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The Flu Season That Fizzled--Cases of H1N1 Have Dwindled, Seasonal Flu Has Been a No-Show...
Wall Street Journal ^ | March 2, 2010 | Betsy McKay

Posted on 03/02/2010 12:27:02 PM PST by jazusamo

This has been a flu season like few others.

Normally at this time of year, influenza is rampant in the U.S., prompting hundreds of thousands of people to stay home in the dead of winter with fever, aches and pains.

Now, after raging through college campuses and communities last summer and fall, cases of the new H1N1 swine flu virus have dwindled to a trickle, and run-of-the-mill seasonal flu has barely made an appearance. Not one state reported widespread flu illness to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the week ended Feb. 20, the latest data available. The percentage of all doctors' visits by patients with influenza-like symptoms has dropped from a high of 7.8% in late October—the largest peak since the agency began surveillance in 1997—to 1.8% in late February, well below the norm for flu season.

Doctors and flu experts say the lull is unusual. "This is typically the peak of flu," said James Turner, executive director of the University of Virginia's department of student health. He said the Charlottesville, Va., student health center usually sees as many as 130 students a week complaining of flu symptoms this time of year. Recently, no more than three to five students a week have been coming in with fever, cough or other signs of flu, he said.

It is not clear why there is so little flu, particularly swine flu, going around, experts say. "Surely there's a sufficient number of people who haven't been infected or vaccinated," said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

Many scientists say the answer probably has to do with how the flu virus progresses. Influenza comes and goes in waves, normally running from October through May...

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bhocdc; flu; h1n1; nevermind; outbreak; publichealth

1 posted on 03/02/2010 12:27:03 PM PST by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo

Wasn’t this flu supposed to kill off 60% of the population or something? Honestly scientists and commentators need to stop watching so many bad sci-fi movies.


2 posted on 03/02/2010 12:32:07 PM PST by utherdoul
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To: jazusamo
Wow that and gerbil warming.
3 posted on 03/02/2010 12:32:30 PM PST by boomop1
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To: jazusamo

Hand sanitizer everywhere you look.
People staying home when sick.
Etc.

The H1N1 scare has introduced sanitary practices that have prevented other diseases from spreading.


4 posted on 03/02/2010 12:33:45 PM PST by kidd (Obama: The triumph of hope over evidence)
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To: jazusamo

If they’d gotten the billions they wanted, the WHO would be patting itself on the back for having saved humanity. It’s the same as the global warming scam-cap and tax, if passed, will be credited for having saved civilization when the great global warming catasrophe failed to materialize.


5 posted on 03/02/2010 12:37:08 PM PST by Spok (Free Range Republican)
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To: utherdoul

For months it brought out the “sky is falling” crowd, fortunately it didn’t happen like a bunch of them predicted.


6 posted on 03/02/2010 12:37:21 PM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: kidd

You make a good point and I believe you’re right.


7 posted on 03/02/2010 12:38:00 PM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: utherdoul
Yeah, I just, in the last few years, have simply stopped listening to the constant hysteria from the media and government.

SARS -- we're all going to die!

Avian Flu - we're all going to die!

Swine Flu -- we're all going to die!

And don't get me started on the coffee's good for you/coffee's bad for you; wine is good for you/wine is bad for you; aspirins good for you/aspirins bad for you.

Enough all ready!

8 posted on 03/02/2010 12:38:54 PM PST by LibertarianLiz
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To: utherdoul
Wasn’t this flu supposed to kill off 60% of the population or something? Honestly scientists and commentators need to stop watching so many bad sci-fi movies.

it was always about manufactured crisis and selling vaccines. Fortunes were made.

9 posted on 03/02/2010 12:39:08 PM PST by highlander_UW (Obama has lost or not saved over 4 million jobs!)
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To: Spok

Yes, the WHO wasn’t on the up and up on this, IMO.


10 posted on 03/02/2010 12:40:28 PM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

This was the first year I didn’t get a flu shot at all. I was nervous, but for some reason I just didn’t get one...just never got around to it.

Haven’t been sick at all luckily.

