Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Swine Flu Update
As expected with any flu epidemic, the confirmed cases continue to rise throughout the world. As of today, the U.S. has 94 confirmed cases. California has 14 confirmed and 7 probable cases and they are all considered "mild". Canada has 13 confirmed cases, all mild.
One 22 month old toddler has died from Swine flu in Houston, Texas. He contracted it in Mexico and came to Texas with his family for treatment. There are no other deaths in the U.S. at this time.
One of the questions the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is attempting to answer is why do some people have mild, short symptoms and others are sicker? They are looking at immune status, age, how long they were ill and what other treatments were tried and if they took antiviral medication.
Dr. Richard Bessler, acting director of CDC, said that milder cases of swine flu A (N1H1) virus in the United States and other countries besides Mexico may be the result of the virus getting weaker as it travels from person to person. It is too early to know if that is happening and in the case of the influenza pandemic in 1918, the virus was mild and after it seemed to stop, it returned in a more virulent form.
The CDC has determined that the swine flu is treatable with the antiviral drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza. The swine flu continues to behave like Influenza A with fever, cough, muscle aching and fatigue. Anyone with these symptoms should contact their doctor to get tested and treated early with antiviral prescription medication.
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 2:18 PM