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We’re about to have a really bad influenza season

Today’s weekly national flu report had the following nugget of information under the virology section: “41(48%) of the 85 H3N2 viruses tested have been characterized as A/Texas/50/2012-like, the influenza A (H3N2) component of the 2014-2015 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine. 44 (52%) of the 85 viruses tested showed either reduced titers […]

Days of a pandemic

I found these pictures in one of my hard drives today. They’re from the very early days of the 2009 influenza pandemic. I was the influenza surveillance coordinator at the state health department at the time. I decided that I was going to document as much of those days as […]

Talking Tuesday: What else? Ebolaaaaa!

Yes, I’m late again. Relax. It’s not like there are scores of you waiting for the podcast each week. Last I checked (this morning), there were 17 people subscribed to the podcast feed. I don’t know how many are subscribed via iTunes, but I’m guessing there’s not a lot.

Anyway, today’s rant is really a rant, and it originated from the madness going around in the media (mainstream, social, and popular) about the case of Ebola that was identified in Texas. We are worrying and sometimes outright panicking too much about this one case in Texas, ignoring the enormous burden of Ebola (and other diseases) on Africa. Also, I managed to get about a minute in of opinion on a satellite radio talk show. I explained to the host that between 3,000 and 49,000 people in the United States will die from influenza, but we don’t stop planes from coming here from other countries, and we don’t disinfect schools because of it.

Talking Tuesday: The Influenza Kids

About 11 minutes in which I tell you about a group of kids from Africa and SE Asia came to the area and managed to bring the flu with them. Leave it to me to run into the building where they were while not wearing any personal protective equipment. As it turns out, I had all the protection I needed for that time… But I won’t do that again.