Saturday, October 24, 2009
A recent study by Purdue University has predicted that 63 percent of the U.S. population will become infected with the H1N1 swine flu. Of this amount, 40 percent are predicted to become ill. This translates into an estimated 25 percent of the U.S. population who are predicted to become ill with the H1N1 swine flu. Already, the number of people sick with the H1N1 swine flu is greater than the normal peak for a typical flu season. This is despite that the normal peak for flu cases for a normal season is in January, and it is only October and we already have a greater number of H1N1 swine flu cases than during the peak of a typical flu season. This has caught health officials by surprise as they had not expected this many cases of the H1N1 swine flu this early in the flu season. Also of concern is the fact that there are currently available significantly less amounts of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine than had been expected to be available. As a result, some health officials are predicting that there could be as many as 90,000 deaths in the U.S. from the H1N1 swine flu. This contrasts with a normal flu season where there are typically 36,000 deaths in the U.S. from the flu. Also of concern is the fact that most deaths from the normal strain of flu are among the elderly. With the current epidemic of the H1N1 swine flu, however, the greatest number of hospitalizations and deaths have been among school-aged children and pregnant women. For this reason, the young, pregnant women and all other individuals at high risk for the H1N1 swine flu are urged to get vaccinated as soon as supplies of the vaccination become available. For some reason as yet to be understood, some regions of the country are being particularly hit hard with the H1N1 swine flu pandemic and are having to close schools because of the high rate of illness. Only a hundred miles away, however, another city might be only experiencing mild rates of illness. Also, some school systems and local health agencies have already vaccinated a large number of people while other school systems and local health agencies had not planned on ordering a significant amount of vaccinations this early in the flu season. As a consequence, the severity of the H1N1 swine flu is expected to continue to vary significantly from one area to another. Increasingly, however, more and more people know someone who has been sick with the swine flu - or have become sick themselves. As an example, AOL's reporter for the H1N1 swine flu recently reported that he and his children have all come down with the H1N1 swine flu while it is believed that his wife had been sick with the H1N1 swine flu. As another example, my mother who is a nurse as a co-worker who had a child that had to be hospitalized with what is believed to have been the H1N1 swine flu. One really begins to appreciate how many people are ill with the H1N1 swine flu when one goes to a hospital or one's doctor's office and one sees all the individuals there ill with the flu - and one is told first-hand stories of how many sick people the doctors and hospitals are currently treating with the H1N1 flu. Some doctors are reporting seeing as many as 40 or more patients a day ill with the flu.
Friday, October 23, 2009
The CDC reports that since the school season began in September, one out of every five students have thus far contracted the H1N1 swine flu, resulting in millions of school children that have thus far been infected. It also reports that the number of infected cases doubles about every 10 days.
Posted by Rick Hopper at 3:49 AM
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Mr. Greg Walden, a congressman from Oregon, has announced through representatives that he has contracted the H1N1 swine flu. Mr. Walden is the first congressman to contract the H1N1 swine flu.
