UK Swine Flu Thread

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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by the_alias » Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:17 am

Skydiver wrote:
Apache wrote:
AinsyC wrote:swine flu is nothing to worry about!
the symptoms are typically milder than that of average flu!
serious conditions only arise when underlying medical conditions mix unfavourably with the swine flu!
andygates wrote:At least with Fresher's Flu you get a drunken snog out of the deal.

AinsyC: It's more or less as bad as regular flu. It's got a much larger pool of infectable people. So, it will cause lots of deaths.

"Ordinary flu occurs every year during the winter months in the UK. It affects 10-15% of the UK population, causing around 12,000 deaths every year." [1]

[1] http://www.dh.gov.uk/PublicationsAndSta ... chk=2UuNhx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I love the way people gloss over the two most sensible posts for weeks!

Flu kills people every year. It even kills some 'healthy' people. It's nowt to worry about.

IT'S FLU!
Except that this flu is one we have no resistance to and is highly virulant, which means it will spread fast, infect many more people than seasonal flu and has a greater potential to mutate.

I'm not saying it's something we should all be terrified of as it is usually mild in most people at the moment, however it's potential is a lot worse than 'normal' flu.
Yeh the potential is the numbers increase:
XY people die from seasonal flu per year.
More people catch this flu MORE people die. Simply because more catch it.

So on a large scale it may be worse than normal flu because more vulnerable and healthy people will catch it. Meaning simply more vulnerable people who catch it will die because more are catching it...
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by krootox1986 » Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:21 am

aww get well soon hun get plenty of bed rest. x
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by andygates » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:07 pm

the_alias wrote:on a large scale it may be worse than normal flu because more vulnerable and healthy people will catch it. Meaning simply more vulnerable people who catch it will die because more are catching it...
On a large scale it *will* have more cases and more fatal cases. No question.

On a personal scale, the risk appears to be about as fluey as any other flu - some get it bad, some get it easy.

It's common sense to try not to catch it, and it's good citizenship to try not to spread it.

Here's a piece from t'wiki about how the 1918 Spanish Flu got to be so deadly:
The second wave of the 1918 pandemic was much deadlier than the first. During the first wave, which began in early March, the epidemic resembled typical flu epidemics. Those at the most risk were the sick and elderly, and younger, healthier people recovered easily. But in August, when the second wave began in France, Sierra Leone and the United States,[39] the virus had mutated to a much more deadly form. This has been attributed to the circumstances of the First World War.[40] In civilian life evolutionary pressures favor a mild strain: those who get really sick stay home, but those mildly ill continue with their lives, go to work and go shopping, preferentially spreading the mild strain. In the trenches the evolutionary pressures were reversed: soldiers with a mild strain remained where they were, while the severely ill were sent on crowded trains to crowded field hospitals, spreading the deadlier virus. So the second wave began and flu quickly spread around the world again.[41] It was the same flu, in that those who recovered from first-wave infections were immune, but it was far more deadly, and the most vulnerable people were those like the soldiers in the trenches—young, otherwise healthy, adults.[42] Consequently, during modern pandemics, health officials pay attention when the virus reaches places with social upheaval, looking for deadlier strains of the virus.[41]
...random mutations selected for by human patterns of movement. That's corking. And evil, natch.
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by sheddi » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:11 pm

krootox1986 wrote:aww get well soon hun get plenty of bed rest. x
+1 from me.

andygates wrote:On a large scale it *will* have more cases and more fatal cases. No question.
And +1 to that, too.

Courtesy of the BBC, here's a couple of charts showing how the predicted case numbers and fatalities stack up.

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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by K9medic » Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:47 pm

Found this link on another forum, some interesting graphs and maps for those that like to follow the spread of pig flu. http://www.flusurvey.org.uk/index.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by the_alias » Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:49 am

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/ju ... ave-peaked" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The current swine flu outbreak may now have peaked in Scotland, experts believe, suggesting that the surge in cases in England will subside within weeks.

One of the UK's leading bacteriologists, Professor Hugh Pennington, said this morning that Scotland was "possibly through the worst of this phase of the virus".

Despite a steep increase in cases in England, it is expected the latest Scottish estimated figures will show a decline when they are released later today after cases in the worst hotspots – Glasgow and Paisley – began to tail off earlier this month.

As a result, Scottish health ministers are not following moves in England to set up a national flu pandemic helpline because existing NHS services are able to cope with the current rate of cases.

