Medical Updates - H1N1 virus and travel info


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petetherock

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Oct 9, 2006
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Knowing that we have some medical folks in our midst, this thread is meant to disseminate, share and discuss updates on travel, alerts and bans, as well as useful tips to avoid getting the virus.

As many would know there is already one case in SG.

I would say it heightens and reminds us to be hygienic, considerate if we are ill and avoid travel,

BUT

It should not spell the death knell for travel and all activities.

FYI, TB and Aids kills more worldwide a day than the total number of people who died from this virus. Hence vigilance is good and we should continue good habits like washing hands, wearing masks if we are ill but to be paralysed by fear is not needed.


Cheers
 

jtsky

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Actually so far there are four cases tested positive for the Influenza A(H1N1) already, but luckily there is no community spread within Singapore. This should not cripple any essential travelling plan, however, travelling to country that affected with community spread is to be avoided is possible. We just need to stay 'Alert' but not 'Alarm':)
 

petetherock

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We now have 11 cases. USA, Melbourne, Japan and Chile are the alert areas.
Grab a couple of those N 95 masks if you can, but most importantly, just maintain personal hygiene.

Cheers
 

idunbite

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Though it's been said that the state of Victoria is the affected area, I think non-essential travel to Australia as a whole should be avoided. Given that the quarantine orders there aren't as strictly enforced as those here I have a feeling that there will be people who will slip through the cracks.
 

petetherock

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there are now 13 affected countries.
Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico, Panama, Philippines, Spain, Thailand, UK, USA




Current toll - from WHO:

Top 10 Countries Cases Deaths​
USA 13217 27
Mexico 6241 108
Canada 2446 4
Chile 1694 2
Australia 1307 0
UK 822 0
Japan 518 0
Spain 357 0
Argentina 256 0​
Panama 221 0

Deaths from Influenza A (H1N1-2009) seemed to occur in younger​
age-groups.
From US data:
60-80% of all the hospitalized patients were from high risk groups which included
pregnant women (9-17%), immunosuppressed individuals (13-20%), individuals suffering
from asthma or a chronic lung disease (37-41%), individuals suffering from heart disease​
(12-17%), as well as children under the age of 2 years old (18%)
.
 

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petetherock

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17 new cases and the bug is now local...
You just need to be cautious in travel, and be considerate!
 

yqt

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East of Singapore
Though it's been said that the state of Victoria is the affected area, I think non-essential travel to Australia as a whole should be avoided. Given that the quarantine orders there aren't as strictly enforced as those here I have a feeling that there will be people who will slip through the cracks.
I have to agreed with this.

I just came back from Australia and other than 1 screening at the ariport, there's no other signs of any measure taken to control the virus. The local news are also not reporting much on it and the general mood is pretty much "nothing to worry about".
Just an example,
While I was in Gold Coast, there was a football match where lots of fans travelled to Victoria to support the club. After the match, the local Gov close the pri. schools saying that it is proven that pri.schools is where the virus will spread the fastest and "advise" the children to stay at home for the next 7 days. What I saw was lots of kids with their parents at the Theme Parks.
 

ericschmerick

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May 21, 2009
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It's worth noting that it has become a pretty big hassle to travel to China recently because of H1N1. I travel regularly there, and two weeks ago when I arrived in Shanghai they require you to wait on the plane until they have checked EVERY passenger, on the plane using portable infrared scanners, for fever. Further, they define fever as > 37.5 degrees! When I get angry I have a feeling my body temp is > 37.5 degrees.

When I arrived there was a lady one row in front of me who was apparently borderline. It took them 1 hour to decide everything was "OK" and let us off the plane.

For my return flight, it was delayed 4 hours because apparently the flight of passengers who had just arrived from Singapore included two who had fevers according to their standards. I understand they quarantined the passengers from the rows where these people were, plus 3 rows in front and back of them, plus the crew from that section. What a mess.

If you go to China, keep your fingers crossed that the other passengers don't have a fever, or at least hope they took some medicine to reduce it!

It all seems ridiculous to me. Not only does this flu seem rather mild, but even if a person has the flu and is contagious, they may not yet have produced a fever. These measures are only partially effective at best.
 

petetherock

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We now have local transmission, so IMHO, we should keep clean and hygienic, but do not go nuts on it.
I am going ahead with my plans to Boston and France.
Life should go on with caution.
 

Deadpoet

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Oct 18, 2004
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China and Hong Kong, and to a lesser extent singapore, had turned this H1N1 problem from a mole hill into a mountain.

This is essentially crying wolf. How will the citizen react when the real thing hits?
 

joanne232

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Jun 23, 2009
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China and Hong Kong, and to a lesser extent singapore, had turned this H1N1 problem from a mole hill into a mountain.

This is essentially crying wolf. How will the citizen react when the real thing hits?
Maybe it's post-SARS syndrome. SARS was much more deadly, so I guess we haven't learned to calm down yet even though H1N1 is relatively mild.
 

ericschmerick

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May 21, 2009
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China and Hong Kong, and to a lesser extent singapore, had turned this H1N1 problem from a mole hill into a mountain.

