"While he was wheeled into the operating room, Martin turned to say: "Mom, don't cry. It's going to be OK." ... Martin died in the operating room ".... AT THE AGE OF 15 OF THE FLU

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    Mar 03, 2009 2:42 AM GMT
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    Mar 03, 2009 4:06 AM GMT
    OMG! That's so sad!

    I wish people understood more the threat of viruses out there. They constantly build up resistance and alter strains. We should really take these symptoms seriously! The idea that genetics were involved should also be taken seriously as I've notices numerous generational alterations recently.

    I feel so sad for that family!! I wish I could give his parents a hug!
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    Mar 03, 2009 4:26 AM GMT
    A desperately sad story. A 12 year old high school student in Boston died of flu just two weeks ago: http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/family/articles/2009/02/18/death_of_boy_12_tied_to_flu/

    For anyone who needs to be convinced of the devastation influenza can wreak, I recommend reading: The Great Influenza by John Barry. It chronicles the spread and effects of the 1918 global flu pandemic.

    Because the world's population is so much greater now and so much better connected, and because H5N1, the 'bird flu virus that has been in Asia for the past few years is relatively lethal to humans, what happened in 1918 would be relatively minor in comparison to what we will see if H5N1 or a virus like it mutates to a form that allows for easy transmission from person to person. Whether it is H5N1 or another flu virus we will sooner or late confront another flu pandemic.

    In the meantime, the best we can do is to get vaccinated.
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    Mar 03, 2009 5:18 AM GMT
    $20 says it hits us hard in 2012 :p

    as the world plunges further into economic depression and the ice caps totally dissolve and the world engages in world war III

    in all seriousness- its looking likely. that said, we ARE overdue for another plague of mass decimation.
  • oxdr

    Posts: 92

    Mar 03, 2009 8:15 AM GMT
    That scares the crap out of me. I will never look at the flu the same. That is really sad and scary.
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    Mar 03, 2009 8:35 AM GMT
    I didn't get a flu shot this year, for the first time in nearly 30 years. The VA refused me, saying I'm no longer qualified under their revised rules. Odd, because I've qualified every year since 1994, and I'm older now and have more medical issues than ever before.

    I presume this is the result of previous underfunding by the Bush Administration, and maybe by next year the VA will have money again under Obama, who has put more funds into the VA in his new budget, which of course the Republicans are opposing.

    Odd that Repubs wrap themselves up in the flag and patriotism, but in reality consistently underfund soldiers & veterans. They say one thing but do another, typical Republican deceit & hypocrisy. Meanwhile, soldiers & vets die, as we all saw last year with medical scandals at Walter Reed and the VA.

    But hey, Repubs wave the flag and tell us how much they love the troops, so it must be true, right? icon_razz.gif
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    Mar 03, 2009 11:47 AM GMT
    The flu pandemic of 1918 (Spanish Flu) killed at least 50 million people worldwide. Some estimates go as high as 100 million. My grandparents were included in these totals. This pandemic killed the young and the aged. Middle aged people were not as likely to die. Death from the Spanish Flu was due to an immune response to the virus. This immune response inflamed small blood vessels in the lungs. The damaged vessels leaked fluid; filling the lungs and resulting in suffocation. The healthy young would have strong immune systems which would result in significant lung damage. Middle aged people would not have such a strong immune response and secondary vessel damage since their immune systems were weakening with age. Another theory on why the Spanish Flu was so deadly to the young deals with antibodies.The middle aged population may have been exposed to a similar virus in the 1800s that provided antibodies to fight the Spanish Flu (similar to the modern flu shot causing antibody production). The people that died from that flu were the children, teenagers, and those in their twenties and early thirties. These were individuals not yet born when the earlier infection occurred.
    I just wonder if a similar situation happened with this young boy.

    A link from the CDC if your interested in the "Mother Of All Pandemics"

    Stanford has a more readable article with links
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    Mar 03, 2009 1:28 PM GMT
    Another reason to live life fully everyday people
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    Mar 03, 2009 1:38 PM GMT

    I know it's off subject, but when someone dies and we look at his picture we feel more sorry if he's hot/cute and young rather that if he's old or ugly .. our rough world ..icon_confused.gif

    Sad to hear ..

  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Mar 03, 2009 2:11 PM GMT
    To offer a slightly different take on the avian flu, I'm actually of the opinion that it would be significantly less lethal in the developed world than the 1918 pandemic. The reason is that viruses don't affect people in a vacuum. At the time of the pandemic strike, the developed world had just finished 4 years of the bloodiest and most wide-ranging war ever seen until that time. Food supplies were relatively low essentially throughout Europe, and even people who weren't engaged in the battles themselves were relatively more ill than normal. This is one of the major reasons why influenza deaths in the pandemic strike were not primarily among the very old or the very young--everyone was in a weakened state, and everyone was more susceptible to disease than normal.

