Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

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The Reaper
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Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby The Reaper » Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:59 pm UTC

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091024/ap_ ... _swine_flu
President Barack Obama declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency, giving his health chief the power to let hospitals move emergency rooms offsite to speed treatment and protect noninfected patients.

The declaration, signed Friday night and announced Saturday, comes with the disease more prevalent than ever in the country and production delays undercutting the government's initial, optimistic estimates that as many as 120 million doses of the vaccine could be available by mid-October.

Health authorities say more than 1,000 people in the United States, including almost 100 children, have died from the strain of flu known as H1N1, and 46 states have widespread flu activity. So far only 11 million doses have gone out to health departments, doctor's offices and other providers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials.

Administration officials said the declaration was a pre-emptive move designed to make decisions easier when they need to be made. Officials said the move was not in response to any single development.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius now has authority to bypass federal rules when opening alternative care sites, such as offsite hospital centers at schools or community centers if hospitals seek permission.

Some hospitals have opened drive-thrus and drive-up tent clinics to screen and treat swine flu patients. The idea is to keep infectious people out of regular emergency rooms and away from other sick patients.

Hospitals could modify patient rules — for example, requiring them to give less information during a hectic time — to quicken access to treatment, with government approval, under the declaration.

It also addresses a financial question for hospitals — reimbursement for treating people at sites not typically approved. For instance, federal rules do not allow hospitals to put up treatment tents more than 250 yards away from the doors; if the tents are 300 yards or more away, typically federal dollars won't go to pay for treatment.

Administration officials said those rules might not make sense while fighting the swine flu, especially if the best piece of pavement is in the middle of a parking lot and some medical centers already are putting in place parts of their emergency plans.

The national emergency declaration was the second of two steps needed to give Sebelius extraordinary powers during a crisis.

On April 26, the administration declared swine flu a public health emergency, allowing the shipment of roughly 12 million doses of flu-fighting medications from a federal stockpile to states in case they eventually needed them. At the time, there were 20 confirmed cases in the U.S. of people recovering easily. There was no vaccine against swine flu, but the CDC had taken the initial step necessary for producing one.

"As a nation, we have prepared at all levels of government, and as individuals and communities, taking unprecedented steps to counter the emerging pandemic," Obama wrote in Saturday's declaration.

He said the pandemic keeps evolving, the rates of illness are rising rapidly in many areas and there's a potential "to overburden health care resources."

The government now hopes to have about 50 million doses of swine flu vaccine out by mid-November and 150 million in December. The flu virus has to be grown in chicken eggs, and the yield hasn't been as high as was initially hoped, officials have said.

"Many millions" of Americans have had swine flu so far, according to an estimate that CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden gave Friday. The government doesn't test everyone to confirm swine flu so it doesn't have an exact count. He also said there have been more than 20,000 hospitalizations.
Soooooo where's the national emergency for the normal flu season? Why isn't it declared every year? :\

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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Internetmeme » Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:51 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:Soooooo where's the national emergency for the normal flu season? Why isn't it declared every year? :\

Because the media doesn't sensationalize it.

Plus, of the 120 million doses of vaccine we were supposed to get, only 20 million have arrived. And it's going to take weeks for the rest to get here. And a lot of doctors say that we have reached the peak of the swine flu "season".
So now not everyone that really needs the flu vaccine will get it. That means some pregnant women, seniors, and young children will be without it.
Spoiler:

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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:37 pm UTC

Oh my God Obama said its an emergency we are all going to die

Seriously, while I realize some people are dying from this and it isn't pleasant, its just a bad version of the flu and humanity will somehow survive.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Sockmonkey » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:41 pm UTC

I had it and allthough it sucked goat nads I shook it off without the vaccine. *shrug*

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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Darkscull » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:46 pm UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:Oh my God Obama said its an emergency we are all going to die

Seriously, while I realize some people are dying from this and it isn't pleasant, its just a bad version of the flu and humanity will somehow survive.


It's not even a bad version of the flu, it's just flu.
In many cases it's milder than a normal flu, it just spreads slightly easier.

I don't know about the US, but in Britain the government has been stupid about swine flu, it's almost like they want people to panic.
Physicists do it in an excited state.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:49 pm UTC

Darkscull wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:Oh my God Obama said its an emergency we are all going to die

Seriously, while I realize some people are dying from this and it isn't pleasant, its just a bad version of the flu and humanity will somehow survive.


It's not even a bad version of the flu, it's just flu.
In many cases it's milder than a normal flu, it just spreads slightly easier.

I don't know about the US, but in Britain the government has been stupid about swine flu, it's almost like they want people to panic.


