O.T. flu in the air

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I never pay much attention to the chem trail stories , but I found it strange today , while watching Fox news, they said the states hit the hardest with the Flu where New York,California,& Georgia(New york-L.A.-Atlanta).Doesn't that kind of ring a bell,when you think of all the post earlier this year ,where'nt the major disruptions expected the most in these cities?. Maybe there is something to the chemtrail stories.... Makes you wonder....

-- me (wondering@ohio.com), January 03, 2000


To me it just sounds like an unsurprising flu concentration in heavily populated states. Compared to something like the 1918-19 virus it's small potatoes, especially percentagewise. I wouldn't fret (and the chemtrails thing sounds like something to file alongside the black helicopters, frankly...).

-- Ned Raggett (ned@kuci.org), January 03, 2000.

From another b-board:

Okay, this is the deal....aches, pains, fever, coughing...well, you get my drift it is the deadly flu which hit both my husband and myself a week ago. The result? He has been in the hospital since last Friday along with a multitude of others here and around the Santa Barbara area. Martyr that I am I toughed it out here at home until yesterday when I dragged myself into the ER at the local hospital only to be told I had Type A flu (duh!!!). Remedy? Bed rest, lots of vitamin C and juices, juices, juices! Well, no big deal except -- get this -- what it was that the head of the ER told me.

Perfectly seriously he stated: "This is the beininng of germ warfare and the government knows it but does not want to tell the masses for fear of back lashes against certain groups of people."

"What are you saying," I asked.

"Simple," he said. "Everyone is worried about terrorist bombing over the New Year but it is already here. They are 'bombin' us with germs that we do not know how to fight."

Hmm, interesting, no? Also, for those of you who have had flu shots -- forget it. They are no good. This is a strain that we do not have a shot for, at least not right now. Those flu shots you got a month or so ago will not help fight this strain which, btw, is a dozer! It lasts, I am told, about three weeks and the cough can go on for six weeks. According to this ER doc, this is just the beginning. "Wait till you see what this country will look like in 10 years!" he said.

-- Chemtrails (Oftenover@here.yep), January 03, 2000.

Ned, I can refer you to a website if you would like to read a briefing paper on the subject.

-- Mello1 (Mello1@ix.netcom.com), January 03, 2000.

What was the other bboard?? This is scary. Neighbor took her kid to the local hospital and they said it would be a 6 hour wait. Article on front page of Sun. Atlanta Journal Constitution said many hospitals were full-people reporting flu-like symtoms.

-- (mother of two@timewilltell.com), January 03, 2000.

No deaths reported from it yet, tho I feel like something the cat drug in... So. Cal., Ventura...

Been hearing about it for weeks, been sick off and on, it just really kicked in yesterday...

Yes, seen your damn "chemtrails" around here too...

-- Carl (clilly@goentre.com), January 03, 2000.

It was reported on 12/30/99 on local station that 3 MN Twin Cities hospitals were FULL and sending patients to other hospitals. Reason; lots and lots of "flu" victims. Things that make you go hmmm...

-- Gia (laureltree7@hotmail.com), January 03, 2000.

We are helping people with the "flu" and chemtrails by having them lie on the bed with their head down- then squirt a dropperful of Colloidal Silver up each nostril and then raise up and get it into the sinuses. Also, put a few drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide in each ear and let it work. Lots Vit C and juices. It will disappear in 24 hours.

-- goldenokie (goldenokie@hotmail.com), January 03, 2000.

I posted this yesterday to several lists;

My wife and I went to Sunday services up in Asheville, North Carolina today, just got back.

You wouldnt believe the massive amounts of chemtrails aloft up there! There were at least three huge asterisk or star shaped patterns, and many other grid lines over the whole metro area. We got up on the Blue Ridge Parkway and were right under two of them. I had taken my camera with me, because there had been a similar episode last time I was here. At any rate, I took a number of photos of the scene on Kodak Max 35mm film, some right up under the cloud as it uncoiled. We were up at almost 4000 feet, and there was a definite metallic taste in my mouth, a smell like machine oil on a hot plate, and I got a feeling like I had eaten something hot and it wouldn't go down all the way.

I've read other folks accounts of these things and sorta figured they were the hypochondriac type. But I can tell you, its REAL. My wife (who is normally unflappable), after seeing how many chemtrails there were, said  They're almost from horizon to horizon! Only when we were 25 miles away did the taste and burning stop.

When we get back to town Ill develop the film, and send it to a few of the chemtrial websites. Ill let you know...

-- Frank Lee (I dont give a damn) (ibuy@halfoff.com), January 03, 2000.

And A&E just ran an INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS special tonight on the recovery of the 1918 flu virus, which ended with the dark warning that another flu pandemic is overdue and that an official scientific group has been meeting to investigate ways in which large numbers of the population could be quickly inoculated against it...

-- John Whitley (jwhitley@inforamp.net), January 03, 2000.

Uh, folks? I hate to sound like a sourpuss, but either the greatest cover-up job in history is doing a spectacular job in *not* leaking except, very conveniently, to forums where suspicion against the government runs high anyway (one reason why I'm so down on conspiracy theories is how many people would have to keep the same high level secret the bigger the plot gets -- hell, secrets are hard enough to keep between three people) or I've seen a plot from _The X-Files_ get broadly accepted as hard fact. This said, I'll want to find out a little more now, so I'll take that reference, Mello, and will read it, thanks. But you'll pardon me if my initial response to this is deep skepticism, I hope.

While on the subject: this is just me, but has anyone ever considered exactly how it is that the American public has apparently been collectively bombed, abducted, poisoned, controlled, murdered, etc. several times over this century? Or is each new plot the explanation for why the old one didn't work? *again, shrug*

-- Ned Raggett (ned@kuci.org), January 03, 2000.


The fact is a lot of people are sick, hospitals are overflowing in many parts of the country, but it's worth back page for the newspapers... feel like a reporter? go down to the damn hospital and ask around!

-- Carl (clilly@goentre.com), January 04, 2000.

Oh, no need to convince me of that, Carl! Coworkers and family members have had to deal with this bug, so I've seen it. Happily, I have not caught it. Still, I have to note that this is nonetheless flu season anyway, and that not everyone is ill, much less flat out dead, which is what sounds like a massive chemical bombing would have to produce. If you want a particularly virulent example of recent years, I give you the horrors that Iraq visited upon the Kurds a decade ago. Anyway, it sounds like a vast overall conclusion has already been drawn here when alternate explanations exist. Can those explanations be thoroughly, utterly and totally ruled out? If so, why and how? I apologize if it sounds like I'm being a broken record on certain points, but you must understand that to accept certain conclusions I need to have specific evidence that holds up to support those conclusions, and it just strikes me that that's a commonsense way to approach it.

-- Ned Raggett (ned@kuci.org), January 04, 2000.

