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Lance January 14th, 2013 9:18 AM

New York Governor declares State of Emergency over Influenza outbreak


The order makes vaccinations more accessible and allows pharmacists to administer vaccines to children.

Almost 20,000 cases of flu have been reported in New York state so far this season - more than four times the number of cases last winter.

The flu outbreak has reached epidemic proportions across the US.

Last week 7.3% of US deaths were caused by pneumonia and the flu, just above epidemic threshold, said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Flu activity was widespread in 47 states, up from 41 the week before.

Experts recommend flu vaccines, which have been found to be 62% effective.

The 2012-13 flu season is said to have started earlier than usual, with many cases of the H3N2 strain, which can be severe.

Some analysts say the latest numbers suggest the worst of the season may have passed.

The only states without widespread flu were California, Hawaii and Mississippi.

Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, runny nose, body ache and fatigue.

Severe cases could see vomiting and diarrhoea or develop into pneumonia. Many cases are much milder.
Influenza is no joke, it can still kill you if it's left untreated or if you're vulnerable. Perhaps more worrisome is the severity of this season, given that the new strains are loose on a population with almost no immunity. And there's always the chance of mutation, and pandemic level events.

Thoughts? Stay healthy!

shenanigans January 14th, 2013 9:53 AM

Ehhhh. Flu has epidemics and, on rare occasion, pandemics all the time and it's really nothing particularly scary. The vulnerable are vulnerable, yes, but it's reasonably easy to control via vaccination and I'd say relatively few people are vulnerable enough for it to pose serious enough issue.


Originally Posted by Livewire
if it's left untreated

As per 90% of cases. Unless it poses a serious threat, flu isn't something worth treating - mainly because most antiviral treatments are fairly expensive and have nasty side effects. Unless you're in a vulnerable position or are over 65 and vaccinations haven't worked, I don't imagine they'd be used at all. The best treatment is really just taking care of yourself and chucking the standard paracetemol, etc. at it.


Originally Posted by Livewire
there's always the chance of mutation

That's exactly how epidemics arise. The mutation's already happened - mutated just means it's changed to a state which we aren't immune to, like it does every time anyone has the flu, not strictly that it's at all dangerous.

G.U.Y. January 17th, 2013 7:54 PM

A state of emergency is actually a good thing to do in this case as it pressures businesses to close down when their employees are sick. Most employers pressure employees to still come in when they're sick.

Yesterday we had to shut down our dining room. Not because of the customer safety, but because so many of our employees are sick that we don't have enough people to run the entire store. For the past couple days the only managers working have been us salaried managers because all of our hourly ones are sick and we don't get overtime..

Flu, why are you skipping me? I want a day off too.

Sweets Witch January 17th, 2013 8:47 PM

Flu season. Oh man, flu season.

Since I work and live in a retirement community, every day and night for the past few months has been about the intensity of this flu season. The entire staff had to get flu shots, we encouraged family members of the residents to get them, and we offered them to the residents in every form we possibly could. Our biggest method was to send a small busload of people to get them, but we also offered them in one of the public buildings. A lot of residents who were in worse shape were eligible to have people from a home health agency come and give them shots in their own homes. Still, from what I've heard we still had a few people who flat-out refused to get vaccinated for whatever reasons. At that point it's out of our hands since we can't force them.

We haven't had any deaths or staff illnesses yet (resident illnesses are common regardless of the season), so that's good. I definitely agree with the notion that it's not as serious as it seems, though. It's just another flu season and it caught some people off guard.

TRIFORCE89 January 20th, 2013 7:51 PM

Except for H1N1, I don't think I've ever gotten a flu shot. I have no problems with vaccinations (heck, I'm vaccinated against chicken pox) or needles. I just don't like that the flu shot is a yearly thing, and not guaranteed at that (they try to predict the major strain they'll be up against).

If they come up with a one-time (maybe some boosters after a decade), one-size fits all, I'll take that. And if not, I'll get the flu shot when I'm old and vulnerable.

Alice January 23rd, 2013 12:01 PM

Sometimes I wish I weren't afraid of needles. Well, afaik, no one in my town/school is sick. My teachers have actually mentioned it a couple times, saying they were surprised that it hasn't seemed to come to our school at all.

Honest January 23rd, 2013 12:06 PM

...why am I just finding out about this. I live right in New York City, this should be old news to me. =/

Anyhow, yeah, influenza definitely is no joke. The fact that we're near epidemic level incidences is pretty scary, actually. I haven't even gotten my flu shot yet, so I should work on that. Doesn't help that New York City's population is over 9000. Disease can spread easily here, so I wouldn't be surprised if the flu went rampant here. I don't think I know anyone who has contracted the flu though.

Oh, and a fun fact. I've been sick since November, with a decent number of those symptoms. I really should head out to a doctor...

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