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Author Topic: H1N1 - Swine Flu - Novel Flu - Information  (Read 64591 times)
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« Reply #340 on: October 07, 2009, 06:25:24 AM »


CDC - Guide for Parents

Flyer: Seasonal and Novel H1N1 Flu: A Guide for Parents
Tue, 06 Oct 2009 12:30:00 -0500


Flu information; Protect your child; If your child is sick


http://www.cdc.gov/flu/freeresources/2009-10/pdf/pan_flu_flier.pdf
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« Reply #341 on: October 08, 2009, 07:17:06 AM »

CDC - Pregnancy and the Flu - Important

What Should Pregnant Women Know About 2009 H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu)?
October 6, 2009 6:30 PM ET

On this Page
What if I am pregnant and I get 2009 H1N1?
What can I do to protect myself, my baby and my family?
Is it safe for pregnant women to get a flu shot?
Who else should get a flu shot?
What else can I do?
What are the symptoms of seasonal and 2009 H1N1 flu?
What should I do if I get sick?
How is 2009 H1N1 flu treated?
When should I get emergency medical care?
When should I get emergency medical care?

These questions and answers have been updated to include new information on 2009 H1N1 flu in pregnant women. Both seasonal and 2009 H1N1 flu viruses will circulate during the 2009-2010 flu season. A pregnant woman who thinks she has the flu should call her doctor right away to see if treatment with an antiviral medicine is needed.  The medicine is most helpful if it is started soon after the pregnant woman becomes sick. The latest advice for getting seasonal and 2009 H1N1 vaccines during pregnancy is also included.

What if I am pregnant and I get 2009 H1N1?
Call your doctor right away if you have flu symptoms or if you have close contact with someone who has the flu. Pregnant women who get sick with 2009 H1N1 can have serious health problems. They can get sicker than other people who get 2009 H1N1 flu. Some pregnant women sick with 2009 H1N1 have had early labor and severe pneumonia. Some have died.  If you are pregnant and have symptoms of the flu, take it very seriously. Call your doctor right away for advice.

Please read entire article.....
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance/pregnant.htm
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« Reply #342 on: October 08, 2009, 01:40:58 PM »

Australia - Allergic Reaction to Latex Syringe from China

Article from: The Australian

HEALTH authorities have issued a nationwide safety alert over the syringes handed out under the federal government's swine flu vaccination program, after a health worker who is allergic to latex suffered a severe reaction to the jab.

Western Australia has asked GPs and others offering the vaccine to stop using the Chinese-made syringes, which are distributed by the federal Health Department, and is now trying to fill orders from 200 GPs for 40,000 latex-free versions.

Other states have issued urgent alerts to doctors and nurses, asking them to first quiz patients on whether they are allergic to latex -- and to use a different syringe if they are.

Allergy experts have described the alerts as "incredibly cautious", saying latex sensitivity is less common than it was 15 years ago, and it was very unlikely enough rubber could disperse into the injection solution to cause a problem.

The 26-year-old Perth woman who suffered the anaphylactic reaction has fully recovered since the incident on Monday, and it remains unclear if latex caused her symptoms.
 
But the episode has triggered another flurry of concerns over elements of the roll-out of the swine flu vaccine, which has already been attacked on operational grounds.

Despite warnings being sent to GPs in WA on Tuesday, the first warning appeared on the federal Health Department's website on Wednesday, with alerts going to NSW, Queensland and Victoria the same day.

South Australia alerted its doctors yesterday morning, but the message did not make it through to some GPs.
 
Peter Rischbieth, a GP in Murray Bridge, 80km southeast of Adelaide, knew nothing of the alert when contacted yesterday afternoon, despite having already immunised 14 patients against swine flu that day. His practice has immunised 400 people in the past five days.

"If the media have found out about it before the healthcare providers, that probably means things aren't going as swimmingly as you'd like," Dr Rischbieth said.

North Sydney GP Paul Fitzgerald, already concerned over the added risk posed by the multi-dose vials used to supply the vaccine, said the new requirement to ask patients for possible latex allergy "increases the risk of error".

"It's yet another problem that we have to look out for ... if you try and re-engineer the way a large professional group works, you are going to have errors."

The Chinese syringes that triggered the issue conform to Australian regulatory standards. But because latex is not normally found in Australian syringes, health authorities say many doctors do not ask about latex allergy before vaccinating their patients.

Connie Katelaris, professor of immunology and allergy at the University of Western Sydney, said the latex bungs were coated in silicone, and health officials had been "incredibly cautious" in issuing the alerts.

While latex allergy used to be more common among healthcare workers, who are frequently exposed to latex, allergy rates even in this group were now thought to be only slightly higher than the general population rate of about 1 per cent.

An even smaller number would have symptoms severe enough to cause a problem from a vaccination, she said.
"It's very, very unlikely that any measurable level of latex would be found in any liquid in contact with it," Professor Katelaris said.

A federal Health Department spokeswoman rejected criticisms of the vaccination program, saying the syringes met Australian standards and were registered by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
The reaction "is not related to the vaccine, and is extremely rare", she said

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...-23289,00.html
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« Reply #343 on: October 08, 2009, 01:43:44 PM »

AJC - Georgia - H1N1 Deaths

More details emerge about Georgia deaths from H1N1
By Shelia M. Poole


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

As the state prepares to receive more vaccine against H1N1, the number of deaths  from swine flu in Georgia continues to rise.

So far, 27 people have died from H1N1, which is widespread in Georgia, according to the Georgia Department of Community Health.  DCH Commissioner Rhonda Meadows said two of the deaths have been pregnant women and four have been children. The swine flu is considered widespread in the Georgia.

All of the people who died had underlying conditions with the exception of a seven-year-old girl from Dalton, she said. Candy Chen, a second-grader at City Park Elementary School, died  after a brief hospital stay, according to school and health officials.

