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"And there shall be pestilences ..."

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January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
January 11, 2018, 06:31:04 am teppezuhodd says: That is the best technology we have now
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-11-new-fda-approved-hepatitis-b-vaccine-found-to-increase-heart-attack-risk-by-700.html
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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« Reply #240 on: February 14, 2017, 05:40:44 pm »

Angola: Deadly Disease Combination Claims Thousands in Angola

RAGING yellow fever and malaria outbreaks claimed more than 15 000 lives in Angola over the past year. Speaking in the capital Luanda, the health minister, Luís Gomes Sambo, disclosed there were with 4,2 million cases of malaria, leading to the death of 15 000 people.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201702100075.html
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« Reply #241 on: March 08, 2017, 07:57:52 pm »

An outbreak in Brazil has U.S. health experts wondering if yellow fever could be the next Zika

Yellow fever has broken out in the jungles outside Brazil’s most densely-populated cities, raising a frightening but still remote possibility: an epidemic that could decimate that country’s population and spread throughout the Americas, including the United States.

In an essay rushed into print by the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, two doctors from the National Institutes of Health warn that cases of yellow fever, which can kill as many as 10% of those infected, have seen an unusual spike in the last few weeks in several rural areas of Brazil.

Those outbreaks have been limited to places where there aren’t enough people or virus-spreading mosquitoes to fuel a rapid run-up in transmission. But they are on the edge of major urban areas where residents are largely unvaccinated, and where both humans and insects are packed densely enough to accelerate the disease’s spread.

It’s a perilous moment, made more so by the fact that, while an effective vaccine against yellow fever has been around since 1937, worldwide stockpiles are all but depleted. In a series of yellow fever outbreaks in Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo two years ago, public health officials ran so short of the vaccine that they resorted to giving each person one-fifth of a dose.

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-yellow-fever-americas-20170308-story.html
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« Reply #242 on: May 29, 2017, 03:37:03 pm »

Advocate calls for chicken irradiation in Canada
http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/advocate-calls-for-chicken-irradiation-in-canada-1.3432769
Published Sunday, May 28, 2017 10:13AM EDT

A consumer advocate is pushing Ottawa to promote the irradiation of chicken to kill illness-causing bugs and to do a better job of getting buyers on board.

Bruce Cran of the Consumers Association of Canada said the federal government has done "an incompetent job" informing Canadians that irradiation is safe and he worries that a lack of action could lead to a deadly outbreak.

"They need to promote an understanding so Canadians can make an informed choice, and they're not doing that for whatever reason," Cran said. "This is not only a safe practice, it's one that many of us would like to be able to use."

Earlier this year, the federal government approved the sale of ground beef treated with radiant energy similar to X-rays to reduce the risk of illnesses caused by E. coli and salmonella. The products must be labelled to include an international symbol on packaging -- usually a green plant inside a circle.

The U.S. has allowed meat to be treated for years, but that country's Food and Drug Administration has noted that consumers' acceptance has been slowed by confusion over how irradiation works and what it does. It notes some people believe it makes food radioactive.

"Our members would absolutely support it," said Robin Horel, president of the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council.

"But we haven't pushed hard because ... the companies that produce chicken and turkey are concerned about what the consumer response would be."

Anna Madison, a spokeswoman for Health Canada, said in an email the federal government would not promote irradiation since it does not engage in promotional activities.

The federal department last examined irradiation for poultry in the early 2000s, but it did not amend regulations to allow it because of concerns from some stakeholders.

Karen Graham, who chaired a panel of Canadian dietitians in the 1980s that considered the issue, said irradiated foods lose vitamin B and fats such as healthy omega-3 are broken down. It can also kill healthy bacteria.

Critics also claim irradiation produces toxins, such as benzene, and changes the taste of meat.

"There aren't consumers with placards saying give us irradiation. This is very much industry driven," Graham said in an interview from Kelowna, B.C.

Rick Holley, professor emeritus of food microbiology and food safety at University of Manitoba, said irradiation is safe and is even more important for chicken than for ground beef. Chicken causes more illness in Canada, he said.

Holley said salmonella is naturally present on a lot of chicken and the gastro-intestinal bacteria campylobactor is present on all of it, regardless of whether a bird is free-range or factory.

