Swine Flu spreads across U.S. like wildfire, 19 kids die in one week
By Salim Jiwa
ATLANTA – Swine Flu continues to take its toll on children and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, CDC, is reporting that 19 more children died in a one-week period.
Of the total 19 pediatric deaths reported to the CDC from across the U.S. 16 tested positive for Swine Flu while three were suffering from unsubtyped Influenza A. But the CDC said the three unsubtyped deaths were also most likely from Swine Flu H1N1 novel virus.
CDC said the 19 child deaths were reported between Sept. 27 and Oct. 3 as influenza and pneumonia rates escalated across the U.S.
The 19 child deaths from Swine Flu in one week is considered very high based on the fact that the total prior to the latest figure being added was 57 since April. The total child deaths now stand at 76.
“The proportion of death attributed to pneumonia and influenza based on the 122 Cities Report has increased and now exceeds what is normally expected at this time of year,” said the CDC in its latest weekly report released Friday.
“In addition, 19 flu-related pediatric deaths were reported this week; 16 of these deaths were confirmed 2009 H1N1 and 3 were unsubtyped influenza A and likely to be 2009 H1N1,” it said.
“A total of 76 laboratory confirmed 2009 H1N1 pediatric deaths have been reported to CDC since April,” it said.
Doctor visits went up across the U.S. for influenza like illness (ILI) and are “higher than levels expected for this time of the year.”
“Total influenza hospitalization rates for laboratory-confirmed influenza are higher than expected for this time of year for adults and children,” it said.
“And for children 5-17 and adults 18-49 years of age, hospitalization rates from April – October 2009 exceed average flu season rates (for October through April),” the report said.
Experts have not answered the question of whether new policies that advocate keeping schools open despite Swine Flu infections have resulted in the higher rates of deaths among children.
Statistics already show that infants have a far higher rate of hospitalizations from Swine Flu. The rate of 3.3 per 10,000 is far higher for infants aged 0 to 23 months than any other age group by a factor of 2 per 10,000.
“Thirty-seven states are reporting widespread influenza activity at this time. They are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.”
“Any reports of widespread influenza activity in September and October are very unusual,” said the CDC.
“Almost all of the influenza viruses identified so far are 2009 H1N1 influenza A viruses,” the CDC said.
“These viruses remain similar to the virus chosen for the 2009 H1N1 vaccine, and remain susceptible to the antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir with rare exception,” it said.
From August 30 to Oct. 3, influenza and pneumonia syndrome has resulted in 12,384 hospitalizations and 1544 deaths.
Confirmed influenza cases (most H1N1) requiring hospitalizations were 3,874 with 240 deaths.
The CDC is no longer separating its figures for Swine Flu and since it states that almost all cases of influenza are related to H1N1, it would be fair to conclude that Swine Flu is responsible for most of the illness.
Copyright 2009, Vancouverite News Service.®