Swine Flu Appears to Have a Preference for the Younger Generations
Before long, it will Swine Flu season again and it’s still uncertain how the flu knows when to appear. What is obvious is the flu has been a yearly issue for persons for some time, but no one is quite sure how long.
“Probably centuries,” some scientists believe. Researchers believe that before densely settled cities and easy long-distance trips, the strains had a harder time bouncing between host communities.
The Swine Flu is unusually deadly for America’s young. That pronouncement by the Centers for Disease Control only confirmed what public health officials have been saying.
Dr. Ann Schuchat told the press that with 27 states reporting a total of nearly 5,000 hospitalizations, related to Swine Flu, over half were under 24.
Twenty-eight states have reported a total of 292 confirmed deaths related to Swine Flu, also known as H1N1. 24% of the deaths occurred in people under 24 and 88% of patients under 65.
Speaking of the underlying conditions that may add to the risks, Dr. Schuchat replied, “Pregnancy, as we’ve been seeing is disproportionately represented.” She also mentioned that young people with pre-existing neurological conditions are being seen with complications from Swine Flu. Even children with well-controlled asthma are at greater risk.
A recent report from Massachusetts shows similar data there. With over 1400 Swine Flu cases, almost 72% of those are under age 25. 47% are in children of school age, 5-18 and 45% of the patients hospitalized for pandemic flu were below 25.
Arizona has recorded almost 3,000 cases of Swine Flu, and 62% of those were in people younger than 18. The median age is 15.
While investigators are still rooting out causes of swine influenza in humans, America’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is stressing prevention.
Several web pages belonging to the organization, deal with swine flu, including a list of what a person can do to avoid swine flu — or any infectious disease.
The recommendations are common sense and sum up what most Mothers teach their children. They are:
- Avoid contact with people if they are sick
- Stay at home when ill. Avoid school and work
- Shield others from coughs and sneezes
- Wash hands frequently
- Refrain from touching eyes, nose or mouth
- Maintain healthy habits such as getting enough sleep, sufficient exercise, drinking fluids and eating well
Although there has been a swine flu vaccine available for decades, it is just recently that a flu vaccine with a “booster” has been approved by federal regulators.
Aimed at people over 65, individuals in the target age group often bear the greatest burden of severe disease and account for the majority of influenza-related hospitalizations and deaths according to the Food and Drug Administration.
Despite the improved vaccines, there is no single injection that prevents swine flu. However, there is a vaccine for some forms of swine flu in pigs.
That suggests another precaution: Avoid unnecessary contact with live pigs.
The CDC and other government organizations are working to get the message out. Public health officials are monitoring the cases and conducted further research on the virus.
Jeanne Matthews, a professor at the Georgetown University School of Nursing, says the latest version is a new strain of swine flu and, “I don’t think we know enough about it to have a sense of when community containment may happen.”