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Flu Pandemic

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OPINION
January 11, 2006
Re "Dr. Bush's flu flim-flam," Current, Jan. 8 Is a flu pandemic a real danger? Absolutely. Is it inevitable and overdue? Not at all. This is the twisted logic of the ill-informed all-night gambler perched on a stool at the roulette wheel. He tells himself that because double-zero hasn't materialized in the last eight hours, its appearance is now "inevitable and overdue," and he bets accordingly. Nuclear war hasn't occurred since the first atomic bomb went off in 1945. Is it overdue?
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OPINION
April 3, 2014
Re "A renegade keeps her faith," Column, March 29 What a wonderful way to end Women's History Month. Sandy Banks' column on Sister Judy Vaughan was a tribute to her and to all the nuns who preceded her. In the early days of our country, these valiant women went to the wilderness to establish schools and hospitals. During the Civil War they nursed combatants regardless of side. They went into homes to nurse the ill during the 1918 flu pandemic when others would not or could not. And some of them died prematurely for their efforts.
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NATIONAL
November 21, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
The U.S. is unprepared for the next flu pandemic, lacking the manufacturing capacity to provide 300 million doses of a vaccine for three to five more years, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said. "We're not as prepared as we need to be," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "We will not have enough for everyone." A strain of a bird flu that has killed 67 people in Asia has sparked concerns of a super-flu that could kill millions worldwide, and U.S.
SCIENCE
January 23, 2013 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Bird flu researchers said Wednesday that they would end a self-imposed moratorium on controversial experiments to determine how the deadly H5N1 virus might mutate and gain the ability to spread easily among humans. In a statement published online by the journals Science and Nature, 40 scientists said they were poised to resume their investigations - but only in countries that have established clear rules for conducting the research safely. The U.S., which is the largest funder of influenza research, is not yet among those nations.
SCIENCE
November 3, 2005 | Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Charles Piller, Times Staff Writers
The Bush administration's $7.1-billion flu pandemic plan cannot succeed without the cooperation of many players, from local health departments to foreign governments in remote corners of the world. And in most cases, they are already spread thin. "You have to have public health people available to identify the cases, put them on antivirals and track down their contacts" with other people, said Dr. Warner Hudson, a flu expert at UC Davis Medical Center.
SCIENCE
November 2, 2005 | Charles Piller, Times Staff Writer
No one knows whether the bird flu now migrating across the globe will cause a human pandemic, but researchers say it is inevitable that some flu virus eventually will. "It's like predicting the Big One in California," said Dr. Arnold S. Monto, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan and a former president of the American Epidemiological Society. "We are overdue for another pandemic. But we don't know when it will hit."
NATIONAL
October 18, 2007 | Carol Eisenberg, Newsday
Somewhere on Long Island, in an undisclosed location, sits a replica of the trading floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Except that this one is eerily silent. Here, in this 46,000-square-foot site in Nassau County, with tiered trading pits for crude oil, natural gas, gold, silver and other commodities, the engines of capitalism will continue thrumming if a catastrophe should shutter lower Manhattan.
NATIONAL
November 11, 2009 | Joe Markman
Against the backdrop of the H1N1 flu pandemic, congressional Democrats are pushing for emergency sick-leave legislation and using the crisis to garner support for a wider-ranging bill -- both of which, they say, would help prevent a more rapid spread of the virus by mandating that employers provide workers with paid time off. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), chairing a health subcommittee hearing Tuesday, said that requiring businesses with 15 or more employees to offer seven paid days off a year would end a dangerous choice "between staying healthy and making ends meet."
WORLD
January 29, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
The United Nations is considering using "flu-casters," modeled on television weather forecasters, to publicize vital information if a global flu pandemic strikes. They could broadcast the latest developments from emergency-response facilities at the U.N.'s World Health Organization in Geneva, said David Nabarro, the U.N.'s top influenza coordinator. "The flu-casters would draw out the maps and keep people engaged at regular intervals ...
TRAVEL
August 27, 2006
I enjoyed Vani Rangachar's description of Pescadero ["A Beacon for Fans of Small-Town Life," Western Travel, Aug. 20]. She mentions visiting the cemetery set on a hillside overlooking the village. Yes, you can sense the town's history by reading the worn and sometimes heart-wrenching tombstones. Many bear the same September 1918 date of death. Evidently the town was hit with the flu pandemic of that year. I remember one poignant epitaph, which stated, "Here lies Baby Jane.
