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Bio-Weapons Are Coming
01-04-2008, 06:37 PM,
#1
Bio-Weapons Are Coming
Bio-Weapon conditioning is on its way, secondary attacks are in preparations

Quote:Stomach bug sweeping the country

People struck down by a stomach bug sweeping the UK have been urged not to go back to work.
Doctors estimate more than 100,000 people a week are catching norovirus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting.

Workers need to remain at home for 48 hours after the symptoms have gone and stay away from surgeries and hospitals, the Royal College of GPs warned.

At least 56 hospital wards across England and Wales have been closed to new patients, the BBC has learned.

The Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust says it is cancelling all non-urgent operations until 9 January because of what it calls the "unrelenting pressure" caused by the virus.

The Royal Oldham Hospital has 11 wards closed which is more than a quarter of its total and Birmingham Heartlands Hospital says six areas of the hospital are affected.

Some hospitals, including two in Bristol and one in Bedford, have told people not to visit if they have been sick or if their visit is not essential.

The Health Protection Agency confirmed the number of cases this year is the highest since 2002.

Norovirus - also known as winter vomiting disease - is the most common cause of infectious gastroenteritis in the UK.

Illness can occur at any age because immunity to it is not long-lasting.

It is not normally dangerous but the very young and very old are most at risk of complications from dehydration.

The bug can be spread by contact with an infected person, through contaminated food or water or by contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.

Outbreaks are common in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and cruise ships.

Closing hospital wards contains the virus and prevents it spreading to new patients.

'Stay home'

Professor Steve Field, chair of the Royal College of GPs said its surveillance unit in Birmingham had confirmed the number of cases was the highest in five years.

He said the number of new cases each week may even top 200,000 across the UK.

"Surgeries and hospitals have been swamped with people wanting advice."

He advised those affected to stay at home, drink lots of fluids and take paracetamol.

"Wash your hands regularly so you don't infect anyone else and stay at home two days after the symptoms have gone."

Dr Darren Simpson, a GP in Bradford said they had seen a large number of people with norovirus in recent weeks.

"Very few people follow the advice of staying away from work however due to unsympathetic and often nagging bosses.

"It's the worst time of year to catch it as a lot of places are understaffed due to leave and bank holidays so there is increased pressure to attend work if you can."

Early outbreak

In December, the Health Protection Agency warned the norovirus season had started particularly early.

They estimate that in epidemic seasons, noroviruses may cost the NHS in excess of £100m per year because of ward closures.

In 2007, the number of cases reported to the HPA in England and Wales from early September to early December were double those seen in 2006 - 1,325 compared with 685.

The actual number of cases is much higher as most are not reported - perhaps as much as 1,500-fold.

NHS Direct said calls about vomiting and abdominal pain had been the number two reason for people calling over the Christmas period - in keeping with reports of increased rates of norovirus.

A total of 1,122,874 people contacted the NHS helpline over the 11-day Christmas and New Year period - a 61% increase on last year.

Dr Mike Sadler, NHS Direct chief operating officer, said: "Call patterns have been markedly different from our previous experience."

source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7169347.stm

Quote:Ward closures after bug outbreak

Vomiting bug norovirus has been sweeping the country, forcing many hospital wards to be closed to new patients in an attempt to halt its spread. Here is a list of wards affected across the UK. (see link)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7171295.stm
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01-04-2008, 06:41 PM,
#2
Bio-Weapons Are Coming
fucking HPA!!

norovirus info from HPA:
http://www.hpa.org.uk/infections/topics_az...ovirus/menu.htm

funding info for the HPA
http://www.hpa.org.uk/hpa/funding.htm

wikipedia entry for norovirus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norovirus

more info:

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/...oure-not-alone/

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displ...&aid=276022
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01-04-2008, 06:59 PM, (This post was last modified: 01-04-2008, 07:01 PM by nataraja.)
#3
Bio-Weapons Are Coming
taken from: http://www.hpa.org.uk/publications/2006/an...eb/response.htm
Quote:West Midlands
Influenza B and Norovirus Infections in Schools
In February 2006 West Midlands HPA began receiving reports of Norovirus (winter vomiting disease) outbreaks in the region's schools. The level of outbreaks reported was in line with seasonal expectations, but within a week the trickle of reports became a torrent.

