Stories about: H1N1 (swine flu)

Don't forget about H1N1 just yet

swine_fluIn case you missed it, Margaret Chan, MD, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), yesterday cautioned the world that the H1N1 pandemic is not over, even though you’re not hearing as much about it in the media or around the watercooler. “It is too premature and too early for us to say we have come to an end of the pandemic influenza worldwide,” Dr. Chan said at a press conference.

With much less attention being paid to H1N1 these days, Thrive asked Claire McCarthy, MD, a pediatrician and the medical director of Children’s Martha Eliot Health Center, if she thought families could stop worrying about the virus—and whether people should still get vaccinated if they haven’t already. Here’s what she had to say:

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Top pediatric health stories of 2009

McCarthyClaire_dsc0435From swine flu to obesity to dangerous plastics, many issues that affect children’s health garnered media attention in the year 2009. Here’s a rundown of the some of the biggest and most important stories:

H1N1

This is the story that caught the most attention—for good reason. Not only is the H1N1 influenza virus very contagious, it appears to particularly affect young people. H1N1 caused more pediatric hospitalizations and deaths than we usually see with the seasonal influenza virus, which is very scary for parents (and pediatricians!). The virus led to countless school closings—sometimes to control the spread, and sometimes because there weren’t enough teachers left to teach!

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Kids' swine flu shots recalled; lost some of their potency

cdcIn case you missed it, the CDC today recalled 800,000 H1N1 vaccine doses meant for children, age 6 months to nearly 3 years old because they lost some of their strength after being released to the public. The good news is that there are no risks to any child who was vaccinated and you don’t need to get your child re-vaccinated if he or she got doses from the recalled batch; it just may be that your child isn’t quite as protected from H1N1 as you originally thought.

Check out the CDC’s Q&A on the topic.

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H1N1 (swine flu) weekly update: Dec. 1- 8

fluDec9Here are this week’s H1N1 updates from the HealthMap team of the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that “Disease activity has peaked and is declining in North America and has either recently peaked or is currently peaking in much of western and northern Europe.” In other good news, WHO also reports no signs of widespread resistance to Tamiflu.
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