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

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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

Cold Sores – Herpes Simplex

Mikhail Marianovich Germashev - Snow, (1897).
Oil on canvas, 91 x 127 cm. 
The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.

Mikhail Marianovich Germashev – Snow, (1897).
Oil on canvas, 91 x 127 cm. 
The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.

Cold Sores Cause and Treatment

The herpes virus, an ancient and unwelcome human companion, comes in more than one form. Herpes simplex 1 is almost always the culprit in cold sores or fever blisters that erupt around the mouth; herpes simplex 2 is generally responsible for genital herpes. But, in fact, both forms of the virus can cause eruptions on the genitals and around the mouth.
Herpes outbreaks are usually painful and unsightly, as well as contagious. Anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of us carry herpes simplex 1, probably as a result of childhood infection. Genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. Once you have the virus, you have it. It may lie dormant, but it doesn’t go away. And it can be spread, even if you have no signs of the infection.

Medication options for cold sores:

Fortunately, there are safe and effective drugs for herpes. Commonly used for genital herpes, they can also be used to treat cold sores as well as to suppress future outbreaks. The oral prescription drugs are acyclovir (brand name Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex) and famciclovir (Famvir), all available in generic form. Acyclovir is also available as a cream, as is another prescription drug, penciclovir (Denavir); the creams do not work as well as the oral medications. The cream docosanol (Abreva) is sold over the counter. These do not cure herpes in the sense that antibiotics cure bacterial infections, but do reduce the severity of outbreaks and have few, if any, serious side effects. And long-term daily oral doses can cut down on recurrences.
Final note: To head off cold sores, a sunscreen, applied to the lips daily, can be useful. Sunlight seems to activate herpes simplex 1 in some people

http://www.berkeleywellness.com/supplements/other-supplements/article/lysine-cold-sores

Pink Eye – What to do

Sully, Mike and Boo  Monsters Inc. Boo is my favorite kid!

Sully, Mike and Boo
Monsters Inc.
Boo is my favorite kid!

Practice good hygiene to control the spread of pink eye.

For instance:

Don’t touch your eyes with your hands.

Wash your hands often.

Use only clean towels and washcloths.

Don’t share towels or washcloths.

Change your pillowcases often.

Avoid swimming in a swimming pool.

Throw away your eye cosmetics, such as mascara.

Don’t share eye cosmetics or personal eye care items.

Use any antibiotics for the complete period prescribed.

Pink eye symptoms may resolve in three to seven days.
Children with viral conjunctivitis may be contagious for a week or more.

Children may return to school when the redness and discharge in their eyes subsides.

Preventing the spread of pink eye

Conjunctivitis – a conundrum

Pinkeye and Makeup