"Both of these organisms occasionally kill, but because they make more people ill who recover, then the emphasis is not placed on them to the same extent as E. coli O157 in hamburger," said Holley, who suggested that irradiating chicken could cut food-related illness in Canada by 25 per cent.

"The political will is certainly there, but it will only move forward in this regard when consumers are made aware of the extent of the problem and the fact that irradiation is such a suitable solution."

The Health Canada review noted an unpleasant odour with doses of irradiation higher than the one that was being considered for fresh chicken, but the smell was more likely to be noticed by experienced judges than average consumers. It also said the smell disappeared after a few days or after cooking.

Monique Lacroix, a researcher at the Canadian Irradiation Centre and at INRS-Institute Armand Frappier in Laval, Que., said in an interview last year that irradiation done at the low levels proposed by the meat industry, doesn't increase benzene or free radicals in an amount to be of concern. She noted that barbecuing meat produces billions of free radicals.

Graham, however, said irradiation is one more added process that negatively affects food.

"You still have storage. You still have refrigeration. You still have freezing. You still have all those things which are going to cause some nutrient loss -- and then you're adding irradiation on top of it which also is going to create some losses."
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« Reply #243 on: October 12, 2017, 05:15:27 pm »

http://www.breitbart.com/california/2017/10/08/california-hepatitis-a-outbreak-on-verge-of-statewide-epidemic/
10/8/17
California Hepatitis A Outbreak on Verge of Statewide Epidemic

The California hepatitis A outbreak is on the verge of reaching statewide epidemic status, as cases have spread through homeless tent cities from San Diego north to Sacramento.

California health officials have reported that at least 569 people have been infected with the hepatitis A liver disease and 17 have died since a San Diego County outbreak was first identified in November. Cases have migrated north to homeless populations in Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Sacramento over the last 11 months.

Although local and state authorities have tried to underplay the risks and severity of the outbreak, the most recent annual totals for cases of hepatitis A in the United States was 1,390 in 2015, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). California only reported 179 cases during the same year.

The highly-contagious hepatitis A outbreak may have taken root because of the City of San Diego’s efforts in the run-up to Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game held at Petco Park in July 2016 to push the homeless, and the rampant drug and prostitution trade among them, out of the downtown tourist venues. Those effort included locking public bathrooms and essentially relocating the homeless to the congested tent city encampments that stretch for blocks east of downtown near freeway onramps.

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« Reply #244 on: November 02, 2017, 04:46:29 pm »

Black Death: Warnings of global outbreak as plague continues to spread in Aftica


How the fatal Black Death spread across the world

Some 1,300 cases of the pneumonic plague, which is transmitted by air, have now been confirmed.

An estimated 50 million lives were lost as a result of the Black Death epidemic of the 1300s.

And now the deadly disease has spread into more African countries after taking root in Madagascar.

Countries affected include South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Comoros, the Seychelles, Mauritius and Reunion.



So far, the virus has killed 124 people and infected around 1,300, but scientists say this figure will definitely rise.

The World Health Organisation, which has been working with Madagascar’s Ministry of Health, has warned the risk of the epidemic spreading is “high”.

"Plague, though terrifying, is nothing new in Madagascar, where about 600 cases are reported annually," the organisation said on its website.
Deadliest epidemics in history
 

From Ebola to the Black Death, here are the deadliest epidemics in history

But officials said while "health officials couldn't explain it", the plague is different this time.

A Crisis Emergency Committee has been established in response to the outbreak, which will "coordinate surveillance, contact tracing, case management, isolation and supplies" until it is contained.

Air Seychelles, one of Madagascar's biggest airlines, stopped flying earlier in the month, in an effort to contain the spread and airports are screening passengers to avoid spread of the plague.

Schools and businesses have been closed, and large public gatherings have been cancelled.

rest: https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/656128/Plague-outbreak-global-black-death-Madagascar-Africa-WHO-South-Kenya-Ethiopia-Seychelles
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« Reply #245 on: November 02, 2017, 04:47:19 pm »

Madagascar plague outbreak set to last another SIX MONTHS as health officials warn Black Death pandemic could explode at any time

MADAGASCAR'S deadly Black Death outbreak could last another SIX MONTHS - with officials warning the oncoming rainy season could see the epidemic explode.

At least 128 people have been killed and more than 1,300 infected by the deadly pneumonic strain of the medieval disease.

And while health officials have seen a slight dip in victims, they warned it could explode at any point between now and April.

Tarik Jašarević of the World Health Organisation told The Sun: "We cannot say with certainty that the epidemic has subsided.

"We are about three months into the epidemic season, which goes on until April 2018.

"Even if the recent declining trend is confirmed, we cannot rule out the possibility of further spikes in transmission between now and April 2018.

"The proportion of pneumonic plague – the form which can be transmitted from person to person – is much higher than in the past."
Dr Ibrahima-Soce Fall says World Health Organisation are working to prevent the spread of plague on Madagascar

The Foreign Office recently warned that the deadly outbreak is entering its most dangerous phase.

Its website said that "outbreaks of plague tend to be seasonal and occur mainly during the rainy season."

The African island's wet season officially began today and will last until the end of April.

And because the disease can be spread easily through a cough or sneeze, experts are fearful just one traveller could take the infection with them to Africa's mainland or even nearby Brit honeymoon paradises like Mauritius, the Maldives or the Seychelles.

The Seychelles is currently putting anyone travelling from Madagascar into quarantine on arrival.

rest: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4818057/madagascar-plague-outbreak-pandemic-could-explode/
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« Reply #246 on: November 08, 2017, 07:17:13 pm »

Plague feared to go GLOBAL as death toll rises in 'worst outbreak for 50 YEARS'
PLAGUE is continuing to spread in the “worst outbreak” in 50 years – but scientists fear the worst is yet to come as it could go global.

Cases have increased by 8% in just a week with nearly 2,000 people infected by the deadly airborne strain.

Some 143 people have now been killed by the “medieval disease” in Madagascar.

There are now warnings the plague could stretch across the sea and reach mainland Africa.

Such an outbreak would be catastrophic and there are fears the virus could go global.

Nine countries are now on high alert and have been told to brace for the plague.

rest: https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/world-news/658482/Madagascar-Plague-Black-Death-Outbreak-Toll-Symptoms-Spread-Africa-WHO-Airborne-Pneumonic
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« Reply #247 on: November 09, 2017, 01:38:20 am »

Six dead and 17 sick from major drug-resistant tuberculosis outbreak in Minnesota

A tuberculosis outbreak in Minnesota has infected 17 people and killed six
Fourteen of those who contracted the disease are from the elderly Hmong community, indigenous to Asia
This particular strain is more difficult to fight because it is multi-drug resistant
Minnesota is using $225,000 in emergency funds to limit the spread of the disease.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5062423/Six-dead-Minnesota-tuberculosis-outbreak.html#ixzz4xuySyPjm
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« Reply #248 on: November 19, 2017, 08:13:52 pm »

Black Death patients are ESCAPING hospital and refusing treatment sparking fears it may spread

HOSPITAL patients suffering from the plague are running away from hospitals because they are scared of needles and aren’t used to hospital treatment. Security guards at the Central Anti-Plague Hospital in Ambohimindra, Madagascar, are tasked with keeping patients in as well as making sure those arriving follow safety procedures.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4943288/black-death-patients-are-escaping-hospital-and-refusing-treatment-sparking-fears-it-may-spread/
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« Reply #249 on: January 13, 2018, 08:12:19 pm »

Black Death fears as girl, 9, dies of unknown disease in Africa


Uganda’s Ministry of Health denies outbreak of hemorrhagic fever

The girl dropped dead with the symptoms of an extremely contagious viral disease than can kill up to 40% of all infected.

She had contracted the bizarre new disease with similarities to the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever.

This disease — usually spread by tick bites or contact with infected livestock — can cause muscle pains, headaches, vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding.

OUTBREAK: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever causes diarrhoea, headaches and eye-bleeding

And panic is spreading after the sudden death of a girl in the Nakaseke District of Uganda.

A rapid response health team was rushed from the local hospital with a body bag to collect her and prevent any possible outbreak.

Health teams disinfected the girl's home after her death on Thursday night local time, but didn't give her grieving family any details about when they could have her body back.

DEADLY: The Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever is similar to the Black Death

Speaking to local media, family member Harriet Nalunkuma said: "We are stranded on what to do because the health teams took away the body.

"We are waiting for a communication regarding the burial arrangements."

Local district Health Officer Dr Badru Ssesimba confirmed that blood samples from the girl's body had been handed over to the Uganda Virus Research Institute, but wouldn't give more details.

