CDC cites bacterial infections in some H1N1 deaths

first_imgEditor’s note: This story was revised Sep 29 to correct a detail about when pneumonia cases were diagnosed.Sep 28, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Almost one third of a group of patients who died in the past 4 months from H1N1 influenza had bacterial infections that complicated their illnesses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today in a conference call with healthcare providers. But the agency cautioned against applying that ratio to all cases of H1N1, saying the death records it reviewed were submitted by hospitals and medical examiners and did not represent a statistically valid sample.Nevertheless, the 22 cases (among 77 deaths confirmed to be from H1N1) emphasize that bacterial co-infections are playing a role in the ongoing pandemic, something that was not clear at first, the CDC’s Dr. Matthew Moore said on the call.”During the early part of this pandemic, evidence of bacterial co-infection was pretty much absent,” Moore said during the call, part of the CDC’s “Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity” program. That “may have led to the perception that bacterial co-infection is playing only a limited or maybe even no role in this current pandemic. . . . [But] bacterial pneumonia may be contributing to influenza-associated mortality in a manner similar to that in previous pandemics.”The 77 patients whose deaths and autopsy data were evaluated by the CDC are expected to be described in a forthcoming article in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. They ranged in age from 2 months to 84 years, with a median age of 39. Nine out of 10 had some underlying condition that made them vulnerable to the severest effects of flu, such as obesity, cardiac disease, asthma, diabetes, or HIV infection. Three were women in the last trimester of pregnancy.All appear to have been severely ill: 63% received influenza antivirals and 81% were put on ventilators. Pneumonia was diagnosed before death in 39% of the cases.The 22 patients (29%) who were confirmed to have bacterial complications were infected with Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus), Staphylococcus aureus, Group A strep, and Haemophilus influenzae. (Four were infected with more than one bacterial type.) Five of the seven S aureus infections involved methicillin-resistant (MRSA) strains.Moore said the CDC is especially concerned that 16 of the 22 fall into categories of people who are recommended to receive pneumococcal vaccine because of their age or underlying chronic conditions. The agency received limited clinical data on the cases and thus could not say whether they received the vaccine—but it is well-known, Moore said, that only 16% of Americans who should receive pneumococcal vaccine do so.In response, the CDC is urging people at high risk for pneumococcal disease to be vaccinated, Moore said: “If you add up all the people in the United States who should have received pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine but have not yet received it, that totals 70 million individuals. We have a terrific opportunity here to prevent additional pneumococcal disease.”See also: CDC recommendation for pneumococcal vaccination for adultshttp://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5934a3.htmCDC recommendation for pneumococcal vaccination for childrenhttp://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/rr/rr4909.pdflast_img read more

AFL Soldier Guilty for Threatening to Kill June 7 Protesters

first_imgCorporal Sieh Collins is a soldier who threatened to kill civilians in their numbers on June 7, 2019.Corporal Collins will be punished in accordance with the uniform code of military justice.The board of investigation of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) has found Corporal Sieh Collins guilty for a message he recently wrote on his social media account, in which he threatened to kill people who might get on the streets on June 7 to protest in Monrovia and its environs.Bomi County Senator Sando Johnson and political commentator and talk show host, Henry Pedro Costa, along with a number of other lawmakers are key planners of the June 7 sit-in protest that is expected in Monrovia and its environs.Authorities at the Ministry of National Defense’s investigation team said in its investigation report that the soldier has contravened Article 92 of the uniform code of military justice (UCMJ), and as such, he will face the consequences of his  action.Collins’ message, which read: “I will never regret killing anybody on the streets of Monrovia to keep this country safe. Remember our children are in school and Liberia is safe. Trust me, I will kill you with happiness,” sent a bad signal in a country still considered as a fragile nation. Thousands, if not hundreds of Cpl. Collins followers on Facebook expressed shock upon seeing the message from him.“The investigation report held Cpl. Collins liable for contravening the UCMJ Article 92 for failure to obey orders or regulations and General Article 134, which talks about threat communication. Therefore, he has been subjected to the Disciplinary Board of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL),” a press statement signed by Sam Collins, Defense spokesman said.The Ministry’s press statement added, “the ministry is cautioning personnel of the AFL to use social media with prudence, and avoid acts that will cast aspersion on the image of the AFL and the Ministry of National Defense.”The Ministry reiterates its commitment that the AFL will continue to exhibit good morals and professionalism in the execution of its national obligations; and that it will not compromise on acts that may undermine the image of the military as a “Force for Good.”CPl. Collins’ threatening comments reminded many Liberians about how soldiers of the AFL became feared by the population because of the random and senseless killing of unarmed civilians by indisciplined soldiers. Instead of protecting civilians, they committed some of the worst form of atrocities against defenseless populations.The statement assured the the general public that there will be regular updates on all the subsequent proceedings as the soldier is being further investigated and penalized for his unprofessional conduct.The nominal mission of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) has historically been to defend and guard the country’s borders, safeguard national security, and protect the population from threat or aggression.In 1984 the operational elements of the AFL included the Liberian National Guard Brigade and related units, which had a combined  strength of approximately 6,300, and the Liberian National Coast Guard’s total complement of about 450 men.The AFL had long reflected the stratification of the society: officer ranks were dominated by Americo-Liberians, while the enlisted ranks were composed of Liberians of tribal origin. This composition changed gradually in the 1960s and 1970s, and by the time of the coup, the officer corps could no longer be considered an exclusive preserve of Americo-Liberians.By 1984 it was estimated that approximately 300 of the nearly 500 officers in the AFL had been promoted from the enlisted ranks since the coup.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more