T he news reports about the H1N1 influenza pandemic (popularly known as "swine flu") keep coming, but one aspect of the story is constant: although the majority of the cases are mild, the H1N1 influenza virus is occasionally a killer.
This morning's news report is that the first doses of the vaccine should be available in early October, rather than mid-October. Last week, it was that the H1N1 vaccine probably will only need a single dose to be effective (previously, it had been surmised that perhaps two separate doses of H1N1 might be needed to protect against the virus). And we hear of colleges with thousands of students isolated or quarantined because they all have symptoms consistent with H1N1 flu. But most concerning is the reports that over 3,000 people have died from swine flu since the new virus became apparent in Mexico in April.
The deaths are frequently described as occurring in people with underlying diseases, but occasionally in healthy young adults. The underlyin...
About 1 out of 3 calls to Children's National Medical Center diabetes nurse educators are about H1N1 flu vaccine. The following are the most common queries:
Does my child with diabetes need to get the flu vaccine?
Do I get the flumist or the shot?
Why do I need the flu shot? Is my child with diabetes immunocompromised?
Isn't the shot really dangerous? Is it experimental?
Will I get the flu if I get the shot/mist?
Is the flumist more dangerous because it is a live attenuated vaccine (weakened virus that does not cause illness)?
Is there a greater risk of getting a neurological disorder if I get the flumist/shot?
Does my child need to stay home from school if there are an increasing number of students with H1N1?
Let's start answering these inquiries:
NEED vs. SUGGESTION - your child with diabetes does not absolutely need to get the flu vaccine as long as you have been fully informed of the risks of the flu vaccine vs. th...
This vaccine protects people against swine flu .
Vaccine - influenza - H1N1; Immunization - influenza - H1N1; Vaccine - influenza - swine flu; Immunization - influenza - swine flu; Swine flu shot; Swine flu vaccine
The H1N1 virus (swine flu) is a new flu virus strain that is causing illnesses in humans worldwide. Symptoms include fever of 100 F or more and a sore throat or a cough. Chills, sore muscles, and headache may also be present.
The largest number of H1N1 flu cases have occurred in people ages 5 - 24. Fewer cases, and almost no deaths, have been reported in people older than age 64, which is a different pattern from the normal seasonal flu.
See article on H1N1 (swine) flu for more information.
A new H1N1 vaccine is expected to be available in the fall of 2009. Check with your doctor or nurse, local pharmacist, or local health department to see when the vaccine will be available.
There will be t...
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