Thursday, 6 August 2009

Swine flu just like common flu but so was Spanish Flu

Although this article quoted a figure of 2%, this is not consistent
with official Spanish flu death rates.

In Wales it was only 0.67% average true fatality rate.
In New York it varies from less than 0.1% in summer to 1.4% peak in
Winter but only as Case Fatality Rate(currently dead/currently sick)
which understates the true fatality rate(the number of people catching
the disease vs number of people who subsequently die).

So New York official data is consistent with Wales data. Wales data is
more more because it is based on official records after the disaster,
although many deaths may be wrongly attributed to other diseases,
namely pneumonia.

These historical data is similar to current Swine Flu pandemic which
has fatality rates ranging from 0.1% in summer to more than 1.4% in
winter, but this time we have the cure and more sophisticated ICU
machines and yet it had failed to reduce the fatality rate
significantly, compared to Spanish Flu.

Spanish flu was also like common flu but it spreads rapidly because it
affects younger people equally likely as older people.

H1N1 acting like seasonal flu
Published - Aug 5th, 2009
By Francis Baker

Public health officials are anticipating a busier-than-average flu
season this fall, thanks to H1N1 influenza.
But H1N1 or swine flu as it was called, is not making people sicker
than the varieties of seasonal flu virus that show up each year, says
Dr. Nicole Mercer, medical officer of health for the Wellington-
Dufferin-Guelph area.
"This virus is behaving exactly as we expected," she said – just like
seasonal flu.
What's happening with H1N1, is that more people are coming down with
it – many people don't seem to have developed an immunity to it,
because it's a "new" virus.
"In saying that, if you increase the number of people who get sick,
there's a similar increase in the number of people with complications"
and who develop a serious illness from the flu, Mercer said.
That's why Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is focusing on
preventing people from getting sick – by publicizing methods to help
stop the disease from spreading, and by having an H1N1 vaccine for
those who need it and want it.
Young people seem to be susceptible to this flu, she said, as people
have seen in reports from summer camps where kids have come down with
But there haven't been many people reported as becoming seriously ill,
and that's the pattern Mercer expects in the fall as well.
Most people who come down with H1N1 will get symptoms that are similar
to seasonal flu – chills and cough followed by fever, loss of
appetite, muscle aches and fatigue, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes,
and throat irritation.
People who are most at risk of developing serious illness are those
with underlying medical conditions, pregnant women, and children under
age five, she said.
What's a little surprising about H1N1, though, is that older people
don't seem as susceptible to it as the younger generation.
"We see a lot less disease in people born before 1958," Mercer said.
Of all the cases in Canada, very few have been people over age 50 –
and other countries are getting similar statistics.
That's led medical officials to speculate a similar type of virus went
around in the 1950s or before – people alive then picked up an
immunity to it.
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health advises people with symptoms
of respiratory illness to contact their doctor or Telehealth Ontario
at 1-866-797-0000.
The best ways to protect yourself and your family from H1N1 – and
seasonal viruses too – are to wash your hands regularly, make sure flu
shots are up to date, stay home if you feel unwell, and cover your
mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough, the health unit states.
A new vaccine for H1N1 is going to be available, probably about mid-
November, Mercer said. There are actually two doses to cover the H1N1
flu – the second shot is given about three weeks after the first.
The vaccine will be rolled out to the population in stages, and health
officials have said everyone who needs or wants the shot will be able
to get it. The first people receiving the shots will likely be health
care workers.
And this year, the regular flu shot is going to be available earlier
than usual, around Thanksgiving in October, Mercer said.
The local public health website has detailed information about H1N1,
including information on prevention and how to take care of yourself
at home – go to HYPERLINK, or
call1-800-265-7293 ext. 4752.

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