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/world-news/673849/black-death-outbreak-crimean-congo-hemorrhagic-fever-bubonic-plague-africa-uganda-nakaseke
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« Reply #250 on: January 17, 2018, 06:55:35 pm »

More Than 100 Are Dead As The Worst Flu Epidemic In Years Sweeps Across The United States

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/more-than-100-are-dead-as-the-worst-flu-epidemic-in-years-sweeps-across-the-united-states
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« Reply #251 on: January 26, 2018, 10:56:00 pm »

100 years after 'Spanish flu', new global pandemics feared

Ebola, zika, SARS: a century after the "Spanish flu" killed 50 million people, humanity now risks a new wave of deadly diseases, and in today's globalised world another such pandemic may be unavoidable, experts warned at the Davos summit this week.

"Pandemics are becoming a real threat to humanity," Elhadj As Sy, secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, told AFP at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort.

One Davos discussion titled "Are We Ready For the Next Pandemic?" was joined by experts including Sylvie Briand, a specialist in infectious diseases at the World Health Organisation (WHO).

"We know that it is coming, but we have no way of stopping it," she said.

This year marks the centenary of the worst epidemic in history: the so-called Spanish flu -- an outbreak that experts say was actually imported to Europe by troops from the United States coming to fight in World War One.

Across the world, the disease killed more people in two years than the four years of fighting had.

Richard Hatchett, director of the public-private Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), said India lost five percent of its population in 1918 -- the only time in the country's history that its population declined.

A century on, a new flu virus is the risk that most worries experts.

"The flu is a respiratory virus that is easily transmitted and people can be contagious even before they show symptoms, so it is not easy to control," said Briand.

Its numerous forms are also able to "marry" one another or bond with viruses from birds or pigs in potentially deadly new combinations.

- Still vulnerable -

Despite the development of anti-viral drugs, antibiotics and the first vaccines, two other flu pandemics erupted after the Spanish flu, in 1957 and 1968 -- killing millions.

More recent epidemics have reminded the world that it is still vulnerable to outbreaks.

https://www.afp.com/en/news/717/100-years-after-spanish-flu-new-global-pandemics-feared-doc-xu59e1
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« Reply #252 on: January 28, 2018, 04:37:37 am »

Schools in ELEVEN states have closed this flu season as experts warn more than 50,000 Americans will die

    Schools are closing due to the spread of an aggressive strain of the flu
    The strain, known as H3N2, has killed 37 children so far this season
    The CDC has said the epidemic will most likely worsen in the coming days
    Seven children have died from the flu this week alone

Schools in 11 states have closed due to the spread of influenza this flu season.

The aggressive H3N2 strain of the virus has killed at least 37 children this season and will likely be responsible for the deaths of more, the Wall Street Journal reported.

It killed seven children this week alone, according to authorities. Additionally, hospitalizations have shot up from 36.9 people out of every 100,000 last week to 41.9 per every 100,000 this week.

The CDC has said it will not have an estimation for the number of deaths caused by the flu until next season.

However experts say more than 50,000 Americans will be dead by the end of this flu season, according to Bloomberg.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5320527/Schools-ELEVEN-states-closed-flu-season.html#ixzz55TTmZXlO

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« Reply #253 on: February 04, 2018, 06:34:27 pm »

CDC: US Flu Outbreak Worsens; Hospitalizations Highest in Nearly a Decade


The U.S. flu outbreak worsened over the past week as more people headed to doctors' offices and emergency rooms, with hospitalizations at the highest in nearly 10 years, U.S. health officials said on Friday.

Sixteen children died of the flu in the week ended Jan. 27, bringing total pediatric deaths to 53 for the season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's weekly report.

Out of every 100,000 people in the general population, an estimated 51.4 have been hospitalized for the flu, surpassing the rate in the last severe season of 2014-2015, when 710,000 were hospitalized and 148 children died. Adults aged 65 or older had the most hospitalizations, followed by those aged 50 to 64 and children below 5.

"So far this year the cumulative rate of hospitalization is the highest since we began tracking in this way," Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters on a conference call.

With the previous record now broken, "we fear this year might be even worse than 2014-2015," Schuchat said in a telephone interview.

The United States is now 10 weeks into the current flu season, which is expected to last for at least several more weeks.

