HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Swine Flu Remains Active

The CDC Press Briefing from last week reminds Americans that the H1N1/Swine Flu continues to spread.    The briefing transript provides,   

In terms of the numbers of infections that have been laboratory confirmed as H1N1, there are now more than 17,800 of those in the United States, including around 1,600 that have been hospitalized and 44 that have died.  As we have been saying all along, these numbers are likely an underestimate of the number of cases that are out there.  There are some surveys that indicate that the amount of disease in the areas that are having activity with H1N1 is perhaps around 7% of the population reporting symptoms due to influenza-like illness.  The virus continues to impact mostly younger people.  So far it is not causing significant illness and death in the elderly like we would see with seasonal influenza.  And the symptoms that are being reported are consistent with influenza, that being predominantly fever, cough, some shortness of breath, fatigue and chills.  There is some vomiting and diarrhea that have been associated with cases of this infection.  Everyone needs to be alert to the symptoms of the illness, and especially if you have underlying conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease.  For those folks, they need to be vigilant about their symptoms and consult their doctors or health care providers early if they develop flu-like symptoms.  All of the evidence so far indicates that antiviral drugs still work.  The inhibitors work particularly well.  And we are recommending that they be used in high-risk patients that are sick and also in those being hospitalized and those that have severe illness.

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