Thursday, 4 June 2009

More data on pre-conditions for Swine Flu Hospitalisation Rate

Hospitalisation rate indicates serious conditions and will burden
hospitals if there are too many of them. Untreated they can lead to

41% are those with Asthma
18% under 2 years old
13% immune system compromised
12% heart disease
Other risk factors include pregnancy, diabetes, kidney problems, blood
disorders, emphysema and liver problems.

In a situation where there is no vaccine for swine flu, pneumoncoccal
vaccination should be give to those with the above risk factors.
Since asthma is among the highest, they should be given first.

My wife has her immune system compromised by taking steroids due to
SLE. Not sure if she can take any vaccination.

Two More Deaths in City Reported From Swine Flu

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Published: June 3, 2009

Two more deaths linked to swine flu — both of adults in their 40s —
were reported by the New York City Department of Health and Mental
Hygiene on Wednesday, bringing the total H1N1-related fatalities in
the city to seven.

The department said that six of the seven people who had died —
including Mitchell Wiener, an assistant principal at a public school
in Queens, who was the first swine flu death in the city — had
underlying conditions that could interfere with normal breathing. The
seventh death is still under investigation. The city will not release
the underlying medical conditions, citing medical confidentiality.
Officials would not disclose where in the city the latest two victims

However, the department did release an analysis that showed some 80
percent of the more than 300 people hospitalized with swine flu since
mid-April have one or more underlying conditions that put them at
risk. Asthma, which affects 10 percent of New York City children, is
by far the most common underlying condition, affecting some 41 percent
of those hospitalized.

The analysis also found that about 18 percent of those hospitalized
were younger than 2, 13 percent had a compromised immune system and 12
percent had heart disease. Other risk factors include pregnancy,
diabetes, kidney problems, blood disorders, emphysema and liver

Both the city's health department and the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention have added obesity as a risk factor in swine flu
hospitalizations and deaths.

Obesity is not generally considered a risk factor for other strains of
flu. Dr. Donald Weiss, the director of surveillance for the
department's bureau of communicable disease, said that it was not
known why it was a factor in the swine flu cases.

A more detailed analysis of hospitalized patients' health histories is
still being conducted, as assembling the data has been relatively
challenging, Dr. Weiss said.

About 70 percent of the data about the hospitalizations that comes is
of decent quality, but 30 percent of it has to be chased down. Then
the information has to be double-checked. "It's a bit of work on the
part of the health department," Dr. Weiss said.

The health department recommended that people with chronic illness,
especially asthma, should see a doctor if they develop flulike
symptoms. It also emphasized only people with severe symptoms, like
difficulty breathing, should visit emergency departments, which have
been inundated by flu-related visits.

However, flu-related emergency department visits declined last week
from a peak on May 25.

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