This summer, health news was dominated by information on the H1N1 flu virus. And just like a child’s game of “telephone,” the facts about the disease got mixed up by the time they’d traveled person to person. So we’ve put together a list of the most important swine flu facts and myths, as well as information on what you can do to keep you and your family healthy this cold and flu season. How many people have been affected? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been 556 deaths from H1N1 as of late August, and 8,843 patients hospitalized because of the disease. More importantly, the CDC has found that the rates of hospitalization of H1N1 patients are similar to the number of people hospitalized for the seasonal flu every year. What about the number of people predicted to get it? Some health organizations believe there may be anywhere from 30,000 to 90,000 deaths from swine flu this year, and though those numbers can ...
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...
The swine flu (H1N1 influenza virus) is still spreading, but there's no need to panic. This flu does not appear to be as virulent (deadly) as the flu virus of 1918 that killed about 50 million people worldwide, or the flu of 1957 that killed 70,000 people in the U.S.
I'm not saying this virus is a wimp, because there have been several deaths in Mexico and the second American, a Texas woman, has succumbed to the illness .
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with state and local health departments have been outstanding in providing day-to-day updates about the swine flu.
Here are some questions that parents and patients in my office are asking:
Will the flu shot I had last fall protect me from getting the swine flu? Answer: No. The flu vaccine given in the fall, and for the last several years, protected against human flu virus, based on the previous year's research. The swine flu is a different kind of virus that is foreign to our immune system (which may explain why it ...
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