Okay Ned, here are a few:

The Chemtrail Investigation www.islandnet.com/~wilco/investsky.htm (This person has been credited with first breaking the story - some technical references here)

Leading Edge (not for the faint of heart - far out stuff here, but heavily researched -- highly technical) www.trufax.org/research3/contrails.html

Chemtrails.ORG Research Center (not much here, but updated frequently, very highly technical) www.teksphere.com/chemtrails/research.html

Contrail Connection (message board, news and antedotal reports sightings with lots of pixs, sickness board) www.contrailconnection.com

I suggest you start in that order. Never say I didn't do something nice for you Ned. This is my short contribution to your humanity.

-- Mello1 (Mello1@ix.netcom.com), January 04, 2000.

I never read about this stuff before--but wouldn't terrorist unleash something a lot more devestating than a flu?

Just Wondering-

-- Just wondering (about@thisthread.com), January 04, 2000.

If it's the flu that you are referring to. Certain types of biological and chemical weapons can produce flu-like symptoms. It's your bodies way of attempting to throw off the toxins by forming mucus. All of what people are now getting sick from is not necessarily 'the flu'. I know. I've been there....

If you want to learn more about bio/chemical weapons, may I suggest the book "A Higher Form of Killing" by Harris and Paxton. That is , if you can still get the book.

BTW, someone mentioned trace amounts of sarin gas getting loose in Washington State. That sarin gas is real bad news...the Germans used that @#$% during WWII. One drop can take you down dead.

-- Mello1 (Mello1@ix.netcom.com), January 04, 2000.

Chemtrails/Contrails/Strange Sightings Threads

-- TB2K archives (the@truth.in.there), January 04, 2000.

"I never read about this stuff before--but wouldn't terrorist unleash something a lot more devestating than a flu?"

What is more devastating than a highly contagious germ that masquerades as the flu, but slowly attacks the central nervous system until the entire population of the country goes stark raving mad? They could kill a couple of hundred people with anthrax, but that would be very limited in extent, and too quick to get the most desirable results.

-- Hawk (flyin@high.again), January 04, 2000.

I live in Atlanta and I watched the news this afternoon. The hospitals are being overrun with people with ' flu like ' symptoms. The doctor on the news said that this was the worst he had ever sen it. I don't care what anyone thinks,but yesterday again the sky was full of high flying planes laying chem trail after chem trail. Today nothing.

I for one am getting sick and tired of people saying that there is nothing going on here.Something is, and the government isn't coming clean with the truth behind the matter. Look up, then wake up. Everywere I go people are sick. And they are all saying that it's the worst case of the 'flu' they have ever had.

-- ~***~ (~***~@earth.ebe), January 04, 2000.

You know what I find odd is that so far this winter is *much* warmer than usual. In the NYC area today it was in the 60's!! Has it been warmer than usual in CA and GA?


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), January 04, 2000.

Everyone out here (VT) seems to be sick- the "flu" is going around bigtime here. I was sick for 2 weeks, my partner is sick now, a child I work with at school is out sick and I just got called in to fill in for a sick teacher, etc. etc. It's everywhere here and it really knocks you out- I rarely get that sick.

P.S. In terms of weather- weird! I was out working in just a sweatshirt yesterday in Vermont!! today we're having an icestorm! the weirdest weather I've ever seen.....(Umm- I had pants on too yesterday- not just a sweatshirt)

-- farmer (hillsidefarm@drbs.com), January 04, 2000.

Montreal news media have been reporting ER overloads for the past 3 days. This morning on TVA news they called the situation critical in all of Montreal's hospital and stated the cause of most of admissions were upper respiratory and flu problems.

Also in the same news, former Prime-Minister Trudeau was hospitalized for pneumonia caused by the flu this past week. He is reported in stable condition this morning.

My 3 kids and husband caught the flu in PA 3 days before Christmas. They are ok now, although coughs linger and energy is down. I got my flu shot in late Nov. and haven't got so much as the sniffles yet, I'm the only one in the family who got the shot (husband and oldest kid shrugged off my advice to get one.)

I dismiss the "chemtrail" connection as paranoia, and believe this year's nasty flu season is global. The flu spreads fast in crowded areas. The bug lingers in the air after an infected person coughs/sneezes, lingers on door handles and faucets etc. Also, during the holidays large family gatherings at parties will help spread the bug between kids and kissing/hugging adults.

-- Chris (catsy@xxx.com), January 04, 2000.

TECH and Farmer,

we're having an ice storm here too in the sourthern part of Quebec province. Nasty weather where I am in a ski area; freezing rain yesterday, 3 inches of snow last night, back to freezing rain this morning.

-- Chris (catsy@xxx.com), January 04, 2000.

Chris- yes, it's wild out there. Had to go out with a hammer this morning and knock the ice off every handle, lock, etc to get into the barn, open doors, etc. Not as bad as two years ago fortunately though.

-- farmer (hillsidefarm@drbs.com), January 04, 2000.

Hey Chris, before your are so quick to dismiss it, check out the websites I mentioned earlier (in this thread). Then look for yourself and make up your own mind. I've seen them, and I've been sick because of them -- it's not your normal commercial fly by I can tell you that.

-- Mello1 (Mello1@ix.netcom .com), January 04, 2000.

I hope you don't mind a newcomer contributing (been lurking for a couple weeks only).

I'm going to check out the chemtrail sites that are listed, but I live in CA and I recall a couple years ago there was also a flu epidemic so bad that many of the hospitals had to turn people away. It really could just be the flu, but I'm interested in what chemtrain is anyway...

Regarding it being warmer in CA...yes, we are having a warm, dry winter, but this is following one of the coolest summers we had. And LAST winter we had record COLD temperatures. Just FYI.


-- Newbie (newcomer@this.site), January 05, 2000.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk:80/et?ac=000118613908976&rtmo=glZbrGGu&atmo =glZbrGGu&pg=/et/00/1/6/nflu06.html

Flu outbreak leaves only 11 beds free for intensive care

By Celia Hall, James Debens and Tara Womersley

ONLY 11 intensive care beds out of the total of 1,500 in English hospitals were available yesterday as winter pressure built up on the wards and patients were admitted for severe side effects of the flu bug.

Millions of people have been affected by the virus. The figure may be as high as eight million, according to an estimate by the drug company SmithKline Beecham, which monitors the health of 90,000 people.

With almost every family in the country affected by the virus, it emerged last night that the emergency medical admissions to hospitals include viral pneumonia and acute bronchitis. Younger people were being hit as well as the elderly. Cases are likely to be side-effects of the virus, said a Health Department spokesman. "People are coming in sicker, which means they need to be in hospital longer."

Many companies said they were affected by staff illness, with agencies reporting increased demand for temporary workers. Latest figures on the level of true influenza in England will be published today and are expected to show another rise above the 124 cases per 100,000 at the last count.

