Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Swine flu continues to spread

I read a sad story on CNN about a premature baby who died in Florida. The mother had swine flu (H1N1) and then developed significant respiratory symptoms. The baby was born 14 weeks early, but did not survive. The mom is currently in critical condition.

"We have seen, with this virus, worse complications and severe infections in pregnant women," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We're urging women who are pregnant who develop fever or respiratory symptoms to seek care promptly." The CDC is recommending that pregnant women receive the swine flu vaccine in addition to the standard flu vaccine.

Meanwhile, we're hearing reports of countries (such as China) quarantining students while other nations are extending summer vacations for their students. What will this fall and winter look like? What will travel be like? According to MSNBC, "The World Health Organization said Tuesday that deaths from the new H1N1 virus have doubled in the past three weeks, rising to over 700 from about 330 at the start of July." We can't stop the swine flu pandemic, but we can control how quickly it spreads. Let's hope that we see some safe and effective vaccines soon.

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