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 H1N1 First Hand Accounts 
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Post H1N1 First Hand Accounts
A short story regarding change in swine flu treatment in one month. This all happened just north of San Antonio, TX.

My DDIL's baby sister, age 12, came down with swine flu last month. She was running high temp (104+) and they took her to the ER. She was swabbed - confirmed flu - mention made of "swine" flu. She was given a prescription for Tamiflu. She had a relatively mild case - high fever for the most part - no side effects - missed two days of school. Spent most of her time on the couch watching cartoons - not much appetite.

Last Friday, my middle grandson, age 11, who attends the same middle school as DG above - woke up with 104+ temp, runny nose, aching - just the "yucks" as he called it. DD called the pediatrician - no way to get in - doctor's office "swamped." She took him to the ER because he has moderate asthma. They were lucky with only an hour wait - masks on. Doctor did not swab him - "all flu in Texas right now is H1N1." They were not given Tamiflu - "there is no Tamiful available in the local pharmacies." :awe

Given prescription cough medicine and told to alternate Advil/Tylenol for the fever and to watch for secondary ear infection and/or pneumonia. Told to come back should asthma worsen - he had a touch of wheezing.

DSIL, however, is an avid avian influenza prepper and had purchased Tamiflu a couple of years ago online. DD told Doc they had access to Tamiflu (didn't say how) and asked for dosage. Dosage given and he was started on Tami.

This child is a very active 11 year old boy. He was flat on his back alllll day Friday, Saturday and most of the day Sunday. DD was finally able to coax him out of the bed late yesterday evening for a couple of hours. He has had no appetite (this the child who is always hungry) and is still home today. He is feeling better but is only about 60% according to our daughter.

School told my daughter there were "more than 100" kids absent on Friday with flu-like symptoms. This is the same school district that shut it doors for two weeks last Spring. At this time, however, the school district remains open.

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Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:20 am
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
TG for the prepping of Tamiflu. I have some as well, make sure to keep it dark and cool. I keep mine in the fridge. DD"s both have enough for they're families as well. All have had mild H1N1, and didn't use it. We decided to save it, in case it turns more nasty, hopefully it won't be Tamiflu resistant.

It's good to hear your family is doing okay, as well,BB.

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Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:37 pm
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
Good morning!

Can anybody verify this?

Vital data about US Navy results of swine flu vaccine on ships #
http://labvirus.wordpress.com/?s=naval+vessel

Courtesy of Bob Chapman of The International Forecaster
Subject: Vital data about US Navy results of swine flu vaccine on ship
Data gleaned indirectly from anonymous testimony of Navy wives of the affected crew via the internet radio show A Marine
Disquisition http://www.clipser.com/watch_video/1362067 :
1. Unnamed US Navy vessel put to sea in April with 347 man crew.
2. Entire crew was vaccinated with H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine shortly after they put to sea.
3. Crew sickened so severely that other ships had to respond to render aid. 16 Medical Dr.s put aboard from an unnamed aircraft carrier and other responding vessels. Total of 50 Navy personnel sent aboard to respond to crisis.
4. Two of the crew of 347 died – including the Captain of the ship (a Lieutenant Commander) and a Chief Petty Officer.
5. 50 personnel sent aboard to help are quarantined in Navy hospital in Balboa, Spain after 10 of them caught the flu from the ship's crew. Two of the 50 quarantined are in serious condition at last report.
6. Of the 347 man crew that were vaccinated, 333 contracted the H1N1 flu FROM THE VACCINE. Two died, as mentioned above, and 331 survived. Only 14 of the 347 vaccinated sailors did not show any ill effects from the vaccine.
7. Navy has threatened all the spouses of the ship's crew to remain silent – claiming all this information is classified. Some are whistle-blowing and that is where this information is coming from.
8. On the unnamed aircraft carrier that provided assistance, 415 sailors contracted the swine flu and are currently quarantined onboard.

