"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
Online Edition
Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
Volume ∞ Issue ∞
 
<< | < | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | > | >>

The swine flu saga continues


Fri, Aug 7th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



Much has been made of the new "swine flu" because it is very similar to the virus that caused the pandemic flu of 1917-1920. That flu is estimated to have killed between 50 and 100 million people around the world. Only remote islands were spared.

The media intermittently prints or has radio/TV programs about the virus. Most of the information is incomplete - for a reason. We (the scientific community) do not know how the virus is going to act. The best we can do is look at the previous episode in 1917-20, but the virus acted strangely then. Both virology and communication was not as advanced as now, but a capsule of what we do know is as follows:

There are "experts" who have various opinions about where the virus started from Kansas to the Orient. While birds to swine to people is the route flu viruses are thought to take now some believe the 1917 variety went directly from birds to people, however, not all scientists believe this. The 1917 variety started in (or maybe was not diagnosed before) the spring and continued to a lesser degree throughout the summer. In the fall, the virus seemed to mutate (change its antigenicity and virulence) to a more deadly virus. A large per centage of the deaths was in the young adult, formerly healthy population, rather than the usual elderly, sickly, and very young. The reason is thought to be young healthy people had a good immune system which resulted in release of materials to fight infection (cytokine storm) that produced excessive inflammation. Most deaths were due to secondary bacterial infection, although for some, it was the virus alone.

Mutations to a less infective and less virulent virus are common in all flu viruses but generally the infection rates taper slowly. But in 1917 areas could be ravaged with high infection rates and a week later no new cases might be the norm. Other areas the new case rate may stay elevated for long periods.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has put out new guidelines for the standard trivalent (three different virus antigens) but not for H1N1 swine flu as yet. The biggest change is a recommendation children 6 months to 18 years be fully vaccinated every year with the standard trivalent vaccine. Recommendations for adults over 18 have not changed.

I have not found recommendations for the H1N1 virus yet, although there have been meetings to determine the CDC's stance. It is likely to focus on young people and those with existent di .....
[Read the Rest]

The Sotomayor hearings were hardly 'oversight'

Fri, Aug 7th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



Over four days of hearings into the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked her 583 questions. Yet when they were done, we knew little more of importance than we did at th ..... 
[Read the Rest]

One moment, please... The Economy - Part 1

Fri, Jul 31st, 2009
Posted in Commentary

It goes without saying that the state of our economy has impacted the lives of many, my immediate family included.

Within my own family, people have lost their jobs, taken on second jobs due to underemployment as a result of company cutbacks ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Health Care Fatigue Syndrome

Fri, Jul 31st, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I fear we may all die from an overdose of health care discussions. It would be good to die from it because if we just get sick from it, there remain 48,000,000 of us without health insurance.

This endless conversation with no agreement about ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Our responsibility: sacrifice now for a better future

Fri, Jul 24th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

A few weeks ago on June 26 the US House of Representatives narrowly passed the Waxman-Markey bill (H.R. 2454). It is formally dubbed "The American Clean Energy and Security Act," which concentrates on energy efficiency, conservation and the replacem ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Healthcare swan song

Fri, Jul 17th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

It's pretty frustrating to be interested in health care reform and live in Southeastern Minnesota. Minnesota has been one of the most progressive states in giving its citizens health care safety nets. I feel like I'm preaching to the choir while the ..... 
[Read the Rest]

One Moment Please: Don't ruin a good thing for families

Fri, Jul 17th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Congratulations to Harmony for their outstanding July 4th parade! I especially enjoyed the cavemen of Niagara Caves -- very creative and entertaining.

Probably the only thing that was a concern was while I was videotaping the entire parade t ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Judicial appointments

Fri, Jul 17th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

As we know, the Untied States Senate has the responsibility to advise the president and consent (or not) to his nominations of federal and Supreme Court judges and other officials. When the judicial candidates testify before the Senate Judiciary Com ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Yards of food and flowers

Fri, Jul 10th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Over the years that my husband and I lived in the Big Woods, our mowed lawn decreased in size. We gave up gardening after the first five years because we didn't want to fend off the deer and other creatures. We loved the encroaching trees, shrubs an ..... 
[Read the Rest]
<< | < | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | > | >>