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Old 2nd May 2019, 08:44 PM   #1
TalosMarr
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Influenza A(H1N1) is back

Apparently the the 2009 influenza a (H1N1) is back here in Arizona.

My step mother has joined this years death toll from it, confirmed by the University of Michigan Medical Center docs who did her autopsy.

She had flown in for a medical conference at U of M even though she was sick and was admitted to the medical center shortly after attending the first day, unconscious, with a temp of 108F/42.2C.
With that background info I have a couple of questions.

I seem to remember being told not to fly while sick as 1. it absolutely spreads the illness and 2. being inside a pressurized metal tube makes illnesses worse. Is there any truth to that 2nd part?

Do any of the more knowledgeable people here know if the 2009 H1N1 strain was/will be part of this years vaccinations?

Last edited by TalosMarr; 2nd May 2019 at 08:49 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 2nd May 2019, 08:55 PM   #2
Skeptic Ginger
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Originally Posted by TalosMarr View Post
Apparently the the 2009 influenza a (H1N1) is back here in Arizona.

My step mother has joined this years death toll from it, confirmed by the University of Michigan Medical Center docs who did her autopsy.
Your step mother died from flu? That really sucks.

As for being back, it never left, only the epidemic subsided. There have been sporadic cases since the epidemic.

Still, what a bummer that anyone dies from flu.

Originally Posted by TalosMarr View Post
She had flown in for a medical conference at U of M even though she was sick and was admitted to the medical center shortly after attending the first day, unconscious, with a temp of 108F/42.2C.
With that background info I have a couple of questions.

I seem to remember being told not to fly while sick as 1. it absolutely spreads the illness and 2. being inside a pressurized metal tube makes illnesses worse. Is there any truth to that 2nd part?

Do any of the more knowledgeable people here know if the 2009 H1N1 strain was/will be part of this years vaccinations?
I don't believe flying made her worse. But we tend to deny how sick we are sometimes and she may have gone to the conference when she should have gone to the doctor or ED.

2009 strain was in the vaccine for a couple years following the 2009 outbreak. If she had gotten annual vaccines since 2009, she would have had some vaccine immunity. But if she got a case of the flu, mild or severe, it would have set her up for secondary pneumonia regardless.

Did they say she had additional bacterial pneumonia? Has she gotten annual flu vaccinations?
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Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 2nd May 2019 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 09:03 PM   #3
TalosMarr
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Your step mother died from flu? That really sucks.

As for being back, it never left, only the epidemic subsided. There have been sporadic cases since the epidemic.

Still, what a bummer that anyone dies from flu.
Apparently there were ~80,000 deaths attributed to the flu and complications thereof in the US for the 2017-2018 season. I thought it was in the hundreds.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 09:13 PM   #4
TalosMarr
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I don't believe flying made her worse. But we tend to deny how sick we are sometimes and she may have gone to the conference when she should have gone to the doctor or ED.

2009 strain was in the vaccine for a couple years following the 2009 outbreak. If she had gotten annual vaccines since 2009, she would have had some vaccine immunity. But if she got a case of the flu, mild or severe, it would have set her up for secondary pneumonia regardless.

Did they say she had additional bacterial pneumonia? Has she gotten annual flu vaccinations?
She's been a practicing Nurse for close to 20 years, 15 at U of M, and 3 out here in Arizona, as well as working as a nurse on cruise ships during her 'vacation' days. I don't know about before she moved to AZ, but the flu vaccine is mandatory out here.

I know she developed severe pneumonia, then blood sepsis, while in the hospital but I'm not sure if she arrived with the pneumonia. She spent the first 3 days at that 108F/42.2C temp before it finally went down. The docs told my dad that she was probably brain dead the whole time they were treating her for everything else (~a month), after they shut off the respirator at the end.

Last edited by TalosMarr; 2nd May 2019 at 09:16 PM. Reason: clarity, grammar
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Old 2nd May 2019, 09:22 PM   #5
Skeptic Ginger
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OK, it's a tad complicated. It does appear that this flu season saw an uptick in the 2009 new variant strain. But you can't just go by H1N1 because there are many strains that are H1N1 but not necessarily the 2009 variant. H1N1 was the strain in the 1918 pandemic as well.But again, different versions circulate.

2009 H1N1 Pandemic (H1N1pdm09 virus)
Quote:
This virus was designated as influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 virus. Few young people had any existing immunity (as detected by antibody response) to the (H1N1)pdm09 virus, but nearly one-third of people over the age of 60 years had antibodies against this virus, likely from an exposure to an older H1N1 virus earlier in their lives. The (H1N1)pdm09 virus was very different from H1N1 viruses that were circulating at that time; vaccination with seasonal flu vaccines thus offered little cross-protection against (H1N1)pdm09 virus infection....