At times yesterday no intensive care beds were available in the country. The DoH spokesman said: "The situation is fluid. There is a lot of pressure but everyone who needs intensive care is receiving it."

On Tuesday, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, north-west London - where General Pinochet was assessed yesterday - had to use a St John Ambulance bus to cope with overflow patients from accident and emergency. Brian Goodinson, the hospital's communications manager, said: "We were very pressed and the London Ambulance Service suggested we use the incident vehicle, which is the size of a single-decker bus with three assessment trolleys. Our 30-year-old accident and emergency department is being rebuilt."

At Guy's and St Thomas's Hospital, London, a spokesman said: "We have one intensive care bed open at the moment. Three patients in intensive care are about to be transferred. It changes all the time."

University College Hospital, London, was able to admit a patient from Colchester, Essex, to an intensive care bed. An official said: "We have three or four people waiting to go to the wards. The discharge teams are working very hard to keep beds clear and we have a rapid response unit seeing which patients can manage at home with the right level of support. The situation is tight, we are pretty full."

The scene was similar at King's College Hospital, south London. A spokesman said: "The pressure is on. We are managing to admit people and we are not having to send patients away. We have not had any trolley waits of over 12 hours, which is when we have to report them."

The flu bug has caused the cancellation of some flights, according to the Institute for Personnel and Development which records the trends of the nation's workforce. An IPD spokesman said: "There have been quite a few BA flights cancelled because of staff flu. We have also been made aware of an increase in business at temp agencies."

-- chemtrail "flu" (lasts@too.long), January 06, 2000.

The WHOLE country?!? That is really serious.

-- overworked (jenny46@aol.com), January 06, 2000.

About Damn Time The Press Starts Reporting!

some of us have been talking about this for weeks... and in the last few days, finally it makes the press... Is that how y2k reporting is going to play out?

The True Y2K Bug - Influenza Arrives With a Vengeance

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - They are the familiar sights and sounds of winter: the sniffling nose, the dry, throaty voice and the grimace that follows a swallow of medicine.

Better get used to them, health officials say. The flu, which struck the West hard last month, has arrived like a storm along the East Coast, filling hospital waiting rooms and doctors' offices with ailing patients.

"It's bad all over the country," said Dr. Robert McNamara, chief of emergency medicine at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. "The flu shot apparently is not doing its job, and from all reports, it could be one of the worst seasons we've seen in years."

Patients at emergency rooms nationwide have found out as much in the last couple of weeks. At McNamara's hospital, patients line the halls on gurneys, waiting for rooms. Others huddle around rows of chairs waiting to be seen by a doctor. Other hospitals across the country are scrambling to add extra staff, while others are even turning people away due to overcrowding.

"If the trend continues the way it is now, within the next month we are going to have a great challenge to find beds to admit anybody in the state of Maryland," said Dr. Rick Alcorta, head of the Emergency Medical Resource Center, which tracks the status of hospitals in the Baltimore area.

At South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta, Ga., supervisors went from wearing business suits to white nurses' coats to help with the crush of mostly flu-ridden patients. In Newnan, southwest of Atlanta, a spokeswoman at Emory Peachtree Regional Hospital said doctors are calling this round of flu the worst strain since 1992.

The latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that more than 99 percent of the cases reported so far are influenza type A. Most of the cases, officials say, appear to be the Sydney strain of the virus, which also struck last year.

The first substantial cases were reported in California and Arizona last month. Since then, 19 states - including Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Virginia - have reported widespread or regional flu activity, the CDC said.

While the agency said about 3 percent of doctor visits in those states were related to flu-like symptoms, hospital workers say cases in the East seemed to have spiked since Christmas.

"We've been used to seeing (the flu) in late January, February and even March," said Dr. Luther Rhodes, chief of infectious disease at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pa. "We weren't thinking about it over the Christmas holiday."

As of Wednesday, flu patients occupied half of Lehigh Valley's 70 single-patient rooms. Normally, Rhodes said, that number reaches only three or four at the height of the season.

For the first time, Rhodes said, the hospital has asked inbound flu patients to call ahead.

Flu symptoms include fever, coughing and runny or stuffy noses, along with headaches, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. The virus is distinguished by its quick onset and its affect over an entire body.

"These are people who come in and generally feel terrible," said Dr. Anthony Cirillo, chief of emergency medicine at Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket, R.I. "Often times, they're dehydrated. These aren't people who move through the system overnight."

Those considered at risk of more serious flu complications include infants, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses such as asthma, AIDS, sickle cell anemia, diabetes or heart disease.

The situation is so bad at Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center near Carlisle, Pa., that visitors are banned through at least Sunday. Ed Quinlan, president of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island, said some swamped hospitals have been forced to reschedule elective surgeries.

"There is no good flu year," said Dr. Matthew Carter, epidemiology program coordinator for the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

-- Carl (clilly@goentre.com), January 06, 2000.

Wow! It has NOT been TB2K's imagination!

-- reality strikes mainstream (also@lookup.sky), January 06, 2000.

Sorry for crapping up the thread.. somebody end the blockquote and clean up the fonts for me.. it's late, have the flu, still learning html rules here... gotta get to bed..

-- Carl (clilly@goentre.com), January 06, 2000.

blockquote off.

-- Cherokee (Cherokee@qtmail.com), January 06, 2000.
font off.

-- Cherokee (Cherokee@qtmail.com), January 06, 2000.

Wednesday, 5 January 2000 21:36 (ET)

CHICAGO, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- The millennium bug has finally hit -- a flu that is packing hospital emergency rooms across the country.

Thousands of people suffering from fever, chills and other symptoms are taking up so many beds from Texas to Rhode Island that hospitals are turning away non-emergency patients.

"They're feeling like they've been hit by a truck," said Dr. Melissa Black of Princeton Baptist Medical Center's Simon-Williamson Clinic in Birmingham, Ala.

Lillian Clanahan, director of emergency room services at Southwest Medical Center and Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, said people are so sick they're willing to wait for hours in the emergency room without complaint.

"They are on their last leg when they get here," she said. "We've had patients wait five hours on the worst days."

In Ohio, emergency rooms report increases in the number of patients complaining from flu and flu-like symptoms up as much as 50 percent from last week.

"The whole hospital is full,'' said Gail Loadman, director of emergency services at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. "And patients are waiting a long time. If your condition isn't bad, your average wait is 2 1/2 hours.''

"It's wreaking havoc on the population," said Dr. Michael Omori, emergency room physician at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo, Ohio.

In Pennsylvania, Allegheny County officials said hospitals are being forced to turn away patients.

"Other hospitals are diverting patients to us and we have never been on a divert before. We are seeing a large percentage of elderly people admitted," said Dr. Ron Roth, assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

"I can't remember the last time it's been like this," said Edwin J. Truitt, regional director of emergency medical services, in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

In the Milwaukee area, eight hospitals asked ambulances to divert patients elsewhere because they had run out of beds.