PLEASE pass this email along. The truth is that the swine flu epidemic will be created BY THE VACCINE.
If we don't take it, there will be no epidemic.
From this one test it's apparent that the vaccine as tested on that ship's crew in April is 96% effective at infecting the recipient with swine flu. Such an infection rate is impossible to achieve by any natural means. Though it only killed 1% immediately, there is no telling what the long term effects on those injected with the vaccine will be.
See the research on the long term effects of the 1976 swine flu vaccine, and the Gulf War anthrax vaccine programs for more information.
Also note that mere contact with those that have been vaccinated creates a 20% chance of you contracting the swine flu even if you have not been vaccinated.

Please pass this data along to anyone you care about!
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/07/ ... 7494.shtml

;-))

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Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:58 am
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
Thanks, Siam! He is doing much better but one more day at home.

Kieck - I cannot confirm the above, however, I have seen it on several flu boards I read. Let me see if I can find out there if anyone can confirm and I'll let you know.

If true, this is scary, indeed! :scared

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Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:22 am
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
Kiek - I did some checking and most folks seem to think this psy/ops disinfo type news. It's the military - so who knows?

Got a bit sidetracked there - oldest grandson is now at the doctor with flu symptoms. DD says her physician is out of seasonal flu vaccine so she and DSIL are holding their breath.

We still have a 5 year old to weigh in on the flu yet as well as both parents. :gah

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Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:07 am
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
Geeze Blue good vibes heading down your way for the family...

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Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:15 am
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
Thanks, GTAdmin!

Heard back from DD. Grandson #1 tested negative for the flu (at pediatricians office - makes ya go hmmm, doesn't it?). However, the doctor believes it is a false negative because he is so early in the disease. Therefore, he is treating him for swine flu as well as a sinus infection. "Temperature is too high for just a sinus infection" so he wrote a scrpt for Relenza. His pediatrician has known him since birth and is an excellent doctor so I trust his judgement.

Interesting juxtaposition of the two, isn't it? Why didn't the ER doc write a presciption for Relenza but, more importantly, why didn't he do the rapid flu test? Hmmmmmmm

Also, Grandson #2 may not go to school for two more days because "he is still shedding virus" per the pediatrician. :huh

Sooo - poor DD is at home with 1 sick child and 1 child on the mend. One more healthy child is at school - thank goodness! :)

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Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:57 am
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
Well that's good news Blue :clap

Keep us posted please

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Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:43 am
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
A bit more first hand info, my hospital has cancelled our pediatric cancer patient fall festival due to swine flu. We usually have quite a crowd - patients, siblings, Moms and Dads. Sigh!

This is one of their favorite events of the year second only to their Mardi Gras parade. I know they will be sorely disappointed.

Most of the departments have booths and the adult volunteers dress up in Halloween costumes and give the little ghosties and goblins treats. ;)

Last year Princesses and Batman ruled the roost! :crylaugh

My department does washable tatoos - can you imagine? They are sooo popular and the little ones really enjoy it. We usually have a boom box playing "The Monster Mash."

Rumor has it that we may shortly institute no visitors under 12. This policy is in line with the rest of the hospitals in the Medical Center.

If things get worse, I would imagine we would institute no one under 18.

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Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:57 pm
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
For those of you that do NOT know Blue, she works on the Front Line in a Prominent Cancer Institute.

And here you guys assumed that GT Admin had no friends..

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Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:29 pm
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
:crylaugh :silly GT

DD called last night. #2 grandson is feeling much better - so much so that she is beginning to tear her hair out. Do the words "I'm BORED!" tell you anything?

#1 grandson is still down for the count this morning and younger brother is bedeviling him to no end. :roll

Add into that mix a healthy, active 6 year old DGD - you get the picture!

