This year the flu came in two waves – here’s why
Two different strains of flu tag-team our immune system
This year the flu came in two waves – here’s why
Two different strains of flu tag-team our immune system
Toux, fièvre, vomissements… une étrange épidémie dans un avion Emirates reliant Dubaï à New York
À leur arrivée à New York, mercredi, plus 500 passagers d’un A380 de la compagnie Emirates ont été examinés. Une centaine d’entre eux présentaient de la fièvre, de la toux et certains étaient pris de nausées. Dix personnes ont été hospitalisées.
Dix personnes hospitalisées, plus de 100 passagers se plaignant de toux et de fièvre. Le rappeur Vanilla Ice, parmi les 521 personnes bloquées sur le tarmac à New York : l’aéroport John F. Kennedy, s’est mobilisé mercredi face à une alerte santé d’une rare ampleur, probablement due à un épisode grippal.
L’alerte a été donnée vers 09 h du matin (13 h GMT) à l’atterrissage du vol EK203 de la compagnie Emirates en provenance de Dubaï, assuré par un A380 avec 521 personnes à bord.
Toux, fièvre et vomissements
« On nous a informés qu’un grand nombre de passagers étaient malades : 106 présentaient des symptômes allant de la toux à de la fièvre et des vomissements », a expliqué Oxiris Barbot, responsable des services de santé de New York.
L’appareil a alors été conduit « à distance » des terminaux, et des équipes médicales, dont des spécialistes de l’agence fédérale des Centres de contrôle et de prévention des maladies (CDC), sont montées à bord pour examiner les 521 passagers.
Parmi eux, le rappeur Vanilla Ice, qui a informé ses fans qu’il était assis à l’étage supérieur de l’A380. « C’est dingue. Apparemment il y a plus de 100 personnes malades à l’étage inférieur, je suis content d’être en haut », a-t-il notamment tweeté.
Du coup, on en inspecte d’autres…
#EK203 (au cas où…)
These flights have been quarantined and evaluated over sick passengers | Deseret News (article du 9/09/2018)
Several flights across the country have been quarantined and evaluated over the past few days after some passengers showed signs of sickness.
On Wednesday, a flight from Dubai to John F. Kennedy Airport was quarantined after at least 19 passengers suffered from a confirmed case of the flu, according to ABC News.
The CDC quarantined the Emirates aircraft, which held 520 passengers. The CDC evaluated 100 passengers, who said they suffered from coughs, headaches, sore throats and fevers, ABC News reported.
At least 10 people were hospitalized as a “precaution.” The rest were cleared.
“Given the symptoms that we are seeing in the patients and given the history that they present, it looks like this is probably influenza,” acting New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said. “But again, until we have our final results late tonight we won’t be able to give a final determination on what the underlying cause is of this illness.”
Similarly, Southwest Airlines passengers on four flights between Dallas, Houston and Harlingen, Texas, may have been exposed to #measles, the airline company told KTRK-TV.
The airline said it contacted customers who traveled on the plane two weeks ago to see if anyone onboard had the highly contagious virus.
The Houston Health Department is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to speak with the passengers.
The department told KTRK that the passenger who had the virus did not visit the airport after their flight. They stayed in a waiting room for an hour after the flight.
And, as The Verg_e reported, two more international flights were evaluated after passengers were caught coughing and showing signs of sickness.
Both flights were from American Airlines, flying from Munich and Paris to Philadelphia International airport. About 12 people on each flight felt sick, according to a statement from the airport.
The airport said “_all passengers on the two flights — totaling about 250 plus crew — were held for a medical review and the CDC was notified.”
Allen Parmet, an aerospace medicine expert, told The Verge, “It’s actually pretty common to have somebody coughing in a plane.”
“If it turns out to be the flu, this could be an early forecast of the flu season ahead. And the CDC has some tips for keeping the virus from spreading: get vaccinated, and stay home when you’re sick, if you can,” according to The Verge.
C’est un coup des musulmans du pèlerinage #Hajj …
Health Scares At Two U.S. Airports Linked To Pilgrims Arriving From Muslim Hajj In Mecca
U.S. health officials revealed on Friday that major health scares at two U.S. airports involving inbound flights are tied to pilgrims returning from Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims take at least once in their lifetime, and which ended in late August.
Health officials on Wednesday sent an emergency response team to the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York after more than 100 Emirates passengers from Dubai showed flu-like symptoms.
In an interview with Reuters, Martin Cetron, director for the division of Global Migration and Quarantine at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that 11 of the nearly 549 passengers evaluated at the airport were sent to a local hospital for further testing.
Ten were tested for respiratory pathogen in an attempt to rule out serious infections that may pose health threats to the public.
“Our most critical issue was to rule several respiratory illnesses of urgent public health significance,” Cetron said.
Two tested positive for a virulent type of the influenza A virus. One of the two was found gravely ill with pneumonia and also infected with another respiratory virus. Another passenger was positive for the cold virus.
Seven crew members of the flight who were not at the pilgrimage tested negative for respiratory infections that could be of public health concern.
Another health scare happened at the Philadelphia International Airport the next day. Medical teams had to screen passengers who boarded two American Airlines flights from Europe when 12 passengers showed flu-like symptoms. One of the sick passengers visited Mecca for the Muslim pilgrimage.
Of the 11 passengers taken to the hospital for evaluation, 10 had respiratory symptoms and one exhibited signs of food poisoning. The 10 patients were also tested for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, but none was positive. MERS is a highly contagious viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
The incident prompted a medical review of 250 passengers from the two flights. Authorities said that this was done as a precautionary measure.
“While airport operations were not affected, out of an abundance of caution, officials performed medical evaluations and assessments,” the Philadelphia International Airport said on Twitter.
CDC spokesman Benjamin Haynes said that CDC and public health officers worked with emergency medical service personnel and officials from the Customs and Border Protection to evaluate the sick passengers.
Twelve were found to have coughs and sore throats, and one tested positive for flu. The CDC said that this is not unusual since flu is a year-round virus.
#MERS-CoV (ça faisait longtemps, tiens !)
A Federal Ban on Making Lethal Viruses Is Lifted - The New York Times
In October 2014, all federal funding was halted on efforts to make three viruses more dangerous: the flu virus, and those causing Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
But the new regulations apply to any pathogen that could potentially cause a pandemic. For example, they would apply to a request to create an Ebola virus transmissible through the air, said Dr. Collins.
Egyptian Chronicles: Al-Rawda Mosque Carnage : Two weeks later
Al-Rawda Mosque Carnage : Two weeks later
Last Friday, head of Al-Azhar Sheikh Mohamed El-Tayeb led Friday prayers at North Sinai’s El-Rawda Mosque just one week after the horrifying massacre it witnessed where not less than 311 people were killed according to official statements in Egypt’s worst terrorist attack.
The week before President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi renewed his orders to the Egyptian armed forces and police force during the official celebration of Prophet Mohamed “PBUH” to use “brute force” or “utmost force” to restore order within three months in the Egyptian Northern East governorate.
The Egyptian Mainstream Media passed over that horrifying massacre as you know life goes on and we should not ask too many questions as terrorism is having its last days in North Sinai.
I had too many questions and I could not find them in the mainstream media as usual.
I can not travel to North Sinai except if I have security permits and unfortunately I could not travel to Ismailia to meet with the injured either as I have been battling flu. Yet, thank God for telephones despite it is not perfect.
In the past week, I managed to speak with locals from both Bir Al-Abd city as well Al-Rawda village through telephone calls.
Their answers and information did not only reveal something I did not know then about the worst massacre in the history of Egypt but also about the situation in general in North Sinai governorate after nearly four years of war against terrorism.
The Black Friday
On Friday 24 November, the People of Bir Al-Abd began to feel that there was something wrong with that 35 km away small village as news came that militants cut the International highway between their city and Al-Rawda.
The news came that afternoon about how there was a bombing inside the village’s mosque during Friday prayers and the injured were transferred to the Bir Al-Abd hospital as there is no medical facility in there.