Amazingly mild season despite the weather goes to show the whole myth of the flu coming from the cold to be way wrong.


11 posted on 03/02/2010 12:42:11 PM PST by rwfromkansas ("Carve your name on hearts, not marble." - C.H. Spurgeon)
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To: jazusamo

Wow...and I’m in the high risk group and never get flu shots..well, there was one year, but after getting sick as a dog, never again. Ain’t I supposed to be dead by now?


12 posted on 03/02/2010 12:42:15 PM PST by moonpie57 ("Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." MLK)
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To: kidd

Good thinking.

Before H1N1, there would not be all these hand sanitizer stations in public places. Now they are all over the place.


13 posted on 03/02/2010 12:42:53 PM PST by rwfromkansas ("Carve your name on hearts, not marble." - C.H. Spurgeon)
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To: LibertarianLiz

but it’s not just h1n1. All flu went down.


14 posted on 03/02/2010 12:46:07 PM PST by ari-freedom (Rush:Remember to put your faith in ideas and not people. People will always, always disappoint you!)
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To: jazusamo

Could it be that all of the precautions worked?

If you look at the CDC plot of influenza, it looked very scary at the beginning, with H1N1 cropping up in significant strength at a time when flu is mild, just like the 1918 flu. “The Experts” were extremely worried and blew the siren and started the Drudge flashing light. Many took it seriously. It was an anomalous pattern involving a zoonosis that crossed over.

It turned out not to be a big deal, but the actual incidence could have been steeply reduced by bathing the USA (and other nations) in hand sanitizer and elbow coughs.

BTW my Purell stock did nicely. My Jimmy Dean stock, not so good.


15 posted on 03/02/2010 12:50:15 PM PST by DBrow
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To: jazusamo

Another HOAX brought to you by scientists. Hand sanitizer my a$$.


16 posted on 03/02/2010 12:51:02 PM PST by faucetman (Just the facts ma'am, just the facts)
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To: DBrow
BTW my Purell stock did nicely. My Jimmy Dean stock, not so good.

LOL! I haven't thought of ole Jimmy Dean in a long while.

17 posted on 03/02/2010 12:53:45 PM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: faucetman

Purdue researchers predicted this in October 2009.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2367571/posts

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Two Purdue University math researchers have predicted the novel H1N1 flu will peak so early that planned vaccinations will not have a large effect on the number of people infected.

Sherry Towers, from Purdue’s statistics department, and Zhilan Feng, from Purdue’s math department, used a mathematical model to predict the spread of the disease. They used data collected by the Centers for Disease Control in May, June, July and August.

The result? The model predicted that H1N1 infections will reach their peak in either the week before or the week after Halloween.

The researchers said this early peak for the disease mean that the vaccination campaign will only reduce infections by, at most, 6%. However, as the model also predicted that 63% of the US population will have been infected by the end of the year, a 6% reduction could still mean that the vaccinations could save thousands of lives.

While 63% of the US population sounds like a huge figure, Towers explained that this figure represents the total number of infected people, not the number of people showing symptoms.

“In the paper we point out that many studies have shown that while a large number of people may be infected by influenza, only about 40 percent of those people who are infected actually show signs of illness,” Towers said. “So, in our paper, we actually state that in the end only about 25 percent of people will likely fall ill.”

Towers said they do not want to discourage anyone from getting an H1N1 vaccination.

Feng cautioned their model was “very simple,” and noted that the pair had to make a lot of assumptions to get a result.

“You have to be careful about following the prediction of the study,” said Feng.

The study appears in the October 15 edition of www.eurosurveillance.org .


18 posted on 03/02/2010 12:53:48 PM PST by blf1776 (Mrs. Palin tear down that tent!!!)
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To: faucetman

thousands of kids died from the flu. It’s not a joke just because it didn’t turn into another 1918 epidemic


19 posted on 03/02/2010 12:54:21 PM PST by ari-freedom (Rush:Remember to put your faith in ideas and not people. People will always, always disappoint you!)
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To: faucetman

“Hand sanitizer my a$$.”