Always told DD that she would one day pay for her raising! Just glad they seem to be doing okay at this point. :lol

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Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:10 am
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
Great news BB thanks for the update :clap :clap

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Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:15 am
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Great News BB

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Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:36 pm
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
Swine flu can leave a young victim fighting for life

by Ginger Rough - Oct. 18, 2009 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/ ... l1018.html

The text message sent Monica Beck racing across town late on a Sunday evening two weeks ago. Her son had typed that he was unable to talk. That he could barely breathe.

Monica knew her oldest had been sick, battling what he thought was a nasty cold. But she wasn't prepared for how he looked when he opened the door of his home that night.

He was ghostly pale. He could barely make it down the steps and into her car. He laid his head against the seat and closed his eyes.

"He never said a word," she recalls. "He didn't even ask me where I was taking him."

Since that day, Monica has kept a vigil by her son's bedside at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center. Shortly after going into the hospital, the Phoenix man tested positive for H1N1 "swine" flu.

He lies in bed, unconscious, immobilized and breathing through a ventilator.

On at least two occasions his condition has turned grave, and Monica remains fearful for her son's life.

Three weeks ago, 26-year-old Justin Baciao was in perfect health, occupying his days with work - he helps process student-loan applications - and his evenings with close friends.

They rode BMX bikes, watched football, played on the computer and hung out late into the night.

His mom doesn't know where he picked up the H1N1 virus. She only knows her typically strong, healthy son is in intensive care, fighting an illness that seems cruel in its disproportionate targeting of the young.

"The way it hit him, and took him over . . . It's like it just consumed him," Monica says, hands shaking, as she sits in a lounge outside the hospital room. "I've never seen anything like it."

The latest figures from the Arizona Department of Health Services show that 439 people have been hospitalized with the new influenza virus since it emerged in April. Thirty-nine have died, including nine new deaths confirmed in the last week alone.

The disease, a never-before-seen mix of human, avian and swine flu, is considered no more deadly than typical seasonal flu, and most victims recover on their own.

But some are suffering severe consequences, and they're often in the prime of their lives.

"That's the difference this time," said Dr. Bob England, Maricopa County's public health director. "It's mostly younger people who are getting into serious trouble and dying."

Seasonal flu, by comparison, tends to hit older patients more aggressively. Health officials say it appears that group is the only one with some immunity to H1N1; officials speculate it's because they were exposed to a similar form of influenza during their lives.

In Arizona, 78 percent of those hospitalized with H1N1 have been under the age of 50, and nearly half have been 18 or younger.

Two-thirds of those who've been seriously ill had an underlying medical condition such as asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or neurological illness. Pregnant women also are particularly susceptible.

But increasingly the virus is assailing healthy people like Justin. While he has congenital skeletal dysplasia, a condition that affects bone and cartilage growth, his physicians say he was healthy prior to his hospital admission, and has none of the common risk factors associated with the H1N1 virus.

Justin's condition only worsened after he was admitted to Good Samaritan, a hospital in central Phoenix, on Oct. 4.

Four days later, his lungs were in such bad shape that doctors had to perform an emergency tracheotomy, which opened his windpipe.

He was put into a medically induced coma, given antibiotics and antivirals to fight his infection and other medications to ensure that his muscles didn't involuntarily twitch.

Even now, tubes radiate from his throat. Machines surround him, monitoring oxygen levels, heart rate and blood pressure. Plastic bags of fluids hang from an IV rack.

Propofol, an anesthetic, keeps him unconscious. He does not breathe on his own. A ventilating machine emits a rhythmic "phssst" in his room, while sounds seep from a tiny television.

Justin's mother refuses to leave his side. She sleeps fitfully in a chair in the corner.

"They're not going to call me and tell me that he died or something because I walked away for a few minutes," Beck said Wednesday, crying. "That's not going to happen."

That day, there were small signs of progress.

Justin's doctors were able to wean him off some medications. His ventilator support was reduced, and his lungs were functioning at about 20 percent capacity.

