Influenza

Surgical masks provide a measure of protection against a killer flu for American baseball players in 1918. That year—the final year of World War I—the Spanish flu took 50 million lives worldwide, at least three times as many as during the war.


What is already known about this topic?

CDC collects, compiles, and analyzes data on influenza activity year-round in the United States. The influenza season generally begins in the fall and continues through the winter and spring months; however, the timing and severity of circulating influenza viruses can vary by geographic location and season.

What is added by this report?

During October 2–December 17, 2016, influenza activity remained low in October but has been slowly increasing since November in the United States. Influenza A (H3N2) viruses were the most frequently identified viruses. Almost all viruses characterized thus far this season have been similar to the components of the 2016–17 Northern Hemisphere trivalent and quadrivalent influenza vaccine formulations. All influenza viruses tested to date have been sensitive to the antiviral drugs oseltamivir, zanamivir, and peramivir.

Update: Influenza Activity — United States, October 2–December 17, 2016

Polio New York – 1916

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New York City Polio Epidemic

Health officials announced a polio epidemic centered in Brooklyn, New York. As was typical with polio outbreaks, infections surfaced in the summer months.

More than 2000 people would die in New York City alone. Across the United States in 1916, polio took the lives of about 6,000 people, leaving thousands more paralyzed.

Summer epidemics would come to be common in this era and would lead to widespread closures of pools, amusements parks, and other places where children gathered.

Colds-Flu-Strep-RSV

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We are seeing colds and Strep. Parents always ask how can they tell a minor cold from something more serious. You can not easily tell the difference. One child may have a minor cold and a sibling may have a more serious strep infection. Even a viral illness such as RSV and influenza can be life threatening. How to treat the cold symptoms are a common concern with most parents. Review my post on how to treat fever and Cold medications. Keep in mind that most uncomplicated colds will resolve within 10-14 days without any treatment.

Diphenhydramine – Benadryl dose

Usually as we approach Thanksgiving we start to see RSV infections. Around the Christmas holidays is when we usually start to see Influenza. There may be different strains of flu each year. Some years we will see both Influenza A and B. In 2009 we had quite a large outbreak of H1N1. The 2010 and 2011 were unusual in that they were mild and occurred later than usual. However 2012, 2013 , 2014 were very busy flu seasons. This year is just starting to peak and we are seeing both Flu A and Flu B

With most respiratory illness the most vulnerable are the very young and the elderly. Take precautions. Wash hands. Do not share drinks. Avoid crowded places. Do not take small children to gyms. Do not visit if you have cough or cold symptoms, even if you are “on antibiotics”. Be considerate of others.

Summer Colds

Measles – Gone Viral

Emil Nolde (German/Danish, 1867-1956)

Emil Nolde (German/Danish, 1867-1956)


MAPPING MEASLES

MEASLES is the greatest vaccine-preventable killer of children in the world today. Nine out of ten people who are not immunised will contract the virus if they share the same living space with an infected person. In 1980 the disease was responsible for 2.6m deaths globally. By 2013, when 84% of children aged 12 months or less received a dose of the vaccine, the death toll had fallen to 145,700.

Reason versus Right! – No More Personal Exemption!

imageWhat  about a school’s legal responsibility to its students?

Dorit Reiss, professor at Hastings School of Law, has written extensively about the potential legal ramification of not vaccinating a child and giving parents of an infected child the right to sue. But Reiss believes a court might have trouble finding a school negligent for allowing unvaccinated children to attend, absent an outbreak. However, she clarified, during a health threat, such as the current measles one, schools do have the authority to bar unvaccinated students. And they could, she said, potentially be held legally accountable, by a parent or a teacher, for not protecting their community.

How Schools Are Dealing With Anti-Vaccine Parents