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metsfan

New strain of Flu causing concern, panic

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By VERENA DOBNIK, Associated Press Writer – 53 mins ago

 

 

 

NEW YORK – Students at a New York City high school could learn as early as Sunday if the flu that sickened them was the same strain of the human swine influenza that has killed people in Mexico.

Preliminary tests of samples taken from sick students' noses and throats confirmed that at least eight had a non-human strain of influenza type A, indicating probable cases of swine flu, city health officials said. The exact subtypes were still unknown, and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was conducting further tests.

So far, there have been at least 11 confirmed cases of swine flu in California, Texas and Kansas. Patients have ranged in age from 9 to over 50. At least two were hospitalized. All recovered or are recovering.

New York health officials said more than 100 students at the St. Francis Preparatory School, in Queens, recently began suffering a fever, sore throat and aches and pains. Some of their relatives also have been ill.

Some St. Francis students had recently traveled to Mexico, The New York Times and New York Post reported Sunday.

Workers were sanitizing the school as a precaution. But a class reunion featuring cocktails, dinner and dancing for hundreds of alumni from as far back as 1939 went on as scheduled Saturday.

Symptoms in the New York cases have been mild, said New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden. But the illnesses have caused concern because of the outbreak in Mexico, where health officials say a strain of swine flu has killed up to 81 people and sickened more than 1,000.

Parent Jackie Casola said Sunday that her son Robert Arifo, a St. Francis sophomore, told her on Thursday that a number of children had been sent home because of illness. On Friday, he said hardly anyone was in school.

Casola said she expected to keep him home from school on Monday, even if it was open. He hasn't shown any symptoms, but some of his friends have, she said, and she has been extra vigilant about his health.

"I must have drove him crazy, I kept taking his temperature in the middle of the night," she said.

The World Health Organization chief said Saturday that the strain has "pandemic potential," and it might be too late to contain a sudden outbreak.

If the CDC confirms that the New York students have swine flu, Frieden said he likely will recommend that the school remain closed Monday "out of an abundance of caution."

State infectious-diseases, epidemiology and disaster preparedness workers have been dispatched to monitor and respond to possible cases of the flu. Gov. David Paterson said 1,500 treatment courses of the antiviral Tamiflu had been sent to New York City.

The city health department has asked doctors to be extra vigilant and test patients who have flu symptoms and have traveled recently to California, Texas or Mexico.

Investigators also were testing children who fell ill at a day care center in the Bronx. Two families in Manhattan also have contacted the city, saying they had recently returned ill from Mexico with flu symptoms, Frieden said.

Frieden said New Yorkers having trouble breathing due to an undiagnosed respiratory illness should seek treatment but shouldn't become overly alarmed. Medical facilities near St. Francis Prep have already been flooded with people overreacting to the outbreak, he said.

Kansas health officials said Saturday that they had confirmed swine flu in a married couple living in the central part of the state after the husband visited Mexico. The couple, who live in Dickinson County, weren't hospitalized, and the state described their illnesses as mild.

"Fortunately, the man and woman understand the gravity of the situation and are very willing to isolate themselves," said Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, the state health officer.

Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A flu viruses, the CDC's Web site says. Human cases are uncommon but can occur in people who are around pigs. It also can be spread from person to person. Symptoms include a high fever, body aches, coughing, sore throat and respiratory congestion.

At least nine swine flu cases have been reported in California and Texas. The most recent California case, the state's seventh, was a 35-year-old woman from Imperial County who got sick in early April. She had no known contact with the others.

Health officials are concerned because people appear to have no immunity to the virus, a combination of bird, swine and human influenzas. The virus also presents itself like other swine flus, but none of the U.S. cases appear to involve direct contact with pigs, Eberhart-Phillips said.

___

Associated Press writers John Hanna in Topeka, Kan., and Deepti Hajela in New York contributed to this report.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------

 

IF YOU ARE FEELING ILL STAY HOME AND CONTACT CITY HEALTH OFFICIALS, SEE IF YOU CAN GET TESTED AT HOME.

 

- (A)

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Hope this situation :odoes not get any worse than the Scarrs (pardon me & correct me for name of previous flu-crisis)crisis from say 5-6 years ago.

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SARS. SARS was limiited in scope & was mainly over-reaction.

 

This is different, this is very serious. If you come into regular contact with young children, elderly people, or people with compromised immune systems, try to limit the time you're near them & warn them of the situation as well.

 

The easiest way to kill a pandemic, is to stop its spread by limiting contact with other people as much as is practical.

 

Perhaps people who have a job involving the above list of people could wear a mask while in their vicinity & wash hands & disinfect everything from door handles to tv remotes.

 

- A

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The bad thing about this influenza is that it could be spread from human to human. If the CDC does not act on an effective intervention, it could be a blow to our economy.

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Chicken Little, the sky is NOT falling.

 

The people who are afflicted the most are the elderly, the very young, and those who are immunocompromised (weakened immune systems, eg. AIDS, Hepatitis, Cancer, TB).

 

Washing your hands is the easiest and most preventable way of not spreading disease. Also, if you're sick, STAY HOME. No need to get anyone else sick.

 

 

My immune system is so strong it's been known to attack squirrels in the backyard, thanks to all the crap I've been exposed to in 13 years on the ambulance.

 

Great advice. It does sound corny from the time your Mother and Kindergarden teachers say it over & over again but it's a must. Wash your hand all the time especially after a meal or using public bathrooms.:(

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Breaking News. The Obama Adminstartion as a 'precaution' has declared

a 'national health emgerency' in reponse to the Tamiflu crisis said the assoicated press Sunday Afternoon. (4/26/09)

the White House also denies and tried to downplay rumors that the President was also infected on a trip to Mexico City a couple of weeks ago.