Im willing to wager we can out panic your media.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby poxic » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:50 pm UTC

There are hospitals in Canada (not sure about the US) where the intensive care units are starting to get overwhelmed by people with this flu. If it hits you and it's "just a flu", you feel like ass and then you're over it. If it REALLY hits you, then you're on a respirator and I think blood cleaners for up to a couple of weeks while your immune system fights it off.

Congratulations on not having it REALLY hit you, Sockmonkey. Since I'm squarely in the bull's-eye for the "REALLY" thing (female 15 to 55 with underlying health issues) and we've already had coworkers with the just-flu, Ima take some precautions and hope there's an ICU bed open if I need it.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Telchar » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:50 pm UTC

Holy cow guys! You survived the flu?! Alert Mr Obama. Crisis averted.

Sorry, but anecdotal evidence is next to worthless in this setting. While I agree that there is less to worry about than people think, I still think there is legitimacy to this order, especially the segregating patients part.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Darkscull » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:55 pm UTC

poxic wrote:If it REALLY hits you, then you're on a respirator and I think blood cleaners for up to a couple of weeks while your immune system fights it off.


You mean like when normal flu REALLY hits you?

Normal flu kills people every year, and fills wards every year when there haven't been enough vaccinations.
This has effected more people in total, and so there are higher numbers of people getting it bad, but the proportions aren't different enough to justify panic.

edit: to clarify, I agree that hospitals need to be able to treat it different, since it is indeed spreading more than normal flu, I just think that no one is doing enough to counter the idea of swine flu as WORLD ENDING PLAGUE!!!!1!!1one.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby poxic » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:06 pm UTC

There is some evidence that swine flu can kill people faster than normal flu, I think. Even if it doesn't, "spreading more" is a problem. ICUs expect to handle flu-gone-bad cases every year. When we have normal flu added to the swine flu, and the latter is spreading to more people, that's at least double the number of cases that go to ICU (and to emergency wards, and to non-ICU beds).

Declaring a state of emergency is just recognising that yes, this will cause problems, and here's a formalised way to focus resources on solving those problems. It isn't a generalised call to panic. Well, it isn't supposed to be.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:20 pm UTC

Declaring a state of emergency is just recognising that yes, this will cause problems, and here's a formalised way to focus resources on solving those problems. It isn't a generalised call to panic. Well, it isn't supposed to be.


But it is, and the media was already hyping this up. Declaring it an emergency only gives the news media a catalyst to build upon and increase the panic.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Vaniver » Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:24 pm UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:But it is, and the media was already hyping this up. Declaring it an emergency only gives the news media a catalyst to build upon and increase the panic.
The number of saved lives necessary to justify giving the media something to raise alarms about is pretty low, in my book (assuming, of course, this is the primary negative side effect). This most likely qualifies.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby tzvibish » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:22 pm UTC

The Piggy Flu (as it should now and always be called) has been a great financial success in the current dip of the economy.

Purel just announced that they are running out of supply for their hand sanitizer due to a 3-fold increase in demand.

Vaccine makers are so impressed with demand that they are now saying "No really, you need to purchase 2 vaccines to be really protected" (This makes me laugh).

Doctors are getting at least a co-pay for every panicked parent worrying that their child's seasonal sniffles is The Piggy Flu.

Big Pharma companies like Abobt , J&J, and Merck, who usually don't invest heavily in the vaccine market, are buying smaller mfgrs. of the flu vaccine to cash in.

The government will be giving out $10 billion dollars in research grants to further the lab work researching the spread of The Piggy Flu.

What I'm seeing is pure profit. Most experts will tell you that The Piggy Flu is just a flu that is more contagious than the normal flu and not any more dangerous with treatment. The CDC loses absolutely nothing by hyping the disease, aside from credibility, and panicked people all over the country will throw their money at the healthcare industry.

Not that I mind businesses profiting, just not when the president backs the hype.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby telcontar42 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:55 pm UTC

tzvibish wrote:What I'm seeing is pure profit. Most experts will tell you that The Piggy Flu is just a flu that is more contagious than the normal flu and not any more dangerous with treatment.

Which experts? I haven't really looked into this so my information could be incorrect, but from what I heard from a doctor, based on the nature of the flu and historical precedent, we are about due for a large scale flu epidemic. All it would take is a particularly nasty strain (like H1N1) and insufficient preparedness and response.

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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Crius » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:56 pm UTC

Hasn't the worry always been that H1N1 would mutate into something worse? In its current incarnation, it's not much worse than normal flu, if at all.

Every year, the normal flu causes 36,000 deaths, 200,000 hospitalizations, and affects 5-20% of the population, which translates to 15-60 million people in the US (source). I don't think people realize how bad influenza is normally.