At his bedside, younger sister Megan Baciao, 24, was keeping her own vigil. She sat in a chair, her face mostly obscured by a mask, and rubbed her brother's hand.

She told him to be strong, to keep fighting.

"We're having a good day today, aren't we?"

The progression of Justin's illness is common for severe H1N1 cases, but the symptoms weren't readily apparent to him.

When he first fell ill, he thought it was a cold. He felt tired and had a nasty cough. His mom said she didn't suspect the flu because he didn't have what she thought were "classic" symptoms, like vomiting and aches. She got worried after a week passed and he kept getting worse, despite a trip to urgent care and taking antibiotics.

He lost his appetite, got a high fever and started having trouble breathing.

"I don't think he had slept in four days," Monica said of the night she took him to the emergency room. "He was really struggling.

"I was so scared," she says. "I still am."

By the time he arrived at Good Samaritan, Justin had developed pneumonia, an inflammatory infection of the lungs.

Public-health officials say both seasonal and H1N1 flu can lead to secondary pneumonia infections; that's what usually lands patients in the hospital.

With seasonal flu, the infection often results from separate bacteria. The body's immune system is so wiped out from fighting the flu that it can't fend off the new germ. When that happens, patients feel like they are getting better for a day or two, then suddenly crater again.

But H1N1 is also causing "viral pneumonia," said England, of Maricopa County public health, meaning that the flu virus itself is attacking the lungs.

That's why some patients who get seriously ill feel like their symptoms are getting worse over time.

The most severe patients, like Justin, can develop acute respiratory distress syndrome, a life-threatening condition caused by extreme injury to the lungs. Basically, the damage is so great that it prevents adequate oxygen from reaching the other organs and the blood.

The final days of last week passed in a blur, with Justin's mom and sister riding a constant seesaw of emotion.

Justin took a turn for the worse late Wednesday.

The ventilator was turned back up to 100 percent; he was again completely dependent on the machine.

It was a setback, but after several hours, he appeared stable.

Then, on Friday, more trouble.

Justin developed a fever, and his lungs began filling with fluid.

His doctors covered him with a cooling blanket, and a team of five medical professionals entered his room, closed the curtain and performed a bronchoscopy, in which a metal tube was inserted through the hole in his windpipe. His doctors used the tube to remove secretions and examine his lungs.

Afterward, his sister, Megan, went back in and sat at the foot of his bed.

His mom stood just outside and tried to calm her nerves. She didn't know how much longer Justin could keep fighting off the infections.

"They are not giving up on him. I am not going to give up on him," she said.

A few minutes later, her face crumpled and she broke down. She walked down the hall, sobbing.

After two weeks, there have been few signs of improvement.

In an e-mail, Justin's pulmonologist, Dr. Manoj Mathew, said he remains in critical condition. His prognosis is unclear.

"Beyond what he's currently receiving, the options are limited," Mathew said. "But what is hopeful is that he is young and otherwise healthy."

The road ahead could be long and difficult. Doctors have told Monica that he's going to need rehabilitative therapy because his muscles have atrophied.

Justin's 27th birthday is Thursday. His mom and his sister hope he'll be awake to celebrate it.

"We just pray and we wait," Monica says. "That's all we've done. What else can we do?"
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
Flu Story: A Pregnant Woman’s Ordeal
By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.

Published: October 19, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/20/healt ... ss&emc=rss

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The group most threatened by swine flu and most in need of the new vaccine, world health authorities agree, is that of pregnant women.

For example, Aubrey Opdyke.

On June 27, Ms. Opdyke, a 27-year-old waitress and former high-school swimmer who weighed 135 pounds before her pregnancy and had no health risks other than a smoking habit, came down with mild flu symptoms.

She finally came home from the hospital three weeks ago.

“At first, I didn’t think anything of it — just another flu bug,” Ms. Opdyke said recently. “But it really wrecked me. I probably shouldn’t have made it.”

