Influenza / Flu: Epidemics & Epidemiology

tuckeg

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jan 14, 2004
Messages
35
Reaction score
1
Points
22
Tuckeg, was this North America or the UK? There seem to have been great regional fluctuations in mortality rates, possibly with a relationship to distances from the sea. [/quote]


Upstate New York, USA. Actually my mother (who was a fan of Fort) and I used to walk by Fort's grave weekly when I was a child and never realized it.

PS. I've tried the quoting procedure you suggested but looks like I erred.
 

OldTimeRadio

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
5,527
Reaction score
182
Points
114
tuckeg said:
PS. I've tried the quoting procedure you suggested but looks like I erred.

Tuckeg, you need the quote brackets on both ends. The first one doesn't have a slash - the easiest way is to use the quote bracket which opens every message and then pick up the close quote bracket which appears at the end, then shorten the entire message until you have just the section you wish to quote.

With the propert codes you can do all sorts of neat stuff, such as bold type, underlining, italics or even add wiseass comments that look like this.
 

QuaziWashboard

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
457
Reaction score
19
Points
34
OldTimeRadio said:
Tuckeg, you need the quote brackets on both ends. The first one doesn't have a slash - the easiest way is to use the quote bracket which opens every message and then pick up the close quote bracket which appears at the end, then shorten the entire message until you have just the section you wish to quote.

Or, you could just click on the quote button in the top right hand corner of the post you wish to quote.
 

IamSundog

Not insane
Joined
Oct 11, 2002
Messages
4,019
Reaction score
1,795
Points
189
Both the media and certain health professionals get whipped up into a frenzy every time there is a new flu epidemic, and they always quote the figures from 1918.

Frankly, it's all getting a bit old.

Back then, the medical services didn't have the resources or the technology to vaccinate lots of people - now they do. Now, people who are deemed to be 'at risk' are routinely vaccinated every year.

I think we need to stop panicking.
You overestimate the ability of health care systems to deliver vaccines to people on an emergency basis. I work for a well-known public health agency, although I am not a health scientist myself, and I sat in meetings 12 years ago about planning for a future flu pandemic, before this became a hot topic in the media. The dangers of a 1918-style pandemic are very real, because (1) influenza strains are constantly mutating; (2) it currently takes months at best to develop, test, and deploy a vaccine for a new strain; (3) the 1918 strain killed healthy young people who are not normally seen as "at risk"; and (4) with modern air travel, a pandemic would spread around the world very rapidly. Unless there are radical improvements in the ability to very rapidly develop effective vaccines and make them available in quantities sufficient to innoculate entire populations, it is very realistic to project horrendous rates of death. This is of course a very expensive proposition, and one without much payoff in any given year, so getting sufficient and ongoing government funding is a challenge. Media-inspired panic is not constructive, of course, but this issue is not without substance.
 

OldTimeRadio

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
5,527
Reaction score
182
Points
114
The death rate from 1918 'flu seems to have dropped drastically inland, away from the sea coasts, although the infection rates remained comparable.

For example, here in Greater Cincinnati, my Dad's extended family (about 200 people) experienced but one death, while my Mom's family (approximately the same size) had zero.

But almost everybody was dead-dog sick.
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,268
Reaction score
30,413
Points
314
Location
Eblana
I think civil service middle management should also be regarded as essential personnel.

Rethinking Who Should Be Considered 'Essential' During A Pandemic Flu Outbreak
05 Oct 2008

Not only are doctors, nurses, and firefighters essential during a severe pandemic influenza outbreak. So, too, are truck drivers, communications personnel, and utility workers. That's the conclusion of a Johns Hopkins University article to be published in the journal of Biosecurity and Bioterrorism. The report, led by Nancy Kass, Sc.D, Deputy Director of Public Health for the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, provides ethical guidance for pandemic planning that ensures a skeletal infrastructure remain intact at all times. Dr. Kass says, "when preparing for a severe pandemic flu it is crucial for leaders to recognize that if the public has limited or no access to food, water, sewage systems, fuel and communications, the secondary consequences may cause greater sickness death and social breakdown than the virus itself."

The authors represent a wide-range of expertise in several areas of pandemic emergency planning both at the state and federal levels. After examining several accepted public health rationing strategies that give priority to all healthcare workers and those most susceptible to illness, the authors propose a new strategy that gives priority to a more diverse group. "Alongside healthcare workers and first responders, priority should be given to the people who provide the public with basic essentials for good health and well-being, ranging from grocery store employees and communications personnel to truck drivers and utility workers," says Dr. Kass.

