flu epidemic

North Pole Mini-Challenge Day Six part 3

Enough cooking points for the Holiday Roast

FiggyPudding: growl snarl grr teeth
JustSimAround: *is cool with that*
I chose this outerwear because orange is JSA’s favorite color, not because it’s hilarious

NPC Santa appears (and leaves a teddy bear) +5!

Elfis is responsible for the flu epidemic with his trash-can-kicking that started a terrible chain of events
Elfis is my favorite

glitchy lot = invisible teddy bear

Favorite recurring character in a non-speaking role

+05 NPC Santa appears
+05 no one eats anything but junk
-02 Christmas Tree fire
+05 points from Day Five

+13 points for Day Six

Seasonal flu vaccine only 12 percent effective in adults – CDC

The US’s seasonal flu vaccine was only 12 percent effective, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate. Nearly 70 percent of flu viruses have “drifted” from the form used in the immunizations, the government body said.

The CDC states in its weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report, released Thursday, that: “Overall, the estimate suggests that the 2014-15 influenza vaccine has low effectiveness against circulating influenza A (H3N2) viruses.” 

It stated that the seasonal flu shot offered less protection because of the widely varied nature of the flu viruses in the US. Seventy percent of flu viruses were a different strain or had “drifted” from the virus used to produce the vaccination.

The flu “epidemic” rapidly spreading across the United States is reportedly the worst outbreak in in a decade. A total of 41 states have now reported cases of the flu, and the severe winter cold season is just beginning. According to recent flu statistics, a total of 18 children died from the flu this winter. (via Flu ‘Epidemic’ Spreads To 41 States)

The 1918 influenza epidemic killed 50-100 million people worldwide, more than the Black Death killed in a century. The 1918 pandemic claimed more victims in 24 weeks than AIDS in 24 years. More soldiers died from the flu than from WWI.

The 1918 flu epidemic was also fast. In Washington, DC, one young woman called to report two of her roommates were dead, and another was sick, while she was unaffected. By the time medical help arrived at the apartment, all four were dead.

The operator of a mine elevator succumbed so quickly to the sweaty paralysis of the Spanish flu that there was no time to evacuate the elevator before he lost control. The elevator plummeted, killing 24 miners.

Rachael's Story...

The summer before I went to high school I met a group of girls through my then (evil) boyfriend. I secretly was in awe but had to play it cool because that is what 15 year olds do in front of one another. Everyone went their separate ways after high school but we all remained in contact.

One of those girls, Rachael S., contracted H1N1, swine flu. Remember learning about the great flu epidemic of 1918, “Spanish flu”? Maybe not but I do. I do because stuff like that scares the crap out of me. (Watch Soderbergh’s CONTAGION. He wrote my nightmare in detail. Evil genius) The nature of H1N1 is interesting because it almost acts as if it focuses all its abilities to take down people in their 20’s and 30’s. The group of people that usually have very little complications when battling a virus. I’ve been standing on the side, witnessing every procedure, every hope, every fear as Rachael endures one of the most virulent strains of flu of our time.

Today her sister wrote a timeline of the events, up until now:

The following is a little long but the moral of the story is we owe our continued hope today to Skip………

I dedicate today, Sunday January 26, 2014 to Skip, a man that I have only really met once, for a few minutes, but when I met him I hugged him with joy and gratitude because I had hope again. The past few weeks have been a tornado of emotions, at times I want to rip out my soul. Two weeks ago I watched Rachael intubated and shortly after I was told that the survival rate for people in her situation was 20% however to be hopeful because she was young and otherwise healthy. For the next eight days we watched intently for signs of improvement but they never came. We clutched onto the smallest details as signs of improvement to only watch them disappear. Most days Rachael remained steady and for which we mistook as stable. Everyone experienced a de-sat at least once and as a bystander all we could do was just stand there helpless, watching, holding our breathes and waiting. Trying to will the oxygen back into her lungs. Trying to will the oxygen back into her lungs.