NEWS
January 15, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
With flu season likely to ramp up in Los Angeles in coming weeks, health officials and family doctors are trying to get out the word: There are some things you can do to avoid coming down with this year's flu. First, get your immunizations - it's not too late. This year's flu shot protects against three flu strains: two influenza A's (an H1N1, an H3N2) and one influenza B.  These three strains have predominated among infections this year, so it's as good a preventive vaccine as can be expected.
NATIONAL
November 11, 2009 | Joe Markman
Against the backdrop of the H1N1 flu pandemic, congressional Democrats are pushing for emergency sick-leave legislation and using the crisis to garner support for a wider-ranging bill -- both of which, they say, would help prevent a more rapid spread of the virus by mandating that employers provide workers with paid time off. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), chairing a health subcommittee hearing Tuesday, said that requiring businesses with 15 or more employees to offer seven paid days off a year would end a dangerous choice "between staying healthy and making ends meet."
SCIENCE
October 22, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
Even with the government reducing its estimates for upcoming vaccine supplies and some researchers predicting that pandemic H1N1 influenza infections are peaking this week, federal health authorities have been emphasizing the unpredictability of flu viruses in general. If their warning about the danger of a second, larger wave of infections after the first of the year proves true, even a delayed vaccine could have an impact. The U.S. is now expected to have only about 50 million doses of vaccine available by the middle of next month and 150 million by year's end, said Dr. Nicole Lurie, the Health and Human Services assistant secretary for preparedness and response.
HEALTH
September 14, 2009 | Shari Roan
The visible symbol of the H1N1 flu outbreak last spring seemed to be face masks. Suddenly, they were everywhere -- in airports and waiting rooms, on buses and trains. Many drugstores sold out of masks. As the nation girds itself for a renewed fall outbreak, however, masks may make a reappearance. Should I wear a mask? In general, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend use of face masks or respirators in non-healthcare settings. But there are exceptions.
NATIONAL
July 23, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
The federal government and vaccine makers are seeking thousands of volunteers, from babies to the elderly, to test whether a new swine flu vaccine works. The National Institutes of Health tapped a network of medical centers around the country to begin a series of studies on a vaccine for the H1N1 flu pandemic. The first shots will go into the arms of healthy adults, of any age, in early August. If there are no immediate safety concerns, such as allergic reactions, testing would begin in children as young as 6 months.
OPINION
June 14, 2009 | Michael Fumento, Michael Fumento is director of the Independent Journalism Project, where he specializes in science and health issues.
How bizarre! The World Health Organization has declared swine flu a "pandemic," signaling governments worldwide to launch emergency response plans. The mildest pandemics of the 20th century killed at least a million people worldwide, according to the WHO's data, while old-fashioned seasonal flu strikes every nation yearly and kills an estimated 250,000 to 500,000.
OPINION
April 3, 2014
Re "A renegade keeps her faith," Column, March 29 What a wonderful way to end Women's History Month. Sandy Banks' column on Sister Judy Vaughan was a tribute to her and to all the nuns who preceded her. In the early days of our country, these valiant women went to the wilderness to establish schools and hospitals. During the Civil War they nursed combatants regardless of side. They went into homes to nurse the ill during the 1918 flu pandemic when others would not or could not. And some of them died prematurely for their efforts.
NATIONAL
October 9, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
A super-flu could kill up to 1.9 million Americans, according to a draft of the government's plan to fight a worldwide epidemic. Officials are rewriting that plan to designate not just who cares for the sick but who will keep the country running amid the chaos, said an influenza specialist who was advising the government on those decisions. The Bush administration has spent the last year updating its plan for how to fight the next flu pandemic.
SCIENCE
May 8, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II and Tracy Wilkinson
Millions of students in Mexico returned to class Thursday as the country reopened universities and high schools after a two-week closure aimed at containing the H1N1 flu virus. Elementary and kindergarten classes are scheduled to resume Monday. Museums also reopened across the country, and in Mexico City patrons again filled restaurants, bars and other public places -- although authorities required people in such venues to maintain a distance from one another.
NATIONAL
May 1, 2009 | Noam N. Levey
On Long Island, N.Y., hospitals are scrambling to bring extra workers in to handle a 50% surge in visitors to emergency rooms. In Galveston, Texas, the local hospital ran out of flu testing kits after being overwhelmed with patients worried about having contracted swine flu. At Loma Linda University Medical Center near San Bernardino, emergency room workers have set up a tent in the parking lot to handle a crush of similar patients.
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