influenza

/Tag:influenza

H7N3

By | June 29th, 2012|Preparedness, Prevention|

Remember the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic?  That brand new virus that caused the pandemic was a combination of RNA from four different flu viruses – North American swine influenza, North American avian influenza, human influenza, and swine influenza virus typically found in Asia and Europe.  The natural laboratories for new influenza viruses that end up causing pandemics [...]

AZ Child Dies from Flu

By | May 18th, 2012|General|

Most people think that when the weather warms up, we can stop worrying about the flu.  But it’s still here.  Recently, a young Gila County child died from influenza.  It's the only pediatric death from flu in Arizona this year, last year 5 children under 18 died.  Adult flu deaths are not tracked by the [...]

Influenza Widespread in AZ

By | March 21st, 2012|Preparedness, Prevention|

During the 2009- 2010 influenza pandemic, we saw how influenza can be unpredictable in terms of who it affects most, when it occurs, and what strains will circulate. This season is no exception. While the circulating strains are exactly what we had predicted, the peak of the flu season is hitting later than usual… and [...]

Influenza Wave Coming Ashore

By | March 9th, 2012|Preparedness, Prevention|

It took longer than usual- but Influenza is finally circulating in AZ- and we’ve moved to the “Regional” flu category now (Regional is sort of the middle of the scale).  The circulating strains in AZ (confirmed by our lab) are covered by this year’s vaccine- mostly our old friend the 2009 H1N1 virus and the familiar H3N2 [...]

Our Unwelcome Winter Visitor Returns

By | December 16th, 2011|Preparedness, Prevention|

Just in time for the holidays, we’re got our first lab confirmed case of influenza – actually two cases.  Influenza has probably been in the state for a while now, but we don’t officially start counting the cases until there is a case confirmed at our lab.  The vaccine was approved this summer and fights 3 [...]

A Virus is Born

By | December 5th, 2011|General, Preparedness|

The CDC confirmed the birth of a new influenza virus in this week’s MMWR Weekly Report.  The newborn is named “Swine-origin Triple Reassortant Influenza A (H3N2) (S-OtrH3N2)”.  The hybrid virus was found in a handful of school-age kids in Iowa recently- and luckily the kids recovered and none were hospitalized.  Nobody outside the initial cluster has been infected [...]

RSV Ramping Up in AZ

By | November 28th, 2011|General|

Respiratory syncytial virus (or RSV) is a respiratory virus that mainly affects little kids- and circulates around this time of year. There’s no vaccine- but clinicians can give a preventive antibody treatment to folks at greatest risk (e.g. premature infants).   It spreads mostly in the winter (like influenza) but flu and RSV don’t usually peak at [...]

Run with the Herd

By | September 30th, 2011|General, Prevention|

Pretty much everybody knows that getting an annual influenza vaccine protects them from getting influenza- but fewer people realize that getting vaccinated saves other people’s lives as well.  That’s because if a large percentage of the population takes advantage of the vaccine (called herd immunity) we can reduce the overall spread of the disease- and save [...]

Another Tool for our Laboratory Toolbox

By | August 9th, 2011|Preparedness|

New testing equipment at the state lab is going to help us with flu tracking this fall and dramatically speed up testing for Tuberculosis.  The instrument called the Gene Xpert looks for DNA mutations – we can tell if a TB case is resistant to certain antibiotics.  For instance, on specific mutation is a marker for rifampin [...]

Flu Down Under

By | August 4th, 2011|General|

This is the time of year that public health folks start watching the flu reports from the southern hemisphere.  We’re watching for a couple of things – the circulating strains and how it’s spreading.  The Australian Government Department of Health is reporting 6 times as many cases as they had at this time last season.  [...]