Despite the upsurge of flu cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said Wednesday outbreaks are only sporadic.

Doctors note, however, the ailment has yet to hit the pediatric population with full force.

Sufferers are luckier this year than in the past. Doctors can prescribe two new drugs, Relenza and Tamiflu, to shorten the disease's duration.

However, pharmacists report they're running out of supplies.

"We've run out of Tamiflu and are on back order," said Susan Fuller, pharmacist at CVS in Homewood, Ala.

-- not normal (JIT@rollover.incapacitation), January 06, 2000.

This crisis overwhelming hospitals is now being headlined on Drudge.

-- cough cough (kachoo@box.kleenex), January 06, 2000.

Hey, do you think that they're spraying us with the same planes they used to create the great 1918-1919 flu epidemic?

Oh, you mean something like the flu could actually kill thousands of people and it NOT be a conspiracy?

You guys are really reaching.....

-- Freethinkr (ima@nut.com), January 06, 2000.

Freethinker: idiot. Thousands of people all over the US have seen chemtrails. What should they believe, their own eyes, or your bullshit?

-- Dzog (dzog@plasticine.com), January 06, 2000.




A CRISIS-hit NHS hospital has begged French doctors to treat British flu victims on the other side of the Channel.

The desperate SOS was sent to a Calais hospital as London ran out of intensive care beds - and only a handful remained across the rest of Britain.

Last night the French consultant who revealed the plea, Dr Herve Peneau, said: "We have never been asked to help in this way before so the problem in the UK must be very bad."

Shortage ... bed crisis sees British patients needing help from France Dr Peneau, who runs the intensive care unit at Saint Pierre hospital in Calais, had to turn down the request because all his beds were occupied. But he promised to help if any become available.

The 52-year-old consultant said: "I was phoned by a London physician on Wednesday asking me to take some of his patients as he had no beds left and was struggling to find one anywhere. He told me the nearest empty bed to him was way up in Edinburgh, and we are much closer.

"I wasn't surprised to get the call because I'd heard about Britain's flu epidemic. But sadly I couldn't help."

Dr Peneau also revealed that a Health Department official contacted him yesterday to ask if he had admitted any Brits after the Government learned of the unnamed London hospital's plea. Ailing flu victims could be whisked by train from London to Calais through the Channel Tunnel in under two hours.

The 125-mile journey would take a fraction of the time needed to transfer a patient to Edinburgh, 420 miles away.

The French connection emerged 24 hours after The Sun told how packed NHS hospitals were buckling under the strain of the nationwide flu epidemic.

Many victims have developed more serious chest conditions like pneumonia. Experts have warned the crisis could last another three weeks - and the number flattened by the bug continued to rise yesterday.

Dr Peneau supervises ten intensive care beds, six casualty beds and six paediatric beds in the eight-storey Saint Pierre.

He said: "Thankfully we don't have an epidemic here but the beds are full because we are always busy this time of the year. "I'm not surprised there are no beds in Britain because the problem is so bad."

He added: "As we are in the north of France and our communications are good, it makes sense to send patients here from England if we have the space. We often get similar requests for help from Belgium."

The 1,000-bed hospital was opened in 1975. But French health chiefs say it is too old and overcrowded. And it is due to be closed and replaced by a modern infirmary costing #44million.

Last night the Health Department said doctors were free to "make phone calls and ask for help whenever they like."

But a spokesman added: "We are not in the business of trying to make transfers overseas and would rather make provision for treating patients in this country."

For the second day running, there were only 11 intensive care beds available across the whole of Britain yesterday.

At some hospitals, doctors had to use theatre recovery rooms to treat seriously ill patients.

The Health Department insisted the NHS is coping better than it did during last winter's fiasco even though it is under more pressure.

And the new 24-hour help-line NHS Direct, staffed by nurses, is helping to ease the burden on doctors.

It has taken 160,000 calls since Christmas. And in more than 50,000 cases, nurses were able to tell patients how to help themselves. The number is 0845 4647.

Huge run on curries after Sun's hot tip

FLU victims went vinda-loony yesterday after The Sun told how eating spicy curries can beat the bug.

Readers rushed to follow the hot tip given by Professor Ron Eccles of the Common Cold Centre, Cardiff.

All major supermarket chains reported ready-made Indian meals being snatched off shelves.

A Somerfield spokeswoman said: "Like people's temperatures, sales of our takeaway curries have been soaring."

And Sainsbury's sold more than 50,000 curries yesterday, up 15 per cent.

Darren Smith the firm's curry buyer, said: "There has been an incredible response to the Prof Eccles' advice. In some stores customers have been clearing our shelves."

Prof Eccles said: "There has been a scientific study into the effects of curries  and they really do work.

-- aching (sick@too.here), January 07, 2000.

http://www.the-times.co.uk/news/pages/tim/2000/01/07/timnwsnws01015.ht ml?1124027

January 7 2000 BRITAIN, Hospital alert as flu hits nurses

HOSPITALS were buckling under the strain of the growing influenza crisis last night, and some sent out emergency appeals for retired nurses to cope with the surge in admissions and staff illness.

Dozens of hospitals cancelled operations and seriously ill patients were transported across the country. Some were cared for in makeshift intensive-care units, others in operating theatre recovery rooms.

Figures released yesterday showed flu levels continuing to rise last week to 144 cases per 100,000 of the population. But that is considered an underestimate because of the difficulties patients had reaching a doctor over the holiday.

Scotland and the North of England were worst affected, with cases doubling. But experts hope Britain has reached a peak without suffering the epidemic levels that have crippled France. Across the Channel, especially around Paris, hospitals are dealing with four times as many cases as in Britain.

Only 11 of the 1,500 intensive-care beds in Britain were free at midday and all 275 in London were full. St Thomas' was typical of hospitals in the capital in reporting that the problem was greater this year than last, expecially as four of its ten intensive-care beds could not be used because of lack of staff.

The Edinburgh Royal Infirmary issued a call to arms for any qualified nurses to deal with a 50 per cent increase in emergency admissions coupled with the highest level of staff sickness for years. In Wales hospitals cancelled all routine operations as hundreds of staff called in sick. A fifth of staff at some Royal Gwent hospital units were absent.

* A study published in The Lancet suggests that vaccinating hospital staff against flu could save thousands of lives. In hospitals where half the staff were vaccinated last year, overall patient death rates fell to 13.6 per cent, compared with 22.4 per cent in hospitals where staff were not inoculated. However, only around a fifth of hospitals offered all staff the jab this year.

-- aching (sick@too.here), January 07, 2000.


Flu bug strikes with a vengeance Many medical centers are overwhelmed with the number of flu patients seeking treatment.


Jan. 6  While this years flu vaccine seems to be working well, the latest figures show that those who passed up the shot are getting hit  and hard.

MILLIONS OF PEOPLE like Arian Vink in Boston are hacking, aching and miserable.