The dominant strain during this flu season is an especially nasty type called influenza A (H3N2) that in seasons past was linked with severe disease and death, especially in the elderly and young.

Schuchat was named acting CDC director earlier this week after Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald resigned from the post because of financial conflicts of interest, including purchases of tobacco and healthcare stocks while in office.

Flu is widespread in 48 states, down from 49 last week, with Oregon reporting less flu activity, the CDC said.

"We are not out of the woods yet," Schuchat said, noting that sick people should stay home to avoid transmitting the virus to others, frequently wash hands and cover their mouth while coughing or sneezing.

The CDC official also said it was not too late to get a flu vaccine.

https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/cdc-flu-outbreak-hospitalizations/2018/02/03/id/841262/
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« Reply #254 on: February 04, 2018, 08:25:51 pm »

To Deal With a Flu Onslaught, Emergency Rooms Expand Into Waiting Rooms

Emergency departments across the U.S. have been slammed in recent weeks by an onslaught of flu visits, forcing hospitals to devise new spaces to house patients, to restrict visitors and to postpone elective surgeries.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/to-deal-with-a-flu-onslaught-emergency-rooms-expand-into-waiting-rooms-and-hallways-1517481000
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« Reply #255 on: February 10, 2018, 08:22:18 pm »

Flu Is Causing 1 in 10 American Deaths and Climbing
Along with the pneumonia it spawns, this year’s epidemic may be killing 4,000 people every week.




Along with the pneumonia it spawns, this year’s epidemic may be killing 4,000 people every week.
By

February 9, 2018, 1:54 PM EST Updated on February 9, 2018, 4:53 PM EST

The amount of influenza ravaging the U.S. this year rivals levels normally seen when an altogether new virus emerges, decimating a vulnerable population that hasn’t had a chance to develop any defenses.

It’s an unexpected phenomenon that public health experts are still trying to decode.

The levels of influenza-like illnesses being reported now are as high as the peak of the swine flu epidemic in 2009, and exceed the last severe seasonal flu outbreak in 2003 when a new strain started circulating, said Anne Schuchat, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s acting director. Swine flu, which swept the globe in 2009 and 2010, sickened 60.8 million Americans, hospitalized 274,304 and killed 12,469, according to CDC data. Deaths from the current outbreak will likely far outstrip those of the 2009-2010 season.

“This is a difficult season, and we can’t predict how much longer the severe season will last,” she said. “I wish there was better news, but everything we are looking at is bad news.”
Share of U.S. Deaths From Pneumonia and Influenza

Source: Centers for Disease Control

The primary type of influenza this year hasn’t changed enough from previous seasons to be considered a novel strain, Schuchat said. The agency’s virologists are studying it to determine if there are any other explanations for why it’s been so hard-hitting.

“We have a lot to learn still about influenza,” she said. “It’s a wake-up call about how severe influenza can be, and why we can never let down our guard.”

Deaths from influenza and pneumonia, which are closely tied to  each other in the winter months, were responsible for 1 of every 10 deaths last week, and that’s likely to rise, Schuchat said in a conference call Friday. There were 40,414 deaths in the U.S. during the third week of 2018, the most recent data available, and 4,064 were from pneumonia or influenza, according to the CDC data. The number for that week is expected to rise more reports are sent to the agency.

It gets worse. The death toll in future weeks is expected to grow even higher because flu activity is still rising—and the number of deaths follow the flu activity. Hospitalization rates are already approaching total numbers seen at the end of the flu season, which may not be for months.

“Unfortunately, more deaths are likely to happen,” Schuchat said. “Over the next few weeks, we do expect and it would make sense to see more pneumonia and influenza-related deaths. The people who are likely to die are already in the hospital.”
Percentage of Outpatient Visits for Flu-Like Illnesses

Source: Centers for Disease Control

This year’s flu could be more calamitous than outbreaks going back decades, but there’s no way to know for sure. It’s difficult to compare the severity of influenza across seasons for more than a handful of years because of changes in how the virus is handled in the U.S. The CDC started recommending universal vaccination to stop the spread of the virus in 2010, after previously targeting only those in high-risk groups who were most likely to die from an infection.

The agency reported another 10 deaths among children this season, bringing the total to 63 so far. Half had no other medical conditions that would place them in the high-risk category, and only about 20 percent were vaccinated.

