September 9, 2009

“It will be assumed they have swine flu."

The UW health service stops testing students for swine flu after 100% of the students tested for swine flu symptoms tested positive.

Wash your hands, everybody. Sneeze and cough into your sleeve. Don't touch doorknobs. And stay home and protect us all if you get flu symptoms — a fever of more than 100 degrees along with either a sore throat or a cough.


chuck b. said...

Yes, if you have fluids dripping out of orifices, that's not cool!

miller said...

Both my kids away at college came down with the flu this week. I suspect it's "swine flu" for both of them.

At least they're spared the droning of a presidential speech telling them to do well in school.

WV: exonch, a guy who used to be the top dog.

David said...

From the article:

Influenza is is an easily identifiable illness, according to Van Orman, who added the onset is sudden and drastic.

“It really is like being hit by a truck,” Van Orman said. “You go from feeling well to being quite sick in a couple hours.”

Seems pretty clear that this flu is hitting hard at many colleges. It will also hit businesses, govt. etc when it gets a bit more prevalent, and when the weather pushes us indoors more.

The early take was that this could be a "killer" flu, in some senses like 1919. Are we now confident that this is not the case?

The sickest I have ever been was asiatic flu in the early 1970's. I did not believe you could feel that terrible and not die. I hope this flu is not that bad.

AJ Lynch said...

Is this what they call the scientific method? Not very confidence inspiring is it?

Pogo said...

My son had it already, in Milwaukee, before school started.

I pray there are no bad outcomes.

kathleen said...

by the time the really swell vaccine comes along, everyone will have gotten it

Jeremy said...

A pal of mine is the new director of student housing at a small SoCal college. He told me a story about their swine flu preparedness plan. He was meeting with the college director of health services and asked at what point they would cancel classes in the event of a swine flu outbreak on campus. The health director thinks a minute and says, 30% of student population. My friend says, "Really? 30% seems a bit high. How about 20%?" And the health director says, "Ok, 20% it is then." End of conversation.

This struck me a hilariously bad way to make public health policy decisions, but that it's probably not an unusual situation.

-The Other Jeremy

MadisonMan said...

by the time the really swell vaccine comes along, everyone will have gotten it

Yes, that seems to be the case. That's the problem with an atypical flu outbreak.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

If my whole body is so cold no fire ever can warm me, I know that is the flu. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is the flu. If my arms and legs feel as if I have been beaten with sticks, and I can't rise from my bed without groaning, I know that is the flu. If I can't contemplate even an humble bowl of chicken soup without wanting to hurl, I know that is the flu.

...Apologies to Emily Dickenson

AJ Lynch said...

My nephew is in college in Baltimore. I think they were just telling the students to go home if they were sick.

Swine Flu Britain said...

China is to become the first country in the world to start a mass swine flu vaccination programme but would you have a swine flu vaccine if offered? Vote Here

edutcher said...

No offense, Ann, but how are your students housed there? I get a vision of the huge Quonset huts jammed from one end to the other with triple-decker bunks like the scene in "The Longest Day". Either that or the extra-curricular activities must be swell.

Maybe a little saltpeter and advice to stay at least five paces apart would help.

WV "vallatio" - Something to do with Rudy Vallee

Cedarford said...

Flu is transmitted by a virus through normal respiration. You don't even have to be symptomatic to disburse millions of viruses to the waiting lungs of your uninfected counterparts by simple normal breathing.

All the garbage about washing hands (great for GI diseases like cholera) really don't add up to a hill of beans in the case of highly contagious diseases like cols and flu that target respiratory systems and sinuses. (And most "stomach flu" really starts from aerosol infection that just gets in the GI tract from swallowed saliva.)

Governments and mommies hate admitting they are powerless, so they will always say things to show how proactive they are and are "doing everything they can".

But bottom line? Washing hands, sneezing into sleeves, avoiding touching doorknobs is about as effective as doing the same before and after engaging in unprotected anal sex or needle sharing to avoid getting AIDs.

kentuckyliz said...

The last two pandemic flus were in 1957 (70k Americans died) and 1968 (35k Americans died). Government estimates are between 800k and 1.9 mil on this one. We're overdue.

People 50 and over have been exposed to a lot of different H and N types and are considered better off and partially immune. Children 6 months to 24 years are greatest risk. The CDC wants to have pre-K day care and Head Start programs immunized first, the youngest who interact in a common environment. They're not called "snot-nosed kids" for no reason.

The college student outbreak is from a dense living environment (Petri Dish Residence Hall) and different methods of sharing snot. ;-)

Great time to be at community college! :-)

As more inventory of pandemic flu vaccine is released, the priority will be children of increasing age, pregnant women, immunosuppressed people with respiratory disease or diabetes, then other adults 25-49, and then everybody (including 50 and over).

Our health structure doesn't have enough ventilators for a severe outbreak.

We don't have enough morgue space.