The next Sunday we anxiously waited for the hospital to transfer Rachael to KUMED, this was a whole day ordeal, stabilizing her with medications, increasing her vent settings and waiting. Two hours would just disappear before you felt 30 minutes go by. Finally, she was ready to be moved and the transfer team came back a second time. It was to be only a 15 minute flight to KUMED, but the process of taking her off of the hospital respirator and on to the flight crews machine would take around a half hour. They had her on the gurney, hooked up to the transfer ventilator, we were ready for movement. Then the crushing defeat when they told us she wasn’t stable enough for transfer because her saturation were not at a safe level brought such a heavy weight with it. By Monday morning Rachael’s body was struggling to absorb enough oxygen, the doctors had her respirator settings higher than we had previously been led to believe was in its capacity. We were told it was just a matter of time but that Rachael would most likely be gone by the end of the week. The only hope we had left was to get her transferred to KUMED, yet overnight all of the ICU beds at KUMED had filled up. Again, we waited, hoping for a discharge.

Rachael’s lungs were beginning to loose there elasticity as she was starting to show signs of oxygen toxicity. The doctor had one last procedure he could do however he had little hope going into it, he was right, it changed nothing. Rachael’s doctor was willing to transfer her if and when a bed became available but he didn’t seem to feel it would change much. The ECMO machine, in his opinion, was still experimental on patients in Rachael’s condition. Additionally, after someone has been intubated for more than 6 days they are not considered a candidate for ECMO. We were now on day 9. My good friend Moe kept mentioning St. Luke’s but the hospital didn’t seem to believe this was an option, its across state lines, it’s a private hospital, and Rachael does not have health insurance.

When our cousins came to visit that Sunday they became fully aware of how serious Rachael’s condition was. The following day more of our cousins came to the hospital. Our cousin Julie, who has been working in Indianapolis, drove in that afternoon. When she and our cousin Jodi heard that St. Luke’s had the desperately needed ECMO machine but it wasn’t being considered an option, they took to the phones. This is where Skip comes in, the best man at Julie’s wedding, her friend and neighbor, living just across the street from her. Not only is he a great friend but he also runs the ECMO machines at St. Luke’s. It took several hours and many phone calls from Jodi and Julie, not to mention Jodi’s insistence to the doctor to support this move and get Rachael transferred to St. Luke’s. On the ambulance pad Rachael’s sats dropped but she quickly recovered and she was on her way. By Monday evening, Rachael made it to St. Luke’s, we were all there before she even arrived.

The pulmonologist wasn’t sure if Rachael was a candidate for the ECMO, she would have to be observed overnight and they only had one open machine. By lunch the next day she was on ECMO. Why? Because of Skip! My Cousins got her there and Skip got her on the machine. Tuesday morning, day 11 in the hospital, day 10 on the respirator the doctors felt that barring any unforeseen complications Rachael would most likely survive. With the ECMO in place we saw the respirator settings decrease but no other really marked achievements. By Thursday she was stable, stats were manageable, she was receiving new treatments and, as for myself, I was able to push some of the dread out and feel a bit of joy.

I went to visit Rachael on Friday before going to work, day 14 in the hospital. Another family, the Burkhearts, lost their fight… He had the same illness as Rachael but had not been a candidate for ECMO…a tragic day for that family. The fear was reignited in me.

The Dr. at LMH was very close to calling Rachael’s timeline if she hadn’t been on ECMO.

Yesterday Rachael began to swell with fluid. Her face, neck, arms and legs looked like they wanted to rip out of her skin. But it was her hands that freaked me out at first, I was afraid to touch them, visions in my head of me squeezing to hard and they would POP. The fluid became too much for her lungs, once again she was placed on a paralytic then her respirator was turned off. If she had not been on the ECMO machine we would not have TODAY. Last night, she was placed on dialysis, she has around 8 different IV drips pumping into her, large hoses on one side pumping blood out and returning it with oxygen, on the other side, a machine pumping out blood, cleaning it and returning it. As Rachael’s best childhood friend, Kym, said this morning, she is living more outside of her body than in, but SHE is still in there. SHE is still fighting and SHE still has a chance for recovery. Today I dedicate to Skip, yesterday I dedicate to Mr. Burkheart and his family.

Without Rachael’s respirator on I was able to see her breath on her own for the first time in 13 days. I tried to match her breath. Quick breath in and quick breath out then pause..pause..pause…, a teardrops worth of oxygen in and out then wait…wait…wait…a startled gasp worth of air in and out then wait. I had to take a deep breath. But her lungs are working, not well but on their own. I have hope and I have today. Rachael has a long road ahead but today we have hope that she will live. Keep those thoughts open to her and all of the other people fighting the same fight and all of those who are standing by and waiting, and thank you Skip.

…Rachael’s story is still in progress. I continue to sit by her side and patiently wait until she opens her eyes and we talk about everything and nothing.

