October 31, 2009 |
Nineteen more U.S. children died from pandemic H1N1 influenza in the week ending Oct. 24, bringing the total to 65 since Aug. 30 and to 114 since the beginning of the pandemic in April, according to the newest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two-thirds of those children had underlying medical conditions that put them at higher risk for complications, CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden said in a Friday news conference. In a normal flu season, 40 to 50 children die, so the swine flu is affecting children much more severely than seasonal flu. Comparable numbers are not available for adults because there are no similar reporting requirements for them.
October 30, 2009 |
Between 1.8 million and 5.7 million Americans caught pandemic H1N1 influenza this spring, as many as 21,000 were hospitalized, and perhaps 800 died, according to new estimates by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The revised numbers suggest that even larger numbers will become infected during this flu season. Estimates, as opposed to specific numbers, are the best data available. Many cases are not reported to public health authorities, and the CDC stopped requiring laboratory confirmation of new cases when labs were becoming overwhelmed.
October 24, 2009 |
Influenza-like illnesses are now higher throughout the country than levels generally seen at the peak of the seasonal flu season, federal health officials said Friday, even as they dismissed media reports from a day earlier that one in five children had contracted swine flu during the first weeks of October. Pandemic H1N1 influenza activity continues to spread throughout the country, with 46 states now reporting widespread activity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2009 |
Alarmed by the spread of the H1N1 flu, hospitals throughout California and neighboring states restricted visitors this week, barring children and capping the number of visitors per patient. In Los Angeles, Cedars- Sinai Medical Center on Monday raised the minimum age for visitors from 12 to 18 and restricted the number of visitors for patients at greatest risk for H1N1, including those in labor and delivery, or in the pediatric and neonatal intensive care units. "This epidemic is different from the typical flu season, and we're having to respond in a different way," said Dr. Rekha Murthy, Cedars-Sinai's medical director of hospital epidemiology.
October 18, 2009 |
An ultraviolet light that its sellers promise will "destroy swine flu virus." A dietary supplement claiming to be "more effective than the swine flu shot." Pills, hand sanitizers and air filters galore. Through daily Internet searches, the Food and Drug Administration found hundreds of suspect items advertised as swine flu deterrents and cures, and over the last six months warned 80 Internet purveyors to stop peddling unproved or illegal treatments. The FDA has issued an advisory, telling consumers to use "extreme care" when purchasing online products claiming to diagnose, treat or prevent the H1N1 virus.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 16, 2009 |
The swine flu virus is spreading rapidly throughout California and Los Angeles, officials said Thursday. More than half of local health departments in the state are seeing active outbreaks, Dr. Mark Horton, the state public health officer, said at a news conference Thursday. More than 5% of patients going to doctor's offices have flu-like symptoms, which is much higher than the usual 2%, according to an estimate based on about 50 physicians across California who monitor flu activity for the state.
October 14, 2009 |
After weeks of listening to parishioners sniffle in the pews, and worrying about the spread of the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend decided its flock needed to make some sacrifices this flu season. So this week, the priests will be locking up their Communion chalices and, as a precaution against the spread of germs, temporarily stopping the practice of offering wine during the sacrament. "When you have 4,500 people showing up for Mass, and you have eight cups for the populace, it's easy to see how this could become a problem -- fast," said Father John Kuzmich of St. Vincent de Paul in Fort Wayne, whose church in northeastern Indiana has about 10,000 members.
October 7, 2009 |
Influenza is widespread in most of the United States, with the incidence continuing to increase in some states and to decline very slightly in others, the director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday. The infections are "overwhelmingly" pandemic H1N1 influenza, commonly known as swine flu. The flu season generally lasts well into May, so many months of uncertainties lie ahead, said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, speaking at a morning news conference. Shipments of intranasal swine flu vaccines to providers have begun, and vaccinations began Monday in several states, with a priority for healthcare providers and young children.
October 3, 2009 |
With the traditional start of the flu season upon us this weekend, 27 states are already reporting widespread activity of the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus, with the rest reporting more limited activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Outpatient visits for influenza-like illnesses were above normal for every region of the country except New England. Between Aug. 30 and Sept. 29, the U.S. had 16,174 hospitalizations and 1,379 deaths associated with influenza, the vast majority of them swine-flu-related.
September 16, 2009 |
When his only employee got sick and had to miss 14 months of work, Sandy Chase ran Record Collector, a purveyor of rare and vintage vinyl, alone. "This is a two-man operation," Chase said from his Hollywood store. "It's been that way for 36 years." If his archivist, Henry Gastelum, were to get sick again during the upcoming flu season, Chase says, he would do the same thing. "If we were to both go down? I'd close the shop up." He's got no plan for facing the coming flu season, Chase said, other than to frequently wash his hands and eat lots of fruits and vegetables.