Mapping A London Epidemic - National Geographic Society
Je n’avais pas encore vu cette initiative du National geographic, très intyéressante, qui propose un "exercice cartographique original (Comment la cartographie peut aider à résoudre un problème). Ça me fait penser à l’initiative de Hans Rosling qui a décidé d’aller au coeur de l’épidémie Ebola en Afiuqe de l’Ouest, s’installer dans un bureau du ministère de la santé et commencer à collecter les statistiques géoréférencer pour faire des cartes et aider à mieux identifier les points chauds etc...
1. Brainstorm ways that mapping can help to solve problems.
Ask students if they can think of ways that people use maps to solve problems. Ideas might include figuring out which roads to use to evacuate an area in danger of a hurricane or finding your way around a mall. Encourage students to think broadly about information that can be put on maps. Ask: What might we find out from mapping where people with the flu or another illness live or travel? Explain that often the scientists and researchers who study disease outbreaks, like the flu, use mapping to determine how to stop an illness from spreading further.
Surprising Human Immune Responses Could Lead to Better Flu Vaccines
... when influenza infects someone, it not only triggers an immune response for that particular strain, but for all the strains of that type of flu that have ever infected the person. This phenomenon, named ‘back-boosting,’ means that our old immunity gets boosted every time we’re faced with a new flu virus. Typically, the back boost response was stronger for past strains that were closely related to the infecting strain.
This means scientists can try to predict how the virus might mutate (an active area of research) and base a vaccine on that, without worrying about diminishing protection against current circulating strains
The refugees call the monsoon “the season of flu”. Everywhere I was accompanied by the sound of coughing. One Rohingya medic I met, who didn’t want to be identified, said malnutrition posed the largest threat to the refugees. “We’re worse than prisoners because prisoners are fed,” he said. “We’re not. We don’t know when we’ll get the next meal. There are many cases of diarrhoea, as well as numerous skin conditions and tuberculosis.” In this camp alone, at least 20 people have died from treatable conditions. “The clinic is open,” he said, “but we have nothing.”
At first it was easy to believe the people had escaped from violence elsewhere and were out of harm’s way. It was only when I talked with refugees that the full extent of their terror became clear.
Statistics on Violent Conflict | Historical overview of violent conflict
Since there’s no world war or major conflict going on at the moment, the number of war deaths is relatively limited nowadays. Only about 10% of all violent deaths occur as a result of armed conflicts. Whereas more than a million people lose their lives to violence each year, about half of those are suicides and a third are homicides.
Of course, it wasn’t always like that. Since the beginning of recorded history, around 3600 BC, over 14.500 major wars have killed about four billion people, a number that not so long ago equaled the whole of humanity. The wars that took place in the 20th century killed around 200 million people; in the Second World War, 66 million died, compared to 15 million in the First. However, if you count the 50 to 100 million deaths from the 1918 flu pandemic - facilitated by close troop quarters and massive troop movements – WWI is the deadliest conflict in world history.
Since the Second World War, there have been on average about 30 armed conflicts ongoing every year. 90% of casualties in these conflicts have been civilians, compared to 50% in the Second World War and 10% in the First. 128 armed conflicts since 1989 have resulted in at least 250,000 deaths each year.
FAO Issues Avian Flu Warning
Avian flu continues to pose serious health threats to both human and animal health, especially as the flu season approaches. That’s the warning issued Monday by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
Listen to De Capua report on avian flu
The FAO is calling on the international community to be vigilant for any signs of H5N1 and the new H7N9 avian flu. The former has been around for years, but H7N9 was first reported in China only last April. About 130 human infections were confirmed. Many of those patients had reported contact with poultry. Most had severe respiratory illness. Forty-four people died.
FAO senior animal health officer Ian Douglas saID timing of the warning is important.
“We’ve had over a decade of experience with H5N1 avian influenza virus and generally speaking we’ve seen this pattern of increase of incidence of the disease with the coming of cooler weather following summer. The experience with H7N9 version of avian influenza virus is much more limited. But whilst the number of human cases of that infection have declined, there is the possibility that it could reemerge and become a more prevalent infection.”
While both strains can jump from poultry to humans, there is a difference between the two.
Douglas said, “The difference perhaps is significant in so far as H7N9 has not been observed to cause much of clinical disease in poultry. And this constitutes a much great challenge because it’s not immediately obvious where the birds are infected and therefore, of course, the root of transmission to humans is somewhat more concealed.”
