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Medicine News

Boston Declares Health Emergency Due To Massive Flu Outbreak 316

skade88 writes "Boston has seen 10 times more flu cases this year than last. They are now up to 700 cases and counting, with 18 deaths in the city. The city of Boston has declared a public health emergency in the wake of the epidemic. 'The CDC said the proportion of people visiting health care providers with flu-like symptoms climbed from 2.8 percent to 5.6 percent in four weeks. By contrast, the rate peaked at only 2.2 percent during the relatively mild 2011-2012 flu season. The estimated rate of flu-related hospitalizations in the U.S. was 8.1 per 100,000 people, which is high for this time of year, according to Dr. Joe Bresee, chief of the epidemiology and prevention branch of the CDC’s influenza division. The agency’s next advisory will be issued Friday.' As previously discussed on Slashdot it would also be nice for your friends and coworkers for you to stay home if you are sick."
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Boston Declares Health Emergency Due To Massive Flu Outbreak

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  • Re:Good Advice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SerpentMage ( 13390 ) <[ ] ['' in gap]> on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @06:02PM (#42538351)

    Beep wrong answer in America...

    Most workplaces don't have paid sick leave. Honestly, it is what it is, and this what Americans want. Hence this is what America gets.

  • Flu shots (Score:4, Insightful)

    by golodh ( 893453 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @06:06PM (#42538415)
    This looks like a good opportunity to study how effective flu shots are.

    I'd like to see a breakdown of flu patients by whether they had a flu shot in the past 6 months.

    If it's effective, probably best to mandate flu shots for health care workers, shop attendants, and all civil servants.

  • Re:Good Advice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SerpentMage ( 13390 ) <[ ] ['' in gap]> on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @06:08PM (#42538459)

    "many" does not imply policy. I have American friends and lived there for a while. The problem is that folks want to earn a living and either they take it from their vacation (which people do not want to do) or they just come to work and hide it as best as they can.

    I find your comment quite odd on how society deals with a problem. They punish, instead of just changing policy into a better policy. Either way there are society costs. At least with sick paid leave people will be assured that they can continue to earn a living.

  • by mark_reh ( 2015546 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @06:10PM (#42538519) Journal

    A couple of my coworkers came to work sick over the last two weeks. I asked them why they come to work when they are sick- they are dentists at a public heath clinic,and should now better, but they come to work any way. Their response: they feel like they have to be there. Starting their own mini epidemic among patients and coworkers...

    Maybe the problem is that unused sick time can be rolled into vacation time.

  • Re:Good Advice (Score:1, Insightful)

    by masternerdguy ( 2468142 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @06:11PM (#42538539)
    You act like everyone is really sick. Facts are there are morons who abuse the system because they don't want to go to work, and as a result everyone is punished for it. Those people force businesses to write Draconian sick day policies.
  • Re:Good Advice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by X0563511 ( 793323 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @06:14PM (#42538591) Homepage Journal

    Yea, going to the doctor, waiting half an hour or more, spending at least at $30 copay (assuming you actually have insurance worth a damn) to be told "yep, you're sick" - sounds like a good idea...

  • Re:Good Advice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @06:18PM (#42538657)

    How are they forcing companies to do that?

    I think you mean these companies like to use that as an excuse to save a couple bucks on what used to be a normal part of compensation. Everything will have some level of abuse, the ideal is to keep it to a minimum you will never not have it. It sure is a convenient excuse to screw the rest of the workers though.

  • Re:Good Advice (Score:1, Insightful)

    by masternerdguy ( 2468142 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @06:21PM (#42538717)
    I forgot, all corporations are evil. Meanwhile in the real world people are calling in sick to go party, sleep in, or because they need more vacation time.
  • Re:Good Advice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @06:23PM (#42538761)

    I am an American

    Are you sure?

    By the way, many companies will punish you for coming to work sick now

    That is easily the strangest thing I've ever heard. I've literally never heard of such a thing in all my decades.

    I think we're more likely to see the Republicans convert en mass to Islam or we'll see Karl Marx carved into mt rushmore before any american company will try to increase sick days taken. Its just too easy of a metric to grade "resources" and their supervisors.

    I really have to point out, that having had the actual real flu in the past, if you have it, you'll be so sick there is no way you'll make it to work unless you're Hercules himself. If you're physically able to go to work, trust me, its almost certain you just have a minor cold or a minor cough or at most a weak case of walking pneumonia. If your only symptom is you have a slightly stuffy nose, thats a cold, not the flu. When your fever is 103+ and you feel like you can barely get out of bed and you feel like you're about to cough out a lung, now thats the start of the flu.

  • Re:Good Advice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @06:29PM (#42538857)

    Oh yes, the doctor's note. Well isn't THAT just a wonderful thing to go get. Let's take a look at my options:

    1. Lie in bed, eat some nyquil and chicken noodle soup, and sleep the sickness away to let your body heal.
    2. Sit in a waiting room for 6 hours, surrounded by dozens of people sick with everything under the sun while you're immune system is compromised, only to have a doctor look at you for 3 seconds, tell you you have a cold or whatever, followed by paying $30 for the doctor's note. After that, I can go home after essentially putting in the equivelant hours of a full day's work surrounded by sick people, get nowhere even remotely close to enough sleep and rest to heal, and be 10 times as sick due to the dozen other things I caught.