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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby dexodro » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:31 pm UTC

I try to ignore all the fear going around, but sometimes, I just get swept up in panic and start to believe that it really is as bad as they make it out to be - but then I calm down, and rationalize. I'm still trying to figure out if it's safe to vaccinate my child or if it's alright to go without (being that the talk is the vaccine was rushed and didn't get proper testing).

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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:43 pm UTC

dexodro wrote:being that the talk is the vaccine was rushed and didn't get proper testing

The talk is wrong. According to the CDC, this vaccine got the same testing that the annual flu vaccine gets. They claim that this is simply a different strain of flu virus, so it is no different than when the CDC releases a vaccine for the most recent strain.

So really there's nothing to worry about, except for the extremely rare side-effects that can occur with any vaccine. That is, unless you believe the CDC is part of a conspiracy, in which case you probably won't get vaccinated anyway.

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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby dexodro » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:50 pm UTC

Isn't everything part of some vast conspiracy that is out to get the commonfolk?

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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Dauric » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:06 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:But it is, and the media was already hyping this up. Declaring it an emergency only gives the news media a catalyst to build upon and increase the panic.
The number of saved lives necessary to justify giving the media something to raise alarms about is pretty low, in my book (assuming, of course, this is the primary negative side effect). This most likely qualifies.


Unfortunately Panic by itself isn't he problem. It's people who are most likely to experience H1N1 as any other flu demanding vaccinations (like the hysterical man on TV this morning saying "The alternative to not getting vaccinated is DEATH" and you could hear the capital letters in his voice) meanwhile the people who actually need vaccinations aren't getting them in a timely manner because the hysterical ones do whatever it takes to get there first.

The other thing to keep in mind is that "Epidemic" describes spread "Beyond expectations", not severity of the symptoms. Unfortunately pop-culture references have equated the measure of spread with zombie-infections, so using proper terminology riles fears of the coming zombieocalypse.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Rakysh » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:40 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:.
The other thing to keep in mind is that "Epidemic" describes spread "Beyond expectations", not severity of the symptoms. Unfortunately pop-culture references have equated the measure of spread with zombie-infections, so using proper terminology riles fears of the coming zombieocalypse.

My dictionary, she disagrees. It just means a temporary prevalence of disease, not beyond expectations.

What people should be worried bout is if lots of front line medical staff get it. Then we're stuffed, and the people who REALLY get it might be too. That's what the vaccine is most important for, really.

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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby tzvibish » Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:08 pm UTC

This whole thing reminds of me of the anti-DMHO movement.

length spoiler (loiler?)
Spoiler:
Frequently Asked Questions About Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO)

What is Dihydrogen Monoxide?

Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) is a colorless and odorless chemical compound, also referred to by some as Dihydrogen Oxide, Hydrogen Hydroxide, Hydronium Hydroxide, or simply Hydric acid. Its basis is the highly reactive hydroxyl radical, a species shown to mutate DNA, denature proteins, disrupt cell membranes, and chemically alter critical neurotransmitters. The atomic components of DHMO are found in a number of caustic, explosive and poisonous compounds such as Sulfuric Acid, Nitroglycerine and Ethyl Alcohol.
For more detailed information, including precautions, disposal procedures and storage requirements, refer to one of the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) available for DHMO:

Kemp Compliance & Safety MSDS for DHMO
Chem-Safe, Inc. MSDS for Dihydrogen Monoxide
Applied Petrochemical Research MSDS for Hydric Acid
Original DHMO.org Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for Dihydrogen Monoxide (html)
Should I be concerned about Dihydrogen Monoxide?

Yes, you should be concerned about DHMO! Although the U.S. Government and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) do not classify Dihydrogen Monoxide as a toxic or carcinogenic substance (as it does with better known chemicals such as hydrochloric acid and benzene), DHMO is a constituent of many known toxic substances, diseases and disease-causing agents, environmental hazards and can even be lethal to humans in quantities as small as a thimbleful.
Research conducted by award-winning U.S. scientist Nathan Zohner concluded that roughly 86 percent of the population supports a ban on dihydrogen monoxide. Although his results are preliminary, Zohner believes people need to pay closer attention to the information presented to them regarding Dihydrogen Monoxide. He adds that if more people knew the truth about DHMO then studies like the one he conducted would not be necessary.
A similar study conducted by U.S. researchers Patrick K. McCluskey and Matthew Kulick also found that nearly 90 percent of the citizens participating in their study were willing to sign a petition to support an outright ban on the use of Dihydrogen Monoxide in the United States.

Why haven't I heard about Dihydrogen Monoxide before?