Continue article here......

http://www.ajc.com/health/more-details-emerge-about-157783.html
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« Reply #344 on: October 09, 2009, 11:27:14 AM »

Good Morning Friends....I will be out of town for a week or so, but expect to have use of a computer during part of that time.  I will post CDC and WHO bulletins as soon as I can.  Take care...be healthy...wash hands....!  Mere
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« Reply #345 on: October 09, 2009, 08:17:52 PM »

Good Morning Friends....I will be out of town for a week or so, but expect to have use of a computer during part of that time.  I will post CDC and WHO bulletins as soon as I can.  Take care...be healthy...wash hands....!  Mere

Thanks Mere!
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« Reply #346 on: October 12, 2009, 10:02:36 AM »

2009 H1N1 and Seasonal Flu: What You Should Know About Flu Antiviral Drugs
October 8, 2009, 2:00 PM ET

What are antiviral drugs?
Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) that fight against the flu in your body. While CDC recommends flu vaccine as the first and most important step in preventing flu, antiviral drugs are a second line of defense against the flu. Antiviral drugs are not sold over-the-counter and are different from antibiotics. You can only get them if you have a prescription from your doctor or health care provider.

What antiviral drugs are recommended this flu season?
There are two antiviral drugs recommended by CDC this season. The brand names for these are Tamiflu® and Relenza® (The generic names for these drugs are oseltamivir and zanamivir). Tamiflu® is available as a pill or liquid and Relenza® is a powder that is inhaled.

Who should take antiviral drugs?
It’s very important that antiviral drugs be used early to treat flu in people who are very sick (for example people who are in the hospital) and people who are sick with flu and have a greater chance of getting serious flu complications (see box). Other people may also be treated with antiviral drugs by their doctor this season. Most healthy people with flu, however, do not need to be treated with antiviral drugs.

What are the benefits of antiviral drugs?
When used for treatment, these drugs can make you feel better and shorten the time you are sick by 1 or 2 days. They can also prevent serious flu complications.

When should antiviral drugs be taken for treatment?
Studies have shown that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment if they are started within 2 days of getting sick. There may still be benefit in treating people with antiviral drugs even after two days have gone by, especially if the sick person has a greater change of serious flu complications (see box) or if the person has certain symptoms (such as shortness of breath, chest pain/pressure, dizziness, or confusion) or is in the hospital because of the flu.

How long should antiviral drugs be taken?
To treat flu, Tamiflu® and Relenza® are usually taken for 5 days, although people hospitalized with flu may need the medicine for longer than 5 days.

Can children take antiviral drugs?
Yes. Children can take antiviral drugs.

Right now, Tamiflu® can be given to children of all ages, including children younger than one year of age. It can come in liquid for children or in capsules.
Relenza® is approved for use in children 7 years of age and older, but only for people without breathing problems (such as asthma) or heart disease. It is an inhaled powder that comes in a disk inhaler.
Can pregnant women take antiviral drugs?
Yes. At this time, there are no studies suggesting harm to a pregnant woman or her unborn baby if she takes antiviral medicine.  The flu can cause severe illness and even death in pregnant women. Taking antiviral medicine can help prevent these complications. At this time, Tamiflu® is the best medicine to treat pregnant women who have 2009 H1N1 flu.

What are the side effects of antiviral drugs?
Side effects differ for each antiviral drug.

Tamiflu® has been in use since 1999. The most common side effects are nausea or vomiting which usually happen in the first 2 days of treatment. Taking Tamiflu® with food can reduce the chance of getting these side effects.

Relenza® has been in use since 1999. The most common side effects are dizziness, sinusitis, runny or stuffy nose, cough, diarrhea, nausea, or headache. Relenza® may also cause wheezing and trouble breathing in people with lung disease.

Confusion and abnormal behavior leading to injury has been observed rarely in people with the flu, mostly children, who were treated with Tamiflu® or Relenza®.  Flu can also cause these behaviors. But persons taking these drugs should be closely monitored for signs of unusual behavior or problems thinking clearly. This behavior should be immediately reported to a health care provider.

If an antiviral drug has been prescribed for you, ask your doctor to explain how to use the drug and any possible side effects.

People who have a greater chance of serious flu complications can include:

Children younger than 2 years old*
Adults 65 years and older
Pregnant women and women up to 2 weeks from end of pregnancy
People with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, heart failure, chronic lung disease) and people with a weak immune system (such as diabetes, HIV)
People younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy
*It is also important to know that children who are 2 years though 4 years of age also have a higher rate of complications compared to older children, although the risk for these children is lower than the risk for children younger than 2 years.
 
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/antivirals/geninfo.htm
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« Reply #347 on: October 12, 2009, 10:05:42 AM »

Questions & Answers: 2009 H1N1 Nasal Spray Vaccine Thu, 08 Oct 2009 12:40:00 -0500


There are two types of flu vaccine: the flu shot and the nasal spray vaccine. Both types of vaccine are being made against 2009 H1N1.

http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/nasalspray_qa.htm
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« Reply #348 on: October 12, 2009, 10:09:10 AM »

Key Facts About 2009 H1N1 Flu Vaccine
October 7, 2009, 8:00 PM ET

A flu vaccine is the single best way to protect against influenza illness. This season, there is a seasonal flu vaccine to protect against seasonal flu viruses and a 2009 H1N1 vaccine to protect against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus (sometimes called “swine flu”).

This page contains information about the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine.

There are two kinds of 2009 H1N1 vaccines being produced:

A 2009 H1N1 "flu shot" — an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The indications for who can get the 2009 H1N1 flu shot are the same as for seasonal flu shots. The flu shot is approved for use in people 6 months of age and older, including healthy people, people with chronic medical conditions and pregnant women. The same manufacturers who produce seasonal flu shots are producing 2009 H1N1 flu shots for use in the United States this season. The 2009 H1N1 flu shot is being made in the same way that the seasonal flu shot is made.
The 2009 H1N1 nasal spray flu vaccine — a vaccine made with live, weakened viruses that do not cause the flu (sometimes called LAIV for "live attenuated influenza vaccine"). The indications for who can get the 2009 H1N1 nasal spray vaccine are the same as for seasonal nasal spray vaccine. LAIV is approved for use in healthy* people 2 years to 49 years of age who are not pregnant. The nasal spray vaccine for use in the United States is being made by MedImmune, the same company that makes the seasonal nasal spray vaccine called “FluMist®.” The 2009 H1N1 nasal spray vaccine is being made in the same way as the seasonal nasal spray vaccine.
About 2 weeks after vaccination, antibodies that provide protection against 2009 H1N1 influenza virus infection will develop in the body.