In the four months she was hospitalized, she spent five weeks in a coma, suffered six collapsed lungs and a near-fatal seizure. High-pressure ventilation blew her up like a molten balloon until “she looked like she weighed 400 pounds,” her husband, Bryan, said, and she has stretch marks from her neck to her ankles. Her muscles and lungs are still so weak that she uses a walker.

While hospitalized, she missed seeing her 4-year-old daughter, Hope, learn to swim and start pre-school.

And, most important, she lost her baby. Parker Christine Opdyke, almost 27 weeks in the womb, was delivered by emergency Caesarean section on July 18, when her fetal heart rate plummeted during Ms. Opdyke’s third lung collapse. Her airways were too blocked to let a breathing tube in, possibly a side effect of the drugs saving her mother. She lived seven minutes.

On Oct. 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 100 pregnant women had been in intensive care with swine flu and 28 had died. That is a tiny fraction of what are believed to have been millions of cases in the country. But it is the best argument, federal officials say, for the drawn-out, expensive effort to make a swine flu vaccine.

Pregnant women are particularly susceptible because they are in the younger age group most likely to catch this new virus, while those over 50 who have had more flus rarely catch it. Moreover, pregnancy suppresses the immune system to protect the fetus, and the growing baby makes it harder for a mother to clear her lungs.

All but a few of the pregnant women who have died or been near death from swine flu are unknown. Privacy laws prevent health departments from releasing their names, and few families come forward.

The Opdykes did because “we wanted to get it out there how dangerous it can be,” Ms. Opdyke said.

“We have friends who get flu symptoms and say, ‘Oh, I’m not going to a doctor,’ ” Mr. Opdyke added. “And we say, ‘Do you not understand what we went through?’ I can’t imagine why there’s so much nonchalance.”

That nonchalance strikes close to home.

As they said this, Ms. Opdyke was doing her daily physical therapy, struggling to lift one-pound weights. Her therapist interrupted to announce that she opposed flu shots.

“Have you ever read the labels?” she asked. “They’re so full of toxins.”

Asked if she realized that a shot, had it existed in June, might have saved her client and her baby, she frowned and went back to her clipboard.

Unlike some other families that came forward, the Opdykes are not threatening to sue anyone.

They do not blame her obstetrician, even though she suggested acetaminophen the first time Ms. Opdyke called her and prescribed an antibiotic the second.

“Swine flu just wasn’t on our minds at all,” Ms. Opdyke said.

Nor are they angry at the Wellington Regional Medical Center. “I don’t think if I’d taken her anywhere else, she would have survived,” Mr. Opdyke said.

Her flu came on gradually, and she never had a high fever. But after a week of feeling exhausted and achy, she became delirious. When Mr. Opdyke drove her to the hospital, with his finger on the door-lock button for fear she would jump out, she could not tell the triage nurse her name.

Her blood oxygen level was below 70; normal is 95, and below 80 is life-threatening. Both lungs were full of fluid.

Thrashing, she knocked off oxygen masks and pulled out an intubation tube. Panic made her hyperventilate. Doctors finally sedated her into a paralytic coma to let the ventilator work.

She survived near-failure of her kidneys, then her lungs, damaged by continuous high-pressure oxygen, began collapsing. Mr. Opdyke was warned he might have to choose — her life or that of the baby, who was just at the border of survivability outside the womb.

“I said, ‘Save Aubrey,’ ” he said of the woman he married last year. “I can make another baby, but I can’t replace her.”

Her third lung collapse forced the issue. Parker had to be delivered, but she did not survive.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, a photographers’ charity for families of premature infants, offered to take black-and-white pictures. Ms. Opdyke’s mother bathed Parker and brushed her hair.

“Some people don’t agree,” Mr. Opdyke said about having the photographs taken. “But for me there was no option. Aubrey wasn’t awake, she didn’t get to bond. If I didn’t do it, there’s no way I could make it up to her.”

