Archive for the ‘Swine Flu’ Category

Have you had the swine flu?

Have you thought you or a family member might have a bad case of swine flu? Perhaps you didn’t know whether you should go to the emergency room or call your doctor for an urgent office visit. There have been some mixed messages on when to seek professional care for swine flu. We want to hear from readers impacted by the swine flu epidemic.

Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com

Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com

AJC Reporter Craig Schneider would like to hear your story. Craig can be reached at 404-526-5463, or at cschneider@ajc.com.

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DOCTOR IS IN: Nation moves quickly toward H1N1 vaccine

BY SRILATHA EDUPUGANTI, MD, MPH

Assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine; Medical director of the Hope Clinic of the Emory Vaccine Center; investigator in the adult H1N1 influenza clinical trials.

With the arrival of fall, and schools and colleges well under way, Georgia already has seen a substantial number of cases of novel H1N1 flu. Although it appears that most cases have been mild, there have been more serious cases, just as there are every year with seasonal flu.

Doctors in the region have noted serious illness not only among individuals with underlying medical conditions but also among young, previously healthy individuals.

The U.S. government declared the H1N1 outbreak a public health emergency in April 2009, and two months later the World Health Organization classified the outbreak a pandemic, reflecting its widespread nature. To minimize the impact of H1N1 flu in our …

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DOCTOR IS IN: When flu is, and isn’t, an emergency

BY JIM FORTENBERRY, M.D.

Pediatrician-in-Chief, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

The first thing on many parents’ minds right now is how to protect their children from the flu. And, time after time, parents bring children with flu symptoms to the emergency room when it’s not an emergency.

While H1N1 flu is a new strain, at present it is acting just like a mild-to-moderate case of the flu with the same type of outcomes as seasonal influenza.

Parents should take away that H1N1 title and name, and think of this as the flu. Think of it this way: “If this was the regular flu, would I be going to the emergency room?”

The symptoms of H1N1 flu in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with H1N1 flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

The great majority of children don’t have a level of illness that needs medication or requires hospitalization, and can be managed …

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DOCTOR IS IN: Why are we getting diseases from animals?

By Bruce S. Ribner, MD
Diseases transmitted from animals to humans are called zoonotic diseases. Even though we hear about a disease such as swine flu and think this type of transmission must be uncommon, animal to human spread of infection is more common than you think.

Zoonotic diseases can be caused by all types of pathogens, viruses, bacteria, and parasites, and can cause various symptoms such as diarrhea, muscle aches and fevers. Sometimes infected persons experience severe symptoms that can be life threatening.

Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can occur, most often in persons who work directly with pigs. Swine flu viruses have been reported to spread from person-to-person, but in the past, this transmission was limited.

About 75 percent of the new diseases affecting humans in the past decade can be traced to …

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Atlanta, how worried are you about the swine flu?

By Joy Johnston

Over the weekend, health officials became increasingly concerned about widespread outbreaks of the swine flu in various parts of the world. The hardest hit area so far appears to be Mexico City but after a confirmed outbreak in New York City, U.S. officials have declared a public health emergency.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the declaration was standard operating procedure and that the public should think of it as a “declaration of emergency preparedness.” It appears so far that the strain of the swine flu impacting the U.S. is milder than the type that has killed dozens in Mexico.

It’s also important to note that the swine flu is usually very treatable, though with like any flu strain, symptoms can range fom mild to severe.

(Just for the record, despite the name, you cannot get swine flu from consuming pork products. While there have been swine flu outbreaks in farm environments where it spreads from pigs to humans, just like with other …

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