The H1N1 virus caught hold in Scotland more quickly, after the first cases in the UK emerged in the small town of Polmont near Falkirk in April, and the first death of a swine flu patient outside the Americas.

To the surprise of experts, the virus was confined largely to three clusters - in southern Glasgow, Paisley and Dunoon, which erupted in May and June. The outbreak in Dunoon subsided quickly. Reported flu cases in the greater Glasgow area – which saw the first swine flu deaths in the UK – have also declined.

Last week, the Scottish health secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, said the overall rate of people reporting flu-like symptoms was not significantly higher than normal for this time of year. She said there were "encouraging signs" that cases were declining in the Glasgow area.

Prof Pennington, speaking on BBC Radio Scotland this morning, also cautioned against the rush to set up mass vaccinations of the population before the vaccine had been fully tested – a move being considered by ministers.

He said proposals to bypass normal testing procedures were laid out in the flu pandemic plan, but this virus was not proving as fatal or virulent as predicted in the plans. Pennington suggested it may be wiser to wait until the vaccine had been fully tested and if necessary altered before rushing it out.

The Guardian revealed today that Scotland's flu pandemic plans – drafted last year before the swine flu outbreak – had predicted that the next major outbreak could kill between 5,100 and 63,570 people in Scotland alone, in a matter of weeks.

But the highest mortality rate was based on the virus infecting 50% of the population and killing 2.5% of those infected. The mass vaccination plans are based partly on this official modelling. However, the H1N1 virus is far less virulent, although officials do fear the mortality rate could increase this winter, and get close to the 5,100 figure.

Pennington said: "Once the initial tests have been done I think there is a possibility - laid out in the pandemic plan - that we could use emergency procedures just to rush it through before all the test results have been analysed and completed.

"I'd be concerned about that because the pandemic plan was looking really at a virus that was much higher mortality than the one we're seeing now, the one we're seeing now is basically no different in that respect from seasonal flu."
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by sheddi » Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:58 pm

More numbers!

http://www.hpa.nhs.uk/webw/HPAweb&HPAwe ... 1252394302" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Weekly pandemic flu update

23 July 2009

KEY POINTS

* GP consultation rates have risen sharply over the last week in England.
* The under-5s and 5-14 year olds are the age groups predominantly affected, with the over 65s continuing to show much lower rates.
* The majority of cases continue to be mild. The provisional number of deaths related to swine flu is 26.
* HPA estimates that there were 100,000 new cases of swine flu in England last week (range 60,000 - 140,000).

This estimate is based on latest weekly consultation rates for flu-like illness, taking into consideration positivity rates for swine flu H1N1 from HPA's virological sampling and a range of assumptions related to the numbers of people attending their GP.
Lots more at the link.

See also:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8163930.stm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This bit made me :roll: ...
BBC wrote:The death toll stands at 26 - the same as last week - but the Department of Health has reclassified the way it counts mortality.

While there has been a number of swine flu deaths in the past seven days, some of last week's total has been discounted after an investigation by the government suggested swine flu had not contributed to their death.

No breakdown of when and where the people died is being given.
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by krootox1986 » Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:27 pm

Tally up another welshman to your figures. I have 3 main symptoms but the symptoms are all synonomous with regular cold and flu so i was told.
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by Skydiver » Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:31 am

9 days quarantine from start of symptoms - I'm 4 days from the end and going slightly crazy!
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by krootox1986 » Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:35 am

i don't have a runny nose or anything though it just doesn't 'feel' like flu
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by Skydiver » Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:17 am

mine did feel like flu, lol

Thought if you have a dry cough and temp I'd be inclined to err on the side of caution....
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by Ad'lan » Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:35 am

Shit thats me, I've had swine flu for days now and not known it.
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by Brit-ZedHunter » Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:38 am

Ad'lan wrote:Shit thats me, I've had swine flu for days now and not known it.
Look after yourself man.
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by Ad'lan » Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:47 pm

Not stopped me doing anything so Far, been dropping flu remedy every morning, and then I'm away :D

Might not actually be the best action if I do have swine flu though.
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by krootox1986 » Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:49 am

i thought i had swine flu but i got cleared they said my symptoms sounded like either:

stress
cigarette withdrawals
heavy cold or flu

so i'm free from teh aids lol
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by Skydiver » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:29 am

if your symptoms sound like heavy flu then there's nothing to really rule out swine flu as it is actually flu.

since it's highly virulent and no-one has very good if any immunity if you catch flu it's highly likely to be swine flu.