This is painful. I had rib pains. I had muscle pains. I had back pain, and I just buckled over. I couldnt walk, Vink said. It was just too bad; its a very, very, strong virus.

Physicians have been having a difficult time keeping up with it all.

Weve seen huge increases in the numbers of patients we are seeing, and seeing a lot of people even very young people who are very ill  high fever, vomiting, really sick, said Dr. Ron Walls, who treated Vink Thursday at Brigham and Womens Hospital. Some of them [are] even unable to walk or stand when they come in.

The situation is the same for the District of Columbia and Washington Hospital Centers Dr. Mark Smith.

This past weekend we actually had the highest number of patients in the history of this emergency department, said Smith. We had more than 200 patients three days in a row. Weve never had that many before.

A few hospitals have been overwhelmed and were forced to turn away patients  theyve even turned away ambulances in cities like Buffalo. Others are stacking up the sick, who are waiting for treatment in hallways.

Evone Staton was as sick as shes been in years: [My] chest aches from coughing so much, and then you have body aches ... everything aching all over.

Elana Murray was stricken three days ago. I feel miserable, she said. I woke this morning with body aches, chills, running a small fever.

A history of worldwide Influenza

The origins of influenza are unknown, but the malady is never absent for more than a few decades. The worst pandemic occurred in the late 19th century, when more than 20 million people were killed.

400 B.C.:
Hippocrates records an outbreak of a cough, followed by pneumonia and other symptoms, at Perinthus in northern Greece (now part of Turkey). Several possible identifications have been suggested, including influenza, whooping cough and diphtheria.

212 B.C.:
The historian Livy describes an infectious disease, perhaps influenza, which strikes the Roman army.

Considered among the greatest manifestations of disease in history, this pandemic afflicts two-thirds of the people of Rome and three-quarters of the population of Britain. Influenza also spreads widely in North America, the West Indies and Spanish America.

A widespread epidemic hits New England, New York and Nova Scotia in the fall. Most deaths appear to come from secondary pneumonia.

1829-'32, 1836-'37:
An epidemic begins in Asia late in 1829. From there it spreads to Indonesia by January 1831. The disease also breaks out in Russia in the winter of 1830-'31 and spreads westward. By November it reaches the United States.

Named the Russian flu, this worldwide influenza epidemic, the most devastating to that time, begins in Central Asia in the summer of 1889, spreads north into Russia, east to China and west to Europe. It eventually strikes North America, parts of Africa and major Pacific Rim countries. By conservative estimates, 250,000 die in Europe, and the world death total is two to three times that.

The Spanish flu, the most lethal influenza pandemic ever, kills half a million people. More people die as a result of this flu than die during World War I. Its spread is facilitated by troop movements in the closing months of the war. Mortality rates are unusually high for flu, especially among young, otherwise healthy adults.

The Asian flu starts in southwest China in February 1957, possibly having originated in 1956 in Vladivostok, Russia, then spreads throughout the Pacific. Globally it affects 10 percent to 35 percent of the population, but overall mortality is much lower than in the 1918 epidemic, about 0.25 percent.

Hong Kong flu claims 700,000 lives worldwide, 34,000 in the United States.

The Swine flu, isolated in New Jersey in a young army recruit, instills fear of a new pandemic and leads to a massive influenza-immunization program. The vaccinations lead to Guillain-Barre syndrome, an ascending paralysis, in 100,000 people and kills 5 percent of those afflicted.

Avain variation of the swine flue in the Netherlands results in one severe case of pneumonia.

The Swine flu kills a pregnant woman exposed to a sick pig in Wisconsin.

Strain of the swine flu in the Netherlands sickens two children. The fathers are believed to have come in contact with infected bigs.

One adult contracts conjunctivitis in the United Kingdom after infection with the duck virus.

The Hong Kong Poultry virus infects at least 18 people, killing 6 of them.

It started in the West, then spread, to the Midwest and now the East.

Late reports are coming in from some of the nations biggest states.

In New York Thursday, outbreaks were now widespread  four times as many as normal for this time of year.

In Illinois the flu was also widespread, with numbers not usually seen until the worst of the season in late February or March.

Pennsylvania has a widespread outbreak too  and its also earlier than normal.

Cases have soared in California, officials say. For some, like Mark Mayfield, in San Jose, the flu takes a nasty turn and becomes pneumonia.

What we have seen is, compared to last year in the same period, a 50 percent increase in the patients who are actually being admitted, said Santa Clara Countys Valley Medical Center Dr. Pat Kerns.

And whats normally the worst of the flu season is still ahead.

-- flu felled (no@fun.being.sick), January 07, 2000.


Its not "bullshit," its logic...

Please, do tell: why would "they" spray at 30K feet. How long does it take an areosol to fall to the ground. If dispersed within the jetstream, how far "downwind" would that spray travel before it hit the ground. In other words, schmuko, if you see "chemtrails" overhead, the laws of PHYSICS states that the "chemtrail" isn't going to fall on top of you.

LOGIC, on the other hand, would show that if "they" really wanted to "spray" us with a virus, it would be much easier and more efficient to do so in other manners, not by "spraying" at 30K feet.

-- Freethinkr (ima@nut.com), January 07, 2000.


Flu forces UK hospitals to use trucks as morgues

January 7, 2000, Web posted at: 12:32 PM EST (1732 GMT)

LONDON (Reuters) -- British hospitals hit by rocketing cases of flu are using refrigerated trucks as temporary mortuaries to store bodies, staff said on Friday.

At Hasting's Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne District General Hospital on England's south coast, refrigerated trailers were used to ease a "bottleneck" caused by a lack of undertakers and pressure on crematoriums over the Christmas holiday period.

"This is one of many measures to make sure the resources are there and we do not run out of space," a spokesman for the Department of Health told Reuters.

National Health Service (NHS) trusts throughout the country had brought in trailers as a precaution even before the holidays and their use may extend beyond the two hospitals, he said.

Chris Randall, a spokesman for Eastbourne hospital, said using the trailers "is not a knee-jerk reaction."

"We could envisage problems with mortuaries filling up," he said. "The number of deaths did rise steeply compared to last year and this is most definitely attributable to flu."

Eighty people had died at the hospital over the holidays, compared to just 28 last year. Thirty-one of the deaths were attributed to pneumonia, which Randall said was frequently a complication of influenza in the elderly.

The Office for National Statistics said nationwide figures for flu-related deaths would be available later in January.

This winter's flu outbreak has put pressure on the NHS, reducing the number of available intensive care beds across the country to just 13 on Friday afternoon.

But the Department of Health spokesman stressed that everyone who needed a hospital bed had one.

"We've never actually run out," he said.

The Public Health Laboratory Service said on Thursday that number of flu cases rose to 144 per 100,000 people in the week ending Jan 2, compared with 124 in the previous week and just 67 in the week before that.

The wave of flu would only be rated an epidemic if numbers reached 400 cases in every 100,000 people.

