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Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Flu Strains --Vaccine Didn't Work..

According to a report from the CDC, during this year’s February peak, flu-related symptoms were the reason behind 5.9% of all doctor visits in the US, a rate higher than in the previous 13 consecutive weeks.

The death toll seems to have peaked in March, however, with 9.1% of all causes of death associated with flu or pneumonia. Healthcare officials consider 6.9% to be an unusually high rate.

Sixty-five children aged 1 month to 18 years have died so far in this year’ flu season. The median age at death among childrern has been 4.5 years. In the three previous years, between 46 and 75 children died each year.

Dr. Dan Jernigan, deputy director of the CDC’s influenza division, identifies a more virulent form of virus that has predominated this year’s flu season. This one, A(H3N2), was first identified in 2007 in Brisbane, Australia. There are numerous variants of this virus but this particular strain was not identified in time to be included in this year’s batch of influenza vaccines although a variant of it was included.

Jernigan cites another reason for such a fierce flu season this year. We’re seeing the presence of an influenza B virus but it was not included in the vaccine formulations used last fall. The vaccines are completely ineffective against this form of virus.

What a surprise...How about washing with good old soap and water???? Duh. And, courtesy of email sent to me yesterday from the senior health care official at a midwest school system (11 schools in total) "..When soap isn't available-make sure you have a bottle of Soapopular handy.." (uses the same active ingredient as Bacteine antiseptic..)

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