Obesity Increases Risk of H1N1 Virus

In the 2009 H1N1 pandemic medical science recognized that obesity increased the risk of contracting the virus. Tests on vaccinated obese individuals showed immunecell function at only 70% compared to normal weight individuals. Death rates in obese and morbidly obese H1N1 patients were 3 and 7.6 times the rate of normal weight patients. Research in obese…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Household Transmission of 2009 H1N1 Flu

While many "top" issues could be listed, the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic has received enormous press in both the medical and lay press. This epidemic has taught us a great deal. As of this date, there have been fewer deaths than from previous flu pandemics--and that is the good news! A new analysis of household…

Read MoreLong right arrow

It’s Easy to Avoid the Swine Flu Email Scam–Don’t Respond!

Wouldn't you know it, now there is an email phishing scam that references a supposed CDC sponsored State Vaccination Program for the H1N1 flu. The message requests everyone over 18 create a Vaccination Profile at cdc.gov and provides a link to create such profile. Users who click on this link place themselves at risk of…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Does Hand Washing and Face Masks Prevent H1N1 Spread at Home?

Does hand hygiene and wearing surgical face masks prevent household transmission of 2009 H1N1 influenza? A new Hong Kong study found that indeed these measures when implemented early after symptom onset seemed to curtail transmission to other members of the family. The control group received healthy dietary and lifestyle advice. Another group were educated by a…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Obesity a Risk Factor for 2009 H1N1 Flu?

So far there have been only 4500 deaths from the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. This is about 2% of the 250,000 that are seen worldwide each year from the seasonal flu. This is encouraging news, but the flue season is just getting underway. In a recent US study 45% of confirmed cases admitted to the…

Read MoreLong right arrow

President Obama Declares a National Emergency

Saturday, October 24 President Obama signed a national emergency declaration for the H1N1 flu pandemic. What does this all mean? With more than 20,000 Americans hospitalized last week, this declaration gives greater flexibility to hospitals and nursing homes to care for an unusual influx of patients. In general public health officials have praised this move.…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Surgical Masks as Efficient as N95 Respirators Against Influenza

Influenza is transmitted by coughing or sneezing very tiny particles that may be inhaled at short-range by another person. Using a personal respiratory device may be effective in limiting the spread of the disease, especially in health care workers. New research has shown the standard surgical mask compared with the N95 respirator (NIOSH certified to…

Read MoreLong right arrow

The 2009 Pandemic Flu Continues

FLU UPDATE: Between April and August 2009 more than one million cases of the pandemic influenza A (H1N1) flu occurred in the US, an uncharacteristically high number. Does this presage a bad winter flu season? No one really knows. Fortunately, the death rates have been lower than expected. Until an H1N1 vaccine arrives, here are…

Read MoreLong right arrow

H1N1 Flu Vaccines Now Approved by FDA

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved four vaccines against the 2009 H1N1 influenza A. Several recent studies indicate most healthy adults will need only one dose. Guidelines for optimal dosing for children have yet to be determined. Distribution of the first lots in the United States will take about 4 weeks.PositiveTip: Healthy living, good personal…

Read MoreLong right arrow

H1N1 May Yet Be More Virulent Than the Seasonal Flu

Animal models demonstrate that the pandemic flu virus replicates faster and damages lungs more than the seasonal flu. Japanese researchers tested this in mouse and ferret models. Both species have been good predictors of human flu infection. In the United States so far, experience in humans has not been more severe. However, the influenza A…

Read MoreLong right arrow