But the symptoms were not confined to sickness and diarrhoea: parents said their children were also suffering from headaches, lethargy and a 'flu-like illness. It became apparent that some schools had outbreaks of Norovirus, some had influenza B, and some had both.

Many head teachers sought advice from the HPA, which advised them to employ stringent cleaning regimes to eradicate the norovirus. These measures, combined with a reduced teaching staff (due to sickness), meant that many head teachers took the decision to close their schools.

At one point, 20 schools were closed in Birmingham alone. There was huge media attention on the regional HPA from national and regional reporters. However, locally, the media provided a vital public health service, announcing school closures and repeating our advice on caring for sick children.

Both diseases spread quickly across most of the region, but as had been hoped, half-term broke the pattern of the diseases and school attendance returned to seasonal expectations.

lets see if we can find anything on school vaccinations from this time, in this area.
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01-14-2008, 12:25 PM,
#4
Bio-Weapons Are Coming
Quote:The winter vomiting bug norovirus has struck 2.8million people, with health professionals braced for another rise as people return to schools and offices.

The virus - which causes projectile vomiting, diarrhoea, mild fevers and headaches - is striking down more than 200,000 a week, according to official estimates.

Three hospitals have been placed on red alert, while hundreds of wards up and down the country have been closed to new patients as the number of beds being taken up by bug victims reaches critical levels.

Schools have even begun sending warning letters to parents explaining the symptoms while employers are calling on staff to stay away from work 48 hours after they have recovered to stem the spread of the virus.

Related Links
100 hospital wards close to contain norovirus
Should I be worried about norovirus?
The rate of new cases being confirmed has reached the levels of reports during the massive outbreak five years ago, when officials announced an epidemic.

Norovirus can prove deadly for vulnerable people, such as children and the elderly. The impact of the bug has been exacerbated by a new outbreak of flu with those most at risk now being given antiviral drugs by their doctors.

NHS Direct, which patients can telephone for health advice, has been inundated with people calling with symptoms of the norovirus.

Helen Young, the clinical director, said: “We are seeing an increasing number of calls about diarrhoea and vomiting. Norovirus is a major issue for the whole NHS right now and we urge anyone who has symptoms to engage in good hygiene to prevent it spreading further and to drink plenty of fluids.”

The number of reports of norovirus is expected to rise over the next six weeks, as children return to school and employees head back to work after the Christmas break.

A spokesman for the Health Protection Agency said it was too early to say if the disease had reached its peak. A statement said: “This season we have seen an increase in reports of norovirus cases, almost double the number reported for the same period last year.

“The self-limiting infection usually only lasts a few days, hence the majority of cases are not reported to the clinician.”

The Health Protection Agency has confirmed that 1,922 laboratory samples tested positive for norovirus.

The agency expects 1,500 cases in the community for every one found in its labs, bringing the total number to 2.8million infected people – or a million new cases each month.

Lincolnshire health officials have placed three hospitals on red alert following a 20 per cent rise in infections over expected levels.

George Briggs, the general manager for emergency care at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We have had a 20 per cent increase in the number of people being referred to us by GPs with illnesses.

“We have had some with cold and flu and we have had some with the norovirus. We expect an increase in the winter, we always do, hence we put some beds to one side. We didn't expect a 20 per cent increase.”

Boots, the High Street chemist, has also reported a 50 per cent rise in the sale of anti-diarrhoea treatments compared to last year.

The Norovirus started to appear a month earlier than expected this year and has already exceeded the levels of the record 2002 to 2003 outbreak, when 935 cases were confirmed by tests.

Over the last four years, Britain has seen the bug arrive and spread quickly in late November to December and then peak in January before falling to insignificant levels by the spring.

However, the number of reports would have to increase dramatically or continue into the summer for an epidemic to be declared.

source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/h...icle3176710.ece
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