Good question. Historically, the dangers of DHMO, for the most part, have been considered minor and manageable. While the more significant dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide are currently addressed by a number of agencies including FDA, FEMA and CDC, public awareness of the real and daily dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide is lower than some think it should be.
Critics of government often cite the fact that many politicians and others in public office do not consider Dihydrogen Monoxide to be a "politically beneficial" cause to get behind, and so the public suffers from a lack of reliable information on just what DHMO is and why they should be concerned. Part of the blame lies with the public and society at large. Many do not take the time to understand Dihydrogen Monoxide, and what it means to their lives and the lives of their families.
Unfortunately, the dangers of DHMO have increased as world population has increased, a fact that the raw numbers and careful research both bear out. Now more than ever, it is important to be aware of just what the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide are and how we can all reduce the risks faced by ourselves and our families.

What are some of the dangers associated with DHMO?

Each year, Dihydrogen Monoxide is a known causative component in many thousands of deaths and is a major contributor to millions upon millions of dollars in damage to property and the environment. Some of the known perils of Dihydrogen Monoxide are:

Death due to accidental inhalation of DHMO, even in small quantities.
Prolonged exposure to solid DHMO causes severe tissue damage.
Excessive ingestion produces a number of unpleasant though not typically life-threatening side-effects.
DHMO is a major component of acid rain.
Gaseous DHMO can cause severe burns.
Contributes to soil erosion.
Leads to corrosion and oxidation of many metals.
Contamination of electrical systems often causes short-circuits.
Exposure decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes.
Found in biopsies of pre-cancerous tumors and lesions.
Given to vicious dogs involved in recent deadly attacks.
Often associated with killer cyclones in the U.S. Midwest and elsewhere, and in hurricanes including deadly storms in Florida, New Orleans and other areas of the southeastern U.S.
Thermal variations in DHMO are a suspected contributor to the El Nino weather effect.
What are some uses of Dihydrogen Monoxide?

Despite the known dangers of DHMO, it continues to be used daily by industry, government, and even in private homes across the U.S. and worldwide. Some of the well-known uses of Dihydrogen Monoxide are:

as an industrial solvent and coolant,
in nuclear power plants,
by the U.S. Navy in the propulsion systems of some older vessels,
by elite athletes to improve performance,
in the production of Styrofoam,
in biological and chemical weapons manufacture,
in the development of genetically engineering crops and animals,
as a spray-on fire suppressant and retardant,
in so-called "family planning" or "reproductive health" clinics,
as a major ingredient in many home-brewed bombs,
as a byproduct of hydrocarbon combustion in furnaces and air conditioning compressor operation,
in cult rituals,
by the Church of Scientology on their members and their members' families (although surprisingly, many members recently have contacted DHMO.org to vehemently deny such use),
by both the KKK and the NAACP during rallies and marches,
by members of Congress who are under investigation for financial corruption and inappropriate IM behavior,
by the clientele at a number of bath houses in New York City and San Francisco,
historically, in Hitler's death camps in Nazi Germany, and in prisons in Turkey, Serbia, Croatia, Libya, Iraq and Iran,
in World War II prison camps in Japan, and in prisons in China, for various forms of torture,
during many recent religious and ethnic wars in the Middle East,
by many terrorist organizations including al Quaeda,
in community swimming pools to maintain chemical balance,
in day care centers, purportedly for sanitary purposes,
by software engineers, including those producing DICOM programmer APIs and other DICOM software tools,
by popular computer science professors,
by the semi-divine King Bhumibol of Thailand and his many devoted young working girls in Bangkok,
by the British Chiropractic Association and the purveyors of the bogus treatments that the BCA promotes,
in animal research laboratories, and
in pesticide production and distribution.
What you may find surprising are some of the products and places where DHMO is used, but which for one reason or another, are not normally made part of public presentations on the dangers to the lives of our family members and friends. Among these startling uses are:
as an additive to food products, including jarred baby food and baby formula, and even in many soups, carbonated beverages and supposedly "all-natural" fruit juices
in cough medicines and other liquid pharmaceuticals,
in spray-on oven cleaners,
in shampoos, shaving creams, deodorants and numerous other bathroom products,
in bathtub bubble products marketed to children,
as a preservative in grocery store fresh produce sections,
in the production of beer by all the major beer distributors,
in the coffee available at major coffee houses in the US and abroad,
in Formula One race cars, although its use is regulated by the Formula One Racing Commission, and
as a target of ongoing NASA planetary and stellar research.



One of the most surprising facts recently revealed about Dihydrogen Monoxide contamination is in its use as a food and produce "decontaminant." Studies have shown that even after careful washing, food and produce that has been contaminated by DHMO remains tainted by DHMO.
What is the link between Dihydrogen Monoxide and school violence?

A recent stunning revelation is that in every single instance of violence in our country's schools, including infamous shootings in high schools in Denver and Arkansas, Dihydrogen Monoxide was involved. In fact, DHMO is often very available to students of all ages within the assumed safe confines of school buildings. None of the school administrators with which we spoke could say for certain how much of the substance is in use within their very hallways.
How does Dihydrogen Monoxide toxicity affect kidney dialysis patients?

Unfortunately, DHMO overdose is not unheard of in patients undergoing dialysis treatments for kidney failure. Dihydrogen Monoxide overdose in these patients can result in congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema and hypertension. In spite of the danger of accidental overdose and the inherent toxicity of DHMO in large quantities for this group, there is a portion of the dialysis treated population that continues to use DHMO on a regular basis.
Are there groups that oppose a ban on Dihydrogen Monoxide?

In spite of overwhelming evidence, there is one group in California that opposes a ban on Dihydrogen Monoxide. The Friends of Hydrogen Hydroxide is a group that believes that the dangers of DHMO have been exaggerated. Members claim that Dihydrogen Monoxide, or the less emotionally charged and more chemically accurate term they advocate for it, "Hydrogen Hydroxide," is beneficial, environmentally safe, benign and naturally occurring. They argue that efforts to ban DHMO are misguided.
Friends of Hydrogen Hydroxide is supported by the Scorched Earth Party, a radical and loosely-organized California-based group. Sources close to the Scorched Earth Party deny any outside funding from government, industry or pro-industry PACs.


Has the press ignored this web site and the Dihydrogen Monoxide problem?

For the most part, the press has not reported on the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide as much as some would like. Although many private individuals have put up web sites in a major grassroots effort to spread the word, major publications have not.
Recently, attention has been paid to the subject thanks to an incident in Aliso Viejo, California. This so-called Aliso Viejo Incident was widely reported in the media, although the director of DHMO.org, Dr. Tom Way, was called a "prankster." Once the Associated Press started circulating the story, it became fact, and the valuable information being provided by the DHMO.org website was deemed to be "rubbish" rather than an honest and unbiased recounting of facts about a dangerous, life-endangering chemical compound.

If you are a member of the press, you may access our online Press Kit. See the main page for access information. This resource is for members of the press only.



Is it true that using DHMO improves athletic performance?

Absolutely! With the numerous allegations of amateur and professional athletes using anabolic steroids and/or blood doping to enhance performance, virtually no attention has been paid to the performance enhancing properties of Dihydrogen Monoxide. It is perhaps the sporting world's dirtiest of dirty little secrets that athletes regularly ingest large quantities of DHMO in an effort to gain a competitive edge over an opponent.

One technique commonly used by endurance athletes in sports such as distance running and cycling is to take a large amount of DHMO immediately prior to a race. This is known within racing circles to dramatically improve performance.

Sports-medicine physicians warn that ingesting too much Dihydrogen Monoxide can lead to complications and unwanted side-effects, but do acknowledge the link to improved performance. DHMO is not currently considered a banned substance, so post-race urine tests do not detect elevated or abnormal levels of DHMO.

Can using DHMO improve my marriage?

This is a popular myth, but one which is also actually supported by a number of scientific facts. Dihydrogen Monoxide plays an instrumental role in the centers of the brain associated with feelings of emotional attachment and love. Married couples have found that regular ingestion of DHMO can improve their marriage-related activities, while couples that never ingest DHMO often find that their marriage suffers as well.
What are the symptoms of accidental Dihydrogen Monoxide overdose?

You may not always recognize that you have been a victim of accidental DHMO overdose, so here are some signs and symptoms to look for. If you suspect Dihydrogen Monoxide overdose, or if you exhibit any of these symptoms, you should consult with your physician or medical practitioner. The data presented here is provided for informational purposes only, and should in no way be construed as medical advice of any sort.

Watch for these symptoms:

Excessive sweating
Excessive urination
Bloated feeling
Nausea
Vomiting
Electrolyte imbalance
Hyponatremia (serum hypotonicity)
Dangerously imbalanced levels of ECF and ICF in the blood
Degeneration of sodium homeostasis
A recently noted medical phenomenon involves small amounts of DHMO leaking or oozing from the corners of the eyes as a direct result of causes such as foreign particulate irritation, allergic reactions including anaphylactic shock, and sometimes severe chemical depression.