The lack of clinical signs makes is difficult to detect.
Health officials are very concerned that avian flu viruses might mutate and allow infections between people, not just between people and poultry. But is there any evidence, so far, that human to human transmission has occurred?
“There have been some suggestions,” he said, “of clusters where with very close contact that might have been the case. But of course the possibilities exist for a common exposure to an animal source. Avian influenza viruses can survive for some time outside of the bird or human host and contamination of the environment, at least for a reasonably short period of time, is possible.”
Douglas said that avian influenza viruses have the potential to produce a pandemic of human infection.
“In the case of H5N1, fairly rapidly. Over 60 countries in the world reported some cases occurring either in domestic or wild birds. That number is much reduced. Today, however, the infections remain endemic from Egypt across South and Southeast Asia and somewhat entrenched in those populations.”
He said it’s not clear whether H7N9 would behave the same way, adding there’s much to learn about the virus.
Established control methods involve culling — and vaccinations in the case of the H5N1 virus. But the response must also include tracking where the birds came from and their intended destinations – and ensure that poultry markets adhere to sanitation guidelines.
La DG de l’OMS agite la menace du #MERS-CoV à l’Assemblée générale
Ten years after Sars, now we have Mers - Health News - Health & Families - The Independent
Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, did not mince her words. The deadly Sars-like virus that has spread in recent months from the Middle East to Germany, France and the UK, killing more than half of those it has infected, is a “threat to the entire world”.
Since it emerged in Saudi Arabia in September last year, the new virus has spread to 50 people in eight countries and claimed 30 lives. But it is not what it has done that is worrying – it is what it may do.
et le directeur du Centre de surveillance de la grippe du R.-U. prêche pour sa paroisse et le #H7N9
While Mers is causing alarm in the Middle East and Europe, health experts in the Far East are worrying over a different threat – from a new strain of flu that could be a harbinger of the next pandemic.
H7N9 has been described as the “nastiest virus in humans in years”. It is deadly, resistant to anti-flu drugs and poses a “serious threat” because of its potential to mutate and create a new pandemic strain, according to Professor John McCauley, director of the WHO’s collaborating centre for flu surveillance in the UK.
There have been 132 laboratory confirmed cases and 37 deaths, says the WHO. The latest case is a six-year-old boy who became ill in Beijing on 21 May. The virus has spread to half a dozen provinces in China and to Taiwan but appears to have slowed in the past month.
Oui, merci. J’avais vu.
Ma veille est plutôt réduite en ce moment. Je suis de nouveau au bord de la Caspienne. Dans la journée, au ministère, l’accès à Internet est très filtré. Pas des filtres intelligents, non…
Le problème vient du fait que si les chefs ont des écrans de télé grand format dans leur bureau et le laissent allumer en permanence, y compris pendant les réunions, les pas-chefs n’en ont pas. Du coup, ils se rabattent sur YouTube avec des conséquences très sensibles sur le débit…
Du coup, ils ferment quasiment tout (même les messageries en Webmail) de 10h à 18h…
Canada not planning H7N9 bird flu vaccine studies | CTV News
Sous ce titre se cache un intéressant développement sur l’inefficacité complète des vaccins contre les souches H7 du virus de la grippe (et donc, très probablement, d’un éventuel vaccin pour H7N9). D’où la nécessité de produire ce futur vaccin avec un #adjuvant, ce qui n’est pas le cas à ce jour des vaccins états-uniens contre la grippe.
Canada currently has no plans to ask its pandemic flu vaccine manufacturers to make trial batches of vaccine to protect against the new H7N9 bird flu, senior officials of the Public Health Agency of Canada have revealed.
While the U.S. government has said it will ask several of flu vaccine manufacturers to start growing up batches of serum against the new virus this summer, Canada will watch, wait and learn from the work the U.S. does, the officials said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
“What we need to do in the international research-scientific community, the public health community is to complement each other. If the U.S. is doing something, we don’t need to do it necessarily,” explained Dr. Frank Plummer, head of the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.
