Thursday, October 22, 2009

Swine Flu Update 35

1.  According to the CDC, 86 children have died from swine flu since spring of 2009.  Since August 2009, 43 childen have died from swine flu, so there's been a rise in keeping with the increasing number of children getting swine flu.  It is considered widespread in 41 states now.  Interestingly, nearly half of these children were 12 to 17 years old.  You might think they're not exactly the group you'd suspect with weaker immune systems. Actually most of the damage is done because the immune system over-reacts violently against the influenza virus.  Worst at this age group.  On the other hand, at the age extremes, the organs of the body may not be able to handle this violent over-reaction, so complications occur.

2. The front page of the Greenville News yesterday listed Swine flu clinics: 11/11, 11/14, 11/21, 12/12, 12/19.  The details are listed on the SC DHEC website

3. Our office has gotten calls about swine flu vaccinations at elementary schools.  We have made calls to DHEC and Greenville Schools to confirm this information.  A form was passed out to children yesterday.  I don't have kids in elementary school anymore. (Yes, I'm getting older.)  I will try to keep you appraised.  There is no written plan publicly available yet.  There are many potential problems I can foresee.  DHEC not the schools is in charge of this operation.  Specifically, the consent form FOR SCHOOLS states that children with asthma should not receive the vaccine.  I disagree with this.  This is a contingency because the vaccines are being given essentially publicly with no screening.  The actual DHEC clinic or doctor's offices will decide individually about giving the vaccine.  I agree with the CDC's website: there should be no active egg allergy (can't eat eggs) and no active chest symptoms.  If the latter, then this should be gotten stable and then the vaccine should be given.  I mean the inactivated shot, not the intranasal.  By the way, it is not clear what route the vaccine will be given at schools, but it is highly likely it will be injection, since the intranasal contains LIVE virus.  Globally, after the elementary schools are completed, then middle, then high schools will be next.  There is no provision for vaccine at doctor's offices at this time.

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