I find it interesting, the alternation between reassurances not to freak out, it's no big deal, and warnings that we can't care for the number of critical patients that are going to happen and one percent of our population is going to die.

If someone has flu and they get blue lips or chest pain, ER fast. The people who are dying, it's like severe pneumonia--it's a respiratory death.

Social isolation for all sick people. Please.

In my work, people see me when they're sick because that's when they have time off work. Really irked me when I was a headscarf wearing obvious chemo patient (immunosuppressed) trying to limit my contact with sick people.

With pandemic flu, you're contagious and shedding for two days before you get symptoms. That's why even social isolation isn't going to work. You're also contagious up to three days after the fever ceases and most of your severe symptoms have calmed down.

There are strict CDC rules about who can be given Tamiflu. They don't want it to be overused so that a Tamiflu resistant flu strain happened in Scandinavia.

I was at a program on this topic last night.

At which the presenter, a government nurse, said, "Some people should be exterminated."

Enjoy the One's health nag tonight.

It better not interfere with "Glee."

Eli Blake said...

And keep in mind that there are tens of millions of uninsured Americans who delay and avoid going to the doctor to even get evaluated, so we have a nice big reservoir of people who may well spread the flu before they actually find out if they have the flu.

rhhardin said...

Radio Japan explained long ago that the people wearing surgical masks in Japan were people with colds, not people trying to avoid colds.

Whether that was true or not, I don't know.

I don't remember any particular flu hysteria in either 57 or 68. Different times. Perhaps the commercial news value of hysteria had not been discovered.

Cedarford said...

Kentucky Liz - A few months back, the NY Times reported the military and national guard again dusted off and revised their contingency plans for a lethal pandemic.

About what you'd expect. Military to guard hospitals and key infrastructure. Far harsher triage, if necessary, with military to control crowd not possibly happy with Triage decisions. (Fred the utility worker with blue lips gets the oxygen, granny doesn't)

Plans for now digitally photoing corpses and their IDs before they get tossed into mass graves made with commandeered heavy construction equipment. For possible later retrieval into reg graves or cremation..

Not that it is unthinkable.

They also have plans to do what has to be done if several cities are nuked.

(Bulldoze corpses and rubble into big piles to intern it all and let radioactivity decay off. Conscript labor to recover blasted and burned zones (a civilian draft, basically...) Survivors to go to relocation camps under military control - no luxury treatment like the NOLA scum got)..

Balfegor said...

Radio Japan explained long ago that the people wearing surgical masks in Japan were people with colds, not people trying to avoid colds.

Whether that was true or not, I don't know

It's true.

Beth said...

My partner has the flu, don't know of what variety. I have two on-campus classes and out of forty students, four came down with swine flu in the past week.

And the season has just begun.

Der Hahn said...

Eli Blake said... people who may well spread the flu before they actually find out if they have the flu.

Huh? Have you had any variation of the flu, Eli? Are you really under the impression that H1N1 is like high blood pressure or diabeties? Do you have to try to be this obtuse, or does it come naturally?

They may not know that have H1N1 but I'm pretty sure they know they're sick, offical diagnosis or not.

vw - (do liberals seem as dense to you as they seem) denstami?

Beth said...

Jesus. Just read through this thread - grim much?

I have asthma. I'm not happy about the idea of that making me a higher risk with this flu.

On the other hand, as I said, flu's been in my house since Saturday, and I'm still feeling hale and hearty. So, no use fretting.

Christy said...

My 10 year old nephew came down with the swine flu over the last weekend. They gave him Tami-flu because my aged mother is in the house with him. He has now been released to go back to class, and none of the other four people in the house has come down with it. My one sister and I were dropping off casseroles and baked goods on the front porch, ringing the doorbell, and running for the car. Over reacting certainly, but what fun pretending it's a big deal and imagining ourselves angels of mercy.

PatCA said...

We're all gonna die!

We need national health insurance!

Actually, our CA campus had it last semester. Kids got sick. Kids got well. It was regular flu.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

An eighth-grader in the middle school my daughter attended has died of H1N1. They don't know of any underlying health problem.

Jennifer said...

My husband, daughter and I all came down with a horrendous virus a few weeks ago. A co-worker who had the same symptoms shortly before it hit us had his wife test positive for "type A" flu, but they've stopped verifying swine flu in our area. So, he's convinced they had the swine flu and therefore that we did too. Did we? I don't know. It was by far the worst non-stomach bug we've ever had. But, we all survived. And miraculously my son did not catch it.

Is this all the swine flu is? A mack truck of a virus?

rhhardin said...

I came down with something last month that I put down to bad croutons.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"Is this all the swine flu is? A mack truck of a virus?"

I think that's all any influenza is, Jennifer. A mack truck of a virus that causes illness in the people who get it, up to and including death for some.

Ann Althouse said...

"Yes, if you have fluids dripping out of orifices, that's not cool!"

That's not what Michael Duvall said.

rhhardin said...

The unanswered NASA question is is there a wet spot on the sheet problem in space.