Saturday, October 17, 2009

H1N1 Swine Flu Is Causing Serious Illness and Deaths Among Healthy Individuals

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.