The 2009 H1N1 vaccine will not protect against seasonal influenza viruses.

Read entire article:
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/vaccine_keyfacts.htm
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« Reply #349 on: October 12, 2009, 10:12:18 AM »

People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications
October 8, 2009, 12:45 AM ET


Most people who get the flu (either seasonal or 2009 H1N1) will have mild illness, will not need medical care or antiviral drugs, and will recover in less than two weeks.  Some people, however, are more likely to get flu complications that result in being hospitalized and occasionally result in death. Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections are examples of flu-related complications. The flu can also make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may have worsening of this condition that is triggered by the flu.  The list below includes the groups of people more likely to get flu-related complications if they get sick from influenza.

People at High Risk for Flu Complications:
Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
Adults 65 years of age and older
Pregnant women
People who have:
Cancer
Blood disorders (including sickle cell disease)
Chronic lung disease [such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease  (COPD)]
Diabetes
Heart disease
Kidney disorders
Liver disorders
Neurological disorders (such as epilepsy, cerebral palsy, brain or spinal cord injuries,  moderate to profound intellectual disability [mental retardation] or developmental delay)
Neuromuscular disorders (such as muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis)
Weakened immune systems (such as people with HIV or AIDS or who are on medications that weaken the immune system)

 http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/highrisk.htm
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« Reply #350 on: October 13, 2009, 12:01:24 PM »

 Clues found to sickest swine flu cases

article found at flutrackers.com - a recommended site for up-to-date information

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

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33279695...lth-swine_flu/

Clues found to sickest swine flu cases
Report presents worst-case scenario as winter flu season sets in


updated 3:20 p.m. CT, Mon., Oct . 12, 2009
CHICAGO - Rapidly worsening breathing problems in the sickest swine flu patients in Mexico and Canada present a scary worst-case scenario and could foreshadow what U.S. doctors face as winter flu season sets in, new reports suggest.

In the global outbreak's first wave, many critically ill patients in both countries were obese, although their death rates weren't higher than others. Many in both countries also were younger than those typically hard hit by seasonal flu, as has been found in the United States.

Patients studied worsened quickly after being admitted to hospitals. Most survived after intensive, lengthy treatment, although the death rate in Mexican patients studied — 41 percent — was much higher.

The reports were published online Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

They aren't a true snapshot on prevalence. But a JAMA editorial says they provide clues on what hospitals elsewhere may see in coming months.

A report on U.S. cases published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine provided similar guidance. It found that one-quarter of Americans sick enough to be hospitalized with swine flu last spring needed intensive care and 7 percent died.

In the Mexican report on six hospitals between March and June, critical illness developed quickly in 58 of almost 900 patients with confirmed or suspected swine flu patients — a rate of just under 7 percent. But 24 of these sickest patients died within two months, said the study led by Dr. Guillermo Dominguez-Cherit of the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition Salvador Zubiran in Mexico City.

The Canadian study, led by Dr. Anand Kumar of the Health Sciences Center and St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, involved 168 critically ill patients treated at 38 hospitals between April and August. The 90-day death rate was 17 percent.

The JAMA editorial noted that while treatment including antibiotics, antiviral drugs and mechanical breathing machines has advanced since the deadly 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic, many U.S. hospitals may lack adequate staffing levels to provide timely treatment if critical swine flu cases surge.

Deaths that result from inadequate planning "will be especially tragic," the editorial said.
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« Reply #351 on: October 14, 2009, 09:55:43 AM »

Flu Widespread in 37 states; 3.7 Million Vaccine Doses Ordered by the States
Fri, 09 Oct 2009 20:30:00 -0500


Dr. Anne Schuchat, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, today reported that the H1N1 flu is widespread in most states and there has been an increase in outpatient visits, hospitalizations and deaths. All states and Washington, D.C. have now placed orders for the H1N1 vaccine. As of yesterday, 6.8 million doses are available to be ordered and 3.7 million doses had been ordered by states, with requests and disbursement numbers changing by the hour.
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« Reply #352 on: October 14, 2009, 09:57:20 AM »

Flu Widespread in 37 states; 3.7 Million Vaccine Doses Ordered by the States
Fri, 09 Oct 2009 20:30:00 -0500


Dr. Anne Schuchat, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, today reported that the H1N1 flu is widespread in most states and there has been an increase in outpatient visits, hospitalizations and deaths. All states and Washington, D.C. have now placed orders for the H1N1 vaccine. As of yesterday, 6.8 million doses are available to be ordered and 3.7 million doses had been ordered by states, with requests and disbursement numbers changing by the hour.


More......
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/update.htm
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« Reply #353 on: October 19, 2009, 11:23:29 AM »


FDA - Internet Product Warnings

FDA NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release: Oct. 15, 2009

Media Inquiries: Christopher Kelly, 301-796-4676 christopher.kelly@fda.hhs.gov
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

FDA Warns of Unapproved and Illegal H1N1 Drug Products Purchased Over the Internet
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today warned consumers to use extreme care when purchasing any products over the Internet that claim to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure the H1N1 influenza virus. The warning comes after the FDA recently purchased and analyzed several products represented online as Tamiflu (oseltamivir), which may pose risks to patients.

One of the orders, which arrived in an unmarked envelope with a postmark from India, consisted of unlabeled, white tablets taped between two pieces of paper. When analyzed by the FDA, the tablets were found to contain talc and acetaminophen, but none of the active ingredient oseltamivir. The Web site disappeared shortly after the FDA placed the order. At the same time, the FDA also purchased four other products purported to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure the H1N1 influenza virus from other Web sites.

These products contained various levels of oseltamivir but were not approved for use in the United States.  Several of the products purchased did not require a prescription from a health care professional. Additionally, the products did not arrive in a timely enough fashion to treat someone infected with the H1N1 influenza virus, or with an immediate exposure to the virus.

“Products that are offered for sale online with claims to diagnose, prevent, mitigate, treat or cure the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus must be carefully evaluated,” said Commissioner of Food and Drugs Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “Medicines purchased from Web sites operating outside the law put consumers at increased risk due to a higher potential that the products will be counterfeit, impure, contaminated, or have too little or too much of the active ingredient.”