Aubrey Opdyke started to recover, then developed a bacterial infection common to ventilator patients. She nearly succumbed, then rallied and doctors started to wean her off the coma-inducing drugs. She had weeks of hallucinations about a friendly white dog visiting her but could not ask about it because of the tube.

Mr. Opdyke took comfort from what he saw as divine signs. Dog is “God” backwards, he noted. And one day, in a panic because he had forgotten to wear his wife’s wedding ring around his neck, he saw a license plate reading “FAITH.”

Ms. Opdyke’s last crisis was a still-unexplained seizure during a family visit. Her mother had been painting her nails and blamed herself, thinking the fumes had done it.

Now that she is home, in the townhouse complex they rent near the West Palm Beach airport, Ms. Opdyke is struggling to regain her strength. Muscles atrophy into rubber bands; every day in a coma means two days’ recovery.

She apologizes for the messy yard; she would pick it up but barely has the strength to get upstairs to bed. Mr. Opdyke has gone back part-time to his job at UPS.

Mr. Opdyke worries he gave her the flu. “I was sick two weeks before,” he said. “I touch packages that have been touched a thousand times. If anybody’s going to catch it, it’s me.”

He said he had not yet looked at the bills. His insurance covered most, he said, “but it had to be over a million, and we owe 20 percent; I’m not ready for that many commas.”

Friends from their jobs and a Girl Scout charity that Ms. Opdyke once ran with her mother have raised over $10,000 by holding benefits, and small checks have come in after articles by local journalists. “It’s a lot of help,” Ms. Opdyke said. “It really shows the compassion of people.”

And does she want another baby?

“Yes,” she says firmly. “At first, I didn’t. Now I do. But I’ve got to get my strength back.”

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Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:54 pm
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
MRSA, C-diff, swine flu, normal flu, staph, hep, and human inadequacy with protocols. :fight

Hospitals are fun to visit! I get go two major hospitals one day a week.

Swine flu will be impossible to contain once it's spread via innoculation programs. Whether its lethal or not will depend on nature's tendency cross strains via human lungs. Humanity will not die out though, been around for millions of years despite wicked plagues like Bubonic. Although, there are some paleontologists that are theorizing larger sized dinosaurs died off from viruses after being stressed by ecological disasters.

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Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:39 am
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
Quote:
Although, there are some paleontologists that are theorizing larger sized dinosaurs died off from viruses after being stressed by ecological disasters.


That makes perfect sense to me, Mikulus! Do you think "Mother Earth" devises ecological stressors and/or viruses to help keep the population in check?

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Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:27 am
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
There are those who believe Mother Earth is a sentient being and if that is true, then the viruses are her weapons to thin us out or get rid of us.

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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
I think our immune system is affected by our emotional being in greater ways than understood. The dinosaur extinctions (there were more than one) were a series of events that periodically happened which stressed the animals through ecological change. For instance, a series of meteor impacts could have altered the climates enough to produce less vegetation overall. The plant eaters were stressed by this lesser source of food availability. Thus the carnivores became stressed through vitamin and mineral defeciencies since prey was dying off. A weakened immune system allowed infections to overwhelm with organ system failure cascades.

Now is Earth alive? Of course it is! Look at the entire biomass doing its thing! Is the rock that consists of the continal shelves, mantle, and core alive? Nope. Could those things be affected by the life force energies of the biomass? I think there's some potential. Copper wire is inorganic but energy can conduct through it. Energy can pass through water and atmosphere. I'm sure life "energy" can resonate through the earth. Perhaps the earth is just reflecting back what it receives through some process associated with the standard understanding of convection. Convection moves magma. Magma moves continental plates. Friction creates volcanism and earthquakes.
Is the planet killing humanity? nope.. Humanity is killing humanity. We create poverty. We create war. We create materialistic economies and destroy ecosystems. However, we also produce art! We produce love! We produce compassion!