During an interview on C-Span3 today, Dr. Beth Bell, Deputy Chief Health Officer for the H1N1 flu for the CDC stated that the amount of H1N1 swine flu being experienced this early in the flu season is unprecedented. Typically, this early in the flu season one does not see the amount of flu cases currently being experienced. Almost all of the flu cases thus far experienced have been of the H1N1 swine flu variety. Meanwhile, during congressional testimony yesterday, the CDC indicated that there are significant shortages of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine as production has lagged behind what was the hoped for amount to be available by now.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
The World Health Organization has stated that one thing that is becoming increasingly clear about the H1N1 swine flu - which is it's ability to cause serious illness and deaths among otherwise very healthy individuals. Experts stress that most people who contract the H1N1 swine flu will become only mildly ill. But some adults and young people, and especially women, are becoming extremely ill "at an unexpectedly rapid pace and are dying in unusually high numbers." "It's not like seasonable flu," Nikki Shindo of the World Health Organization said at a meeting in Washington, D.C. "It can cause very severe disease n previously healthy young adults." What is particularly troubling is how, in a select number of cases, the disease penetrates deep into the tissues of the lungs, causing death or intensive care hospitalizations that can last up to three months. This makes it more similar to the deadly Avian Flu which similarly attacks lung tissue than the normal seasonal flu which only affects the upper respiratory system. "It's like the avaian flu on steroids," said Sherif Zaki, chief of Infectious Disease Pathology at the CDC. The World Health Organizations' warning came as the CDC reported that the death toll from the H1N1 swine flu among children has risen to 86, well over the total number of pediatric deaths one would expect for an entire year from the seasonal flu, even though the current spike in the H1N1 swine flu has only been ongoing for about three weeks now. Also, it now appears that as many as half of the adults hospitalized for the H1N1 swine flu have been otherwise totally health adults. An example is the case of Karen Ann Hays of Sacremento, California, an otherwise healthy 51 year old adult female whose hobby was participating in triathlons. Despite desperate measures taken to treat her, she died in July within days of contracting the swine flu. Another example is the case of 30 year old Stacey Hernandez of Madison, California, who died of the H1N1 swine flu in July. She "was in great shape. She was on the softball teams. She had two young children. She was reovating her house," said her mother. The Washington Post reports that according to medical researchers, it appears that about 1 percent of those individuals contracting the H1N1 swine flu require hospitalization, between 12 to percent of those hospitalized required intensive care, and 15 to 40 percent of those in intensive care die from the H1N1 swine flu. Meanwhile, the CDC reports significant delays in the manufacture of the H1N1 swine flu vaccination. The CDC also reports that at least 2,914 people in the U.S. have died from flu-related illness (i.e. probably the H1N1 swine flu) since the H1N1 swine flu epidemic began. Testing has shown that approximately 99 percent of people who have been tested for the H1N1 swine flu - have had the H1N1 swine flu - with it appearing that almost all current cases of the flu are the H1N1 swine flu at this point in the flu season.
Posted by Rick Hopper at 12:50 PM
Friday, October 16, 2009
Because drug companies have been trying to produce both seasonal and H1N1 swine flu vaccines, the CDC has reported a severe shortage of both - with quantities of both being significantly less than expected. Most areas are reporting that providers have run out of season flu vaccines just as many families are seeking to have their family members vaccinated.
Posted by Rick Hopper at 4:14 PM
Cleveland Cavalier basketball star Le Bron James has just returned to practicing after recovering from what is believed to have been the H1N1 swine flu. At least 2 other team members are believed to have also contracted the H1N1 swine flu.
Posted by Rick Hopper at 4:10 PM
The CDC has reported a total of 86 pediatric deaths thus far from the H1N1 swine flu and a total of 50 deaths from the H1N1 swine flu during the past week. The number of pediatric deaths frome the swine flu in just the past two weeks exceeds the number of pediatric deaths typically experienced in an entire flu season. Some doctors are reporting the treating of as many as 40 H1N1 swine flu patients per day. At this rate, one prediction is that there will be approximately 90,000 total deaths in the U.S. from the H1N1 swine flu this winter, compared to the 36,000 deaths that occur in a normal flu season.
Posted by Rick Hopper at 4:07 PM
The CDC has reported that there are significant delays in the delivery of the swine flu as the manufacturer of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine has not been able to deliver as many doses as expected. Totally, there is expected to be 10-11 million less doses of the swine flu vaccine available than had been expected by the end of this month. Also, contrary to previous indications, half of adults hospitalized for the swine flu have been otherwise healthy and have not had underlying health conditions. Medical experts report significantly more cases of influenza cases than normal for this time of year - with the number of cases similar to the peak of a typical influenza season. 99 percent of current cases of the influenza have been determined to be the H1N1 swine flu.
Posted by Rick Hopper at 3:57 PM