Consumers may not know exactly what they are getting when buying such antiviral products on the Internet from an unfamiliar company. Patients who buy prescription drugs from Web sites operating outside the law are at increased risk of suffering life-threatening adverse events, such as side effects from inappropriately using prescription medications, dangerous drug interactions, contaminated drugs, and impure or unknown ingredients found in unapproved drugs. This may particularly be the case in the event of a public health emergency, such as an influenza outbreak, where approved treatment options would be in high demand and expensive, and where drug shortages could occur.

Drugs that are in high demand are vulnerable to counterfeiting and diversion because buyers may be desperate to stock the product, and criminals capitalize on the situation.

The FDA urges consumers to only purchase FDA-approved products from licensed pharmacies located in the United States. Consumers should contact their health care provider if they have any questions or concerns about medical products or personal protective equipment.

The two antiviral drugs approved by the FDA for treatment and prophylaxis of the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus are Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) and Relenza (zanamivir).

Tamiflu and Relenza, in addition to their approved label, have Emergency Use Authorizations that describe specific authorized uses during this public health emergency.

The FDA actively monitors the Internet, and where appropriate, will purchase and analyze drug products.

Consumers can also visit FDA's Web site for tips about how to protect themselves when buying medicines online.



http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm186861.htm
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« Reply #354 on: October 19, 2009, 11:30:32 AM »

CDC - Information - Inflammatory Arthritis or Rheumatic Disease

2009 H1N1 Flu (referred to as “swine flu” early on) and Seasonal Flu Information for People with Inflammatory Arthritis or Rheumatic Disease
October 15, 2009, 11:00 AM ET

How does arthritis affect how I respond to the flu?
People with certain types of arthritis, called inflammatory or systemic arthritis or autoimmune rheumatic disease, have a higher risk of getting flu-related complications, such as pneumonia. Inflammatory arthritis affects the immune system which controls how well your body fights off infections. Also, many medications given to treat inflammatory arthritis can weaken the immune system. People with weakened immune systems are at high risk for getting more severe illness and complications such as hospitalization with the flu. Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are the most common types of inflammatory arthritis.

People with osteoarthritis, also called degenerative arthritis, are likely not at increased risk of complications from the flu unless they also have other high-risk conditions for flu such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or cancer.
           
If you have one of these types of inflammatory arthritis, you may be at high risk for complications from the flu.  You should discuss your risk for complications from the flu with your healthcare provider.

Types of Inflammatory Arthritis
 
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
Psoriatic arthritis
Anti-phospholipid syndrome
Polymyalgia rheumatica
Systemic sclerosis/scleroderma
Spondyloarthropathies
Sjögren’s syndrome
Polymyositis/dermatomyositis
Vasculitis (e.g giant cell arteritis)
Necrotising arteritis
Sarcoidosis
Polyarteritis nodosa
 



If you are taking one or more of these medications for your arthritis, you may be at high risk for getting the flu or complications from the flu.  Note: This list applies to medications that are ingested or injected and does NOT include medications that are applied to the skin such as creams and ointments.  Your healthcare provider can clarify if the medications that you take weaken the immune system.

Arthritis medications that weaken the immune system
 
Steroids (corticosteroids) taken by mouth or intravenously, not applied to the skin or injected into a joint.
prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone, Prednicin-M, Sterapred)
prednisolone (Prelone)
methlyprednisone (Medrol)
hydrocortisone (Cortef, Hydrocortone)
dexamethasone (Decadron, Hexadrol))
cortisone acetate (Cortone)
betamethasone (Celestone)
DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs)
methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall)
azathioprine (Imuran, Azasan)
hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)
leflunomide (Arava)
sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)
minocycline (Minocin, Dynacin)
cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral, Gengraf)
mycophenolate mofetil (Cellcept)
gold (Auranofin, Ridaura, Myochrysine)
chlorambucil (Leukeran)
cyclcophosphamide (Cytoxan)
Biological response modifiers (biologics)
etanercept (Enbrel)
infliximab (Remicade)
adalimumab (Humira)
anakinra (Kineret)
abatacept (Orencia)
rituximab (Rituxan)
tacrolimus (Prograf, FK-506, fujimycin)
 



What are the symptoms of the flu?
The symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, including 2009 H1N1, and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

How can I avoid getting and the flu or giving the flu to others?
The flu is spread from person-to-person by coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something – such as a surface or object – with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose. You can take simple actions to protect yourself and others from getting the flu:

Get a seasonal flu shot now and the 2009 H1N1 flu shot when it becomes available.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
If you are sick with flu-like illness, seek medical care early. Your health care provider can determine if you need to be treated with antiviral medication.
Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick. CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
Is there a vaccine against the 2009 H1N1 flu virus and who is it available for?
Yes. A vaccine for the 2009 H1N1 flu has been developed and will be available beginning mid-October 2009. People with inflammatory arthritis within any of the following prioritized groups are recommended to receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine when it first becomes available:

Pregnant women
People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
Persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old
Persons between the ages of 25 and 64 years old who are at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems (including with inflammatory arthritis)
Persons age 65 or older (including those with inflammatory arthritis) are not included in these prioritized groups because current studies indicate that the risk for 2009 H1N1 flu infection among persons age 65 or older is less than the risk for younger age groups.  We do not expect that there will be a shortage of 2009 H1N1 vaccine, but availability and demand can be unpredictable. Once the demand for vaccine among the younger groups has been met, however, people age 65 or older with inflammatory arthritis should receive the 2009 H1N1 flu shot.

Do I need to get a flu shot?
Yes, CDC recommends certain persons with weakened immune systems, which includes people with inflammatory arthritis, get flu shots.
People with inflammatory arthritis should get—

A seasonal flu shot every year. These are available beginning in September. 
The new 2009 H1N1 flu shot when available (see question above). These will begin to be available in mid-October 2009.
People living with inflammatory arthritis should get the "flu shot"— an inactivated vaccine (containing fragments of killed influenza virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use in people inflammatory arthritis.

