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Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Under 24s Higest Priority For Swine Flu Vaccine

It's that time of year again!

No, wait. Its not Christmas time yet, it is time to buckle down for a potentially rougher than usual flu season.

Not only does the CDC advise getting a flu vaccine, they also recommend getting a swine flu (H1N1) vaccine too this year. What may surprise you is that the high priority groups for vaccination do not start with the elderly, but in fact they are geared mainly towards younger children. Groups at risk first include pregnant women, those who interact with children under 6 months of age, health care providers, individuals between 6 months of age to 24 years of age, and lastly ages 25 through 64. Those with health disorders & or compromised immune systems are also encouraged to get the vaccine.

Dating back to 1918, H1N1 (Spanish Flu) killed 50-100 million worldwide, the worst flu pandemic. Next in 1976 there was a second US outbreak in which the vaccines caused as much fear as the actual virus. A confined case of H1N1 was recorded in 1988. In 1998, swine flu was found in pigs in four U.S. states. "By 1998, it had spread through pig populations across the United States. Scientists found that this virus had originated in pigs as a recombinant form of flu strains from birds and humans. This outbreak confirmed that pigs can serve as a crucible where novel influenza viruses emerge as a result of the re-assortment of genes from different strains." (Desmon)(1)

Signs & Symptoms for Children:

* Fast breathing or trouble breathing
* Bluish or gray skin color
* Not drinking enough fluids
* Severe or persistent vomiting
* Not waking up or not interacting
* Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
* Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Signs & Symptoms for Adults:

* Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
* Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
* Sudden dizziness
* Confusion
* Severe or persistent vomiting
* Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Health officials expect the swine flu to kill up to 90,000 people in the United States. Normal seasonal flus only kills about 36,000 Americans a year.

For more info: Visit the Center for Disease Dontrol (CDC) website for more information about swine flu.

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