So, how did swine flu come to us in 2009? Here's my take on it; overpopulation created a demand for food sources in Mexico. That demand pushed farming practices into an industrial like automation of food processing. Inhumane conditions for livestock created an environment that produced stress. Weakened immune systems within these animals are now needed to be boosted by pharmalogical means. Plus, the bodies are further modified physically to increase profit. Immune systems can't handle the already existing viruses which evolve exponentially. The viruses hybrid themselves over and over within the sickly animals and get passed on. Close human interaction allowed the viruses to jump to human biology. Then humans spread it amongst themselves with poor hygiene. The virus goes global through internationalism. Humanity attempts to control it by vaccination but makes it worse. Eventually the virus fades to non-pandemic levels because of biological adaptation within the host. That being the normal and natural way of immune systems being passed with heredity. We are already hardwired to fight viruses if our emotional state wants to. Just get some Vitamin D and drink plenty of water.

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Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:16 pm
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
Swine flu victim's muscles 'melted'

Adam Cresswell, Health editor | October 23, 2009
Article from: The Australian

AUSTRALIAN medical experts have warned doctors worldwide to be on the alert for a rare but alarming complication of swine flu after a teenage boy suffered "muscle melting" so severe his urine turned almost black.

The unnamed 16-year-old suffered fever and other flu symptoms for three days before his urine went dark and intense pain meant he could no longer stand or move his arms and legs.

He was admitted to Melbourne's Monash Medical Centre, where tests showed he was suffering a condition called rhabdomyolysis -- a condition caused when muscles are damaged and dissolve, flooding the bloodstream with their by-products.

Shortly after admission one blood test for creatine kinase -- an enzyme produced when muscles break down -- returned a reading of 164,149 international units per litre (IU/L), more than 700 times above a normal reading of less than 230 IU/L.

He was given antiviral drugs, morphine and large amounts of fluids, but his creatine kinase levels continued to soar and after four days in hospital peaked at 1,127,000 IU/L, before gradually declining.

He recovered and was discharged after eight days, and a follow-up two weeks later showed no lasting muscle weakness or significant other ill-effects.

The incident happened at the height of the swine flu outbreak in June, but has just been revealed in a paper published by five of the hospital's doctors in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

Rhabdomyolysis can be caused by factors including crush injuries, muscle overuse and alcohol abuse, but it can also be triggered by various infections including, rarely, seasonal flu. But this is the first time it has been noted in a swine flu patient.

The boy knew swine flu was circulating at his school, and he tested positive for the disease after his admission to hospital.

Jim Buttery, who was the boy's treating consultant and is senior author of the journal article, said doctors performed tests to make sure the muscle breakdown was not adversely affecting his heart.

Instead, the tests showed the damage was mostly confined to the boy's arms and legs. "His main complaint was pain -- he had a huge amount of muscle breakdown according to his biochemistry tests," said Dr Buttery, a pediatric infectious diseases physician at the Monash Children's Hospital and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.

"He had the highest creatine kinase I have ever seen in over 20 years of practice -- over 1 million.

"It's a tribute to how young people cope with significant disease. In older people that (degree of muscle breakdown) is associated with causing kidney failure, but he sailed through it."

Dr Buttery said the boy's pain was so severe it was unlikely he would have been able to remain at home, but had he attempted to do so he would have been at high risk of kidney damage.

"We believe that one of the reasons he stayed away from kidney trouble was that we flooded him with fluids to flush the muscle proteins out," he said.

"It took us a bit by surprise -- it's a rare complication of normal influenza that you don't see very often."

The journal article says rhabdomyolysis "should be considered" in any patient with flu-like symptoms who also has severe muscle weakness or pain, and warns doctors to expect "severe clinical manifestations of infection with this novel influenza virus in the coming respiratory virus season".