The other type of flu vaccine — nasal-spray flu vaccine (sometimes called LAIV for “live attenuated influenza vaccine)—is not currently approved for use in people with inflammatory arthritis. This vaccine is made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu). LAIV (FluMist®) is approved for use in healthy people 2-49 years of age.

What should I do when I am sick?
If you develop flu-like symptoms contact your healthcare provider.
Avoid contact with others. You should stay home and avoid travel, including not going to work or school, until at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or necessities. Your fever should be gone without using fever-reducing medications.
If you leave the house to seek medical care, wear a facemask, if available and tolerable, and cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
Do not stop taking any medicine you take for your arthritis unless told to do so by your physician.
Seek medical attention early if you develop symptoms of the flu. Treatment is available for persons with severe disease and those at high risk for complications. Persons with inflammatory arthritis are considered high risk for complications from the flu; therefore, your health care provider may choose to prescribe antiviral medications for you if you get the flu.
If you are exposed to someone who has flu, consult your health care provider.  They may prescribe medication to help prevent you from getting the flu or watch you closely to see if you develop flu symptoms.
For more information:
H1N1 Flu: General information
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/general_info.htm

Arthritis Foundation Flu: What People with Arthritis Should Know*
http://www.arthritis.org/the-flu.php

H1N1 Advisory for People with Lupus*
http://www.lupus.org/webmodules/webarticlesnet/templates/new_empty.aspx?articleid=2681&zoneid=99

Lupus and Influenza Vaccines*
http://www.lupus.org/webmodules/webarticlesnet/templates/new_learnliving.aspx?articleid=2688&zoneid=527

* Links to non-Federal organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. Links do not constitute an endorsement of any organization by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. The CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at this link.


http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/arthritis.htm
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« Reply #355 on: October 19, 2009, 11:34:59 AM »

CDC - Q&A - Vaccine

Questions & Answers

2009 H1N1 Influenza Vaccine
October 16, 2009, 10:45 AM ET


2009 H1N1 Recommendations
Who will be recommended to receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine?

CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that certain groups of the population receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine when it first becomes available. These target groups include pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age, healthcare and emergency medical services personnel, persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old, and people ages of 25 through 64 years of age who are at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.

We do not expect that there will be a shortage of 2009 H1N1 vaccine, but availability and demand can be unpredictable. There is some possibility that initially the vaccine will be available in limited quantities. In this setting, the committee recommended that the following groups receive the vaccine before others: pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age, health care and emergency medical services personnel with direct patient contact, children 6 months through 4 years of age, and children 5 through 18 years of age who have chronic medical conditions.

The committee recognized the need to assess supply and demand issues at the local level. The committee further recommended that once the demand for vaccine for these target groups has been met at the local level, programs and providers should begin vaccinating everyone from ages 25 through 64 years. Current studies indicate the risk for infection among persons age 65 or older is less than the risk for younger age groups. Therefore, as vaccine supply and demand for vaccine among younger age groups is being met, programs and providers should offer vaccination to people over the age of 65.

Will two doses of vaccine be required?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of one dose of 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine for persons 10 years of age and older. This is slightly different from CDC’s recommendations for seasonal influenza vaccination which states that children younger than 9 who are being vaccinated against influenza for the first time need to receive two doses. Infants younger than 6 months of age are too young to get the 2009 H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines.

What will be the recommended interval between the first and second dose for children 9 years of age and under?
CDC recommends that the two doses of 2009 H1N1 vaccine be separated by 4 weeks. However, if the second dose is separated from the first dose by at least 21 days, the second dose can be considered valid.

Do those that have been previously vaccinated against the 1976 swine influenza need to get vaccinated against the 2009 H1N1 influenza?
The 1976 swine flu virus and the 2009 H1N1 virus are different enough that its unlikely a person vaccinated in 1976 will have full protection from the 2009 H1N1. People vaccinated in 1976 should still be given the 2009 H1N1 vaccine.

Supply and Distribution
How is vaccine shipped to project areas?
CDC’s contractor for centralized distribution ships vaccine to hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, health departments, and other providers of vaccines that have been designated as vaccine-receiving sites by the Project Area (the project areas include all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 8 US Territories and freely associated states, and 3 large metropolitan health departments).

What kind of providers can be designated as vaccine recipients?
Providers that have the capability to receive, store and administer vaccine, including but not limited to provider offices, occupational health clinics, hospitals, local health departments, community vaccinators and pharmacies.

How many sites can a jurisdiction designate to receive vaccine?
There is a maximum of 150,000 sites to which vaccine can be shipped via centralized distribution. Project areas have received information about their allocation of sites.

 How do project areas know how much vaccine is available for them to order?
CDC sends project areas a weekly 2009 H1N1 allocation report each morning as it does for seasonal influenza vaccine. The report indicates how much of each formulation of 2009 H1N1 vaccine is available for them to order.

What should project areas expect with respect to frequency of vaccine shipments?
Vaccine will be shipped as it becomes available, taking into account state allocations and orders. The process is modeled after that utilized by immunization programs to order seasonal influenza vaccine off the federal contract.. Details about CDC's ordering/allocation process for seasonal influenza are described in the all-grantee message sent to immunization program grantees on 8/11/2009 (Grantee message for allocation).

What is the minimum dose order for shipments of 2009 H1N1 vaccine?
For each vaccine formulation (identified by its National Drug Code) the minimum dose order is 100 doses and all orders must be placed in increments of 100 doses. Each ancillary supply kit contains supplies to support 100 doses of vaccine, with different kits available for prefilled syringe products and for multi-dose vial products.

When and how much of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine will be available?
Both the flu shot (in the arm) and nasal spray form of 2009 H1N1 vaccines have now been produced and licensed by the Food and Drug Administration. The federal government has purchased a total of 250 million doses of 2009 H1N1 vaccine. 2009 H1N1 vaccine was available starting early October and approximately 29 million doses of licensed vaccine may be available by the end of October. Vaccine availability, however, depends on many factors so these numbers will be frequently updated. The first doses of live attenuated 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine were administered on October 5, 2009. Administration of the 2009 H1N1 flu shot will begin the week of October 12.

