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Swine Flu

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SCIENCE
June 26, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
At least 1 million Americans have contracted the novel H1N1 influenza, according to mathematical models prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while data from the field indicate that the virus continues to spread even though the normal flu season is over, and that an increasing proportion of victims are being hospitalized. Meanwhile, the virus is continuing its rapid spread through the Southern Hemisphere. Nearly 28,000 laboratory-confirmed U.S.
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SCIENCE
March 12, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
A project that could point the way to a new class of drugs to treat influenza won the top prize Tuesday night at the Intel Science Talent Search, netting 17-year-old Eric S. Chen a cool $100,000. Chen, a senior at Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego, combined chemistry, biology and computer modeling to find compounds capable of blocking an enzyme called endonuclease, which the flu virus needs to spread. Despite taking home the grand prize at the 2013 Google Science Fair and the top individual honor at the 2013 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology , Chen said he didn't expect to come in first at the Intel competition . “I had no idea I was going to win,” Chen told his hometown newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune, after the awards were announced in Washington, D.C. “If I had placed between fifth and 10th, I would have been incredibly happy.” Chen has worked in the lab of Rommie Amaro , an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC San Diego, since the summer of 2012.
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HEALTH
September 14, 2009 | Times Staff Reports
The novel H1N1 flu virus, commonly called swine flu, appears to be no more dangerous than many seasonal flu strains -- but it spreads more easily than many viruses. Most at risk for infection : Children and young adults under the age of 25 have been the most likely to contract the virus in the United States. For seasonal flu, the elderly, the very young and the chronically ill are usually most susceptible. The toll: In the U.S., as of Sept. 10, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was reporting 9,079 hospitalizations and 593 deaths related to H1N1.
WORLD
February 3, 2014 | By Amro Hassan
CAIRO - Sixteen people in Egypt have died from the H1N1 virus - commonly known as swine flu - since the start of the winter, the country's Ministry of Health said Monday. The ministry's spokesman, Ahmed Kamel, was quoted by the daily newspaper Al Masry Al Youm as saying that in all, 172 people have been diagnosed with the virus, including those who died. Recent weeks have seen criticism from doctors and patients, who accused the ministry of underplaying the threat of the virus. An official of the Doctors' Syndicate, a major medical organization, told Egyt's CBC television that the ministry had been warned weeks ago about the danger of the virus.
OPINION
April 29, 2009
Whether the swine flu turns into a serious epidemic or never fulfills its initial global threat, the federal government rightly went into high alert and launched a search for a vaccine. Just as in 1976, this new emergence of swine flu could come to nothing -- which all of us can hope for -- but better to attack it with vigor than to understate the risk.
OPINION
October 20, 2009
Given the demographics and highly contagious nature of swine flu, it would be natural to think that when the county Department of Public Health begins vaccinations Friday, its efforts would be concentrated in the public schools, likely to be the most common incubators of the disease and a daily gathering spot for the most vulnerable population. Instead, the clinics will be held just about anywhere but schools: at community centers, parks and the like. These are traditional and valid locations for vaccination efforts.
BUSINESS
May 2, 2009 | David Colker
The Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission said Friday that they are going after scam artists taking advantage of the swine flu scare to sell worthless, even dangerous "remedies." Consumers who treat the swine flu virus (also known as H1N1) with unapproved products "risk their health and the health of their families," said Michael Chappell, acting FDA associate commissioner for regulatory affairs.
WORLD
May 18, 2009 | Associated Press
Japanese health officials confirmed dozens of new cases of swine flu in a series of announcements Sunday, as the government shut down schools and canceled community activities in affected cities. Japan now has at least 92 cases, most of them teenagers. The country had just four confirmed H1N1 cases as of Friday, all of whom were believed to have caught the flu outside the country.
BUSINESS
May 10, 2009 | DAVID LAZARUS
The swine flu outbreak in Mexico caused dozens of cruise ships to forgo trips to sunny resorts like Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, and to instead weigh anchor at considerably less exotic destinations such as Santa Catalina Island and San Diego. In most cases, fast-thinking cruise ship operators came up with ways to keep passengers from mutinying, including coupons for onboard amenities and credits for future trips.
