Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Remember Babe Flu

There was an interesting article in the Washington Post today on Babe Flu.

It said:

With the second wave of H1N1 infections having crested in the United States, leading epidemiologists are predicting that the pandemic could end up ranking as the mildest since modern medicine began documenting influenza outbreaks.

The article went on to talk about the possibility of between 6,000 to 45,000 deaths. This seems to be a huge range. They clarified a little by saying in all likelihood the death toll would be between 10-15,000. That number is less than half the number of people that die from the regular flu. The big caveat to this whole thing is the number of children and young adults that have died from Babe Flu. It's much higher then in the case of the regular flu.

It will be interesting to see if scientists are ever to figure out exactly why older people seem not to get it as much and when they do have less severe symptoms. I would think figuring that out would help when the next one comes along.

The concern of course is as Babe Flu recedes into the back ground fewer and fewer people will be getting the vaccine.

To encourage Americans to continue to get vaccinated, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a new multimedia advertising campaign Monday aimed at countering complacency. After a slow start, more than 80 million doses of vaccine are now available, she said.

"We have to seize this opportunity as disease is going down slightly to remind folks how important this is," she said.

The question here can anyone now get the vaccine or only people that fall into the risks groups eligible for it. The longer every day people are unable to gain access to the vaccine; the more people are not going to bother with getting it at all.

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