Archive for 2009|Yearly archive page

Fear Atmospheres about H1N1

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Although I totally understand most of the conspiratorial theories, there is a bug around and it affects the Intensive Care Units (ICU), they witness the small percentage of those who are in a Trail leading to death via the swine flu Trail.

But there are solution;

Dr. Fedson has been the leader in the world since 2003 advocating the potential use of statins and other anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory agents for use in the general populations of the world.

FluTrackers has been working with him since 2006 to help illuminate the possibilities of these therapies for pandemic use.

Confronting the next influenza pandemic with anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory agents: why they are needed and how they might work. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses – David Fedson M.D.

FluTrackers Interview, March 2009, by Sharon Sanders – Meeting the Challenge of Influenza Pandemic Preparedness in Developing Countries

FluTrackers Interview, July 2009, by Dr. Kopp – ‘The unforgiving arithmetic of pandemic’

Previous FluTrackers Interviews of Dr. Fedson:…Apr06.2009.mp3…May18.2009.mp3

Thank you to Dr. Fedson who is a very kind, gracious, and humble humanitarian. The world is in your debt.

Re: Sharon Sanders Interviews David Fedson M.D. Today on America’s Web Radio 4 PM EST

Statins Revisited

The question as to whether statins – commonly used cholesterol lowering drugs – might play a positive role in the treatment of influenza and pneumonia is one that we’ve discussed numerous times over the years.

We’ve seen a see-sawing of opinion, driven by a parade of conflicting studies. Today we’ve new research to look at, but first a review of the recent past.

Dr. David Fedson was probably the first to champion the idea of using statins for an influenza pandemic. In his paper on the subject, published in July of 2006.

Pandemic Influenza: A Potential Role for Statins in Treatment and Prophylaxis
David S. Fedsona

The nextinfluenza pandemic may beimminent. Because antiviral agentsand vaccines will beunavailable to people inmost countries, we needto determine whether otheragents could offer clinicalbenefits. Influenza is associatedwith an increase inacute cardiovascular diseases, andinfluenza viruses induce proinflammatorycytokines.

Statins are cardioprotectiveand have anti-inflammatory andimmunomodulatory effects, and theythus might benefit patientswith influenza.

In 2007 we saw a study that seemed to support the idea, that indicated that statins lowered the mortality rate of people with pneumonia.

Statin drugs lower respiratory death risk: study
Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:40pm EDT
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – People who use statin drugs are less likely to die of influenza and chronic bronchitis, according to a study that shows yet another unexpected benefit of the cholesterol-lowering medications.

Their study of more than 76,000 people showed that those who had taken statins for at least 90 days had a much lower risk of dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, the technical name for emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Dr Fedson and Peter Dunnill, DSc,FREng then collaborated on a commentary, published in the Permanente Journal, Summer 2007 edition, on how we might confront an imminent pandemic.

The commentary was called New Approaches to Confronting an Imminent Influenza Pandemic, and in it the authors presented options including two possible routes to producing vaccine in quantity, and the use of statins to mitigate the effects of a cytokine storm.

(More on Dr. Fedson at the bottom of this blog)

In January of 2008, Australian researchers announced encouraging results from studies conducted on mice given gemfibrozil, a fibrate, which is another class of cholesterol lowering drug.

And just a year ago, in October of 2008, we learned:

Statins may cut pneumonia death, blood clot risks
27 Oct 2008 20:00:13 GMT
Source: Reuters
By Will Dunham
WASHINGTON, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Cholesterol-fighting drugs known as statins reduced the risk of dying from pneumonia or developing dangerous blood clots in the legs, adding to a growing list of benefits from the popular drugs, two research groups said on Monday.

Statins, the world’s top-selling drugs, cut heart attack and stroke risk, and research has suggested other benefits including possibly protecting against Alzheimer’s disease.

Of course, not all of the news was positive.

Just last July we heard that there were no signs of benefit among pneumonia patients (see Another Take On Statins And Pneumonia), where I reported on this story:

Statins don’t lower risk of pneumonia in elderly

British Medical Journal study includes 3,000 Group Health patients

SEATTLE— Taking popular cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, such as Lipitor® (atorvastatin), does not lower the risk of pneumonia. That’s the new finding from a study of more than 3,000 Group Health patients published online on June 16 in advance of the British Medical Journal‘s June 20 print issue.

