Thursday, January 21, 2010
While the CDC reports a continued decline in H1N1 Swine flu activity, it nevertheless reported seven new pediatric deaths in the United States from the H1N1 swine flu for the week of January 3-9, 2010. Since the first case of the H1N1 swine flu last spring, the CDC reports a total of 300 pediatric deaths thus far in the United States. The CDC cautions that this number is likely to be an under-reporting since it is based on only laboratory confirmed pediatric deaths from the H1N1 swine flu. For this reason, for total deaths the CDC provides only a range of estimates. As of December 12, 2009 (the latest date for which information is available), the CDC's estimate of the total deaths from the H1N1 swine flu in the United States ranged from a low of 7,880 deaths to 14,460 deaths. The good news is that reported cases of both H1N1 swine flu and the regular seasonal flu are decreasing, though both types of flu are expected to continue to infect individuals for the next couple of months.
While an estimated 12,500 people worldwide died in 2009 from the H1N1 Swine Flu and billions of dollars were spent on a vaccine to halt its spread, another world-wide health epidemic already currently threatens over 2.5 billion people worldwide - and is increasingly spreading from such places as Mexico into the United States. This is the mosquito-born illness known as the Dengue Fever. Originally confined to Southeast Asia, because of globalization and climate warming, it is a disease that is rapidly spreading throughout the world. What is particularly alarming about the Dengue Fever are three of its characteristics: (1) infected individuals can travel from one country or state to another, and when bitten by a mosquito, can pass the disease on to other individuals bitten by the same mosquito; (2) in some cases, the death rate from the Dengue Fever has been as high as twenty percent; and (3) one's chances of severe complications or dying from the Dengue Fever rise as one is infected more than once.