Monday, April 28, 2008

April 27 Flu Update

Here's a new flu angle, could MRSA and influenza combine to cause a pandemic.

Dr. Jerome Klein of Boston University School of Medicine stated that this combination of the flu and MRSA is not new by any means.

He stated that “This is what happened in the influenza pandemic in 1957, which was co-incident with a pandemic of multidrug resistant staphylococcal infections.”

1 Comments:

At 6:17 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...

Orange;

Amazing and very disturbing article you posted today – this appears to definitely have the potential to develop into a very grave situation Orange. What is concerning is that this “CA-MRSA superbug” is responsible for more deaths now in the US than AIDS and even though people don’t realize, it could easily become an out-of-control epidemic in itself. Cases all over the world have increased significantly over the last seven years. Healthy individuals carry the MRSA asymptomatically, and it is estimated that in the US, 95 million people carry “S. aureus” (Staphylococcus), and of these, an astounding 2.5 million people are carriers of MRSA. At risk populations especially are those who work in hospitals, prisons, law enforcement, emergency HCW’s, gymnasiums, health clubs and schools. Especially alarming is that the newest and very latest strains of MRSA that are nearly totally resistant to vancomycin and teicoplanin and are called “vancomycin intermediate-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VISA). Not good.

What’s extremely troubling about your MRSA news, is that no one can possibly know how a pandemic influenza virus such as H5N1 is going to behave. The virus is very different fro a normal Type A influenza virus, and if it gains the ability to transmit efficiently between humans, there is little or no immune protection, let alone a co-infection with MRSA. This could prove to have devastating effects on humans. The H5N1 virus is in fact becoming more deadly in a growing number of bird species and mammals, and the current CFR vastly exceeds the pandemics of 1918, 1957 and 1968. If the speed and pathogenic mechanisms in humans does not attenuate below the 100% rate of poultry deaths we are seeing, health cares systems throughout North America (and the world) would not be able to keep up, even with adequate surge capacities (which most countries do not have). With H5N1, the primary viral infection is RARELY the direct cause of death in humans – most victims die as result of cardiac disease (pre-existing condition) or secondary bacterial pneumonia or complications as a result of bacterial co-infections, such as MRSA. In most H5N1 cases, the pneumonia is caused by H5N1 and patients do not respond to antibiotics, and rapid fatality is generally the end result. And the worst strains of H5N1 have been growing deadlier over the last several years.

The real problem I see as result of your MRSA news ? A couple of things: it’s a proven killer itself. If an H5N1-type or similar influenza pandemic were to break out, along with significant numbers of MRSA and other co-infections, then heath care providers and volunteers would be deathly afraid to aid the ill, as the capacity to aid the sick and dying would be overwhelmed almost immediately. Hospitals, clinics, and care centers would be avoided by nearly everyone.

Nobody in their right mind would go near them because to do so might mean certain death. With supplies running out everywhere out in a few days or a couple of weeks of a pandemic, I guess we could really call this the “infinite storm”. This is why I firmly believe the very best safe bet is to pre-prime the human population against H5N1 as soon as possible with whatever best semi-matched type vaccine available.

Wulfgang

 

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