Swine Flu (H1N1) More Serious Than You Think

Hi, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the swine flu news (mostly over at the Flu Wiki - best source of information), and I’m more than a little disappointed with the media handling of the story. The 24 hour news cycle doesn’t do well with a crisis that is months, not days, in the making. Because I love my Catholic forum friends, I’m posting here some information that I have written for my friends and family.

This is not an ordinary flu like the seasonal flu, although at this point it is being called “mild” by the CDC and the media. There are some things you should know about this flu:
*]What doctors mean by “mild” is that the patient did not require a respirator in order to recover. This is somewhat different from what you or I might mean by “mild”.
*]There are a troubling number of young, healthy people that are being sickened by this flu to the point where they need hospitalization in the US, way more than what you see with seasonal flu. “When we look at the number of cases that have been hospitalized, the median age of those being hospitalized is 19 years,” Jernigan (deputy director of the CDC) said. “Those 19 to 49 are the largest chunk being hospitalized.”(Source)
*]In Mexico, 68% of the deaths were in the 20 to 50yr age range. (Source: pg 3)
*]Currently, it looks like the attack rate for this flu is between 22 to 33% (attack rate meaning the number of people in an exposed population that eventually become sick). Seasonal flu is around 10 percent. (WHO data)
*]Swine flu CFR (case/fatality ratio) is now calculated at around .04 (meaning 4 people out of a thousand sickened die), seasonal flu is .01. Swine flu is four times as deadly…and it kills those in our age range. (Source)
*]Pre-existing health conditions do play a role in hospitalizations and deaths, but according to a California study , 1/3 of those hospitalized had NO pre-existing health condition. This is a pattern that is being repeated everywhere.
**Pre-existing health conditions are:
*]Heart Disease
*]Compromised Immune System
**Pregnancy and this flu: a dangerous mix
Although it there were conflicting reports on the pregnant teacher who died in Texas, her husband has confirmed that the only “underlying health condition” she had was that she was pregnant. Of the 5 pregnant women treated in the California study, one miscarried and one had an emergency c-section; her baby was 5 weeks early. **If you are pregnant and you get the flu, you should start antivirals immediately. **Here are the CDC recommendations.

Given the above facts, I do not think that the CDC or the WHO overreacted when this outbreak was discovered. While there is no point in being overly worried about this flu, you shouldn’t take it lightly either (which is what some in the media are suggesting). Information on the flu and flu preparedness can be found at PandemicFlu.gov and Get Pandemic Ready. Remember, you should have at least two weeks of food/water on hand, including foods that are easy for your kids to prepare if you are too sick to get out of bed.

**“Mild” Now, But What About Later?
This virus might very well change for the worse. There are several hypotheses why this appeared to happen in 1918, the most accepted being that of “passaging”. Here is some on information on “passaging” which is the observation that some pathogens adapt more and more to its host with every “passage” from one host to another. Adaption in flu = virulence. There are quite a few parallels with 1918 and this flu so far. You can read more about that here, starting page 176: The Great Influenza.

This isn’t over yet. We are just now seeing rise on the exponential curve in places like Queens, it is just getting going pretty much everywhere else in the US. You can expect several more waves of this virus over the next year or so, and getting it once does *not *mean you can’t get it again.

I hope you find this information useful. May you be blessed with good health!

Do you have a source for this?

Very good info, btw! Thanks for sharing :slight_smile:

Yes, good point. I’ll put in a link to that info.

Different illnesses afftect people differently. It has been all over the news now that this Swineflu epidemic has been mild compared to what one usually is. I just got over a bladder infection and the stomach flu. After making the comparison I’d rather have the Swineflu instead.

That’s my point. The media has been downplaying it, “it’s like seasonal flu”, but the facts do not support that assessment.

Actually, it’s higher now, there’s 5700 cases and 8 deaths.


Yes, that was just the most convenient link for the CFR information. Deaths in the US are now 10: google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gzz357patY4-QaJFvo9O95zMM_EQD98AMBO80

(CFR data is mostly calculated using Mexico information, at this point.)

Notice that even in the US, the H1N1 is **not **killing babies and the elderly, like seasonal flu.

