Author Archives: SophiaZoe

Are you “average”

I’ve never considered myself “average”, and I prove that out yet again with my internet usage. Being a “Netizen” – a “citizen” of the internet, the only time I’m not at least partially “connected” is when I’m sleeping.

Of course, my “day job” keeps my internet activity to the “barest minimum”, in that I only check news sites to what I call “making sure the world is still here.”

I watch one show on television: The Big Bang Theory , which I never voluntarily miss. It is a half-hour show, no matter how much I wish it was an hour. Sometimes, if a show my husband happents to have on catches my attention I will watch bits of it until the internet or a book “calls” me back.

Television is extremely passive, the internet and books actively engage my brain. Since I have a rather “restless” brain the internet is my perfect – and I would argue – my “natural” habitat. Well, at least that’s what I tell my ever patient and understanding husband.

A few snippets from Mashable.com:

Average Internet User Now Spends 68 Hours Per Month Online

The statistic that really jumped out for us, however, was that in September 2009, the average U.S. Internet user spent an estimated 68 hours online (both at home and at work).

Although that still trails television usage by a significant margin, it’s clear that the Internet is carving out a greater and greater role in our lives each month.

 

Posted via web from SophiaZoe

Asking: By what criteria

I just discovered that my PandemicChronicle blog is one of the “Top 10 Epidemiological and Flu blogs” as listed on Blogs.com.  Makes me kinda wonder by what criteria they made their determinations.  Crof is there with his H5N1, but where is the ReveresEffectMeasure and Fla_Medic‘s AvianFluDiary?  Blogging platforms cannot be the criteria: I’m a self-hosted WordPress blog, Crof is TypePad, other blogs matching the platforms of EffectMeasure and AvianFluDiary are represented.

What criteria…indeed?

Perhaps they drew names out of a hat because there is no way in this Dimension my PandemicChronicle beats out the Reveres and Fla_Medic’s offerings.  And, since the criteria was something “random”, it is not an honor at all.  

No, no honor whatsoever.

Posted via web from SophiaZoe

Flu risks high for healthy youths

Another great article on the extraordinary epidemiological profile of H1N1-2009.  This one from the Washington Times [excerpted].

Flu risks high for healthy youths

One of the best aspects of the 2009 novel H1N1 flu virus is that most people infected get nothing worse than the symptoms of a bad cold.

But the worst and most mysterious aspect is that the disease strikes an unusually large number of healthy young people and can be fatal for adolescents and young adults even when they receive intensive care treatment, according to two studies released Monday.

“Young healthy people who have had no underlying condition: that is humbling and mysterious. It is rare, but once you see it, you never forget it. You pour in the antibacterials and pray,” Dr. John Bartlett, a professor of medicine and a former director of infectious diseases at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told The Washington Times.

[snip]

The lead author of the Canadian study, Dr. Anand Kumar, commented how unusual it was to have the patients become so ill so suddenly and warned of a real risk that local health care systems in the U.S. and anywhere else “would be overwhelmed.”

“These people were not just a little bit ill. They were spectacularly ill,” Dr. Kumar told Health Day News. “To see 40 patients like this simultaneously in the ICU, all struggling for their lives, all in the space of a few weeks – that’s really unusual.”

However, epidemiologists such as Dr. Bartlett cautioned against hysteria based on the two studies, calling it “a numbers game” that depends on how widespread the H1N1 virus becomes and noting also that “infectious care centers are breeding grounds for diseases.”

“Nobody knows all the people who got sick with it,” he said. “Keep in perspective the number of people who have died from flu is small compared to the numbers infected.”

[snip]

It was also very “humbling” for the medical establishment, he said: “A lot of very smart people have spent a lifetime studying influenza, and nobody saw this coming. This was an odd assortment – avian, pig and people’s genes all brewing in a pig for eight years and all of a sudden it is exploding.”

Dr. Bartlett also expressed worry about the pressure put on intensive care units, referring to an Australian study that reported “a 14-fold increase in the population in ICUs during their swine flu season” in the Southern Hemisphere.

Johns Hopkins already is feeling the burden of patients with severe H1N1 symptoms, said Dr. Trish Perl, another department of medicine professor and specialist in infectious diseases.

Of particular concern is America’s ICUs outrunning their supply of ventilators – essential to treatment of the worst flu cases, Dr. Bartlett said.

“You have heard about the huge government supply of vaccine and Tamiflu, but you haven’t heard about a big government supply of ventilators,” he said. Intensive care units “are already at a breaking point and have been that way for the past 10 years. Half of emergency rooms operate at full capacity.”

 

If you haven’t already done so, please be sure to read EffectMeasure‘s Why the epidemiology of swine flu matters for commentary and analysis of the epidemiological profile and how it differs so dramatically from that which we see during outbreaks of our seasonal influenza

Posted via web from SophiaZoe