Wednesday, 13 January 2010

CDC Swine Flu statistics suggests vaccination

The key figure is that case-hospitalisation which is
18-to-64s: case-hospitalization rate is 0.45 percent and the case-
fatality rate is 0.028 percent — above 64: case-hospitalization rate
of 0.52 percent, and a case-fatality rate of 0.032 percent — the
highest of any age group.

I assume that this hospitalisation is only necessary once Tamilflu had
been administered and failed to respond. After all, this is USA but
based on old statistics, only 70% doctors prescribe Tamilflu early,
which could explain the high case-hospitalisation in USA.

Despite Tamilflu, 4 out of 1,000 will be hospitalised.

Once you are hospitalised, treated with respirators or lung machines,
there is still 0.028 percent, i.e. 3 every 10,000 who got H1N1
symptoms, died.

With vaccination, this can drop to less than 1 in 100,000. Risk of
dying due to vaccination, still exists, but so far it had been no
death despite more than 10,000 vaccinations. A very low risk factor
indeed compared to Swine Flu infection.

Stolen: Get your flu shot
Seniors do need to beware of H1N1 flu
by Joanne Stolen
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In some parts of the U.S., the H1N1 (swine) flu seems to be ebbing,
but around the world people are still coming down with the swine flu
and some are dying. As of January, an estimate of more than 11,500
people worldwide have died from the disease since the outbreak began
in April. This so far is still less lethal than the seasonal flu,
which kills between 250,000 and 500,000 people each year. What are the
current demographics?

Senior citizens have been mistakenly told they are less at risk, but
the facts emerging are that the risk of death for a senior who
contracts H1N1 is more than four times that of a child who gets it.
While people 65 and older are less likely to be infected with 2009
H1N1 flu, those who do become infected are at greater risk of having
serious complications from their illness. Children newborn to 17 are
at higher risk from catching H1N1 than they are from seasonal flu, and
they tend to spread it to more people than seniors do. CDC's decision
to prioritize children — especially during the fall, when vaccine was
in short supply — made sense from this perspective. However, the
federal government's explanation that seniors can rest easy is

We have been told that children face a much greater risk from this
disease, and they are dying from it in numbers never seen with
regular, seasonal flu — and maybe seniors even have some special
immunity to H1N1. The problem is that the numbers don't add up, and
H1N1 is more than twice as deadly to seniors as to children. As a
result of this message, many older adults underestimate their own risk
and the importance of getting vaccinated. According to recent
statistics from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), analyzed by
Peter Sandman, a scholar of risk communication, an estimated 21.3
percent of children newborn to 17 (of whom there are 75 million) have
contracted H1N1. Of those 16 million cases, there have been 71,000
hospitalizations and 1,090 deaths. That works out to a case-
hospitalization rate (the chance of being hospitalized if you contract
H1N1) of 0.44 percent, and a case-fatality rate (the risk of dying of
the flu if you get it) of 0.007 percent. Compare those numbers with
those for America's 194 million 18-to-64s. Of them, 27 million have
contracted H1N1, 121,000 have been hospitalized, and 7,450 have died.
A little math shows that 13.9 percent of this age group has contracted
the illness, but that the case-hospitalization rate is 0.45 percent
and the case-fatality rate is 0.028 percent — quadruple that of
children. Finally, among the nation's 39 million seniors, there have
been 4 million cases, 21,000 hospitalizations, and 1,280 deaths. That
yields a 10.3 percent risk of contracting H1N1, a case-hospitalization
rate of 0.52 percent, and a case-fatality rate of 0.032 percent — the
highest of any age group.

Why do elderly people die of H1N1? Seventy-five percent of the
fatalities examined had underlying medical problems, including heart
disease and cancer. The remaining 25 percent had no obvious
complicating factors. Most of the patients who died had breathing
difficulties. All of the patients who underwent the autopsies showed
evidence of acute lung injury and also had some sort of bacterial
infection as well. By contrast, the patients with heart disease,
cancer and other underlying causes had lung bleeding. Studies show an
overly vigorous inflammatory response triggered by the viral infection
may cause damage to lung tissue.

Right now there seems to be an abundance of vaccine available. Some
states are overstocked and have not enough cold storage facilities and
are actually returning their oversupply. Get your flu shot. Have I
gotten mine? Not yet. I'm trying to get over a slight cold first, but
I will. I picked up a form to fill out at City Market.

Breckenridge resident Dr. Joanne Stolen is a former professor of
microbiology from Rutgers now teaching classes at CMC. Her scientific
interests are in emerging infectious diseases and environmental

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