 

Roughly 12 million doses of the drug Tamiflu are being released from a federal

stockpile so that states can get it if needed as more cases of swine flu emerge in the U.S. Several other countries such as Canada, Great Britian, and others are expected to follow suit.

 

Meanwhile in NYC, at the Queens Catholic School where several students got infected during a Spring Break trip to Mexico, the school is now rumored to be closed for at least one day tommorow(Monday 4/27/09) as a precaution.

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I'm not worried about this. Maybe I should be but I'm not. Of course it's not to be taken lightly but I'm not going to sit here and worry about "what if i get sick?" I'll just do my usual good hygiene routine.

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I got hand washing gel, and i do other stuff, i'm not going to let this scare me away from nyc or any other place.

 

- A

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To the American public:

Just wash your hands, it's not a huge problem on a nationwide scale (like each state having 1000 cases per day). If you feel symptoms, just consult a doctor and stay home.

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As much as i can appreciate central and southern american culture and history, i would not go there for a senior trip. I'd rather go somewhere not associated with food poisoning to be brutally honest. Even parts of asia are on my "not to do list". However i'm a big fan of the tropical islands both in the carib, and in the pacific. :tup:

 

I am actually not so much concerned for myself, but i don't want to be the way this disease gets from NY to this area, so i'm suspending trips to NYC till further notice. My bro is vulnerable to this kinda stuff, so i gotta watch out for him. I can deal with aches pains etc, been there done that, but he would likely die from processing all the crap (junk in the blood) resulting from the infection.

 

- A

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As much as i can appreciate central and southern american culture and history, i would not go there for a senior trip. I'd rather go somewhere not associated with food poisoning to be brutally honest. Even parts of asia are on my "not to do list". However i'm a big fan of the tropical islands both in the carib, and in the pacific. :tup:

 

I am actually not so much concerned for myself, but i don't want to be the way this disease gets from NY to this area, so i'm suspending trips to NYC till further notice. My bro is vulnerable to this kinda stuff, so i gotta watch out for him. I can deal with aches pains etc, been there done that, but he would likely die from processing all the crap (junk in the blood) resulting from the infection.

 

- A

 

Well I'm concerned because I ride 1 or 2 buses with students from this school a day.

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I am actually not so much concerned for myself, but i don't want to be the way this disease gets from NY to this area, so i'm suspending trips to NYC till further notice. My bro is vulnerable to this kinda stuff, so i gotta watch out for him. I can deal with aches pains etc, been there done that, but he would likely die from processing all the crap (junk in the blood) resulting from the infection.

 

- A

 

 

Well let me just say thanks for destroying NYC economy:tup: just joking.;)

 

But seriously don't let this new flu scare you from coming to the city.just do what everyone has been saying this forum wash your hands and if your sick stay home.the media is blowing this way out of proportion.

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Perhaps stay home a few days see if anything develops.

 

This flu will either be horrific & kill thousands (or more) or burn itself out in 2-3 weeks. I don't see much grey area.

 

- A

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Perhaps stay home a few days see if anything develops.

 

This flu will either be horrific & kill thousands (or more) or burn itself out in 2-3 weeks. I don't see much grey area.

 

- A

SARS and the avian flu lasted only months

IMO, this shouldn't be as bad as those epidemics.

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Well let me just say thanks for destroying NYC economy:tup: just joking.;)

 

But seriously don't let this new flu scare you from coming to the city.just do what everyone has been saying this forum wash your hands and if your sick stay home.the media is blowing this way out of proportion.

 

I can't get sick, my home has my brother as mentioned and 4 other people.

 

Mitigation for me equates to suspension of travel to affected areas.

 

If i get sick i could infect a train full of people as well, and so on. This is not business as usual, this is serious and should be treated as something similar to the 1918 pandemic.

 

Don't take this situation lightly, or you could be the one who is that person that is the link between one city & another being infected, possibly leading to a chain reaction that would cripple the country.

 

- A

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The 2nd sign of the apocalypse has come, (1st already came with famine (just look at India, Africa, China, Mexico, and the Olsten twins).........

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Bird flu is not "lasting months". It is a worrisome situation that could explode killing millions. Right now it's not as serious as a immediate threat because person to person transmission isn't steady. If it does become steady, a lot of people will die.

 

This strain is mutating and changing each time a new host is infected. If steps aren't takin now, as i said, it could easily cripple the country in a matter of weeks. Since we have no immunity to it, it could and would likely bounce around till people are isolated enough that it can't spread & dies off.

 

- A

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Bird flu is not "lasting months". It is a worrisome situation that could explode killing millions. Right now it's not as serious as a immediate threat because person to person transmission isn't steady. If it does become steady, a lot of people will die.

 

This strain is mutating and changing each time a new host is infected. If steps aren't takin now, as i said, it could easily cripple the country in a matter of weeks. Since we have no immunity to it, it could and would likely bounce around till people are isolated enough that it can't spread & dies off.

 

- A

The main outbreak of H5N1 in humans took place during 2005. That did last for several months. There are spotty human cases since and before that time. But it was not part of the main outbreak. Health officials from the CDC and the WHO feared that the H5N1 virus could mutate to a form that could be transmitted from humans to humans.

 

As of now, the cases within the city are linked to the St Francis Prep School trip to Mexico. We should take health precautions, I'm sure most of the people here (in this country) have been alerted now.

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