But epidemic or not, the Tesco supermarket chain said on Friday that "enough cough mixture to fill a small lake" had been bought by Britons battling the virus.

While traditional flu remedies and fruit were selling fast, sales of comfort foods such as custard pies, treacle tarts and ready-made Indian meals had also jumped, it said.

-- pneumonia (can@be.fatal), January 07, 2000.

The flu has been hitting hard in Columbus, Ohio too. Hospitals are overrun and are breaking admissions records left & right.

I ended up with bronchitis on Christmas Eve Day and my mother came down with asthmatic bronchitis/borderline pneumonia on the 27th. Only heavy doses of antibiotics (shots & pills) and cough syrup has gotten us back on our feet, though the bad cough is still hanging on... Pandemic 2000?

-- Deb M. (vmcclell@columbus.rr.com), January 07, 2000.

The KC Star had a front page article about this today, too.

-- Wilferd (
WilferdW@aol.com), January 07, 2000.

'Cuse me.... Let me try again:

KC Star Link

Is that better?

-- Wilferd (WilferdW@aol.com), January 07, 2000.

...Huge run on curries after Sun's hot tip

FLU victims went vinda-loony yesterday after The Sun told how eating spicy curries can beat the bug.

Readers rushed to follow the hot tip given by Professor Ron Eccles of the Common Cold Centre, Cardiff.

All major supermarket chains reported ready-made Indian meals being snatched off shelves.

A Somerfield spokeswoman said: "Like people's temperatures, sales of our takeaway curries have been soaring."

And Sainsbury's sold more than 50,000 curries yesterday, up 15 per cent.

Darren Smith the firm's curry buyer, said: "There has been an incredible response to the Prof Eccles' advice. In some stores customers have been clearing our shelves."

Prof Eccles said: "There has been a scientific study into the effects of curries  and they really do work.

Anyone ever had a really good vindaloo curry? That stuff would kill ANYTHING! Brings tears to your eyes and steam out of your ears. Then a day or so later... well, suffice it to say that any virus or bacterium that survived all that must be partially made of asbestos. 8-}

-- DeeEmBee (macbeth1@pacbell.net), January 07, 2000.

Yet another reason to prep/store.

2 times since Christmas Eve we've utilised the preps.

No heat for 5 days...woodstove did the trick.

And now the flu. Breakin' out those industrial sized cans of chicken noodle soup, boxes of crackers and gallons of Tang. Also, using the sinus meds and Tylenol. No need to go to the store, thanks be to God. Couldn't if I wanted to. Can't sit up long, can't read, attention span of a gnat.

Here's to your health. And mine being restored.

Miserable Mom

-- wash your hands (coughsneeze@shiver.com), January 07, 2000.

[ Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only ]


Nasty flu bug touches down in Portland

The outbreak is worsening in most parts of the nation, but Oregon doctors and patients are wary of new anti-flu drugs

Saturday, January 8, 2000

By Patrick O'Neill of The Oregonian staff

Flu season has apparently arrived in the Portland area in full force. And a report released Friday documents a steady worsening of the outbreak in most parts of the nation.

Providence Portland Medical Center is "completely full," mostly with patients with influenza, Dr. Sarah Slaughter, hospital epidemiologist, said Friday.

"We're also seeing a lot of viral infections that aren't influenza," she said.

Flu and colds are also making a noticeable dent in the Portland Fire Bureau's work force of 164 firefighters a shift. Normally, at this time, only one or two firefighters a shift call in sick with upper respiratory illnesses.

"We've had a few days when we've had five or six people call in very sick," said Deputy Chief Jim Klum.

Still, Portland-area doctors and patients are wary of two new anti-flu drugs, Relenza and Tamiflu, whose glitzy advertising promises speedy recovery from influenza. One drug company hired Wayne Knight, who played the pesky mail carrier Newman on "Seinfeld," to personify the flu bug in its ads.

"As a rule, none of our providers are giving it out," said Dr. Geoff Sewell, an internist and medical director of Legacy Health System clinics. "This is a drug that gets a lot of blitz in the press. But the trials show that they give you about a one day quicker recovery and for a lot of money."

Elsewhere in the United States, however, the two prescription flu drugs -- which sell for $40 to $60 for a five-day dose -- are selling briskly.

On the East Coast, the flu has filled hospital waiting rooms and doctors' offices with sniffling, feverish, achy patients.

"The flu shot apparently is not doing its job, and from all reports, it could be one of the worst seasons we've seen in years," said Dr. Robert McNamara, chief of emergency medicine at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia.

"We're having difficulty getting in-patient beds. It's so crowded that if you're healthy and you walk into the hospital, you're at risk of getting the flu."

According to a national report released Friday, however, there is no evidence the flu epidemic sweeping the country is being caused by new strains of virus, or by strains not "covered" by the flu vaccine in use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 99 percent of virus samples gathered in the last two weeks of December were in the broad family of influenza A, which has been responsible for virtually all flu cases nationally and in Europe in recent months.

That means the current flu vaccine -- which contains killed samples of three different flu viruses -- should protect people to the maximum extent possible. However, when given to a large population, no vaccine is 100 percent effective.

About 80 million doses of vaccine were produced this year. How many shots were actually given, however, won't be known for months.

What's more, influenza is far from the only cause of respiratory illness. Of about 4,700 throat samples taken from ill people and tested at laboratories in Europe and North America, only 31 percent turned out to be influenza, according to the CDC's report. Numerous other microbes can cause infections with symptoms similar or identical to influenza.

Clinical studies have shown that both the new prescription flu drugs can reduce the length of time a person suffers with flu symptoms by one to 1= days. The Tamiflu's pill can cause nausea. The main side effects from Relenza, which must be inhaled, are sinus problems and diarrhea.

Dr. Scott Fields worries that overuse of the drugs by millions of people might bring out problems that were not foreseen by clinical trials involving relatively small numbers of patients. None of his patients have asked for the drugs, said Fields, vice chairman for clinical affairs in OHSU's Department of Family Medicine.

One drawback with the drugs, he said, is that to be effective they have to be given within the first 24 to 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Fields said he'd be reluctant to give the drugs to patients who didn't have a laboratory test confirming their flu diagnosis.

Those tests can take 24 hours to complete.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), January 08, 2000.


Raging Flu

NEW YORK, Thursday, January 06, 2000 - 09:10 PM ETCBS

(CBS) U.S. health officials report flu cases are now widespread, but have yet to reach their peak nationwide. It's still early winter.

The flu virus first hit in the West, Arizona and California in particular. The hardest hit now is the Northeast.

Flu is dangerous, and can even be deadly, for the very young, the very old, and anyone with a weak immune system.

In the nation's hospitals, where experience is often the best teacher, class is in session. The subject, reports CBS News Jim Axelrod, is flu.