Going about your normal business is all well and good, you don't have underlying health issues - but you never know how many people you come into contact with might have.

taking 9 days out to be bored sitting at home is better in my view than potentially causing complications or death in someone else.


This isn't directed at any person in particular, more a general rant about being more aware.
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by andygates » Tue Jul 28, 2009 1:46 pm

Was chatting to a travelling techie today, he'd just come down from Birmingham where, apparently, "it's a right old hotbed" and the infection control ward was 50/50 swine flu and other stuff.

Ours is still all other stuff every time I check. Infection control can be pretty swift - in the case of swine flu, it looks like people with really bad flu-like go up there for observation. After a day or so most of them go home. Some would progress to intensive care (which is where the current media focus is).

Our plan for that, like the rest of the NHS, is to start by re-scheduling and then canceling elective procedures. But nobody is under any illusions: when people are going to die of this, it'll be in intensive care (where nothing could save them), or for want of intensive care (50 cases, 12 beds, even with improvised extensions some are going to be unlucky) or undiscovered victms. So expect this to simmer along in the media for months...
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by Ad'lan » Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:33 pm

If I actually thought I had swine flu, I'd stay home, as it is, I've just had a bad cough, and a temperature. I've been off the flu remedy, and I haven't got a cold or even a sneeze, so I'd doubt that I have it.
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by sheddi » Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:04 am

Possibly some good news, although the fact that the schools are now on holiday might have something to do with it ...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8176552.stm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
BBC wrote:Swine flu incidence 'is slowing'

There are indications the number of swine flu cases in England is no longer rising rapidly and may have "plateaued", officials have said.

There were an estimated 110,000 new cases of swine flu last week, compared with 100,000 the week before. There is also a big drop in five to 14-year-olds consulting GPs, coinciding with the start of the school holidays.

Meanwhile, officials say more than half of children taking Tamiflu suffer side-effects such as nausea and insomnia.

England's swine flu helpline - a telephone and web-based helpline service designed to relieve pressures on the NHS and GPs - launched last week. Those with symptoms including a fever or temperature over 38C or 100.4F - coupled with unusual tiredness, headache, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath or cough, loss of appetite, aching muscles, diarrhoea or vomiting - are eligible for anti-viral drugs. In the first seven days of the service, 150,000 people were given tamiflu.

England's Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson said he believed that many of these cases were in people who would not have gone to the GP and previously would have been undiagnosed. But he added there were also indications the service was taking pressure off out of hours services and NHS Direct.

"I think we are probably seeing a downturn in the illness at the moment but we don't anticipate it staying away," he said. "We expect to see a big surge in autumn."
More at the link.
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by sheddi » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:11 am

The HPA are reporting a big drop in swine flu cases reported to GPs this week, but admit that they don't know quite what this means :?

http://www.hpa.org.uk/webw/HPAweb&HPAwe ... 9542981903" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Weekly pandemic flu media update
6 August 2009

KEY POINTS
* There is a clear indication that the number of cases in England has decreased significantly in the last week.
* Weekly GP consultation rates decreased over the last week in England, coinciding with the first full week of operation of the National Pandemic Flu Service.
* The majority of cases continue to be mild. There is no sign that the virus is changing. It is not becoming more severe or developing resistance to anti-virals.
* Producing reliable estimates at present is very challenging with the move from GP consultations to the National Pandemic Flu Service. HPA modelling gives an estimate of 30,000 new cases in England last week (range 15,000 to 85,000). There has been a decrease in estimated number of cases in all age groups and in all regions.
This estimate incorporates data from National Pandemic Flu Service and GP consultations.
More at the link.

See also:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8188027.stm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by sheddi » Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:19 pm

Top news story in the UK at present:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8193012.stm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
BBC wrote:Flu drugs 'unhelpful' in children

Research has cast doubt on the policy of giving antiviral drugs to children for swine flu.

Work in the British Medical Journal shows Tamiflu and Relenza rarely prevent complications in children with seasonal flu, yet carry side effects. Although they did not test this in the current swine flu pandemic, the authors say these drugs are unlikely to help children who catch the H1N1 virus.

The government has stuck by its policy of offering them to anyone infected. The Department of Health said a "safety-first approach" of offering antivirals to everyone remained a sensible and responsible way forward, but promised to keep the policy under review.
More at the link.
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by andygates » Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:17 pm

NHS Swine Flu vaccine memo, as circulated at work (nothing confidential, but informative:
Dear Colleague

I am pleased to be sharing some of the specific details of the swine flu vaccination programme following an agreement by Ministers earlier today; but before I do, can I thank you all again for all your work to stand up the National Pandemic Flu Service (NPFS) at the end of July. The successful launch of the service is a credit to all your hard work. I know that many of you are going the extra mile to meet the needs of our patients and I want you to know that this is acknowledged and appreciated.