So I experienced my first ambulance ride to the hospital this morning, for my son, I thought he had the croup again but after we got there it turned out he had bronchial asthma due to the flu that he had a few weeks earlier. So after a few hours, some medication and a brand new nebulizer to take home he is doing better. Much better in fact. What I can’t get over today is the nurse that took care of son while we were in the hospital, she was nice and kept Frankie calm and smiling but something she said nearly drove me to flip the table in our room. At one point durning our stay in the ER she asked him if he had any siblings to which he replied no and she said “Well tell your mommy and daddy not to be lazy, and go to the baby store so you can have a brother or sister.” My face instantly turned as red as my hair and my husband made this strange inhuman noise, almost like a baby dinosaur and started to back up. I sorta kinda laughed and replied “I wish it were that easy” and forced a smiled, I think then she realized that she said something wrong cause she just hurried away real fast. Now I know she obviously doesn’t know our situation but really have some common sense and watch what you say around people, he’s not an only child cause we’re lazy. Geez! This has made me so mad, I’ve been fuming about it for like the past 12 hours. It kills me every time I say it out loud, “I’ve had two miscarriages in the past 10 months.” Ugh… I’m just glad my baby is doing better because as calm as I was this morning, it was a pretty scary situation. I never want to do that again.

a quick PSA:

I heard my parents talking about a man in the area who’d called home to check on his wife, who had the flu. He got no answer, asked a neighbor to check in on her, and his wife was dead.

My paranoia towards the flu just jumped a couple hundred levels.

Guys. Take your vitamins. Wash your hands. Get your hands on some cleaning stuff and clean up frequently touched surfaces.

Most importantly, if you are sick to any degree, STAY HOME AND GET BETTER. If you’re the idiot who comes to class despite illness and gets me sick, you’ll be the recipient of many a death glare from me.

I care about you guys. I don’t want anyone to get wretchedly ill on my watch.

And nobody wants to say they died of the flu in the afterlife.

UPDATE: I am so antsy, I’m going to mail my darling a little package with cough drops, hand sanitizer, and tissues, with a card that says “Here. Please don’t get sick, but just in case.” He’ll roll his eyes at me, but I don’t care. I’ll not have a sick missionary.

Flu Epidemic in U.S., With 15 Child Deaths Reported

Flu Epidemic in U.S., With 15 Child Deaths Reported

The flu has reached epidemic levels in the United States, with 15 children dead so far this season, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

Every state will likely have flu cases within the next few weeks, and more deaths are expected, said Dr. Michael Jhung, a medical officer in CDC’s influenza division.

“We are in the middle of flu season,” Jhung said. “It’s a safe bet…

View On WordPress

Flu epidemic spreads to 43 states

Flu epidemic spreads to 43 states

The CDC reports that the flu epidemic has worsened in the past week with the death toll rising to 21 children.

Source: CBS News By Staff

The CDC reports that the flu epidemic has worsened in the past week with the death toll rising to 21 children. Mutations in the virus have also made the current flu vaccine less effective.

Read entire story, click Source link above.

[mom_video type=”youtube”…

View On WordPress

Over The Weather

It isn’t until you swallow with a clear throat after three days of swallowing what feels like a throat full of razor blades that you realize how important a healthy body is.  It isn’t until after you get a full night’s rest after three restless nights that you appreciate the health you have.  It isn’t until you are able to go outside again after being too weak to walk, too cold to leave the warmth of the heavy blankets and too sensitive to brightness to open your eyes that you begin to realize how you’ve taken your good health for granted.

There are people who have a debility / disability that won’t go away.  Their ‘cold’ isn’t temporary.  They simply won’t have to battle it out for a week.  Their discomfort is longer lasting.  Their discomfort is perhaps permanent.  I had something hit me last week.  I think it was what is currently in the news as the flu epidemic.  I am usually very careful of what my hands touch when out in public and I’m very careful to wash my hands quite frequently ( almost in an eccentric way ), but I too came under the weather and hated every minute of it.

But my temporary cold was gone in less than a week.  There are some which are unable to walk, unable to open their eyes, unable to breathe without issue, unable to swallow without discomfort, unable to get out of bed, unable to feel relief from aches and pains in their body and unable to go about their lives with freedom and relief from their sickness.  For some, their sickness will never leave them.  I was reminded once again how fragile the human body can become and how temporary discomforts for some are constant discomforts for others.