Friday, December 18, 2009

Local Swine Flu News

The numbers nationwide have dropped to next to nothing. Yet the CDC announces the death toll increased 10 fold based on new ways of estimating. The vaccine hasn't been used widely in this area because of the shortages, and the protective effects take 2-4 weeks to materialize. The reason the numbers are dropping is because EVERYONE had the infection. Ok not everyone; but close enough to make it very difficult for the swine flu to spread. But the bottom line message repeated in most of the news casts still is "the most important thing you can do is get vaccinated". Get vaccinated even though one third or more of the population has already been infected? Get vaccinated even though there's no evidence that it prevents infection much less saves lives? Get vaccinated with an accepted risk of adverse reactions on the order of 1 per 100,000 doses?

Why wouldn't the people creating the news ask these experts with the CDC "why did your numbers shift so wildly?" or "why are we seeing decreases in disease rates despite the vaccine not being available?"

"why do 30%-50% of medical professionals still refuse the vaccination?"

Don't they like drama? Doesn't controversy cause ratings to spike?

YAKIMA COUNTY --- Flu numbers are already going down. But experts still warn you; be cautious.

In Yakima County, the number of flu cases dropped from 31% in September and October to only 4% in the first week in December. The numbers count both H1N1 and the Seasonal Flu. While the Yakima Health District calls the numbers promising, they still urge caution. Jessica Brown is with the Yakima Health District.

"Both with H1N1 and the seasonal flu, we encourage people to get vaccinated as soon as they can. With the seasonal flu, we yearly don't see it peak until at least January, sometimes into February or even March."

The Health District thinks vaccines and hand washing have played a big role in bringing the flu numbers down.

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