Saturday, 27 June 2009

View of one sane Australian expert

An infectious disease specialist, not a doctor mind you, admit that
swine flu will kill more than normal flu because Australians don't
have immunity to it at all.

Even normal flu, we don't have immunity as well but we have vaccines
but they are given only to those who are in the highly risky groups of
younger than 2 and older than 60 and yet, many still died.

Never heard of any pregrant women dying from normal flu and no call
for them to be innoculated with flu vaccine.

I wonder what this expert believe that Swine flu is milder than Normal

More swine flu deaths 'a certainty'

By Jennifer Macey for AM

AM |

Posted 11 hours 36 minutes ago
Updated 11 hours 7 minutes ago
Too late...'in the ideal world you would vaccinate several months
before the outbreak starts.'

Too late...'in the ideal world you would vaccinate several months
before the outbreak starts.' (AAP Image: Dave Hunt)

* Audio: Swine flu yet to peak in Australia (AM)
* Map: Sydney 2000
* Related Story: UK swine flu tally tops 4,300
* Related Story: Torres Strait confirms first swine flu case

An infectious disease expert says the swine flu vaccine will be
available too late to help many of the people who are going to
contract the virus.

Four people have died so far and in New South Wales, two children are
in intensive care because of the virus.

One of the children has no pre-existing medical conditions.

Professor of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology at the University of
New South Wales, Raina Macintyre, told AM it is certain more people
will die from swine flu in Australia.

"We expect that it will peak towards the end of July or early August,"
she said.

"That's when we'll really be at the height of the epidemic, and we
would expect something of the same range or higher, but in the same
ball park of a bad flu season.

"It could be anywhere from 10 to 30 per cent of the Australian
population over the whole winter. Every year from seasonal flu there
are about 2,500 deaths from flu and pneumonia."

She says swine flu deaths are expected to be higher because people
have not built up immunity to the virus.

"Any influenza, even seasonal influenza, has a higher rate of
complications and death in people with pre-existing conditions because
they're just more vulnerable to infections like influenza," she said.

"So, it's not unexpected really that the first deaths that we're
seeing are in people who are immuno-compromised or have chronic

Professor Macintyre says the vaccine for the flu expected to be
available by the end of July will not be soon enough.

"No, it's not ideal. Normally with seasonal flu we vaccinate people in
February or March, and the flu season starts in June and beyond," she

"So, really, in the ideal world you would vaccinate several months
before the outbreak starts.

"In this case, we'll be vaccinating at the peak of the outbreak, so
half of the people who are going to be get infected will already be
infected and won't be able to benefit from the vaccine.

"But, it's still worth doing, because there's still all the other half
of the people who have not been infected that could receive protection
from the vaccine."

Tags: health, diseases-and-disorders, swine-influenza, australia, nsw,

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