"This is the most dramatic flu epidemic I've seen in my 25 years working in hospitals." says Dr. Jonathan Metsch of Jersey City Medical Center.

It's the "A" strain of something called the "Sydney flu," Sydney as in Australia, and it's putting more people down under than hospitals can handle. In Philadelphia, they've got more patients than beds. In Jersey City, admissions are up 50 percent. And at Brooklyn's Maimonides Hospital, it's even worse.

"We've set records the last several days," says Maimonides' Dr. Steven Davidson. "At nearly 290 patients a day, considerably more than the state Department of Health would let us design the emergency department for."

And it's not just the East Coast. Of the 19 hardest hit states in the country, three of the worst are Washington, Montana and Utah. "I'm not an epidemiologist," says Dr. Robert McNamara. "But if this isn't an epidemic, I don't know what is."

Doctors at the Centers for Disease Control say nearly 900 people died from flu or pneumonia in the week between Christmas and New Year's. But none of them are using the word epidemic. In fact, the way the government's researchers see it, this season is more typical than terrible.

"We do understand that certain communities may be particularly hard hit this year," Dr. Nancy Cox. "However on a national basis, we're seeing a fairly typical picture."

That's small consolation for the places where hospitals are overwhelmed, understaffed, and fully aware that it's still early in the flu season. It could well get worse before the worst get well.

But what exactly is flu? CBS News Correspondent Elizabeth Kaledin helps sort out what it is and is not, and what you can still do to treat it, perhaps even prevent it:

* Flu Fact # 1: A terrible cold is not the flu, even if you're coughing, sweating and feeling utterly miserable -- like Sheila Moriarty. She doesn't have the flu -- probably just an upper respiratory infection. The flu -- short for influenza -- is a specific virus, and the only sure-fire way to know if you have it is by testing for it. A new rapid test called Zstatflu is helping doctors like Robert Mittman diagnose tricky cases like Sheila Moriarty's, who tested negative despite showing all the classic signs of influenza. The test, which is 99 percent accurate, is vitally important in helping doctors address

* Flu Fact #2: You can't treat the flu with antibiotics. Why? The flu is a virus, and antibiotics are for bacterial infections. So when Carol Shaya's flu test comes back positive, for instance, her doctor knows with certainty that antibiotics will be a waste of time and money. And why are so many people getting the flu right now? Must be because of the weather, right? But that leads us to:

* Flu Fact #3: Cold weather, getting a chill or being outside without a coat and hat will not make you sick. The weather has a little to do with it, but only because people spread germs faster, because they're inside more. "Actually, no," says Dr. Mittman. "It has no difference in the temperature, or people in Arizona or Florida would never get the flu." But they do. The best way to avoid the flu is still the flu vaccine, which brings us to:

* Flu Fact #4: The shot will not make you sick. You may get mild symptoms, but in the long run, it's a lot better than the full-blown virus. And finally, the bad news:

* Flu Fact #5: There are three strains of flu out there. Suffering through one won't make you immune to the others. And flu season lasts until the end of March.

-- epidemic (not@a.coincidence), January 08, 2000.

[ Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only ]

Headlined on Drudge Report:


Britain's flu crisis is at epidemic levels and twice as bad as shown by government figures, it will be reported on Sunday ... MORE ...

Britain is on the brink of a flu epidemic for the first time in more than a decade, forcing hospitals to cancel thousands of urgent operations and leading to an overcrowding crisis amid scenes of chaos in the wards ...



By Jonathon Carr-Brown And Mark Gould

9 January 2000

The Government's chief medical officer has warned that Britain is facing a full-scale flu epidemic. The last such crisis was 10 years ago when 26,000 people died.

Professor Liam Donaldson is convinced that cases of flu are likely to peak over the next 10 days and reach the official epidemic rate of 400 people affected in every 100,000 with the North of England and Wales taking the brunt of it. In Scotland major hospitals are on red alert as health boards in parts of the region reported rates of more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 people.

Last night Dr Sam Everington, a member of the BMA council, said the NHS should again be planning for thousands of deaths over the coming weeks. However, Alan Milburn, the health secretary, told the Independent on Sunday that he was confident the health service could cope.

He said: "The NHS is better prepared for this winter than ever before. Nobody knows when this will peak but what we are certain of is that the official figures are dramatically under-recording the extent of the flu."

Mr Milburn, whose own family has been severely hit by the illness, added: "Everyone knows someone laid low by this but the NHS is coping better despite record levels of demand."

Current figures put the national rate of infection at between 140 and 180 per 100,000 but Prof Donaldson believes the official statistics are wrong and have been skewed by the holiday period and the Government's advertising campaign imploring people not to go to their doctors if they have flu symptoms. Only people who visit their doctors are officially recorded as flu victims.

One sign of the scale of the outbreak is that NHS Direct, the new medical advice phone line, has taken more than 200,000 calls from people with flu symptoms over the last fortnight.

Prof Donaldson believes the current figure is more likely to be 300 per 100,000 rising rapidly over the next fortnight.

Ayrshire and Arran Health Board in western Scotland reported 1,058 flu cases per 100,000 yesterday and the overall figure for Scotland has reached 540 cases per 100,000.

The last epidemic in the UK was in 1989 when 26,000 people died. The last worldwide epidemic was in 1968 but the worst pandemic claimed between 25 and 40 million lives over the winter of 1918-19.

The warning comes as Tories increased their attacks on the Government for failing to plan adequately for the crisis.

Liam Fox, the shadow health secretary, said: "If Alan Milburn thinks services are well prepared he is the only person who does. GPs and patients have been warning about this for months."

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), January 08, 2000.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

Government's advertising campaign imploring people not to go to their doctors if they have flu symptoms. Only people who visit their doctors are officially recorded as flu victims.

It's almost as if they knew that this was coming.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), January 09, 2000.

The CDC is covering its eyes and going "I can't see you! I can't see you!"

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), January 09, 2000.

Our household has been victim of the flu since Dec. 8th. Our daughter came down with it this past Thurs. I rushed her to the Urgent Care because she has asthma and I did not want it to get out of control. They prescribed a new drug that is an inhalant called Relenza. It must be gotten within 24-48 hrs. of the flu symptoms. It will only work on Influenza A or B. She is doing much better today after only being on the med a little over 48 hours. Just wanted to pass that info along to anyone else that might benefit from the drug.


-- Zelda (pahughey@bright.net), January 09, 2000.

Dancr, once again you have connected the dots!

Just imagine all the ppl who have suffered quietly at home, not going to hospital or Dr offices ... the majority just cough it thru in stoic misery.

We have definitely noticed how many say they got it around Christmas and how it struck with a vengeance nobody could continue to ignore around the 1st week of Rollover ... thank God so many prayers were answered and it turned out to be less than a BITR!

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), January 09, 2000.

A & L,

(((A & L))) Amen! Both my mother and I were sick right around Christmas - New Years. In fact, the Amoxycillan still hasn't cleared up my mom's terrible cough. The Zithromax (sp?) has worked wonders though.