What is a chemical analysis of Dihydrogen Monoxide

Recently, German analytical chemist Christoph von Bueltzingsloewen at the Universitaet Regensburg identified what may be key reasons why the dangers of DHMO are ever present. According to von Bueltzingsloewen, the chemical separation of dihydrogenoxide from the hazardous oxygendihydride is extremely difficult. The two similar compounds curiously occur in nearly equimolar distribution wherever they are found. It is not clear how the two contribute directly to the dangers inherent in Dihydrogen Monoxide, although von Bueltzingsloewen believes that a synergetic mechanism, catalyzed by traces of hydrogenhydroxide, plays a major role.
What can I do to minimize the risks?

Fortunately, there is much you can do to minimize your dangers due to Dihydrogen Monoxide exposure. First, use common sense. Whenever you are dealing with any product or food that you feel may be contaminated with DHMO, evaluate the relative danger to you and your family, and act accordingly. Keep in mind that in many instances, low-levels of Dihydrogen Monoxide contamination are not dangerous, and in fact, are virtually unavoidable. Remember, the responsibility for your safety and the safety of your family lies with you.
Second, exercise caution when there is the potential for accidental inhalation or ingestion of DHMO. If you feel uncomfortable, remove yourself from a dangerous situation. Better safe than sorry.

Third, don't panic. Although the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide are very real, by exercising caution and common sense, you can rest assured knowing that you are doing everything possible to keep you and your family safe.

How can I find out more about Dihydrogen Monoxide?

We would be happy to tell you more about DHMO! Send us email, and we'll gladly attempt to keep you up-to-date on current developments in the study of Dihydrogen Monoxide, its uses and misuses.
There are a number of sites on the world wide web that contain more information on DHMO and related topics. It should be noted that we do not endorse these sites, nor do we control their content or political bias.

Links to related information

DHMO web sites
Anti-Dihydrogen Monoxide Coalition (out of business)
Coalition to Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide (Headquarters) (currently offline)
Coalition to Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide (Netreach)
Friends of Hydrogen Hydroxide (DHMO supporters)
Material Safety Data Sheet
Environmental & Safety Information

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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Paranoid__Android » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:19 pm UTC

^^^ tl;dr

I said swine flu was just a media paranoia pretty much as soon as it came out.
just like when bird flu happened- no-one believed me.

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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Jessica » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:24 pm UTC

Do you guys read the article?

Here, I'll help. In the first sentence, the most important part has been highlighted, and the less important part downplayed.
the President of the United states wrote:President Barack Obama declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency, giving his health chief the power to let hospitals move emergency rooms offsite to speed treatment and protect noninfected patients.


The president is trying to help hospitals deal with more sick people. Oh shit news. Don't get fixated on the president and emergency part, and look at the consequences.

fuck.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Dauric » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:45 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:Do you guys read the article?

Here, I'll help. In the first sentence, the most important part has been highlighted, and the less important part downplayed.
the President of the United states wrote:President Barack Obama declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency, giving his health chief the power to let hospitals move emergency rooms offsite to speed treatment and protect noninfected patients.


The president is trying to help hospitals deal with more sick people. Oh shit news. Don't get fixated on the president and emergency part, and look at the consequences.

fuck.


It's a smart move on Mr. Obama's part, the hospitals need to be able to move people around because they need to examine and treat an increased number of people. Unfortunately it's not necessarily sick people that they need the room for, and just as unfortunately it's the aggregate news coverage and resulting paranoia of H1N1 that's driving the need for that space. Every hysteria prone hypochondriac is coming in to hospitals every time they feel 'slightly off', and every one of those people is taking up hospital space, testing time, hospital staff attention, vaccines, medication, etc. that could be better used treating the -actually ill-.

I can't speak for every news coverage zone, but around here they've done an abysmally poor job of covering what the symptoms of H1N1 are in comparison to the seasonal flu or even the common cold. Upshot: a lot of people are going in to the hospitals taking up aforementioned resources when what they need is rest and some over-the-counter medication.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby fyrenwater » Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:38 am UTC

*headdesk headdesk headdesk repeat ad naseum*

And people said I was stupid for not voting for him.
(Third party. I'd sooner give up internet than vote Republican.)
...It made more sense in my head.

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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby netcrusher88 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:02 am UTC

fyrenwater wrote:*headdesk headdesk headdesk repeat ad naseum*

And people said I was stupid for not voting for him.
(Third party. I'd sooner give up internet than vote Republican.)

Um. What the hell are you talking about? Because this is kind of exactly the right thing to do.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Lord Aurora » Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:23 am UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:
fyrenwater wrote:*headdesk headdesk headdesk repeat ad naseum*

And people said I was stupid for not voting for him.
(Third party. I'd sooner give up internet than vote Republican.)

Um. What the hell are you talking about? Because this is kind of exactly the right thing to do.
Then why is the regular flu, which kills tens of thousands of people per year, not also a national emergency?

