To understand whether or not I should get vaccinated against swine flu I am looking for information online. I have found a site that keeps me up to date every day (in English) on the happenings of all the most dangerous infective diseases on the planet. From cholera to yellow fever. Crikey. Today I received information about what was discovered in Spanish hospitals about H1N1. In the next few weeks, the blog will provide more up to date information about swine flu in Europe. In Spain, as discovered in the study, 0.2% of the patients had serious consequences. Basically, the only question that counts and that we need to ask ourselves (and that we never get an answer to) is “Which kills more, the vaccine or the virus?”
“According to a study carried out in 21 Spanish hospitals and made known by the International Society for Infectious Diseases, there are no existing factors or pre-existing illnesses that can facilitate contracting the influenza A (pandemic A (H1N1) 2009 virus). The healthy patients without risk factors should however not underestimate the risk of contracting the virus. If on the one hand it is true that the great majority of those that contract the influenza get over it without complications, a minority of patients get worse around the fourth or the fifth day. "The natural symptoms of the disease are usually three or four days of fever, generally over 38 degrees with a steady improvement in the following days.” (Jordi Rello, head of the intensive care unit of Tarragona Joan XXIII Hospital )
The health authorities should concentrate not just on the prevention of the illness and on the treatment of the less severe cases, but also on the care of the patients with complications who are in Intensive Care. It is estimated that only 0.2% of patients suffer serious complications from the flu. That means that for every million people affected, about 2,000 suffer complications. A number that is often unmanageable by the Intensive Care Units.
Obesity and pregnancy are risk factors for the development of serious complications. The average age of patients being treated in the Intensive Care Units for influenza A is 40 years and about 25% of these die.”
You can sign up to the email information service of the International Society for Infectious Diseases by using this address.
Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:09 PM in Health/Medicine
(3) | Comments in Italian (translated)
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