I'm very thankful for the peaceful rollover though, without the medication we could have very well become statistics.

-- Deb M. (vmcclell@columbus.rr.com), January 09, 2000.

When your in bed, aching coughing and sneezing, who wants to make a trip to the bank for a withdrawel?

-- ;-( my whole body is aching (karlacalif@aol.com), January 09, 2000.

Hi Deb~! 'n Debi too :-) 'n Karla -- at least when the bod is racked by fever 'n stuffies one can escape into cyberland and get some laughs ;^) Our symptoms got worse whenever we got cold, so our appreciation of Systems Up is extended hundred-fold. The timing of all this is certainly "interesting" and we need say no more to the Forum Regulars ... ;^)

Nice to see verification, tho a bit oblique, but enough to satisfy the tinfoil antennae :-)
Happy New Year !!!!

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), January 09, 2000.

Tuesday, January 11 4:18 AM SGT

Flu epidemic sweeps northern hemisphere

PARIS, Jan 10 (AFP) -

Vast tracts of the industrialised world are in the grip of an intensifying flu epidemic that has claimed at least 18 lives and left millions bedridden, AFP bureaux report.

Britain, which has so far borne the brunt of the epidemic, said its hospitals faced a chronic shortage of beds to deal with flu cases; in the Netherlands, up to a fifth of the population has caught the virus; and flu diagnoses in Sweden are running at record numbers.

In the United States, the same strain of flu, the "Sydney" type A virus, has swept across the country, beginning on the West Coast but now striking inhabitants on the Atlantic Seaboard, including President Bill Clinton, and filling emergency wards.

Belgium, France and Germany are also battling an influenza tide, although southern Europe, with the exception of Albania, Italy and Yugoslavia, so far has escaped the epidemic.

British Health Secretary Alan Milburn told the House of Commons Monday that the country's worst outbreak of flu in a decade had prompted 200,000 emergency admissions to hospital in the past three weeks.

According to an official toll, 197 people per 100,000 had fallen victim to flu across Britain -- far below the official epidemic level of 400 in 100,000.

But Milburn stressed this only reflected the number of people who had consulted a doctor, and the tally was probably therefore much higher.

Among several fatalities in Britain were a 17-year-old boy, a 90-year-old author and former Welsh international rugby player, Kieron Gregory, 33, who died from respiratory failure after being sent home from hospital.

In France, Jean-Marie Cohen, who is coordinating the work of French regional anti-flu centres, said 1.5 million people had flu -- and the accumulated toll could reach "eight to 10 million" cases by the end of January.

In the United States hospitals across the country have been put on alert following above average outbreaks of the virus. At the George Washington University Medical Center, in the capital, one third of the emergency room patients received at the weekend had flu symptoms.

In Germany, the German Green Cross health organisation said its latest figures, which date before the New Year, pointed to a rising number of flu victims, although there was "no sign" that the outbreak was exceptionally bad compared with previous years.

The National Influenza Centre in Hannover said the states of Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Thuringia were the worst hit.

Its counterpart in the Netherlands said "between 10 and 20 percent of the (Dutch) population" had flu. The east of the country was particularly badly hit.

In Sweden, hospitals and clinics treated a huge number of elderly in December and early January. In the last week of 1999, more than 300 people, a record weekly rate for the country, were diagnosed with flu.

In Latvia, at least five people have died from the flu, or from illness that had worsened because of it, officials said.

In contrast, milder southern Europe has been spared the worst. There has been no epidemic in Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Romania or Spain.

In Albania, however, at least 10 people have died from flu complications, including three children aged two to six, who had suffered from pneumonia or meningitis, the press reported.

In Yugoslavia, flu cases are at a five-year peak. Last week, between 40,000 and 100,000 people had flu in Belgrade. Pharmacists ran out of aspirin and cough syrup, and even lemons were scarce in markets.

Hospital beds were in short supply in Italy, where the worst was still to come, doctors said.

Concurring medical sources said they expect the epidemic to peter out at the end of February or early March.

Viruses are named after the country or city where they first surfaced.

Type A viruses are usually responsible for large outbreaks and constantly mutate.

Types B and C are fairly stable viruses. Type B is responsible for smaller outbreaks and type C usually causes mild sickness, similar to the common cold.

-- flu (the@coup.hack), January 11, 2000.

The virus we're experiencing in S. California,...flu/other upper respiratory thing.... I know at least 6 people who have been sick for a period of 4 to 6 weeks. I'm just feeling better, but still have late afternoon and evening return of the cough. Only know of one person who went to the doctor for these symptoms. If it's influenza, it's not what I have called flu in the past, just from a duration of symptoms perspective. Those of us with asthma really got kicked in the butt from it.

Drink water and juice (more water than juice) til you float, lovelies!

-- Donna (moment@pacbell.net), January 11, 2000.

There is an aspect of germ warfare that seems to always be overlooked. With the number of people that travel from one country to another every day, any "bug" that anyone used would come back to the user in a big hurry. To use a bio weapon and not expect it to devestate all countries everywhere, would be an unbelieveably stupid assumption. The USA has the best medicine systems in the world!! We have demonstrated time and again we can deal with these things better than ANYONE else! (It would still be a pain in the rear just the same.) A bio attack would potentially cause a fair amount of trouble here But the bug will find it's way back "home" very QUICKLY! Lets say one country were to use a contageous disease against another. About the only way it could protect itself form the bug it used would be to 1-Stop ALL airplanes coming into the country W/NO EXCEPTIONS. 2-Place military personnell all the way around the country with orders to shoot to kill ANYONE they see on sight as far away as possable without exception!! Knowing that the probability that this would actually stop the bug would still be rather small at best. In a word "impossible". The bug would get through anyway. That said it should be obvious to anyone that is even slightly aware of the technological superiority of the US that the weapon would ultimatly destroy the user FAR worse than it would EVER hurt us, here in the USA. I agree it would be nice if wars could be fought without deaths. Unfortunatly it just doesen't work that way. Just like there are always "Civilian casulties" war will always be a messy (But occasionally necessary) buisness. Here's hoping the necessity doesn't happen again soon.

-- Bob USNR (gene4570@hotmail.com), February 18, 2002.

I caught this virus thing in 1999 around Christmas time and ever since I have had a high white cell blood count. Because of the high cell count I have been tested for all sorts in the last three yrs. Just wondering if anyone else has been effected in the same way. Like everyone else I was very ill and to this day I dont feel right since that flu bug. I did not get hospitalised as in Edinburgh Scotland, you need to be on your last legs before that happens, as there is such a shortage of beds the whole year round never mind when there is an epademic. Sorry if I sound a bit negative but this thing has left me with a nasty feeling. I have enjoyed looking at this website cos now I know I am not going mad.

-- Ursula Port (ursula3035@msn.com), April 28, 2003.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