This is essentially crying wolf. How will the citizen react when the real thing hits?
Well, I can report that the mole hill is still seen as a giant mountain in China, having just returned from another trip this week. On the way there, once again, a 45 min delay upon arrival for the ridiculous (and terribly ineffective) on-plane temperature checks. Yesterday evening another 1 hr delay to board the plane to leave China because the plane was being "disinfected" (on its way out of town). They're crazy over H1N1 there.

When I discuss it with the local residents, however, they seem to generally support this level of paranoia. I usually get the standard answer that "China is different, because there are so many people here" (the 人很多 excuse that is used to explain away any govt imposed inconvenience in China).
 

daredevil123

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Woah! I better leave a 6-10 hour window for my connecting flights (china domestic) then. Just in case.
 

ericschmerick

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Woah! I better leave a 6-10 hour window for my connecting flights (china domestic) then. Just in case.
Yeah it might be a good idea. But more importantly, just hope hope hope that nobody around you has a "fever" (which they have defined as 37.5 degrees or above!), because three weeks ago when I was there, my outbound (return from China to SGP) flight was delayed 3 hours because the arriving passengers on the plane we were supposed to take had not been allowed to deplane. When that plane arrived they found someone with a fever, and it took them 3 hrs to decide what to do. Eventually they quarantined the person, plus anyone in their row, and three rows in front and back. I have heard it was just for 24 hrs, but don't know (I looked for it on the news but never saw it covered).

I was in Anhui province, and also saw a news clip there about one Anhui town's first "local" case over the weekend. It was a person who had come from Australia, but changed planes in Singapore. I don't think it's the first case from Singapore to land in China, so I presume they will be watching Singapore flights closely.
 

Zenten

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...................................we should continue good habits like washing hands, wearing masks if we are ill but to be paralysed by fear is not needed.


Cheers
The Government should help form this habit and distribute masks freely ................ don't wait for an endemic before they start taking action ........:what:
 

petetherock

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You know with so many cases locally, IMHO, it is better to be in USA, France or anywhere else!
 

memorylane

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You know with so many cases locally, IMHO, it is better to be in USA, France or anywhere else!
but singapore is still holding on to the "we are holier/cleaner than thou" shite... i think other countries now have more to fear from singaporians...
 

petetherock

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Health @ AsiaOne
WHO warns of severe form of swine flu
Flu in Japan, spreading in South Africa, Bolivia. -Reuters

Sun, Aug 30, 2009
Reuters
WASHINGTON - Doctors are reporting a severe form of swine flu that goes straight to the lungs, causing severe illness in otherwise healthy young people and requiring expensive hospital treatment, the World Health Organization said Friday.
Some countries are reporting that as many as 15 percent of patients hospitalized with the new H1N1 pandemic virus need intensive care, further straining already overburdened healthcare systems, WHO said in an update on the pandemic.
"During the winter season in the southern hemisphere, several countries have viewed the need for intensive care as the greatest burden on health services," it said.
"Preparedness measures need to anticipate this increased demand on intensive care units, which could be overwhelmed by a sudden surge in the number of severe cases."
Earlier, WHO reported that H1N1 had reached epidemic levels in Japan, signaling an early start to what may be a long influenza season this year, and that it was also worsening in tropical regions.
"Perhaps most significantly, clinicians from around the world are reporting a very severe form of disease, also in young and otherwise healthy people, which is rarely seen during seasonal influenza infections," WHO said.
"In these patients, the virus directly infects the lung, causing severe respiratory failure. Saving these lives depends on highly specialized and demanding care in intensive care units, usually with long and costly stays."
MINORITIES AT RISK
Minority groups and indigenous populations may also have a higher risk of being severely ill with H1N1.
"In some studies, the risk in these groups is four to five times higher than in the general population," WHO said.
"Although the reasons are not fully understood, possible explanations include lower standards of living and poor overall health status, including a high prevalence of conditions such as asthma, diabetes and hypertension."
WHO said it was advising countries in the Northern Hemisphere to prepare for a second wave of pandemic spread. "Countries with tropical climates, where the pandemic virus arrived later than elsewhere, also need to prepare for an increasing number of cases," it said.
Every year, seasonal flu infects between 5 percent and 20 percent of a given population and kills between 250,000 and 500,000 people globally. Because hardly anyone has immunity to the new H1N1 virus, experts believe it will infect far more people than usual, as much as a third of the population.
It also disproportionately affects younger people, unlike seasonal flu which mainly burdens the elderly, and thus may cause more severe illness and deaths among young adults and children than seasonal flu does.
"Data continue to show that certain medical conditions increase the risk of severe and fatal illness. These include respiratory disease, notably asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and immunosuppression," WHO said.
"When anticipating the impact of the pandemic as more people become infected, health officials need to be aware that many of these predisposing conditions have become much more widespread in recent decades, thus increasing the pool of vulnerable people."
WHO estimates that more than 230 million people globally have asthma, and more than 220 million have diabetes. Obesity may also worsen the risk of severe infection, WHO said.
The good news -- people infected with AIDS virus do not seem to be at special risk from H1N1, WHO said.
Something to consider before travelling... esp with the travel bug biting again...
 

petetherock

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Its the year end and for those going to the Northern Hemisphere, do bring a mask, it will come in handy if someone next to you starts coughing on the plane. Its going to be a bit hard to change your seat then...
 

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