On August 10, 2010, WHO declared an end to the global 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. However, (H1N1)pdm09 virus continues to circulate as a seasonal influenza virus and cause illness and deaths worldwide every year.
But looking at recent news reports from Jan of this year in Canada, The H1N1 strain of the swine flu is back
Quote:
Dr. Bryna Warshawsky, a medical director with Public Health Ontario, tells us what we need to know about this year's strain. She spoke with the CBC's Conrad Collaco about this year's flu season and how H1N1 made a comeback. You can read an abridged and edited version of the interview or listen to the full audio interview by hitting the play button above....

It's fairly similar. The difference is that in 2009 that was the first time that strain had circulated. As a population we had very little immunity, therefore it affected a large number of people, especially younger people. Since then, that strain has circulated a number of times and we have been vaccinating every year against that strain. We have more immunity now, so fewer people are getting ill.
And in the NY Post in Jan, this was reported: This year’s flu strain once killed 50M people
Quote:
The CDC says H1N1 cropped up again in 2009 when there was a breakout of swine flu. The virus was also rampant during the 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons.

But the modern-day strain isn’t the same as the one from 100 years ago or even 10 because flu viruses evolve through what’s known as antigenic drifts and antigenic shifts.

And this is why it is not too late to benefit from a flu vaccine: NY Post April 22, 2019: Second wave makes this flu season the longest in a decade
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Old 2nd May 2019, 09:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TalosMarr View Post
She's been a practicing Nurse for close to 20 years, 15 at U of M, and 3 out here in Arizona, as well as working as a nurse on cruise ships during her 'vacation' days. I don't know about before she moved to AZ, but the flu vaccine is mandatory out here.

I know she developed severe pneumonia, then blood sepsis, while in the hospital but I'm not sure if she arrived with the pneumonia. She spent the first 3 days at that 108F/42.2C temp before it finally went down. The docs told my dad that she was probably brain dead the whole time they were treating her for everything else (~a month), after they shut off the respirator at the end.
That is awful. Really awful.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 09:27 PM   #7
TalosMarr
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Thanks for the info Skeptic Ginger. I'm definitely getting the jab this year, I skipped last years for 'reasons' that I can't even remember, but definitely never again.

ETA: Thanks for the sympathy, it is appreciated. I'm in a weird place about it all at the moment, the curiosity part of my brain is in overdrive and I'm sure it's because I'm not ready to deal with the emotions yet.

Last edited by TalosMarr; 2nd May 2019 at 09:30 PM. Reason: thanks
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Old 2nd May 2019, 10:07 PM   #8
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Those of us with organ transplants absolutely loath sntivaxxers. Get your shots I beg you.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 04:38 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by jaydeehess View Post
Those of us with organ transplants absolutely loath sntivaxxers. Get your shots I beg you.

My girlfriend got Influenza A back in March and her mom, who lives with her, is a heart transplant recipient. When I found out she had gotten the flu (despite having gotten the shot) I moved her mom out immediately and didn't let her move back in until after I had thoroughly sterilized the entire apartment.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 06:20 AM   #10
dann
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
And this is why it is not too late to benefit from a flu vaccine: NY Post April 22, 2019: Second wave makes this flu season the longest in a decade

From the NY Post article:

Quote:
Not helping matters: The harsher bug is not well matched to the vaccine, said the CDCís Lynnette Brammer, who oversees flu tracking.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 06:51 AM   #11
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Flying certainly can make the symptoms of illness worse. Also, travel can be stressful in general (packing, traffic, long lines at gates and security checkpoints, trundling luggage around, and so forth), which can reduce the effectiveness of the immune system. Though, I'm not sure if it would really affect the ongoing immune response to an existing infection.

So sorry to hear about your stepmother. This strain has a long track record of hitting strong resistant people extra hard. Look up "cytokine storm." That's more likely than immune suppression from flying to account for what happened to her.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 04:48 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by TalosMarr View Post
I wonder if they're counting people for whom it was the proximate cause of death or only direct cause. Though my dad would be part of the 2016-17 season anyway.

I'm sorry for your loss.
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Old 4th May 2019, 03:25 PM   #13
jimbob
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Sorry for your loss
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link is 2015 data (2013 Data below):
UK 8.5% of GDP of which 83.3% is public expenditure - 7.1% of GDP is public spending
US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending
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Old 4th May 2019, 03:49 PM   #14
Skeptic Ginger
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Originally Posted by deadrose View Post
I wonder if they're counting people for whom it was the proximate cause of death or only direct cause. Though my dad would be part of the 2016-17 season anyway.

I'm sorry for your loss.
It's common to lump flu and pneumonia deaths together.
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