, should get the flu vaccine. I'm getting mine next week. Since I started getting the vaccine (they come to our office and give it to us at work), I have not had the flu, and it's wonderful to not get sick, the flu is nothing to take lightly.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2009
  8. Oct 24, 2009 #7

    OmCheeto

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    hmmm.... I thought there might be a bit of exaggeration on your part:

    I guess not.

    We're a bit behind out here:

    They're getting pretty serious at work about it. If you have flu symptoms, you have to go home, and not come back for 7 days, period. Even if your symptoms go away after 3 days, you still have to stay home for the full 7 days.

    Of course, upon hearing this, everyone in my office claimed to have a fever. :grumpy:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  9. Oct 24, 2009 #8
    Here in Ontario in my region I am pretty sure everyone at my prior work had gotten the flu. Many people around my area have the flu and in the next region over where my girlfriend works a large amount of people have gotten the flu and many have died... I personally haven't seen this much since I've been alive so I don't think it flies that 'more people are going to the hospital.' I mean like I myself can see that it is different than other years...
     
  10. Oct 24, 2009 #9

    Evo

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    Do you have a link to the number of confirmed deaths from the flu in Ontario?
     
  11. Oct 24, 2009 #10
    I'll look for the newspaper reports for local results sure. I know in Halton region was one of the worst hit regions in all of Canada.
     
  12. Oct 24, 2009 #11

    Evo

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    Here you go.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5ikJltIHg7P6gufmRm4oFtKGeyTRQ [Broken]

    Most people used to tough it out with over the counter flu medication, and many people get colds and think it's the flu.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  13. Oct 24, 2009 #12
    http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/pubhealth/flu/flu_09/bulletins/flu_bul_01_20091023.pdf [Broken]
    Comparative by a week-to-week basis. As well saying that more people are going to the hospital. I really don't buy it you should get YOUR sources for saying that. I had flu the other week and it lasted for 5 days and I didn't go to the doctor while I had it... and I haven't felt sick like that in a very long time.

    Towards the middle of the pdf file you'll see a graph comparing yearly week to week results. This year had become substantially higher than other years and remains higher....

    (there is one 'botched section') but regardless:

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  14. Oct 24, 2009 #13
    It tells the number of deaths only not the time period.

    Edit: Clicked Submit button bit late, Thanks Sorry! for putting the time scale.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  15. Oct 24, 2009 #14

    Evo

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    They are testing people now to confirm flu, something not normally done in the past. This makes it "appear" that there are more cases, when in reality, they are doing more testing. People need to use common sense, get the vaccine, and realize that a change in testing and reporting makes figures this year not comparable to prior years.

    See my thread here about trying to overcome the idiot internet misinformation warning people not to get flu shots.

    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=340467
     
  16. Oct 24, 2009 #15
    The file i posted doesn't tell you the week-to-week deaths but if you go to the main website you can click on each week and see all the updates including deaths. As well it goes back a couple years
     
  17. Oct 24, 2009 #16
    Evo, I respect you and all but I just have to say it. You are wrong.

    I have already pointed out that in my PERSONAL experience in this area there have even been more illness... a lot of whom I also know didn't even go to the hospital.

    Maybe this is just an isolated pocket where more people are randomly getting sick completely unrelated to the pandemic. The region right nextdoor is getting hit even worse though? I have been there personally as well.... and I have friends from even further out towards hamilton (I live near toronto) and its even worse out there. So this pocket is quite large... a bit larger than to just ignore and brush away as 'more people are getting tested' and I'm certain I didn't forget last years flu season and this year is definitely comparatively worse and I'm not going off test I'm going off objective findings of my own.
     
  18. Oct 24, 2009 #17

    Evo

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    No. They are doing testing now for the flu that has not been done in the past. That's a fact.

    http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/updates/050809.htm
     
  19. Oct 24, 2009 #18
    No I believe you and if you look over the source I posted they even included a segment on the testing they do and how it skewered the results and what they have done to normalize the results.

    Read the rest of my post though. You can't ignore the fact that it's visible all around not just in hospitals...
     
  20. Oct 24, 2009 #19

    Evo

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    It's a shame that the flu vaccine isn't can't be made available sooner. A few years ago, I came down with the flu the day before my scheduled shot in early November. My employer has now moved up the date where we can get it for free at a clinic as soon as the vaccine becomes available in early October, or get it at the office in late October.

    I really encourage everyone to get the vaccine. Even if you don't mind if you get the flu yourself, consider the fact that you might infect someone that might die from it.
     
  21. Oct 24, 2009 #20

    Moonbear

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    My students have been getting the seasonal flu already. I know because they need a doctor's note to have an excused absence from my class, so they all get tested when they get sick. Only one has had swine flu so far. All the rest have been regular flu. So, both versions of flu are already going around campus.

    The downside on swine flu is that they seem to be contagious longer, so even when they feel better, we've been told the students with it can't return to classes until 5 days after their fever is gone. With regular flu, they just have to wait 24 hours.

    We do know of a number of "unreported" cases in the local elementary schools. Students and teachers are already coming down with one of the flus, but not getting tested. Unfortunately, knowing that one type of flu will mean missing less work than the other means people are purposely avoiding testing and just returning after the fever breaks without knowing if they are still contagious. So, pretty much by the time the vaccine shows up in our state, anyone who was going to catch flu will have already had it.

    We did have some free vaccinations available for seasonal flu, but they ran out and haven't been able to restock, so had to cancel most of the clinics planned. Apparently, they're ready to set up clinics within 24-48 hours of receiving the swine flu vaccine, but our state is lowest on the priority list because we have some of the lower incidence...which is stupid. I think they're sending it to the states where it has already run its course rather than to the ones where they could actually still prevent it.

    So far, swine flu seems far milder than the regular seasonal flu. Though, overall, I've had fewer students absent than I usually have by this time of year. I haven't had to give a single make-up exam yet, which is very unusual. Usually, by the mid-October exams, there are enough cases of colds and flus that I need to give at least a few make-up exams.

    Edit: I should point out that the seasonal flu going around is also predominantly of an H1N1 subtype, but is NOT the swine flu variant.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2009
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