SCIENCE
April 27, 2009 | Shari Roan
Warren D. Ward, 48, was in high school when the swine flu threat of 1976 swept the U.S. The Whittier man remembers the episode vividly because a relative died in the 1918 flu pandemic, and the 1976 illness was feared to be a direct descendant of the deadly virus. "The government wanted everyone to get vaccinated," Ward said. "But the epidemic never really broke out. It was a threat that never materialized." What did materialize were cases of a rare side effect thought to be linked to the shot.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 2014 | By Soumya Karlamangla
Despite a statewide drop in reported influenza cases, Los Angeles hospitals are preparing for this year's season to worsen in the coming weeks, fearful of the deadly H1N1 "swine flu" virus strain that is to blame for most of this year's flu deaths. H1N1 killed thousands of people around the world in 2009. That has hospitals worried about the spread of the illness, especially since California's flu deaths this year have dramatically outpaced last year's at this time. Dr. Rekha Murthy, epidemiologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said that starting Monday the hospital will require that visitors wear masks - whether or not they're sick - and that patients see only two visitors at a time.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 17, 2014 | By Eryn Brown
California has now confirmed 45 deaths from influenza this season, health officials have reported - an increase of 38 since the end of last week and further indication that this year's flu may be especially severe. "The great majority" of the newly confirmed patients who died had not received an influenza vaccine, said state epidemiologist Dr. Gil Chavez during a phone call with reporters Friday. Two of the new deaths occurred in children, and the state is investigating an additional 50 suspected flu fatalities, reported recently by counties, that "are likely to be confirmed by next week," Chavez added.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 10, 2014 | By Ruben Vives
A 30-year-old Coachella Valley man who died at a hospital this week tested positive for the H1N1 virus, according to the Riverside County Health Department. The case marks the first influenza-related death of the flu season in Riverside County, health officials said. No other details about the man were released. Officials said they're looking at whether other health problems contributed to the man's death, and if he received a flu shot. The vaccine helps guard against the 2009 H1N1 strain.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 10, 2014 | By Eryn Brown
It may be no surprise to snifflers stuck in doctor's office waiting rooms: The 2013-2014 influenza season appears to be picking up steam earlier than most flu seasons. On Friday, state and Los Angeles County health officials reported "sharp increases" in influenza activity, including illnesses and deaths. "The number of confirmed fatalities is rising rapidly and exceeds what is expected this time of year," said state epidemiologist Dr. Gil Chavez, of the California Department of Public Health in Sacramento.
NEWS
October 12, 2012 | By Eryn Brown
Flu season is upon us again, so the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has resumed publishing its weekly FluView Reports , which track influenza activity around the country. The report for the week ending Oct. 6, released Friday, showed low levels of flu activity. Of more than 2,800 lab specimens tested, 75 were positive (39 for strains of influenza A and 36 for strains of influenza B). No pediatric deaths from flu were reported, and numbers of flu-related pneumonia deaths were also low.  No influenza activity was reported at all in Guam and 18 states.
SCIENCE
September 11, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
Nobody knows where the next pandemic flu will come from. Now, scientists have evidence that influenza strains common in commercial pig herds can mutate in a way that would allow them to infect humans and spread easily among them. The study, published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that a flu strain isolated from pigs was able to spread among ferrets and killed them with ease. Ferrets are commonly used in flu studies because they have human-like responses to flu. Although this particular virus doesn't pose a threat to human health because it is similar to the H1N1 swine flu that has been circulating in people since 2009, the study findings underscore the need for watchfulness, said study coauthor Richard Webby, a virologist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
NEWS
December 28, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
The flu season is still young in the U.S. and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, but Australia wrapped up its flu season months ago, and public health officials there have some disturbing news to report: The version of so-called swine flu that is resistant to the drug Tamiflu is spreading more easily in the land Down Under. For those in need of a refresher course, swine flu refers to the H1N1 flu virus that caused a pandemic in 2009. It emerged in April in Mexico and spread swiftly around the globe, traveling to 214 countries and territories and killing more than 18,000 people, according to the World Health Organization.
BUSINESS
April 29, 2009 | Associated Press
After months of causing trouble for the stock market, consumers gave Wall Street a break Tuesday. A closely watched measure of consumer sentiment soared in April, prompting investors to hope that an improved outlook would translate into bigger cash register receipts. Stocks ended with modest declines after the reading pulled the market off an early slide prompted by worries about the health of some large banks and the spread of swine flu.
SCIENCE
August 10, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
A new type of swine flu has infected at least 145 people, mostly children, since July 12, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's a significant jump from the 12 cases confirmed by the agency last week. "We're seeing a big increase, and we think it's a real increase," said the CDC's Dr. Joseph Bresee in a Thursday update on the virus, which people have contracted after contact with pigs at county fairs. So far, most of the illnesses have been mild: Two people have been hospitalized this year and nobody has died.
NEWS
August 9, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
There have been 145 cases of infection with the H3N2 variant swine flu since July 12 -- a significant jump from the prior week's 12 confirmed cases, officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported Thursday morning. "We're seeing a big increase, and we think it's a real increase," said CDC flu epidemiology chief Dr. Joseph Bresee, during a news conference. People have been catching this new swine flu primarily from exposures to infected pigs at state and county agricultural fairs.  Sneezes and coughs from sick animals in fairground pens can sicken nearby people, who typically come down with a mild illness not unlike the seasonal flu.  Two people have been hospitalized with complications from their illness, but both are now home, Bresee said.
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