Posts Tagged ‘h1n1’

H1N1: What are your questions about swine flu? We’re going to ask the experts.

Monday, August 10th, 2009

by Leigh Ann Otte, managing editor

We’re tired of wondering.

As the world’s governments prepare for a potentially huge outbreak of H1N1 this fall, we regular people are left to wonder, what’s the big deal?  Are we supposed to be worrying?  Running around in mass panic?  Moving to caves in the hills?  Or is this all just a bunch of sensationalism?

So we’re going straight to the experts—to ask them our questions, and yours.


Update on H1N1 swine flu and vaccine

Monday, May 25th, 2009

James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

H1N1 influenza documented cases in the U.S. are closing in on 7000 but the CDC is reporting fewer new cases.  Good news, but there are several caveats.

Usually you can multiply by 10 to get a reasonable estimate of the total actual cases since not all are reported and documented by the CDC.  My understanding locally is the health department is now only interested in documenting new cases which require hospitalization.

In the 1918 pandemic, which killed 500,000 in the U.S and 50 million worldwide, the first wave was mild and died down in the summer.  By fall it had mutated into a deadly virus.

The CDC will probably suggest getting the usual flu vaccine early this fall so you can get a second H1N1 immunization a few weeks later.

An interesting sideline is H1N1 has only infected a small percent of U.S. people over age 65.  Speculation is these seniors were infected by a distant H1N1 relative some time before 1957 and have a few antibodies left to fight off the current virus.

I only practice part-time but have not seen any swine flu cases.  Have any of you?

Update on swine flu, H1N1: Flu parties, experimental-virus rumors, possible mutation …

Monday, May 11th, 2009

James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Is It Really Swine Flu?

The pork lobby has a good point in not calling the new H1N1 flu virus the swine flu.  It is not a strain that usually circulates in pigs.  Rather, it contains a combination of one gene usually found in birds (avian flu), two from pigs and one from humans.  This is why some are suspicious it was an experimental laboratory virus that got into the general public.

Another point is, you are absolutely not going to get this virus from eating pork.  Of course, this is true of any flu past or future.  It just doesn’t make scientific sense.

The fact is, however, this is a brand new strain and humans have no immunity. (more…)

Swine flu in Mexico. What to do if you live in the United States. (Plus: good news!)

Monday, April 27th, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Remember the avian flu scare a year or two back?  A few people had caught a flu from chickens, which usually was just contagious to other birds. If it ever mutated more and spread from person to person (rather than just chicken to person), look out.  It would be a new strain—people would have no immunity—so it would it hit hard and fast: a pandemic.

Most of us thought a particular strain of avian flu was never a serious threat to humans … but that one, down the road, might be.

That event may be happening in Mexico, except pigs are the carrier, hence it’s swine flu. (more…)

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