The report recognizes that given the widespread and sustained nature of a pandemic, federal assistance will be spread thin and local jurisdictions must develop their own preparedness plans to ensure they are capable of sustained self-sufficiency. Encouraging and working with local businesses to develop their own response plans can help reduce the burden on local governments during a pandemic. Similarly, individuals and families who can afford it should do their best to prepare for any disaster. The paper notes, the more initiative the general public exercises in stockpiling several weeks' worth of food, water, paper goods, batteries medicines, and other needed supplies, the less vulnerable they will be to a break in the supply chain. In fact, the report emphasizes, it is important for leaders to communicate to the middle class and the wealthy that it is their responsibility to prepare for self-sufficiency in order to free up scarce supplies and allow first responders to direct their attention towards those too poor or vulnerable to prepare themselves.

The article lays out a set of ethics rules and principles to help guide and frame a pandemic response strategy that is evidence-based, transparent, fair, and recognizes the burdens the public may face. Dr. Kass points out the "consideration of ethics are critical not only in having respectful and inclusive discussion and engaging with the public fairly, but it also improves the likelihood of public health and medical success through increased cooperation and understanding of government plans." Other authors of this paper include: Jean Otto, DrPH, Senior Epidemiologist, Department of Defense, Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System, Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; Daniel O'Brien, JD, Principal Counsel, Office of the Maryland Attorney General, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; and Mathew Minson, MD, Senior Medical Officer for Strategic Initiatives, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

----------------------------
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release.
----------------------------

Full report: http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10 ... .2008.0020

Source: Ralph Loglisci
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
http://www.bioethicsinstitute.org/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/124112.php
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,268
Reaction score
30,413
Points
314
Location
Eblana
El Niño, Global Warming Link Questioned; Possible Link Between 1918 El Niño And Flu Pandemic?
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 173012.htm


ScienceDaily (Sep. 15, 2009) — Research conducted at Texas A&M University casts doubts on the notion that El Niño has been getting stronger because of global warming and raises interesting questions about the relationship between El Niño and a severe flu pandemic 91 years ago. The findings are based on analysis of the 1918 El Niño, which the new research shows to be one of the strongest of the 20th century.

El Niño occurs when unusually warm surface waters form over vast stretches of the eastern Pacific Ocean and can affect weather systems worldwide. Using advanced computer models, Benjamin Giese, a professor of oceanography who specializes in ocean modeling, and his co-authors conducted a simulation of the global oceans for the first half of the 20th century and they find that, in contrast with prior descriptions, the 1918-19 El Niño was one of the strongest of the century.

Giese's work will be published in the current Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, and the research project was funded by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the National Science Foundation.

Giese says there were few measurements of the tropical Pacific Ocean in 1918, the last year of World War I, and the few observations that are available from 1918 are mostly along the coast of South America. "But the model results show that the El Niño of 1918 was stronger in the central Pacific, with a weaker signature near the coast," Giese explains. "Thus the limited measurements likely missed detecting the 1918 El Niño."

Giese adds, "The most commonly used indicator of El Niño is the ocean temperature anomaly in the central Pacific Ocean. By that standard, the 1918-19 El Niño is as strong as the events in 1982-83 and 1997-98, considered to be two of the strongest events on record, causing some researchers to conclude that El Niño has been getting stronger because of global warming. Since the 1918-19 El Niño occurred before significant warming from greenhouse gasses, it makes it difficult to argue that El Niño s have been getting stronger."

The El Niño of 1918 coincided with one of the worst droughts in India, he adds. "It is well known that there is a connection between El Niño and the failure of the Indian monsoon, just as there is a well-established connection between El Niño and Atlantic hurricane intensity," Giese says. In addition to drought in India and Australia, 1918 was also a year in which there were few Atlantic hurricanes.

The research also raises questions about El Niño and mortality from the influenza pandemic of 1918. By mid-1918, a flu outbreak – which we now know was the H1N1 strain that is of great concern today – was sweeping the world, and the resulting fatalities were catastrophic: At least 25 million people died worldwide, with some estimates as high as 100 million deaths. India was particularly hard hit by the influenza.

"We know that there is a connection between El Niño and drought in India," Giese notes.

