This needed moving so as not to hijack the HST thread.Last comment first. The fire fighter should have been eligible for a flu shot this year as having direct patient contact. It may have been the provider who that department used did not have vaccine or someone misjudged what EMTs do.Originally Posted by ToSeek
I gave about 700 doses to firefighters this year. Several departments' usual providers did not have vaccine, though, so they did not all get doses.
However, the decision to vaccinate health care workers had nothing to do with being exposed. If it did we would have vaccinated school teachers and grocery clerks. The reason to vaccinate health care workers is because evidence shows they spread flu infection to their patients.
I'm not surprised the person John answered was that sick. (I have to go back to see who wrote that quote.) And, there is no reason to think it was SARS. The flu can cause very severe including fatal disease among even the healthiest people. Flu is one of the those hazards highly underestimated by the general public.
Toseek's and TGT's following post answered why we vaccinated high risk individuals and not healthy ones this year.
I'm not sure where the estimate of 2.5% mortality came from. I see it quoted over and over. It seems low so I'll try to do some checking and see what I find.Originally Posted by TheGalaxyTrio
The estimates are between 20 and 40 million people in the world died in the first wave which lasted a mere 4 months. The second wave the following year killed about a quarter as many.
The current highly pathogenic avian flu H5N1 which is circulating in Asia has a 70% fatality rate among known human cases. It was first seen in 1997 in Hong Kong and at that time killed 33% of infected humans. (We are only talking about less than 100 infections so far which is why it isn't on the front page yet.)
It has yet to mutate into a contagious human disease and has infected only persons who have had direct contact with infected chickens, ducks and maybe other animals. The infectious disease community is extremely worried this flu strain is about to become the next major pandemic. It is only a matter of time.
Some of the more ominous signs the virus outbreak may be getting worse are the fact it has probably now become endemic to birds in Asia, control measures have so far failed, it has turned up in migrating birds including some with no symptoms, it has turned up in more and more species indicating it may be widening its infectious range, antibodies have turned up in pigs which may be the step between avian and human strains, it has turned up in Hanoi which has a lot of individuals with small chicken and duck flocks, and the New Year is about to be celebrated there which is typically when a lot of chicken is transported for holiday meals, and finally, flu season is about to start in Asia which may allow human flu strains and avian flu strains to co-mingle their genes.
Not to be a TEOTWAWKI doomsayer but I do suggest everyone educate themselves about this disease before the deluge.