Swine Flu Statistics

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Current statistics show that those who are more at risk from becoming seriously ill with Swine Flu are the following:

* People with diabetes at whatever stage.
* Pregnant women.
* Young children under 5 years old.
* People with chronic kidney disease.
* People with chronic heart disease.
* Those with asthma.
* People with a liver disease.
* Those with a suppressed immune system.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, the C.D.C's interim deputy director for science and public health, said that in the United States, most of those that had been hospitalized because of swine flu were in the 5 to 24 year old age bracket (62%), and those over 55 accounted for only 1%.

A new tracking study of the epidemic in Mexico found that the H1N1 flu hits those between the ages of 20 and 50 the hardest, with a higher death rate than other age groups.

The consensus of opinion seems to be that the virus is more likely to affect younger people than older. Sir Liam Donaldson, UK's Chief Medical Officer since 1998, has said that the flu strain is part animal (swine), part bird, and part human, and that the human element had been in circulation in the past, with the result that the immune systems of older people may offer some protection, in which case it could mean that younger people will be prioritized when a vaccine becomes available.

World Health Organisation (WHO) figures as of the 6 July show that there have been 94,512 cases and 429 deaths. It is more than likely that many more people will have been infected but will have not been listed because they did not seek medical attention.

Swine Flu Parties

The thinking is that by catching the virus H1N1 in its mild form may offer some protection should a more virulent strain emerge in the winter. History shows this happening in 1918 when a mild spring outbreak was followed by two deadly waves stretching into the following year.

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts told the BBC Radio 4 Today program that she had heard rumors of "swine flu parties" taking place.

"There is an awful lot of discussion from people who have come up with a fairly rational conclusion that it might be better to pick up the virus up now given that we all think it just might mutate to a more virulent strain in the coming winter" she said.

Infectious disease specialists understand the rationale of catching the mild strain as a protective measure, but Dr. Anne Moscona, a flu specialist at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, said that she had been called by a reporter for a woman's magazine "asking if mothers should hold swine flu parties, like chickenpox parties."

"I think it's totally nuts," Dr. Moscona said. "I can't believe people are really doing it. I understand the thinking, but I fear we do not know enough about how this virus would react in every individual. This is like the Middle Ages, when people deliberately infected themselves with smallpox. Its vigilante vaccination - you know taking immunity into your own hands."

Maybe going out to try to catch the virus in it's early stages will just aid it's spread?

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Colin Platt has 1 articles online

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Swine Flu Statistics

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This article was published on 2010/03/31