Flu roundup: A marked (and tweeted) acceleration

You have to move fast these days to keep up with the flu. Or outrun it.

A quick roundup from the last 24:

From the invaluable H5N1:

  • Mexico: 4,000 H1N1 cases in 7 days

  • Spain: 31,322 cases and 6 deaths in one week

  • US: 15 states could run out of hospital beds

  • Scotland sees it Worst week yet for swine flu, with new cases running at 2,000 a day

  • Toronto catches the wave.

Meanwhile, Helen Branswell reports that Dutch researchers find mutation linked to greater virulence in swine flu virus — but so far it doesn’t appear to be the big upgrade in nasty we’ve been fearing. Effect Measure gives it a good look.

A sad story about Ground zero of Canada’s flu crisis, about a village in WInnipeg that asked for sanitation supplies — and got body bags.

The WSJ Blog asks whether Pregnant Women Will Get the Swine Flu Vaccine. Avian Flu Diary looks at why they might want to.

Avian Flu Diary look as well at another study showing the swine flu does its worst when it goes particularly deep into the lungs.

And a couple doctors tweeting from Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin, where they set up tents to handle the overflow, record a remarkable surge there. No links, but tweets tell a sort of shouted story of acceleration, starting last Friday, Sept 25:

Fr 9/25:

setonh1n1: Flu patient volume continuing to build up at Dell. Approximately 341 patients last 24hrs! Majority with ILI or flu.

setonh1n1: 343 patients at Dell yesterday, majority with flu or flu like illness. Tentatively planniing on opening flu tents tomm

setonh1n1: Yesterday a whopping 68% of patients tested by our flu research group with ILI symptoms tested positive for type A flu. A new high rate.

Sun 9/27: setonh1n1: Wow! 365 patients at Dell in the past 24hrs! 7am today there are already 40 waiting to be seen. Possibly time for a new plan.

Mon 9/28:setonh1n1: Last 24hrs at Dell Children’s volume was 386! Majority with flu illness. With continuing rise in cases when will it peak and start to taper? Tue 9/29: setonh1n1: Extremely busy again, 353 patients. Over 70% with flu or ILI. Second tent treatment area opens today with an extra doc or nurse practitioner

Wed 9/30: setonh1n1: 404 patients at the Dell ED yesterday! The highest yet. We keep hoping the flu has peaked in children but no solid sign of such yet.

Thu Oct 1, 7:50pm (CST): setonh1n1: 3 more tents arrived at Dell. Decision if, when, where, to deploy will depend on volume across the network. Still mostly just kids sick.

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