"We would expect to see further cases like this rarely, but we would still expect them to occur, either with swine flu or the normal flu," Dr Buttery said.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/st ... 02,00.html

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Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:45 pm
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
In our Manager's Forum on Wednesday, we were told my hospital identified 4 patients last week with swine flu. Didn't say whether they were inpatient or outpatient but my feeling is outpatient due to the fact that they were a bit miffed that someone would keep an appointment sick with a contagious disease. :lol

Also were told there will not be enough vaccine to innoculate most employees - it will be direct patient care employees only. Good! At least now I don't have to think about it any more! :nono

Last bit of news, our kiddies are going to get a 1 hour Halloween party in the Children's Cancer part of the hospital. No sibs, everyone must wear a mask and gloves - but at least they get something, right?

I'm off today to see if I can find some Halloween tattoos for them! :lol

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Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:53 am
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
BB, get some colored pens and draw on the masks as well.

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Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:25 pm
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Post Re: H1N1 First Hand Accounts
Branswell: ICU docs who rode H1N1's first wave warn colleagues of what's coming

Via Google News, Helen Branswell of The Canadian Press has today's must-read: ICU docs who rode H1N1's first wave warn colleagues of what's coming. Excerpt:

Intensive care specialists who rode H1N1's rocky first wave are warning colleagues who've yet to see many of these difficult patients what they have in store.

ICU specialists from Mexico, Toronto and Winnipeg laid out their experiences before a standing room-only crowd Monday at the Critical Care Canada Forum, an annual meeting of intensive care specialists.

"There's very limited capacity to care for patients from the perspective of manpower and the perspective of machines and ventilators in certain parts of the country," Dr. Rob Fowler, an intensive care specialist at Toronto's Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, said on the sidelines of the meeting.

"That's because usually the need isn't there. And we're coming into a time when the need may be there and may be disproportionately there in some regions over others."

Fowler was one of the speakers and is one of several researchers internationally who are involved in trying to detail for the rest of the medical community what severely ill swine flu patients go through and how ICU teams have managed to pull survivors through.

He thinks the country will face a challenging time.

"Our system, whether we're in the middle of an urban centre in Canada or if we're in Nunavut or Northwest Territories is, I think, at the baseline usually stretched pretty tightly," said Fowler.

"We operate in the Canadian health-care system without a lot of margin. And that holds for the ability to transport people from one place to another. It certainly holds for transportation capacity in the North."

The bulk of the first wave activity was centred around a few places, Toronto and Winnipeg among them. That means many doctors elsewhere have only seen a few of these cases and may not fully understand what it will be like if their area gets hit with a lot of activity, said Dr. Anand Kumar.

Kumar is an infectious diseases and intensive care specialist in Winnipeg; he was in the thick of it last spring when that city's ICUs were jammed with more than five dozen gravely ill H1N1 patients.

"You've got to see it to believe it," he said. "Honestly, when we got hit, I had a little bit of a difficult time convincing people that we had a serious problem."

The "it" Kumar referred to is bed after bed filled with patients whose lungs are so overwhelmed by their infection they cannot breathe on their own. These aren't the seniors who flu normally attacks. They are teens. They are people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.

In terms of the overall population, their numbers aren't enormous. But the gravity of their illness makes a huge impact on ICU staff who have had to resort to extraordinary measures to keep these patients alive.

In earlier pandemics, one widespread effect seems to have been mass amnesia: When people stopped dying, the survivors forgot about what had killed them.

Having forgotten, people had no reason to demand a stronger public health system, better training for healthcare workers, more surge capacity than absolutely needed. So politicians had no reason to tax the voters to pay for such idle luxuries.

In effect, they passed the costs of the next pandemic straight on to its victims: the asthmatic kids, the pregnant mothers, the diabetics, and even the apparently healthy young people who are now dying from Vancouver to Pune to Madrid to São Paulo.

Maybe this time we'll remember what happened, and the price the victims paid.

http://crofsblogs.typepad.com/h5n1/2009 ... oming.html

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Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:23 pm
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