President Obama has declared H1N1 swine flu a national emergency. This enables hospitals to implement emergency plans should a spike in incidence of H1N1 occur.
Forty-six states are now experiencing H1N1 outbreaks. Thus far swine flu (H1N1) has killed about 1,000 Americans. One hundred of the H1N1 deaths in America were children. In America, swine flu is occurring most frequently in children and young adults.
Worldwide, there are almost 5,000 cases of documented H1N1. However, actual incidence of swine flu cases is believed to be much higher.
To date, many healthcare providers are unable to obtain the swine flu vaccine to give to patients. CNN reports that “Priority groups include pregnant women, caregivers, and household contacts of children younger than 6 months, people between the ages of 6 months and 24 years, and anyone ages 25 to 64 with existing health problems. Health care and emergency medical personnel in contact with high risk patients, or patients with flu-like illnesses are also on the list.”
Millions of Americans have already experienced swine flu. Since many people are not tested, it is impossible to have a truly accurate count of the spread of H1N1.
Will you Get the H1N1 Swine Flu Shot?
Many people are worried about side effects of the H1N1 vaccine. It may be a moot point since the vaccine is hard to obtain. When I asked about the H1N1 vaccine the answer was “We don’t know when we will get it.” Sounds like there will be a mad rush for the H1N1 shot when it becomes available.
I don’t know if I actually want to get the H1N1 vaccine. It is a new, untested vaccine. I generally refuse to take any new medications. It is wiser to wait and see if that medication ends up having some serious side effects the pharmaceutical company did not discover or even worse, kept secret.
Some healthcare workers are refusing to get the H1N1 vaccine. I find that alarming in that they are medically trained; if they feel the vaccine is dangerous perhaps it is wise to heed that opinion. Then again, people are dying from H1N1. So getting the vaccine may be crucial.
The call it “the art of medicine” for a reason. Medical science is an inexact field. There is no definitive answer about if the H1N1 vaccine is safe. Only time will tell if the new vaccine for H1N1 will cause serious side effects that may cause deaths or severe illness.
Flu and Flu Shots on the Upswing
“Sixty million people have gotten the winter flu vaccine….It’s an unprecedented number of seasonal flu shots for October” according to MSNBC.
And now, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden states “Flu illnesses are as widespread now as they are at the winter peak of normal flu seasons. To be basically in the peak of flu season in October is extremely unusual” per MSNBC.
I got a flu shot last week. It is the first time I followed the doctor’s advice to get one in about ten years. While giving me the shot the nurse warned it may cause me to have a bit of the flu, but no illness occurred this week.
The traditional flu shot will not protect again H1N1 swine flu.