This is the wrong thing to do. Declaring an emergency over something like this (1) lessens the seriousness of the situation when we have an ACTUAL emergency and (2) causes COMPLETELY unnecessary panic.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Cynical Idealist » Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:54 am UTC

Lord Aurora wrote:
netcrusher88 wrote:
fyrenwater wrote:*headdesk headdesk headdesk repeat ad naseum*

And people said I was stupid for not voting for him.
(Third party. I'd sooner give up internet than vote Republican.)

Um. What the hell are you talking about? Because this is kind of exactly the right thing to do.
Then why is the regular flu, which kills tens of thousands of people per year, not also a national emergency?

This is the wrong thing to do. Declaring an emergency over something like this (1) lessens the seriousness of the situation when we have an ACTUAL emergency and (2) causes COMPLETELY unnecessary panic.

Because hospitals are set up to deal with typical flu levels, and the current pandemic might overwhelm their treatment capacity?

Also, because declaring an emergency lets the government bend the rules (see the changes to the rules on treatment tents) and get resources to where their needed more efficiently. Lets take a look at the resized text again:
the President of the United states wrote:President Barack Obama declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency, giving his health chief the power to let hospitals move emergency rooms offsite to speed treatment and protect noninfected patients.


Declaring a national emergency is the means to that end, and the more important part by far is what it gets done.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby netcrusher88 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:35 am UTC

Cynical Idealist wrote:
Lord Aurora wrote:Then why is the regular flu, which kills tens of thousands of people per year, not also a national emergency?

This is the wrong thing to do. Declaring an emergency over something like this (1) lessens the seriousness of the situation when we have an ACTUAL emergency and (2) causes COMPLETELY unnecessary panic.
Because hospitals are set up to deal with typical flu levels, and the current pandemic might overwhelm their treatment capacity?

CDC overview and data to back that up. Seasonal flu is not an emergency because it is an expected event and we've been dealing with it for decades at more or less predictable levels (with occasional spikes). 2009 H1N1 is at abnormally high levels already and it's only the beginning of the flu season - as you can see on the charts that the CDC has, while such a spike is not unprecedented for seasonal flu, it occurring this early is unprecedented - not to mention the abnormally high levels of influenza-like illness earlier this year well outside of flu season. In addition, hospitalization rates (a more useful metric) are much higher for 2009 H1N1 than seasonal strains and show an abnormal age profile, as do death rates. The reason is actually pretty simple - it's believed that it's just because the hardest hit age groups are more likely to be in a position to catch and spread the flu, and since this is a new strain nobody has any built up immunity to it so stronger immune systems don't help as much as they do against seasonal flu.

Swine flu is an emergency as opposed to seasonal flu despite the fact that somewhere around 30k deaths in the US yearly are attributed to seasonal flu because it's different from seasonal flu - it is above and beyond it, responsible for an already unprecedented number of hospitalizations and deaths and it is early in the season.

Also the ability to bend the rules is kind of important in such a thing - power you get by declaring an emergency.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby fyrenwater » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:41 am UTC

Still seems overblown. I'm not saying it's not dangerous, but there's way too much paranoia. The media treats it like people are dropping dead left and right from it.
...It made more sense in my head.

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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Cynical Idealist » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:44 am UTC

fyrenwater wrote:Still seems overblown. I'm not saying it's not dangerous, but there's way too much paranoia. The media treats it like people are dropping dead left and right from it.

And that's a problem with the media, not with this declaration. The declaration was made so that shit could get done and people could get treated, and the media are...being the modern media (i.e. looking for any excuse to go into "EVERYBODY PANIC" mode).

As I see it, the options are like this:
Option A: Obama declares emergency, hospitals get set up to effectively treat people, media panics, on the whole life is better.
Option B: Obama does not declare emergency, hospitals have to stick infectious swine flu patients in with the others, more people get swine flu, numbers leak to media, media panics, and now we've got the same panic but more swine flu.

Obviously this is a gross oversimplification, but the fact remains that the media want to be sensational (it attracts precious, precious viewers), and that's just something we have to live with for now.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:56 pm UTC

If people are paranoid enough to actually wash their hands and not cough on each other and generally be more cognizant of how they could be passing or getting H1N1, the transmission of other influenza strains will consequently be hindered as well. Which, given the aforementioned annual death rates from that, I can't see as a bad thing.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Oort » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:33 pm UTC

http://www.theonion.com/content/news_br ... n_of_swine
Obama's Declaration Of Swine Flu Emergency Prompts Pro-Swine-Flu Republican Response

Spoiler:
WASHINGTON—Claiming that the president was preying on the public's fear of contracting a fatal disease last week when he declared the H1N1 virus a national emergency, Republican leaders announced Wednesday that they were officially endorsing the swine flu. "Thousands of Americans—hardworking ordinary Americans like you and me—already have H1N1," Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele said during a press conference. "Now Obama wants to take that away from us. Ask yourself: Do you want the federal government making these kinds of health care decisions for you and your family?" Other prominent Republicans opposing Obama's declaration of emergency include Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, who urged residents of his state to continue not washing their hands, and radio host Rush Limbaugh, who made a point of dying of the virus during his show on Wednesday.