Will there be enough 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine for everyone who wants it?
It is expected that there will be enough 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine for anyone who chooses to get vaccinated. The US federal government has procured 250 million doses of 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine. This quantity of vaccine accounts for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical trial data showing that children 6 months to 9 years of age will need two doses and persons 10 and older will need one dose. Limited amounts of 2009 H1N1 vaccine became available in early October, and more will continue to become available over the upcoming weeks.

Where will the vaccine be available?
Every state is developing a vaccine delivery plan. Vaccine will be available in a combination of settings such as vaccination clinics organized by local health departments, healthcare provider offices, schools, and other private settings, such as pharmacies and workplaces. For more information, see State/Jurisdiction Contact Information for Health Care Providers Interested in Providing H1N1 Vaccine.

Seasonal and H1N1 Vaccine
Will the seasonal flu vaccine also protect against the 2009 H1N1 flu?
The seasonal flu vaccine is not expected to protect against the 2009 H1N1 flu.

Will this vaccine be made differently than the seasonal influenza vaccine?

No. This vaccine will be made using the same processes and facilities that are used to make the currently licensed seasonal influenza vaccines.

Can the seasonal vaccine and the 2009 H1N1 vaccine be given at the same time?

Inactivated 2009 H1N1 vaccine can be administered at the same visit as any other vaccine, including pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. Live 2009 H1N1 vaccine can be administered at the same visit as any other live or inactivated vaccine EXCEPT seasonal live attenuated influenza vaccine.

Prior Illness
Should I get vaccinated against 2009 H1N1 if I have had flu-like illness since the Spring of 2009?
The symptoms of influenza (flu-like illnesses) are similar to those caused by many other viruses. Even when influenza viruses are causing large numbers of people to get sick, other viruses are also causing illnesses. Specific testing, called “RT-PCR test,” is needed in order to tell if an illness is caused by a specific influenza strain or by some other virus. This test is different from rapid flu tests that doctors can do in their offices. Since most people with flu-like illnesses will not be tested with RT-PCR this season, the majority will not know whether they have been infected with 2009 H1N1 flu or a different virus.

Therefore, if you were ill but do not know if you had 2009 H1N1 infection, you should get vaccinated, if your doctor recommends it. So, most people recommended for 2009 H1N1 vaccination should be vaccinated with the 2009 H1N1 vaccine regardless of whether they had a flu-like illness earlier in the year. If you have had 2009 H1N1 flu, as confirmed by an RT-PCR test, you should have some immunity against 2009 H1N1 flu and can choose not to get the 2009 H1N1 vaccine. However, vaccination of a person with some existing immunity to the 2009 H1N1 virus will not be harmful. For more information on flu tests, see Influenza Diagnostic Testing During the 2009-2010 Flu Season.

Any immunity from 2009 H1N1 influenza infection or vaccination will not provide protection against seasonal influenza. All people who want protection from seasonal flu should still get their seasonal influenza vaccine.

Prevention
Are there other ways to prevent the spread of illness?
Take everyday actions to stay healthy.

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.*
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures. These measures will continue to be important after a 2009 H1N1 vaccine is available because they can prevent the spread of other viruses that cause respiratory infections.

What about the use of antivirals to treat 2009 H1N1 infection?
CDC has issued interim guidance for the use of antiviral drugs for this season. CDC also has published Questions & Answers related to the use of antiviral drugs for this season.

Are natural remedies (also referred to as “complementary” or “alternative” medicine) recommended to prevent the 2009 H1N1 flu virus?
The first and most important step to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated. Vaccination stimulates an immune response using a killed or weakened virus that uses the body’s own defense mechanisms to prevent infection. CDC's current recommendations to protect against 2009 H1N1 virus do not include natural remedies as a sole prevention method. If you want to use a natural remedy to reduce symptoms, CDC recommends that you talk to your healthcare provider about options.

Alternative medicine should not be used as a replacement for proven conventional care, or to postpone seeing a doctor about a medical problem. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides information at http://health.nih.gov/topic/AlternativeMedicine on specific alternative options, including scientific information, potential side effects, and cautions for each.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns consumers to be cautious about products that claim to prevent, treat, or cure 2009 H1N1 influenza, specifically products like pills, air filtration devices, and cleaning agents can kill or eliminate the virus.

Canadian Study Reponse
I heard that getting a seasonal flu vaccine increases a person’s chances of getting the 2009 H1N1 flu virus. Is this true?
CDC has reviewed data from studies done in the United States, and these studies along with a published study from Australia found that receipt of seasonal influenza vaccine neither increased nor decreased the risk of getting 2009 H1N1 influenza. In contrast, a small published study from Mexico found that seasonal vaccine provided some protection against 2009 H1N1. There has been recent media coverage about research conducted in Canada that suggests getting a season flu vaccination increases a person’s chances for becoming infected with the 2009 H1N1 flu virus. No other country has reported that seasonal vaccine has any positive or negative effect on the risk of getting 2009 H1N1 influenza. CDC is continuing to review the data as it becomes available.

Should I still get a seasonal flu vaccination?
All influenza viruses may cause serious illness and vaccination is the first and most important step in protecting against flu. CDC recommends seasonal flu vaccination for anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting seasonal flu.

What groups are recommended for seasonal flu vaccine?
Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at high risk of having serious seasonal flu-related complications or people who live with or care for those at high risk for serious seasonal flu-related complications, including:

Children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday
Pregnant women
People 50 years of age and older
People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
Health care workers
Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)


http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/public/vaccination_qa_pub.htm
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« Reply #356 on: October 19, 2009, 04:00:46 PM »

Flutrackers Forum - Thread on H1N1 in Minnesota Pigs

USA: USDA confirms H1N1 in Pigs in Minnesota

Read here....

http://www.flutrackers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=128698
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« Reply #357 on: October 19, 2009, 04:11:58 PM »

H1N1 - California and Nevada Nurses Protest on 10/30/09

Hattip to Chuck who started this thread today at Flutrackers.com

Major Nurses Strike and Picket Looms October 30 As RNs to Protest Hospital Gaps in Swine Flu Safety
16,000 RNs at 39 Facilities in California and Nevada
 

As many as 16,000 registered nurses from three large Catholic hospital chains in California and Nevada will join a one-day strike and picket October 30, as RNs step up the protest over poor readiness by many hospitals to confront the H1N1 swine flu pandemic, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC) announced today.