I bet it stings.


20 posted on 03/02/2010 12:55:05 PM PST by DBrow
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To: utherdoul
Wasn’t this flu supposed to kill off 60% of the population or something?

I'm convinced that the entire purpose of the propagation of the "swine flu" scare was to convince people that the government was the hero for discovering the problem and acting upon it in a positive fashion. This was all about persuading the public that the government is capable of running the health care system, and doing it well. It was all marketing.

In reality, the swine flu is no different than any other flu strain. It is neither stronger nor more docile. It's just the flu.

21 posted on 03/02/2010 1:00:01 PM PST by meyer ("It's not enough just to not suck as much as the other side" - G. Beck)
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To: utherdoul

I think they were hoping for more than 60%.


22 posted on 03/02/2010 1:11:37 PM PST by Trillian
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To: Trillian

There was no regular flu shot available for my 6 year old. She never received one this year. I told the nurse “when Bush was President she always had a flu shot”. They wanted me to go to a welfare clinic to get one. I refused.


23 posted on 03/02/2010 1:13:25 PM PST by angcat (GOD SAVE US!)
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To: jazusamo

Very simple answer. As in so many things, guvmint doesn’t know what it is talking about.


24 posted on 03/02/2010 1:22:08 PM PST by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: jazusamo

I still hear the frantic warnings on the radio to get your H1Ni shot NOW before its too late. It came through here pretty early in the fall and hasn’t been back. Those of us who have been taking sunshine-in-a-gelcap i.e. vitamin D-3 have missed out on the whole flu and cold season.


25 posted on 03/02/2010 2:13:58 PM PST by arthurus ("If you don't believe in shooting abortionists, don't shoot an abortionist." -Ann C.)
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To: angcat

Flu and colds are winter phenomena because in winter people don’t get sunshine and don’t get their maintenance dose of vitamin D thereby. You can get vitamin D-3 5000 iu gelcaps at WalMart. My wife is a schoolteacher and for thirty years has brought home whatever flu and colds were going around at school. We have both taken the D-3 10,000 iu(what you get in an hour or so of summer sun) a day since early September this year. Mrs. did not bring home any maladies including the H1N1 which laid all the kids out in October.


26 posted on 03/02/2010 2:22:18 PM PST by arthurus ("If you don't believe in shooting abortionists, don't shoot an abortionist." -Ann C.)
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To: highlander_UW

Exactly! Follow the money.


27 posted on 03/02/2010 2:23:08 PM PST by kiltie65
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To: arthurus

There’s no shortage of vaccine now like there was for months and a lot of it is going to go unused, bad for them financially.

The flu hasn’t hit in this area anywhere’s near like they were predicting.


28 posted on 03/02/2010 2:24:58 PM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: utherdoul


Wasn’t this flu supposed to kill off 60% of the population or something?
Honestly scientists and commentators need to stop watching so many
bad sci-fi movies.

That’s part of the problem.
Unfortunately, the scientists probably read too much history by the MDs,
public health officers and the other folks that survived the “Spanish”
influenza while people, dispropotionately in the health ages of 20-40,
were dropping like flies.
And these public health types were totally impotent to stop it.

The media tempest that erupted last year over H1N1...probably
not necessary.
But the public health officials are paid to head off “the worst case
scenario”.

Sadly, that intesected with the journalists, too many without degrees
in biological sciences, whose job is to scare us to death and sell their
magazines, cable TV specials, end-of-life-as-we-know-it docudramas.


29 posted on 03/02/2010 4:26:46 PM PST by VOA
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To: arthurus

I do have some D with my Calcium. I will check out a larger dose!


30 posted on 03/03/2010 5:32:19 AM PST by angcat (GOD SAVE US!)
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To: angcat

The D you take with calcium is sufficient to enhance the calcium. It is only a miniscule portion of what your body needs and does not get in the winter or any time if you work at night as I do.


31 posted on 03/03/2010 8:57:59 AM PST by arthurus ("If you don't believe in shooting abortionists, don't shoot an abortionist." -Ann C.)
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