“Prior research based on automated claims data had raised some hope—and maybe some hype—for statins as a way to prevent and treat infections including pneumonia,” said Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD, a physician at Group Health and assistant investigator at Group Health Center for Health Studies. “But when we used medical records to get more detailed information about patients, our findings didn’t support that approach.”

Conflicting medical studies are nothing new. We see them all the time. Science is often messy and we get to the truth by fits and starts – and that can sometimes take years.

Today we’ve news of new research on statins, presented at the annual meeting of the IDSA, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, in Philadelphia.

Maryn McKenna writing for CIDRAP brings us the details.

Statins may help patients with severe seasonal flu

Maryn McKenna Contributing Writer
Oct 29, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Commonly available drugs that are sold in lower-cost generic versions improve the survival of patients hospitalized for seasonal influenza, researchers reported today, raising the possibility of a widely available treatment that could be used in a severe flu pandemic if other drugs are in short supply.

The research, by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and scientists in several states, is part of a slate of new flu reports being presented this weekend at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) in Philadelphia. Also on the agenda: findings that flu vaccination of pregnant women has a protective effect on their babies both before and after birth, and news of what may be the first person-to-person transmission in the United States of H1N1 flu strains resistant to antiviral drugs.

The research presented Thursday examined the effect of the cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins on the clinical course of people who were already taking the drugs and then were hospitalized with lab-confirmed flu infections in the 2007-08 flu season. Those who were already on statins were half as likely to die, Meredith Vandermeer of the Oregon Public Health Division said during a press briefing at the state of the meeting.

The patients were identified via surveillance in 10 states conducted by the CDC’s Emerging Infections Programs; data on their lab results, prescriptions and outcome were drawn from reviews of their medical records. There were 2,800 lab-confirmed cases of flu in the surveillance results, Vandermeer said; 801 of those patients were recorded as taking statins during their hospital stay, presumably because they had been prescribed them before admission. Among the 2,800, 17 people who were on statins died, versus 64 were not on statins. Proportionally, that is 2.1% of those on statins and 3.2% of those not taking the drugs—a risk reduction of approximately half, Vandermeer said.

(Continue . . .)

Maryn’s article has additional details, plus reports on vaccine benefits in pregnant women, and the transmission of resistant H1N1 at a summer camp. Follow the link to read it in it’s entirety.

While not conclusive, this latest study offers some additional tantalizing evidence that statins might someday play a role in the treatment of influenza and pneumonia.

Further studies and controlled trials are needed, of course, before we can know for sure.

Re: Sharon Sanders Interviews David Fedson M.D. Today on America’s Web Radio 4 PM EST

Statins for influenza. Why don’t we know if it works yet?

Dr. Fedson has been the leader in the world since 2003 advocating the potential use of statins and other anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory agents for use in the general populations of the world. FluTrackers has been working with him since 2006 to help illuminate the possibilities of these therapies for pandemic use.

Confronting the next influenza pandemic with anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory agents: why they are needed and how they might work. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses – David Fedson M.D.

FluTrackers Interview, March 2009, by Sharon Sanders – Meeting the Challenge of Influenza Pandemic Preparedness in Developing Countries

FluTrackers Interview, July 2009, by Dr. Kopp – ‘The unforgiving arithmetic of pandemic’

Previous FluTrackers Interviews of Dr. Fedson:…Apr06.2009.mp3…May18.2009.mp3


Australia: Hospital workers refuse to deal with flu patients

In Uncategorized on August 1, 2009 at 3:54 am

All thanks to Crofsblog

Australia: Hospital workers refuse to deal with flu patients

Doctors and nurses might have to change beds and mop floors at Cairns Base Hospital with cleaners, orderlies and wardsmen refusing to service people with swine flu.

The assistants have threatened to ban service to any part of the hospital occupied by people with the virus after a row with Queensland Health over sick leave entitlements.

More than 100 workers voted unanimously for the action at meetings at the hospital yesterday.

Australian Workers’ Union Far Northern district organiser John Van Leent said a memorandum from Queensland Health was “short changing members”.

He said the memorandum stated employees who fell ill and had used all their sick leave were only entitled to access their long service leave or sick leave without pay.

“We are not going to go in there unless they change their policy,” he said.

“Nurses or doctors will have to take up work … whoever wants to do it, it won’t be us.”