The strike will affect hospitals across California from San Bernardino and Long Beach in the south to Eureka and Redding in the north, and include major facilities in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Bakersfield, Stockton, and the Central Coast. Additionally, nurses will picket major facilities in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada.

Protecting nurses, patients and families in the center of the pandemic storm
Central to the nurses' walkout is ongoing concern over the failure of the hospital chains to assure adequate safety precautions for patients, their families, nurses, and other healthcare employees in the wake of the escalating H1N1 “swine flu” pandemic. 

In particular, the RNs say, many hospitals continue to do a poor job at isolating patients with H1N1 symptoms and other steps to limit contagion, or provide sufficient fit-tested N95 respirators and other protective gear for healthcare workers and patients.

Updated Centers for Disease Control recommendations released last week re-affirmed guidelines for isolation and safety equipment, and urged hospitals to avoid policies that encourage employees to work when sick, another problem in many hospitals.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said last week that it plans to issue a compliance directive to ensure uniform procedures "to identify and minimize or eliminate high to very high risk occupational exposures" to H1N1.

CNA/NNOC wants hospitals to formally adopt all CDC and Cal-OSHA guidelines to make them enforceable by CNA/NNOC contract provisions assuring the highest safety measures are met, are uniform, and consistently applied throughout the systems.

For months, RNs have repeatedly voiced alarm at inadequate H1N1 hospital safeguards. In August, CNA/NNOC released the findings of a survey of 190 U.S. hospitals where RNs cited widespread problems with poor segregation of patients, lack of sufficient N95 masks, numerous hospitals where nurses have been infected, inadequate training for hospital staff, and punitive sick leave policies.

But substantial problems remain. In California alone, more than 3,000 people have been hospitalized, and over 200 have died, including an RN infected on the job at one of the hospitals where RNs will strike.

“Our hospital isn’t being proactive in preparing for the expected onslaught of H1N1 infected patients,” said Kathy Dennis, RN at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento.  “We can’t get enough N95 masks, patients are not being properly isolated, and RNs are not being kept informed of the latest guidelines.  Last time I worked, it took me more than four hours to get masks when we ran out.  We must put the proper precautions in place now before flu seasons peaks or we will all be in serious trouble.”

"When nurses are exposed to tuberculosis, the hospital notifies us. When nurses are exposed to head lice the hospital notifies us. Why then are we not told when we are exposed to H1N1? All staff have the right to know if they have been exposed in order to keep our patients from further unnecessary exposure," said Carol Koelle, RN at St. Bernardine Medical Center in San Bernardino.

Adherence to safe staffing ratios
Complicating swine flu preparedness, RNs say many hospitals fall far short in assuring proper RN staffing as required under a California law requiring minimum, safe RN-to-patient staffing ratios. CNA/NNOC proposes RN monitors to assure compliance with the law in all hospital units.

“Our hospitals are not adhering to the safe staffing ratios law,” said Allen Fitzpatrick, RN who works at St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco. “Nurses are being harassed by supervisors to accept unsafe assignments and not to take any breaks. Bedside nurses are busy enough trying to provide care to our patients. We need someone to stand up for safe RN-to-patient staffing.”

“We have a comprehensive staffing  proposal on the table because no matter how much care a patient requires our hospital won’t add nurses and has eliminated our aides, “ said Susan Johnson, an Obstetrics RNs at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka. “We work 12-hour shifts, often without a break, and are assigned to work outside our area of expertise. We have proposed a break relief nurse on every unit and a safe ‘floating’ policy, all essential patient care protections that already exists in most hospitals throughout the state.”

RNs also want to stop the practice of some of the hospitals that mandate RNs to "float" – work in clinical areas outside their expertise, training, and orientation – which puts patients at risk. Additionally, the RNs are insisting that hospitals withdraw efforts to reduce healthcare benefits by shifting more costs to nurses and reducing coverage options.  In several areas, hospitals are also demanding a wage freeze.

"As nurses, we see the consequences when employers reduce coverage, it's disgraceful to see our hospitals taking the same step," said Debra Amour RN at Seton Medical Center in Daly City. "Such demands, would also sharply undermine the ability of the hospitals to keep nurses at the bedside and recruit new RNs."
 
RNs will be participating in the strike or picketing at the following facilities:

Catholic Healthcare West

California
Arroyo Grande Community Hospital
Bakersfield Memorial Hospital
Bruceville Terrace - Sacramento 
California Hospital Medical Center - Los Angeles
Community Hospital of San Bernardino
Dominican Hospital - Santa Cruz
French Hospital Medical Center - San Luis Obispo
Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center
Marian Medical Center - Santa Maria
Mercy General Hospital - Sacramento
Mercy Hospital - Bakersfield
Mercy Hospital of Folsom
Mercy Medical Center - Merced
Mercy Medical Center Redding
Mercy Medical Center - Mt. Shasta
Mercy San Juan Medical Center - Carmichael
Mercy Southwest Hospital - Bakersfield
Methodist Hospital - Sacramento
Sacramento Foundation Clinics 
Saint Francis Memorial Hospital - San Francisco
St. Bernardine Medical Center - San Bernardino
St. Joseph's Behavioral Health Center - Stockton
St. Joseph’s Medical Center - Stockton
St. Mary Medical Center - Long Beach
St. Mary's Medical Center - San Francisco
Sequoia Hospital - Redwood City
Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital - Grass Valley
Woodland Healthcare

Nevada
Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center - Reno 
St. Rose Dominican Hospital, Rose de Lima - Henderson 
St. Rose Dominican Hospital, Siena - Henderson 
St. Rose Dominican Hospital, San Martin - Las Vegas 

Daughters of Charity Health System
O'Connor Hospital - San Jose
Saint Louise Regional Hospital - Gilroy
Seton Medical Center - Daly City
St. Vincent Medical Center - Los Angeles

St. Joseph Health System
Petaluma Valley Hospital 
St. Joseph Hospital - Eureka
St. Mary Medical Center - Apple Valley

 
AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS

Proud member of the AFL-CIO
National Nurses Organizing Committee
United American Nurses
Massachusetts Nurses Association
Caregiver and Healthcare Employees Union
California Nurses Foundation

Follow CNA/NNOC @ these social networks:

 Facebook |  Twitter |  YouTube | Flickr


http://www.calnurses.org/media-center/press-releases/2009/october/major-nurses-strike-and-picket-looms-october-30-as-rns-to-protest-hospital-gaps-in-swine-flu-safety.html
 
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« Reply #358 on: October 19, 2009, 04:26:40 PM »

Web sites peddle bogus 'swine flu' treatments
Heard of a miracle treatment for the new H1N1 “swine flu” virus?