    Of course, influenza can be deadly. I don't mean to imply that it isn't. Most people also catch influenza much less often than they think they do--most people who complain of having "the flu" really have some other, milder respiratory virus. I just think that the percent mortality of the 1918-1919 pandemic is unlikely to be reached even if the current H5N1 strain goes widespread in the human population. As unhealthy as many in the developed world are, with too much fat and not enough fruits and vegetables in their diets, from a survival standpoint it's better to get an infection when you're too fat than when you're too thin because you haven't been eating enough for years.
  • Mikeylikesit

    Posts: 1021

    Mar 03, 2009 2:48 PM GMT
    All I can say is, I never had the Flu shot & never been sick a day in my life....hmmmm....Makes me wonder what they are injecting with.icon_eek.gif
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    Mar 03, 2009 5:41 PM GMT
    MSU Bionerd, it's great to read a possibly less scary side to the story. I just wonder if the perfect storm isn't forming between a virulent variant of flu, easy and widespread movement of people and possibly widespread health, sanitation and nutritional problems stemming from what looks likely to be a severe and prolonged global economic depression.
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    Mar 03, 2009 6:14 PM GMT
    MSUBionerd mentioned that nutrition is better today and that would be expected to reduce mortality. Also today medical science has advanced. Today there are several antiviral agents available. One of the problems that accelerated deaths in the 1918 pandemic was the lack of antibiotics. Individuals with the Spanish flu would develop secondary bacterial pneumonia such as staph. Also respiratory failure can be supported by ventilators in the ICU.
    The authors of the CDC article were more pessimistic than I.
    Quoting them "Even with modern antiviral and antibacterial drugs, vaccines, and prevention knowledge, the return of a pandemic virus equivalent in pathogenicity to the virus of 1918 would likely kill >100 million people worldwide. A pandemic virus with the (alleged) pathogenic potential of some recent H5N1 outbreaks could cause substantially more deaths."

    Colds are not caused by the flu virus. There are over 200 viruses that can cause the common cold. You probably have heard of one of them..the rhinovirus from the Zicam TV commercial
  • Anto

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    Apr 02, 2009 9:35 AM GMT
    How do they know he didn't die of this (compartment syndrome) instead of the flu?
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    Apr 02, 2009 4:09 PM GMT
    Anto saidHow do they know he didn't die of this (compartment syndrome) instead of the flu?

    Compartment syndrome occurs when the muscles swell from too much exercise or trauma. Muscles are surrounded by fascia which will not expand. The pressure builds around the muscle and prohibits blood from entering the muscle. Lack of blood causes muscle death (necrosis). A surgeon will open the fascia and allow the muscle to expand. Recovery is good if surgery is done before irreversible damage occurs. The victim could have transient kidney failure but this would be treated with dialysis. The renal failure usually resolves with time. I have never heard of anyone dying from exercise induced compartment syndrome. However, in medicine anything is possible. The boy's autopsy revealed pneumonia caused by influenza. There should be no connection between the flu and compartment syndrome. If you ever had shin splints, this is a very mild form or anterior compartment syndrome.
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    Apr 02, 2009 4:20 PM GMT
    With the rapid rate of viral mutation going on right now, maybe http://www.LostZombies.com isn't so far off after all..
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    Apr 19, 2009 1:41 AM GMT
    As a kid (5th grade) my sister (2 yrs older) was diagnosed with the flu or flu like symptoms. Within 2 days she died of Viral Meningitis. I realize it isn't the same thing as the original thread, but something similar. It began a long spiral downward in my life.
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    Apr 25, 2009 5:18 PM GMT
    In some of the later posts the possibility of another pandemic occurring was discussed.

    The H1N1 swine flu which has killed up to 68 people in Mexico has the potential of causing another pandemic. Like the Great Flu of 1918-1919 this flu is killing young adults. The fact most of the dead were aged between 25 and 45 was seen as a worrying sign linked to pandemics, as seasonal flu tends to be more deadly among the elderly and the very young.

    The most recent flu shot contained three antigens. Each vaccine contains three influenza viruses-one A (H3N2) virus, one A (H1N1) virus, and one B virus.
    I don't know if the H1N1 antigen in the current flu shot would be effective against the H1N1 strain in Mexico. Does anyone on RJ know icon_question.gif

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    Apr 25, 2009 5:30 PM GMT
    I knew the family of that Boston kid, terribly sad story. Important to know, in this case, that it was a) not related to the current swine flu fears and b) was not a "preventable"death, in that no one was negligent in terms of the care and precautions (ie vaccinations) that were taken.
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    Apr 25, 2009 5:44 PM GMT
    That's a hard loss...thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

    Unfortunately it seems like he had a recipe for disaster...a compartment syndrome with concomitant influenza? That could make for a bad surgery I suppose. He was only 15...perhaps he had a bleeding disorder or some other immunologic abnormality.

    This seems more likely than it being another super flu. Although you never know, like was said above.
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Apr 26, 2009 10:33 AM GMT
    Get your flu shots people!
  • alwaysonpoint

    Posts: 173

    Apr 26, 2009 11:11 AM GMT
    I've never had the flu shot or the flu. Maybe I will start if/when I move to a big city.
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    Apr 26, 2009 11:37 AM GMT
    ive been reading about this for the past couple of days, i live in TX and they said its coming from ppl who visit from mexico, and also the flu shot u are given wont affect this swine flu bc its a different strand.

    its totally lame im moving to colorado...
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    Apr 26, 2009 11:42 AM GMT
    Delivis saidGet your flu shots people!

    The following is from the WSJ...http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2009/04/24/swine-flu-in-the-us-and-mexico/

    Does the flu vaccine protect against the swine flu?

    The CDC reported earlier this week that the seasonal flu vaccine “might not” provide protection against the flu. The agency says it has created a “seed vaccine” specifically tailored to this swine flu. That could be used to manufacture a targeted vaccine if officials deem it necessary to do so.

    Can the swine flu be treated with antiviral drugs?

    Like some garden-variety flu, this swine flu is resistant to two drugs known as amantadine and rimantadine. Earlier this week, the CDC reported that the swine flu was being tested for susceptibility to Tamiflu and Relenza, two newer drugs. Update: CDC says Tamiflu and Relenza work against this strain of swine flu, the WSJ reports.