I thought it was funny.

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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby EMTP » Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:22 am UTC

tzvibish wrote:Vaccine makers are so impressed with demand that they are now saying "No really, you need to purchase 2 vaccines to be really protected" (This makes me laugh).


It shouldn't. There's data. Nor is it unusual to require more than one dose of a vaccine to get the best protection. Some take four or five.

Doctors are getting at least a co-pay for every panicked parent worrying that their child's seasonal sniffles is The Piggy Flu.


Doctors hate those visits. So do nurses. We're all sick of the panic.

What I'm seeing is pure profit. Most experts will tell you that The Piggy Flu is just a flu that is more contagious than the normal flu and not any more dangerous with treatment. The CDC loses absolutely nothing by hyping the disease, aside from credibility, and panicked people all over the country will throw their money at the healthcare industry.


Ah, the ever-useful anonymous "experts." Until pretty recently, I was telling people the same thing; it's just the flu (please calm down). Actually, though, up in the MICU we're seeing young, previously healthy people with H1N1 ARDS. There are five or six on the ward at any given time. Nobody has ever seen anything like it before. So while panic is not warranted or useful, and for most people it will be just another bout of the flu, H1N1 is nevertheless a serious public health problem. It can do bad things to the lungs of young, otherwise healthy people.
Last edited by EMTP on Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:33 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby poxic » Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:29 am UTC

ARDS: Acute respiratory distress syndrome, to save a few people the search.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby EMTP » Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:30 pm UTC

poxic wrote:ARDS: Acute respiratory distress syndrome, to save a few people the search.


Thanks, my mistake.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Jesse » Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:45 pm UTC

Ha, NewScientist just ran an article on Swine Flu, seperating myth from fact. A pertinent point:

Nearly 5'000 people worldwide have died of swine flu so far. But on average, 36'000 are said to die of flu each winter in the US alone. On the basis of such numbers, many have concluded - wrongly - that swine flu is less dangerous than normal flu. Many of those 36'000 deaths are clearly due to flu and other lung infections that follow it, but more than half are not obviously connected, because flu often kills in indirect ways, by triggering heart attacks or strokes, for instane. By contrast, the deaths attributed to swine flu are those directly caused by respiratory infection with the pandemic virus. Indirect deaths - the majority of the 36'000 figure for regular flu - are not being counted.

This is not to mention that 90% of flu deaths are from the ages of 65 and above. Whereas this accounts for only 9% of swine flu deaths, with 41% being the 25-49 age range. There's a real chance that swine flu could disrupt work and therefore the economy.

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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Bright Shadows » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:44 pm UTC

Okay, in point of clarity, the 36000 number for deaths from influenza is not what people usually think it is. The flu only has to be a likely contributor to the person's death for them to be counted. The flu itself doesn't have to kill you. If you catch a respiratory disease (pneumonia, for instance) and die while you have the flu, you're in that 36,000 number.

If you want a number for incidents where the flu was the cause of death, that's not it, if I'm understanding the CDC website correctly.
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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby Jesse » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:46 pm UTC

I believe that's what my post was pointing out. That th 36'000 number includes any deaths that involve flu. Whereas the 5'000 for swine flu only counts those who died form the respiratory disease swine flu brings.

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Re: Obama declares swine flu a national emergency

Postby EMTP » Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:12 am UTC

Jesse wrote:I believe that's what my post was pointing out. That th 36'000 number includes any deaths that involve flu. Whereas the 5'000 for swine flu only counts those who died form the respiratory disease swine flu brings.


That's a really difficult distinction to make in practice. Patients with bad pneumonia almost always get broad-spectrum antibiotics empirically, whether their disease is viral exclusively or not (superinfection). In theory a sputum culture will tell you if they have a bacterial pneumonia, but in practice, unless you do a bronchoscopy, sputum is usually too contaminated with normal oral flora to tell you much.

Bottom line, no one I know has ever seen this many young, otherwise healthy people in the ICU on ventilators before. And there are more cases at my hospital every week for the last six weeks, with no end in sight. Pretty soon we'll have regular flu on top of it and the supplies of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) are very short. For most people H1N1 will be a minor annoyance but on a population-wide level it is a public health emergency that needs a forceful and coordinated response.
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