Dr. John Spika, director general of the public health agency’s center for immunization and respiratory infectious diseases, said doing this early work is more crucial for the United States, which will have to make a decision about whether to use an adjuvant with H7N9 vaccine, if the virus causes a pandemic. An adjuvant is a product that boosts the immune response to a vaccine, typically allowing a smaller dose to have a protective effect.
Flu Shot Doing Poor Job of Protecting Older People - ABC News
It turns out this year’s flu shot is doing a startlingly dismal job of protecting older people, the most vulnerable age group.
The vaccine is proving only 9 percent effective in those 65 and older against the harsh strain of the flu that is predominant this season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.
Cette année, le vaccin contre la grippe est particulièrement peu efficace, en particulier chez les personnes âgées.
Overall, across the age groups studied, the vaccine’s effectiveness was found to be a moderate 56 percent, which means those who got a shot have a 56 percent lower chance of winding up at the doctor with the flu. That is somewhat worse than what has been seen in other years.
For those 65 and older, the vaccine was only 27 percent effective against the three strains it is designed to protect against, the worst level in about a decade. It did a particularly poor job against the tough strain that is causing more than three-quarters of the illnesses this year.
Le vaccin a été conçu en ciblant 3 souches. Il est le moins efficace contre la plus virulente des 3 qui est aussi la plus fréquente (trois quarts des cas)…
N.B. : je ne sais pas trop comment le dernier paragraphe ci-dessus est compatible avec le premier du billet… Peut-être les 9% d’efficacité contre la souche la plus virulente, moyennés avec une efficacité des deux autres souches autour de 60% ?
N.B. 2 : résultat préliminaire sur un échantillon de taille restreinte : moins de 300 personnes dans la tranche concernée des plus de 65 ans.
When Google got flu wrong — Declan Butler (Nature News & Comment)
When influenza hit early and hard in the United States this year, it quietly claimed an unacknowledged victim: one of the cutting-edge techniques being used to monitor the outbreak. A comparison with traditional surveillance data showed that Google Flu Trends, which estimates prevalence from flu-related Internet searches, had drastically overestimated peak flu levels. The glitch is no more than a temporary setback for a promising strategy, experts say, and Google is sure to refine its algorithms. But as flu-tracking techniques based on mining of web data and on social media proliferate, the episode is a reminder that they will complement, but not substitute for, traditional epidemiological surveillance networks.
Fail ? je ne sais pas. Vu la méthode, il y a forcément un problème de calibrage qui se posera en permanence : l’indicateur de Google dépend du comportement des internautes.
Pour la France, la différence n’est pas évidente (données au 3/02/13)
(Nota : je ne sais pas comment rendre comparables les deux indicateurs, j’ai laissé les échelles automatiques se débrouiller. Le résultat nécessite peut-être des retouches, mais pas trop. Les estimations étaient voisines sur les 2 premiers pics (2003-04 et 2004-05), celle de Google un peu au dessus pour les 7 pics suivant et colle bien au pic actuel. En recalant un peu, on pourrait conclure, au pif, qu’à l’inverse des États-Unis, l’indicateur Google sous-estime légèrement l’épidémie actuelle)
I explained that we had found that students seemed to use the elevators in the morning, perhaps because they were tired from staying up late, and switch to the stairs at night, when they became energized.
“Oh, no, they don’t,” the security guard told me, laughing as he assured me that lazy college students used the elevators whenever possible. “One of the elevators broke down a few evenings last week, so they had no choice but to use the stairs.”
Experts condemn plans to lift ban on research into deadly H5N1 birdflu virus - Science - The Independent
Richard Roberts, a Nobel prize-winning molecular biologist and expert in genetic engineering, said the moratorium should continue and that many experts are privately appalled that there are plans to lift it but are afraid of speaking out over fears that it might affect their funding from the NIH.
“It’s a big mistake at this point. The flu community is behaving as if they are the only show in town. I think for them to be allowed to create the most dangerous virus around is sheer lunacy,” said Dr Roberts (...).
“I’m not so much worried about terrorism but I am worried about an accidental escape from a laboratory. If it’s as dangerous as they believe, it could kill half the world’s population,” he said.