The agency only started counting deaths among children in 2004, after a particularly severe season. That year, the number of doctor’s office visits for the flu peaked at 7.6 percent; last week it was 7.7 percent.


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-09/flu-caused-1-in-10-american-deaths-last-week
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« Reply #256 on: February 10, 2018, 08:23:08 pm »

Flu season still getting worse; now as bad as 2009 swine flu

The flu has further tightened its grip on the U.S. This season is now as bad as the swine flu epidemic nine years ago.

A government report out Friday shows 1 of every 13 visits to the doctor last week was for fever, cough and other symptoms of the flu. That ties the highest level seen in the U.S. during swine flu in 2009.

And it surpasses every winter flu season since 2003, when the government changed the way it measures flu.

“I wish that there were better news this week, but almost everything we’re looking at is bad news,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Flu season usually takes off in late December and peaks around February. This season started early and was widespread in many states by December. Early last month, it hit what seemed like peak levels — but then continued to surge.

The season has been driven by a nasty type of flu that tends to put more people in the hospital and cause more deaths than other more common flu bugs. Still, its long-lasting intensity has surprised experts, who are still sorting out why it’s been so bad. One possibility is that the vaccine is doing an unusually poor job; U.S. data on effectiveness is expected next week.

Some doctors say this is the worst flu season they’ve seen in decades. Some patients are saying that, too.

Veda Albertson, a 70-year-old retiree in Tampa, was sick for three weeks with high fever and fluid in her lungs. She said she hadn’t been this sick from the flu since the 1960s, when she was a young mother who couldn’t get out of bed to go to the crib of her crying baby.

“It was like ‘Wham!’ It was bad. It was awful,” she said of the illness that hit her on Christmas Day.

Heather Jossi, a 40-year-old Denver police officer and avid runner, said her illness last month was the worst flu she’s experienced.

“I don’t remember aches this bad. Not for four days,” said Jossi. “It took me out.”

Albertson said she got a flu shot, Jossi did not.

Last week, 43 states had high patient traffic for the flu, up from 42, the CDC reported. Flu remained widespread in every state except Hawaii and Oregon and hospitalizations continued to climb.

“It’s beginning to feel like a marathon,” said Dr. Anthony Marchetti, emergency department medical director at Upson Regional Medical Center, a 115-bed hospital in rural Georgia. A quarter of the hospital’s emergency department visits are patients with flu, and the hospital has added nursing staff and placed beds in halls to accommodate the increase, he said.

“It just means we have to keep on keeping on. We’re getting used to it,” Marchetti said.

So far, it has not been a remarkably bad year for flu deaths. Flu and flu-related pneumonia deaths have lagged a little behind some recent bad seasons. The CDC counts flu deaths in children and there have been 63 so far. They have gone as high as about 170 in a season. Overall, there are estimated to be as many as 56,000 deaths linked to the flu during a bad year.

But reports of deaths — some in otherwise healthy children and young adults — have caused growing fear and concern, health officials acknowledge.

On Friday, Delisah Revell brought her 10-month-old daughter to the Upson Regional emergency room. “I heard how bad it is and I didn’t want to take any chances,” said Revell, who drove 30 minutes to get to the hospital in Thomaston.

The CDC said the amount of suspected flu cases at doctor’s offices and hospital emergency rooms last week matched that seen in 2009, when a new swine flu pandemic swept the world. Swine flu, also called pandemic H1N1, was a new strain that hadn’t been seen before. It first hit that spring, at the tail end of the winter season, but doctor visits hit their height in late October during a second wave.

This flu season, hospitalization rates have surpassed the nasty season of the winter of 2014-2015, when the vaccine was a poor match to the main bug.

Health officials have said this year’s vaccine targets the flu viruses that are currently making people sick, including the swine flu virus that has become a regular winter threat. However, preliminary studies out of Australia and Canada have found the shot was only 10 to 20 percent effective in those countries against the H3N2 strain that’s causing the most suffering this winter.

Doctors say they’re a bit bewildered as to why this season is so intense.

“It is surprising,” said Dr. James Steinberg, chief medical officer at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta. “It’s not a hugely new strain. So why is it so severe? I don’t think we know.”

https://apnews.com/da19ce2ea2354b5db3cc1cfeb78220fc/Flu-season-still-getting-worse;-now-as-bad-as-2009-swine-flu
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