TypePad has just established a new bookmarklet for including excerpts from news stories and other sites, and it includes a link to the original source. So the format of my posts will change to reflect this.

Insurers stop accepting covering mass gathering expecting this Fall

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Via le Monde (France)

It has been in the insurers network for few weeks but now it is official Insurers are starting to refuse to insure Mass gathering events in the Fall and in the Winter.

Most networks align themselves on the fact that people will have to stay home as much as possible this Fall and Winter.

Swine Flu Could Devastate British Economy

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Swine Flu Could Devastate British Economy

Via Forbes at Javier Espinoza07.20.09, 09:30 AM EDT

LONDON — Just as the British economy was slowly beginning to recover, a new foe has emerged. Swine flu could cause Britain’s economy to shrink by a gigantic 7.5% this year and dash hopes of recovery next year.

“If the worst-case scenarios of the threat of swine flu are fully realized, gross domestic product could fall by as much as an additional 3% this year and another 1.7% in 2010,” said Peter Spencer, chief economic advisor to the Ernst & Young Item Club, a London-based think tank.

“Our recovery will really only begin when world trade starts to recover, and we should see output beginning to grow next year just as long as the U.K. economy doesn’t catch a severe case of H1N1,” he added.

The worst-case scenario means a 50% infection rate. In this case, swine flu could leave businesses without employees, consumers spending less on goods, and transport and tourism impacted as people stay away from public places to avoid infection, according to Hetal Mehta, senior economic advisor to the Ernst & Young Item Club.

Another think tank, Oxford Economics, believes British GDP could shrink as much as 5% in total this year, thanks to the pandemic. In early July, the International Monetary Fund said it expects the economy to contract 4.2% this year but grow by 0.2% in 2010.

So far 29 deaths have been linked to swine flu and 53 patients are in intensive care, according to data from local health authorities in Britain.

“I can’t help to feel [the report] is a little on the pessimistic side. But the economy is so fragile that it is particularly vulnerable to any shock,” said Howard Archer, chief U.K. economist at IHS Global Insight in London. “We are expecting next year to be a bumpy ride for the economy, between modest growth and modest contractions until the second quarter of 2010, when we expect a recovery.”

Separately, Goldman Sachs said in a note to investors on Monday that Britain’s economy risk of a “double-dip recession” was still “significant”. The note said that any pickup in demand is likely to be “extremely weak” due to high levels of unemployment and fading government stimulus packages.

From the Health Minister of Buenos Aires – H1N1 is here for 3 to 4 years

In Uncategorized on July 18, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Sintesis de la Situación Actual

Hasta el 17 de julio de 2009, se han notificado un total de84,125 casos confirmados, incluidas 674 defunciones, durante la pandemia (H1N1) 2009, en 34 países de la Región de las Américas.

Los siguientes territorios confirmaron casos causados por la pandemia (H1N1) 2009: Samoa Americana, U.S. (8) Guam, U.S. (1); Puerto Rico, U.S. (18); Islas Vírgenes, U.S. (44); Bermuda, UK (1); Islas Caimán, UK (14); Islas Vírgenes Británicas, UK (2); Martinica, Departamento Francés (15); Guadalupe, Departamento Francés (11); Saint-Martin, Departamento Francés (1); Antillas Holandesas, Curaçao (10)a; Antillas Holandesas, Aruba (13); Antillas Holandesas, St. Eustatius (1) y Antillas Holandesas, St. Maarten (8).

La OMS no recomienda ninguna restricción de los viajes ni el cierre de fronteras en relación con la pandemia (H1N1) 2009.
a Tres casos se registraron en un crucero.

En la Región de las Américas, hubo un incremento de 3,482 casos confirmados y 64 defunciones respecto al día anterior.

“Es importante mantenerse a distancia de los demás, no pegotearse a la gente, en esta etapa de la gripe A”, afirmó el ministro que destacó las medidas que se fueron adoptando para evitar la expansión de enfermedad: “primero fue el cierre de escuelas, en mayo, después el aislamiento social, y ahora estamos en una etapa de distanciamiento social”.

No obstante, aclaró que la recomendación de no moverse del hogar, en caso de tener síntomas de la enfermedad, sigue vigente, y para quienes “no tienen síntomas, hay que mantener un discreto alerta de distanciamiento social”.

