Sunday, October 25, 2009

Flu

Sooooo..... we're all sick. I'm about Day 6; Lindsay and Haley are at the beginning of their infections. I've heard a lot of buzz about H1N1, but truthfully, I'm such a skeptic about the reliability of reports from others so I really wasn't too excited--- of course, there have been some really severe cases, people have died; that has my attention.

Tonight Mr. Man went to the pharmacy to get some cold/flu remedies for the girls. When he came home he said that there were only *2* bottles of the stuff in the whole store! Of course he bought both of them... I still have some access to data sources that report generalized health indicators for our region: over-the-counter pharmaceutical sales, school absenteeism, emergency room visits by cause, etc. so I went to check things out.

HOLY SMOKES! Our emergency rooms are easily seeing 10 times more flu-like illnesses than at this time in the previous years---ten times! Not only that, when our flu season peaks, we rarely see it accounting for more than about 7% of all visits. People, there is a LOT of flu out there. What are you guys seeing where you are? Are all of your co-workers out sick? Of course, not all of these people presenting with flu-like illness actually have flu but this remains a very strong indicator that something enormously divergent from "normal" is happening...

Its a timely outbreak, I think. There's no reason people should die from flu; none at all. Keeping hydrated and prompt medical attention if breathing becomes difficult or if fever is excessive or prolonged --- those are the things that keep flu in check. I wish I knew more about the people who have died thus far in my state---I'll bet they were largely under/uninsured.

You guys keep your hands clean and avoid using other peoples' pens, keyboards, etc --- keep your clean hands to yourself! And if you CAN get the H1N1 vaccine, do it.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I guess I may turn into a pandemic. The Pres has given hospitals the heads up in case they have to isolate all the incoming flu cases etc. Sorry your family has been targeted and hope you are all on the road to recovery now. LYFE Milo's Nonna

Khm said...

The President's declaration removes certain barriers to distributing key resources and liberates providers from constraints of operation: administrative, fiscal and legal. This flu crisis was declared a pandemic months ago; that means only that it is occurring globally; it doesn't imply anything about severity.

I hope all you guys stay clear of it, all the same.

Marietta said...

the one thing that is good about all this is that the work place in american society is actually encouraging people to stay home rather than come to work sick with high fevers or forcing people to work along or giving the guilt for not coming in....

that said we have been sort of spared - but many of steve's students have been out

KHM said...

You're right, Marietta---now if they would only take a similar position for seasonal flu which is still right around the corner... I'm glad you and Max, plus Steve, have been spared. The absenteeism numbers, at least in public schools is absolutely crazy. All of our indicators are easily double what we usually see at peak seasonal flu. There's a great deal of concern about exhausting resources and then seasonal flu hitting---which is supposed to be more severe--- and not having what we need for those cases. In some ways, the President's declaration kind of puts public health folks behind the 8-ball.