I have a feeling that this will die off this summer, and then re-emerge next flu season worse than ever :frowning:

Unfortunately, because of the avian component to this virus, it looks like it thrives at 41C, like other bird flus. It very well may *not *die off this summer, but simply circulate in wave after wave. :frowning:

The evolution of the H1N1 is being closely monitored by sequencing labs across the world, and most isolates to date are closely related. However, the presence of avian PB2 raises concerns that the frequency of cases will not decline in the summer in the northern hemisphere, because the avian PB2 is optimal at 41 C, which would lead to efficient transmission in the summer. Moreover, the seasonal flu has the mammalian version of PB2, which has optimal activity at 34 C. However, the swine H1N1 transmitting in the summer hemisphere may acquire E627K, leading to a virus efficiently transmitting in the winter aso.


word yesterday of 1st two cases in our local school system, school ends 6/5, but for now superintendent says they will follow CDC guidelines and not close. neighboring systems have just opened up again after a couple of weeks closure

I find interesting the claim that the virus does not thrive in hot weather, because the past month, since Easter, temp here has been in the 90s and we are one of the most hard hid areas in the country

It looks like obesity the only “condition” that complicated this 21 year old’s death. Video.

SALT LAKE CITY - The mother of the young man who died from the swine flu, which was Utah’s first death from the disease, wants to know why her son was discharged from the hospital on Friday. She said that her son, 21-year-old Marco Sanchez, was a healthy boy and she was unaware of any pre-existing health issues.

This is contrary to what health officials stressed on Wednesday that Sanchez had chronic health problems and that may have played a role in his death. Sanchez’s girlfriend took him to Pioneer Valley Hospital on Friday and he was sent home on Saturday. He was taken back to the hospital after his mother said that Sanchez was coughing up blood. Days later he was airlifted to University Hospital where he died early Wednesday morning. Marco’s mother is wondering why her son was not tested for swine flu on Friday.

I like your qoute mag about the media. you know what im more concerned about though is the youth. I think were going to start seeing even more weird , strange , and diabolical things from this young generation…God willing when I have kids, they will be home schooled.

What I doubt anyone knows is what the number of cases really is. The health folks know how many people die out of however many people they KNOW OF who have contracted the “swine flu”. Necessarily, the known cases are those who seek medical attention and are confirmed as having the disease. How many people seek attention out of the total number who get it cannot possibly be known. That would be true of both this flu and the “ordinary seasonal” flus we see.

I do recall reading that the 1918 or “Spanish” flu actually started out with a vengeance. Possibly it was around as an “ordinary” flu, then turned suddenly deadly when it struck Ft. Riley, Ks. But for certain, it was deadly the instant it hit Ft. Riley which was, I think, the first place in the U.S. where it was recognized as a separate and deadly disease. No one, of course, knows why it seemed at least, to start there. Some soldier returning from the trenches perhaps? I don’t think anyone knows. If I’m wrong about that, I will accept correction.

I also recall reading that the 1918 flu was particularly deadly to young adults. I also remember “old timers” telling about that. My understanding is that it has been more recently opined that was the case because the young adults’ immune systems were more active; causing overreaction, wherefore such victims were actually killed by the overreaction of their own immune systems.

If, indeed, this flu is less deadly to the elderly, one is tempted to suspect its “markers” are already known, at least in part, to the immune systems of those elderly people, due to the fact that older people would have been exposed to many flus during their lifetimes. Among children, however, that would not likely be the case.

As far as the summertime is concerned, I am disinclined to believe this, or any flu, is necessarily a “winter thing”. I recall catching the “Asian flu” in midsummer in 1957, and I was certainly not the only one. It was a tough flu. I do wonder how this one compares with that one. Of course, in 1957 people would have been less inclined to seek medical attention than now, likely because there was nothing you could take for it then anyway. Probably the greatest number of those infected were never included in the statistics.

Thanks for posting this information, Magdalene.

Ridgerunner, the main epidemic broke out after several horses died and their bodies were burned. Some people theorize that the horses had some form of the flu, that the burning wasn’t done at high enough temperatures, and so the virus was carried in the smoke from the fire. Those who inhaled the smoke had the virus transmitted to them, and the epidemic began. It died out in America for a time, but it was raging in Europe, where it came back again with returning soldiers in a more virulent form.

All we can really do is pray that this virus does not begin to spread even faster than it is already spreading and pray that the Lord has mercy on us and ends this virus’s spread.

Whew! Only 35,992 more deaths before I become overly concerned.

“Each flu season is unique, but it is estimated that, on average, approximately 5% to 20% of U.S. residents get the flu, and more than 200,000 persons are hospitalized for flu-related complications each year. About 36,000 Americans die on average per year from the complications of flu.”


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