"It seems probable that mortality from influenza was high in India because of famine associated with drought, so it is likely that El Niño contributed to the high mortality from influenza in India."

The flu epidemic of 1918, commonly called the "Spanish Flu," is believed to be the greatest medical holocaust in history. It lasted from March of 1918 to June of 1920, and about 500 million people worldwide became infected, with the disease killing between 25 million to 100 million, most of them young adults. An estimated 17 million died in India, between 500,000 to 675,000 died in the U.S. and another 400,000 died in Japan.

Could the events of 1918 be a harbinger of what might occur in 2009?

Giese says there are some interesting parallels. The winter and spring in 1918 were unusually cold throughout North America, just at the time influenza started to spread in the central U.S. That was followed by a strengthening El Niño and subsequent drought in India. As the El Niño matured in the fall of 1918, the influenza became a pandemic.

With a moderate to strong El Niño now forming in the Pacific and the H1N1 flu strain apparently making a vigorous comeback, the concerns today are obvious, Giese adds.


Edit to amend title.
 

KarlD

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jun 6, 2009
Messages
307
Reaction score
8
Points
24
I was thinking about this today, the flu which killed more people than the great war immediatly before it.One of my neibours was a old guy who fought in the first world war and went over the top in various battles in france, he died about 15 years ago but he used to tell my mom about stuff he had seen, and he gets back from the war to find people dropping dead drom the flu.

But what I was thinking today is this flu pandemic that everone was scared of 3 months ago has suddenly gone very quiet.
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,268
Reaction score
30,413
Points
314
Location
Eblana
1918 Flu Spread Before Peak
http://the-scientist.com/2011/09/19/191 ... fore-peak/
The 1918 influenza was circulating silently before it began killing millions of people in just a year and a half.
By Tia Ghose | September 19, 2011

The “Spanish” influenza was circulating in the population months before it peaked in the fall of 1918, according to a study published today (September 19) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The earlier cases could help reveal the flu’s geographic origin and how it evolved to be so infectious.

“They’ve done a really outstanding piece of work,” said Robert Webster, a virologist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, who was not involved in the study. “This virus became extremely pathogenic in young men at about the time of the end of World War I,” and in order to do so it had to evolve to be more transmissible. “This paper shows how some of the changes occurred,” he added.

The 1918 influenza, which is thought to have evolved from an avian flu, began infecting young soldiers in September of 1918 and ultimately killed roughly 50 million people worldwide, said Jeffery Taubenberger, a viral pathologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. While some theories suggest the virus spread from water fowl to pigs on farms in the Midwest United States, where it emerged in its more deadly incarnation, no one knows for sure where the virus came from and how it became so virulent.

To find out, Taubenberger and his colleagues analyzed viral RNA from 68 autopsy samples of army recruits who had died in the months before and during the peak of the 1918 epidemic. Four of those samples came from the months of May to August, up to four months before the death toll started exploding. Consistent with later samples, early victims usually died because of pneumonia that took hold after being infected with the flu virus. The later cases didn’t seem to cause more severe disease than earlier ones.

But the researchers also found some key changes between the viruses isolated from earlier flu victims and those who died in the heat of the epidemic. Namely, in earlier cases, the hemagluttinin binding receptor, which helps the virus get a foothold in the body, was slightly more similar to that found in avian flu, while later cases showed a better fit with human hemagluttinin. Though the newer form of the receptor didn’t seem to make the disease replicate anymore quickly, “one possibility is that the form that predominates in the later fall case might have been more transmissible,” Taubenberger said.

The findings also show that the flu was circulating earlier than previously documented. In addition, the study offers a snapshot of how the virus was evolving, and further analyses may reveal what caused it to be so deadly.

Understanding what made this historic scourge so deadly could aid in designing treatments for modern flu, because all the flu pandemics that have occurred since are descendants of the 1918 version, Taubenberger said.

To get a more complete picture, Webster added, “it would be wonderful if they could obtain earlier clinical material for analysis to determine the precursors a little bit more about where these viruses came from.”

Z-M Sheng et al., “Autopsy series of 68 cases dying before and during the 1918 influenza pandemic peak,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doi/10.1073/pnas.1111179108, 2011.
 

Stormkhan

Disturbingly familiar
Joined
May 28, 2003
Messages
4,819
Reaction score
2,304
Points
189
The 'flu hasn't changed - the knowledge and treatment of it has.