Chances are, it’s not legitimate.
 
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission are cracking down on online Web sites that claim to sell supplements, medications or antivirals that boost the immune system and mitigate the symptoms of the influenza virus.
 
And the federal agencies are telling consumers be very cautious when purchasing products over the Internet.
 
The warning, issued late last week, comes after the FDA purchased and analyzed several on-line products that purported to be the antiviral medication Tamiflu. The drug, which lessens the duration and severity of the flu virus by blocking it from spreading in the body, is available only by prescription.
 
FDA investigators found that the online medication they ordered, however, contained tablets consisting of talc and acetaminophen, a mild pain killer.
 
The tablets, which arrived in an unmarked envelope from India, contained none of the active ingredients in true Tamiflu. The Web site has since been taken down.
 
“Medicines purchased from Web sites operating outside the law put consumers at increased risk, due to a higher potential that the products will be counterfeit, impure, contaminated or have too little or too much of the active ingredient,”  said Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of Food and Drugs, in a release.
 
The H1N1 flu virus has hospitalized 439 Arizonans, and been linked to 39 deaths since emerging in April.
 
Vaccines have been slowly arriving in the state, but are not available in enough numbers to start giving the general public flu shots. Antivirals such as Tamiflu were in short supply in some areas of the country earlier this month, forcing the federal government to release tens of thousands of doses of the medication from the strategic national stockpile.
 
FDA officials said they found the illegal items via regular Internet searches over the past six months. In total, the federal government has identified hundreds of alleged “swine flu” fighting products that have dubious benefits, officials said.
 
They include everything from vitamin supplements, face masks and shampoos to air filters, teas and hand sanitizers.
 
The FDA has created an online database of the companies that have received warning letters. Consumers can access it at www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/h1n1flu/#All
--Ginger Rough

Monday, October 19, 2009 at 10:10 AM
http://www.azcentral.com/members/Blog/LiveWire/65410
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« Reply #359 on: October 20, 2009, 09:33:52 PM »


What You Should Know and Do this Flu Season If You Are 65 Years and Older:
October 9, 2009 3:30 PM ET

 
Actions To Take This Flu Season

1. Get Your Seasonal Flu Shot
The best way to prevent seasonal flu is by getting a seasonal flu vaccination each year. As always, CDC recommends that people 65 and older get their regular, or “seasonal,” flu vaccine as soon as it is available. This year is no exception as seasonal flu viruses are expected to circulate along with 2009 H1N1 viruses this flu season. When the 2009 H1N1 vaccine becomes available for people 65 years and older, you should get that vaccine also.

2. Take Everyday Preventive Actions including covering coughs, washing hands often and avoiding people who are sick.

3. Seek medical advice quickly if you develop flu symptoms to see whether you might need medical evaluation or possibly treatment with antiviral medications. People 65 and older are prioritized to get antiviral drugs if they become sick with the flu according to CDC’s guidance. Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, including 2009 H1N1, and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

People 65 Years and Older and Seasonal Flu
It has been recognized for many years that older people are at greater risk of serious complications from the flu compared with young, healthy adults. It’s estimated that 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and more than 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations in the United States each year occur in people 65 years and older. This is because human immune defenses become weaker with age. So influenza can be a very serious disease for people 65 and older.

People 65 Years and Older and 2009 H1N1 Flu
The new 2009 H1N1 virus does not seem to be affecting people 65 years and older in the same way that seasonal flu usually does. Most people who have gotten sick from this new virus have been younger. In fact, people 65 and older are the group that is least likely to get infected with this new virus. There have been relatively few infections and even fewer cases of serious illness and death with this new virus in people older than 65. Laboratory tests on blood samples indicate that older people likely have some pre-existing immunity to the 2009 H1N1 flu virus. But while people 65 and older are the least likely to be infected with 2009 H1N1 flu, those that do become infected are at greater risk of having serious complications from their illness.

Flu Vaccination
Seasonal Flu Vaccine

People 65 and older are recommended to get seasonal flu vaccine this year, as always.

2009 H1N1 Flu Vaccine

People 65 and older are not in a target group recommended to get the earliest doses of 2009 H1N1 vaccine. This is because people age 65 and older are least likely to get sick with the 2009 H1N1 virus. Because there will be limited amounts of vaccine available at first, the first doses are recommended for those who are most likely to get infected.

The U.S. government has purchased 250 million doses of 2009 H1N1 vaccine, so anyone who wants to get the vaccine will have the opportunity to do so. While people 65 and older are not included in the groups recommended to get the earliest doses of vaccine, they can get the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine as soon as the high risk and younger groups have had the opportunity to be vaccinated.

People Age 65 Years and Older and Antiviral Drugs
Influenza antiviral drugs are prescription drugs (pills, liquid, or inhaled powder) that decrease the ability of flu viruses to reproduce. While getting a flu vaccine each year is the first and most important step in protecting against flu, antiviral drugs are a second line of defense in the treatment of flu.

It’s very important that antiviral drugs be used early to treat flu illness in people 65 and older who are very sick (for example people who are in the hospital) and people who are sick with flu and who also have a greater chance of getting serious flu complications (see http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/highrisk.htm).

Although they are the least likely group to be infected with 2009 H1N1 flu, people age 65 and older are at higher risk for influenza related complications.  Therefore, they are prioritized for antiviral treatment if they get sick with either seasonal or 2009 H1N1 flu this season. 




http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/65andolder.htm
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