    Yeah, option 2 sounds awesome, thanks workplace.

  • Re:Good Advice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Captain Splendid ( 673276 ) <[capsplendid] [at] [gmail.com]> on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @07:11PM (#42539569) Homepage Journal
    5 sick days? Jeeebus.

    Granted, I'm a small business, but I'll give any employee whatever time they damn well need to not look like shit in my office and probably make the problem worse by infecting others.

    Hell, even for lower grade stuff, I'd still rather you got some rest for a day or two instead a week spent int he office delivering subpar work.

    It's more cost effective for me in the long run to provide sane sick leave instead squeezing the ju-uice. Being a boss with a shred of humanity is just icing on the cake.
  • Re:Good Advice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @07:18PM (#42539663) Homepage Journal

    Yes they do. we see every time. Make Accurate predictions based on how close it matches the virus. We can make predictions basde on uptake.
    Any one who says the data doesn't support the vaccine is an idiot or a liar. That data is pretty well documented.

    Is it perfect? no, it's not 100%, yet.

    Gary NUll is an idiot. as an example:
    "since the hype and subsequent fizzle of the H1N1 scare in 2008, "
    Fizzle? mahny people died, hospitals around the coutry were running out of beds. They ONLY thiing that saved it from disaster was the distribtution and uptake of the vaccine.

    But since disaster was averted, clearly is wasn't needs. That Gary Null's idiotic logic.

    The post is full of out of context, and cherry picked data.

    He is a SCAM idiot that has been cherry picking and lying about data and medicine for 40 years. And it's always been the same crap, never changing, never showing good data.
    He does what he says others do, and he should be thrown in prison for malpractice, but since he is a SCAM practitioner, for some reason he is immune from liability when his advice kills people.

    There are people dead from treatable disease because of this guy, and other selfish, and evil people like him.
    And when I say evil I mean will take money from dying people for nonsense advice. Then the people die.
    He preys on the vulnerable and naive.

    He is an AIDS denialist.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @07:49PM (#42540065)

    I hope you're proud of yourselves. How does it feel to be accessories to completely unnecessary deaths?

    You assume your opinion equates to fact.

    It doesn't.

    The weak and infirm are the ones who die from the flu.

    It is simply natural selection at work.

    And you are a simple-minded fool.

  • Re:Good Advice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @11:32PM (#42542065) Journal

    Big deal, the Germans get 4-5 weeks of paid vacation (4 weeks minimum by law). Their economy seems to be doing OK despite that. In Denmark it's 25 days. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_statutory_minimum_employment_leave_by_country [wikipedia.org]

    The US employer style seems to be burn out your employees, then discard them. Might work fine for low end jobs that require little training and investment. It may well be that most of these low training low end jobs will be taken over by robots and other automation in the future.

    Whatever it is, not having paid sick leave is a big health issue. If more people quarantined themselves when diseases made them feel miserable and reduced the spreading of those diseases, that would make those diseases less likely to make people so miserable, whether because they spread less, or because they evolve to be less nasty.

  • by rs79 ( 71822 ) <hostmaster@open-rsc.org> on Thursday January 10, 2013 @02:38AM (#42543145) Homepage

    Both the Norovirus and the Flu swept though here over xmas, we're all fine now, it was fairly mild. I saw my doc today for the annual checkup thing and joked about the empty waiting room and how everyone must be over it. He said no, they're all at emerg and he saw 46 people yesterday with it and it's the worst it's been for years.

    He said it's Type A flu.

    These seemed to help, me at least, maybe that's why it was fairly mild around here while other folks seemed to be having a harder time of it.

    http://rs79.vrx.net/opinions/ideas/medicine/vitamins/flu/ [vrx.net]
    http://rs79.vrx.net/opinions/ideas/medicine/ginger/ [vrx.net]

    I have no idea why but chilis, garlic and ginger help A LOT too. But you have to get fairly large amounts into you. 3 or 4 garlic cloves a day and commensurate amounts of the others. This also seems to go a long way towards preventing a secondary infection too. I *always* used to get them, now, I don't since I started doing this about 7 years ago. Not once.

    Flu rarely kills. It's the secondary infection that gets you. Lots of vitamin C and garlic goes a long way there, C is essential in the immune system and whenever the body heals and gets used up very quickly; you want lots in your system when it heals after the virus makes a mess, that's when you'll get a secondary infection if you're going to get one.

    When flu does kill it's because of a Cytokine storm which is a feed forward loop where the immune system tries to kill itself and you drown in fluid in the lungs. Two things have been shown to stop this: niacin and smoking a cigarette. They hate to admit this, but it's true and there's ongoing research into nicotiine, nicotinic acid and related compounds to stop this.

    The most conservative study shows C itself knocks a day off. Take really big, (15g/day) doses and it works even better. Two years ago when H1N1 went through here I was sick for 2 days with it. My ex died from it. I found the list of vitamins to take I gave here on her fridge when me and the kids cleaned out out. She never got any of them.

    Also, olive leaf extract has been clinically shown to prevent flu in 20% of cases, but doesn't do a damn thing for you when you have it.

Forty two.