It has been argued that the '18 pandemic was only "allowed" to cause so much death because we had a population weakened by physical hardship, mental weakness* and a lack of trained staff, already overstretched thanks to the Great War and it's veteran victims.
Nowadays, its only the media that like to discuss pandemics in the modern world ... even though suffering and disease on a similar scale is current throughout the world and it seems only humanitarian organisations will point out the scale of fatality.

This said, while I prowl various graveyards in a meditative state, I always try to spot the area used for the 'flu pandemic. Like plague pits, they exist and even after so many decades, still make me so sad that after the terrors of a horrific war, these people died in a chilling number.

* It's a common factor of any disease that the mental "strength" of a victim will affect the recovery. By strength, I mean the confidence in treatment, the personal outlook and ... well, the optimism that they will survive!
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,268
Reaction score
30,413
Points
314
Location
Eblana
More info on the Spanish Lady and the involvement of the Brazilian Navy in WW1.

The Brazilian Navy And The Spanish Flu

17 Mar 2012

Few people know about the participation of Brazil in Word War I. Although Brazil remained neutral during most of the conflict, it eventually sent a fleet to support the war effort against the central powers. It was the only Latin-American country to do so. But the Brazilian expedition encountered an unexpected and treacherous enemy in the African coast against which -like all other Armies- it was not prepared for: the Spanish flu.

The Spanish flu swept the globe in 1918-1919 and in a few months made more victims than the total number of battlefield deaths during the war. Estimates range from approximately 20 to 50 million deaths worldwide, making it one of the most devastating public health crises of recent history. Still, only in a few places the pandemic was as deadly as among the Brazilian fleet sent to the coast of Senegal. In Dakar, the cemetery still has the graves of the more than a hundred Brazilian soldiers (over one-tenth of the entire crew) who succumbed to the flu outbreak. The reports of that experience make a grim reading and describe one of the most tragic episodes in the history of the Brazilian armed forces.

Now a group of Brazilian and Australian epidemiologists and naval historians led by Dr. Wladimir J. Alonso, from the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health, has been looking at those reports to find the extraordinary conditions accounting for what was the highest influenza mortality rate on any naval ship reported to date. Interestingly, the research has already revealed that the ones most affected were those who likely had the respiratory system weakened by their working conditions. The highest mortality burden in the fleet laid on stokers and engineer officers, who were constantly exposed to the smoke and coal dust from the boilers in the engine rooms. It is believed that in those troop members pulmonary damage and oxidative stress of the respiratory epithelial cells were among the main factors exacerbating the impact of exposure to the pandemic virus. The authors also point to the fact that crew members most likely had no previous immunity against the virus due to a lack of exposure to the earlier and milder wave of this pandemic in the beginning of 1918, which was largely restricted to the Northern Hemisphere. Also, the short supply of drinkable water may have been an aggravating factor for the high mortality among the Brazilian soldiers anchored in the heat of the Senegalese coast.

Besides its historical value, the research may contribute to a better understanding of the cocktail of factors possibly underlying potentially severe and deadly flu pandemics that have occurred in the past, and which may still threat us in the future.

References:
This work has just been published in the Journal of Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses and will be presented in the XIV International Symposium on Respiratory Viral Infections in Istanbul (Turkey) on 23-26 March 2012.
Publicase Comunicação Científica

Citations:

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

MLA
Publicase Comunicação Científica. "The Brazilian Navy And The Spanish Flu." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 17 Mar. 2012. Web.
18 Mar. 2012. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/242951.php>

APA
Publicase Comunicação Científica. (2012, March 17). "The Brazilian Navy And The Spanish Flu." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/242951.php.
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,268
Reaction score
30,413
Points
314
Location
Eblana
What a splendid idea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUAvTn3uz5w

Scientists recreate extinct Spanish flu virus that killed over 50 million

The extinct influenza virus that caused over 50 million deaths a century ago has been replicated from avian flu present in wild ducks. Scientists are seeking to study how such a virus could lead to a new pandemic.

Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, along with an international team of scientists, created a life-threatening virus that is only three percent different from the 1918 Spanish flu that devastated the globe in possibly the worst pandemic in history.

The team infected laboratory ferrets with a close copy of the 1918 virus to analyze the ease with which it could be transmitted to the best animal model of the human disease.