En este sentido y frente a las actividades y trámites cotidianos que implican asistir a lugares con concentración de personas, recomendó “poner un poco más de ingenio en esas situaciones y utilizar alternativas en la medida que se pueda”.

Canada to stock up on ventilators, because of what is going on in Australia?

In Uncategorized on July 6, 2009 at 5:14 am

Swine flu fears spur Canada to stock up on ventilators

Gloria Galloway

Ottawa From Monday’s Globe and Mail Last updated on Sunday, Jul. 05, 2009 10:34PM EDT

Critical ventilators to help Canada cope with the swine flu outbreak are being ordered by the federal government amid dire warnings about the severity of this fall’s flu season.

As the pandemic spreads globally, Canadian public health findings show – for unknown reasons – that victims here have been younger and sicker, and have required more ventilators than most other countries, including the United States.

For years, medical experts have been worried about the small number of intensive care nurses who would be available to treat patients during an influenza pandemic. But the first wave of the H1N1 virus, which killed 29 people in Canada and sent 663 to hospital as of Friday, has exposed another shortfall in national pandemic planning: the number of ventilator machines.


“It appears that there is a sub-population of relatively young people who very rapidly develop severe illness with this virus. And they are not a large number, but they require very intensive ventilatory support with new advanced ventilators,” said Allison McGeer, an expert in infectious disease at Mount Sinai.

“We have very few oscillatory ventilators. We generally don’t need them very often and usually it’s for a very short period of time. So these young people are requiring a disproportionate amount of time on ventilators that we have very small numbers of.” It is a problem that Dr. McGeer said has been quite distinctive to this pandemic and this particular H1N1 virus.

In Ontario, there are 8,000 ventilators, about 1,100 of which are attached to critical-care beds


“I think it is very appropriate to be concerned about the amount of resources of all sorts, whether you talk about nursing, or certain groups of medications, or ventilators. You want to make sure that sufficient resources are available should this recur in a bigger way.”

The recurrence he was alluding to has been predicted for the fall when the traditional flu season in Canada returns.

Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada’s chief medical health officer, said in a teleconference from Mexico last week that H1N1 is not going away. “The one thing, to the extent that you can be certain about anything, is that we will definitely see this [disease] this winter and preparing for that,” Dr. Butler-Jones told reporters.


It could be much worse during the fall so we need to be prepared,” said Dr. Robert Ouellet, the president of the Canadian Medical Association. “So I think that any move to improve the equipment, to improve the human resources, is a good move.”

In the First three Weeks of the Present Winter Season in NSW Australia, there has been up to now 1487 presented with flu-like symptoms.

There where 91 cases for these first three weeks last year.

People, wake up a lot of incoming patients are heading towards our Health Care Infrastructure, we lack;  staff, beds, medicines and ventilators.

Time for privates to get their shoulders at the wheel and order for what we will need in big cities and in Regions.

Snowy Owl

H1N1 pandemic morbid and lethal infections link with arsenic and selenium ?

In Uncategorized on June 29, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Good afternoon,

I have look in the last few weeks for some correlations between morbidity and mortality in infections of the H1N1 novel virus.

It turns out that I found a credible Trail and I here are some of my conclusions presented in some of my different worldwide and multilingual blogs.

This research was triggered via a request from Bangladesh.

Does arsenic set us up for H1N1?

Arsenic in Contaminated Water Increases Susceptibility to H1N1 Influenza

Concentration of Arsenic in the Groundwater of a Region in Southwest Buenos Aires Province, Argentina

Arsenic in Groundwater Worldwide localization is very surprising

Concentration of Arsenic in the Groundwater of a Region in Southwest Buenos Aires Province, Argentina

Host nutritional selenium status as a driving force for influenza virus mutations

The importance of selenium to human health

The New Recommendations for Dietary Antioxidants Selenium

Alternative medicinal products researches ‘Selenium’

There is a lot more concerning Mexico, US and yes Manitoba Canada and UK.

I do not want to overwhelm you but it is there it is coherent.

High level of arsenic in groundwater, wheter from volcanic activity or mining activities do indeed aggravate the symptoms of an H1N1 infection.

And the lack of selenium on the ground does contribute to the rise of morbidity too.

Maybe we are now heading to a new authoritative science that is Medical Geology.