Vaccination against the swine flu virus has always been a part of our approach to managing a pandemic, and good progress has been made in developing an appropriate vaccine.

We have always said that prioritisation of different groups for vaccination will be based on the best possible scientific advice. Two independent expert scientific committees - the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI) and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) – have provided this advice.

Having taken this advice, Ministers across the UK have today agreed the priority ‘at risk’ groups to be offered the first doses of the swine flu vaccination, as well as when the vaccination programme is anticipated to start. Vaccination will only begin when the vaccines have been licensed by the European Medicines Agency (EMEA).

I can confirm that once the vaccine has been licensed, the following groups should be prioritised for vaccination in the following order:

1. Individuals aged six months and up to 65 years in the current seasonal flu vaccine clinical at risk groups

2. Pregnant women, subject to licensing conditions on trimesters

3. Household contacts of immunocompromised individuals

4. People aged 65 and over in the current seasonal flu vaccine clinical at risk groups.

These groups have been identified because they are at highest risk of severe illness should they contract the swine flu virus.

Frontline health and social care workers across the UK will also be offered the vaccine at the same time as the first clinical risk group, as they are at increased risk of infection and of transmitting that infection to vulnerable patients. Those staff eligible for seasonal flu vaccine, as set out in the Green Book, will be eligible for swine flu vaccination. This includes staff who have regular clinical contact with patients and who are directly involved in patient care. Examples of those groups who will be offered the vaccine include doctors, dentists, midwives and nurses, paramedics and ambulance drivers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and radiographers. Students and trainees in these disciplines, and volunteers who are working with patients, will also be included.

I would urge all of you who are eligible for early swine flu vaccination to take up the offer at the earliest opportunity – this will protect yourselves, your family and your patients. I want to take this opportunity to remind you that the swine flu vaccination will not protect you against seasonal flu, and recommend that you take up the offer of the seasonal flu vaccine this year too.

The vaccine manufacturers have advised that they expect a license for the vaccine to be granted around the end of September/ beginning of October. Based on these assumptions, the vaccination programme will therefore begin a short time thereafter.

Further operational guidance to the NHS on the roll out of the programme will be made available in the next few weeks. The Department of Health is working with the BMA and NHS organisations to reach a comprehensive swine flu vaccine implementation plan for the first stage of the programme.

Preparations continue to be made to extend the programme beyond these initial priority groups and JCVI will consider this matter further and report back in due course.

Over the coming months you will begin to see a public facing campaign to encourage vaccine uptake among the prioritised groups. At the same time, targeted communications to those people who are normally advised to get a seasonal flu jab will continue to encourage them to make an appointment for their annual vaccination.

For those of you delivering the vaccine, there will be resources available to support the administration, coordination and delivery of the programme. These will be available on the DH website in http://www.dh.gov.uk/swinefluvaccinationprogramme" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by andygates » Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:25 pm

The falling case numbers are exactly what we'd expect to see with an unrestricted infection in a fairly contained population. It's a sigmoidal (S-shape) curve. At first there are a few infected and a huge pool of targets. Infection progresses and the number of infected become large enough to each infect lots of the plentiful targets. Finally the targets become thin on the ground so the rate of new infections falls - the infected are bumping up against non-targets.

Non-targets are people who are already immune (thought to be 10-15% of the population, maybe 20% at the outside, mostly veterans of the last H1N1 outbreak), people who have recently had swine flu, and viable targets for whom the environmental conditions are unsuitable.

Come winter, the environmental conditions change and that big bunch of non-targets become targets. The curve will steepen up again and since winter is very preferable to summer for flu infection in the UK, it'll go like the clappers.

(Incidentally, if you've played Pandemic 2, the sigmoid is apparent at the start when it's hard to get going, and at the end of the game when you're waiting for that last handful of survivors to catch your bug)

10 more deaths posted today, bringing the UK total to 59: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8211697.stm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: UK Swine Flu Thread

Post by the_alias » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:53 am

Blerg I think I've got it. Woke up today with nose blocked lovely yellow snot, achey, tired, hot, no appetite and feel generally pretty shitty. Time for paracetamol, fluids and movies for a couple of days I guess!
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