“The point of the study was to assess the risk of avian viruses currently circulating in nature. We found genes in avian influenza viruses quite closely related to the 1918 virus and, to evaluate the pandemic potential should such a 1918-like virus emerge, identified changes that enabled it to transmit in ferrets,” Kawaoka said, according to The Independent.

The 1918 virus was recreated from eight genes found in avian flu viruses, which are found in populations of wild ducks. Researchers rebuilt the virus with “reverse genetics” so that it was 97 percent identical to the 1918 flu strain, according to the study published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe. ...
http://rt.com/news/165676-spanish-flu-virus-recreate/
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
46,097
Reaction score
40,398
Points
334
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
...and in other news, Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison was kidnapped today by terrorists, who also got away with samples of the deadly flu virus...



See what I mean?
Ramon's right - it's a BAD idea.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
32,951
Reaction score
21,229
Points
334
They're taking this movie of The Stand too far.
 

SHAYBARSABE

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
May 5, 2009
Messages
1,494
Reaction score
55
Points
54
Mythopoeika said:
...and in other news, Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison was kidnapped today by terrorists, who also got away with samples of the deadly flu virus...

That statement was so scarey that I had to check the news. Gah, Mythopoeika!
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
46,097
Reaction score
40,398
Points
334
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
SHAYBARSABE said:
Mythopoeika said:
...and in other news, Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison was kidnapped today by terrorists, who also got away with samples of the deadly flu virus...

That statement was so scarey that I had to check the news. Gah, Mythopoeika!

Heh, got ya goin'. :lol:

I was just trying to illustrate why doing this kind of research and making it public is such a bad idea.
 

RyoHazuki

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Sep 24, 2013
Messages
406
Reaction score
442
Points
69
Spanish Flu

I have tried searching the forum to no avail, apologies if the subject's been covered before. :oops:


I've always been mildly intrigued by the pandemic, for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, the amount of contradictory information on teh interwebz is incredibly frustrating (it was an avian strain; it was a swine strain; it was neither; it was transmitted by chinese emigrants; it occurred spontaneously in 3 locations; fatality was random; fatality depended on humidity; fatality was exacerbated by aspirin overdosing; etc etc etc) - apparently even the total number of fatalities has changed massively over the years, although it seems pretty certain that it killed more people than the actual war did.

If anyone has attempted to research it, and found consistent information which ties up both scientific data and historic accounts, I'd be interested to read it. I think the sheer scale of the pandemic, coupled with the apparent inability to provide a conclusive explanation, renders it fortean?
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,268
Reaction score
30,413
Points
314
Location
Eblana
Threads merged.

Search function doesn't always work too well.

Theres more information here.
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,268
Reaction score
30,413
Points
314
Location
Eblana
Forensic archaeologists on Friday began excavating a highway embankment in eastern Pennsylvania, looking for more bones believed to be from impoverished victims of the worldwide Spanish flu pandemic in 1918.

The state highway department, known as PennDOT, received reports of bones in what appeared to be an impromptu burial site beneath a broad meadow that had once been the site of a poorhouse, said Bob Rescorla, a PennDOT inspector at the site.

“There were rumors it was a mass grave here,” Rescorla said of the burial ground along State Highway 61 in Schuylkill Haven, about 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

Historians say the Spanish flu pandemic touched all parts of the world and claimed tens of millions of lives. The flu could kill quickly, sometimes in less than a day.

In Schuylkill County, the Pottsville Republican-Herald newspaper reported that some 17,000 residents were sickened and several thousand died during the pandemic, leaving as many as 3,000 children orphaned.

Read more at http://newsdaily.com/2015/08/human-...e-from-1918-flu-pandemic/#MJM0320X7xRUutpE.99
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
Joined
May 29, 2009
Messages
5,644
Reaction score
15,410
Points
299
Location
Welwyn Garden City (but oddly, not an actual city)
Something seems very familiar when I re-read these comments from 2007/2008........
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
Joined
May 29, 2009
Messages
5,644
Reaction score
15,410
Points
299
Location
Welwyn Garden City (but oddly, not an actual city)
I do tend to occasionally trawl through some older threads to see if anything 'pops up', and this one did indeed seem interesting.
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
Joined
May 29, 2009
Messages
5,644
Reaction score
15,410
Points
299
Location
Welwyn Garden City (but oddly, not an actual city)
Indeed, we've got enough to be going on with, lol.
It was more a case of 'history repeating itself' really.
Now where's that thread on Sinead O'Connor protesting against the Pope?.....................
 
Top