Again thank you

Snowy Owl

Drug Store Modus Operandi in swine flu (H1N1) Pandemic

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2009 at 1:35 pm

In the last two weeks I attend  a couple of meeting concerning Continuity of operations of Pharmacies, how it can be done while protecting the Services Providers.

Here are some considerations and I invite you to contribute via coments, mainly Pharmacists and what you are intend to do, it could save many lives if we manage to keep the Pharmacies Up. You can be sure that your pertinent ideas as the ones coming from the Public will be swiftly convey to pertinent people and institutions.

Health Institutions and Health Care Providers fears the probable second wave of H1N1 in the Fall.

Refer to Preparing for the Second Wave of this World pandemic

For my full comment  refer Here

Sincere thanks to give your help. Snowy Owl

The importance of selenium to human health

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2009 at 3:03 am

The importance of selenium to human health

Lancet. 2000 Jul 15;356(9225):233-41.

Rayman MP.

Centre for Nutrition and Food Safety, School of Biological Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.

The essential trace mineral, selenium, is of fundamental importance to human health. As a constituent of selenoproteins, selenium has structural and enzymic roles, in the latter context being best-known as an antioxidant and catalyst for the production of active thyroid hormone.

Selenium is needed for the proper functioning of the immune system, and appears to be a key nutrient in counteracting the development of virulence and inhibiting HIV progression to AIDS. It is required for sperm motility and may reduce the risk of miscarriage.

Deficiency has been linked to adverse mood states.

Findings have been equivocal in linking selenium to cardiovascular disease risk although other conditions involving oxidative stress and inflammation have shown benefits of a higher selenium status.

An elevated selenium intake may be associated with reduced cancer risk. Large clinical trials are now planned to confirm or refute this hypothesis.

In the context of these health effects, low or diminishing selenium status in some parts of the world, notably in some European countries, is giving cause for concern.

Publication Types:

PMID: 10963212 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Congress approves $7.65 billion for pandemic flu response

In Uncategorized on June 23, 2009 at 2:59 am

Congress approves $7,65 billion for pandemic flu response

Robert Roos * News Editor

Jun 22, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Responding to lobbying by the Obama administration and public health advocates, Congress last week approved $7.65 billion for battling pandemic influenza, more than three times what the House and Senate had earlier proposed.


Most of the pandemic money is for activities by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but the bill includes $350 million to boost state and local capacity for responding to the novel H1N1 flu pandemic.

According to a House Appropriations Committee summary of the legislation, it provides $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2009 money and $5.8 billion in “contingent emergency appropriations” for HHS and the CDC.

The funds are to be used for expanding surveillance, increasing federal stockpiles of drugs and medical supplies, and developing, buying, and administering vaccines.

The $350 million in state and local money, according to the House summary, is intended to help public health departments hire and train staff members, buy equipment to improve diagnostic capabilities, distribute antivirals and personal protective equipment from federal and state stockpiles, improve communication and maintain disease-reporting hotlines, and address other challenges, such as hospital surge capacity.

The bill also includes $50 million for distribution by the US Agency for International Development to help countries respond to pandemic flu.

The House and Senate had previously passed different versions of the funding bill that provided, respectively, about $2 billion and $1.5 billion for the pandemic. But a House-Senate conference committee increased the amounts in working out the compromise bill that was approved last week.

The Obama administration had asked Congress to approve the House version but add another $2 billion to it, as reported here previously. In addition, the administration asked Congress to tap some funds from the federal economic stimulus package and up to $2.9 billion from the BioShield program.

Meanwhile, a coalition of public health groups led by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a nonpartisan public health advocacy organization based in Washington, DC, also urged Congress to adopt the House version and add more funds to it. The coalition was particularly concerned about the cost of buying and administering pandemic vaccines.

In substantially increasing the funding, Congress decided not to take funds from the stimulus and BioShield programs, according to Richard Hamburg, government relations director for TFAH. Some public health advocates had criticized the proposal to take money from BioShield, a program that promotes development of medical countermeasures against biological and other unconventional weapons.

“This contingency fund of $5.8 billion would be new money,” Hamburg said. “I think it was good news that they appropriated additional dollars to be used mainly for vaccine purchase and perhaps vaccine administration, and that it was new money and not coming from existing sources.”

“In the long run they’ll need even more dollars, but this is a recognition that should there be a more extreme outbreak in the coming months, we’ll be better prepared than we would’ve been without additional dollars,” he said.