Thought You Had the H1N1 Flu Already? You Probably Didn’t.

Posted on October 21, 2009

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Given all the hysteria this summer about the H1N1 flu, you’ll be surprised to find out that this type of flu is probably not as prevalent as we’ve been lead to believe.

Why the uncertainty?

From CBS News:

“In late July, the CDC abruptly advised states to stop testing for H1N1 flu, and stopped counting individual cases. The rationale given for the CDC guidance to forego testing and tracking individual cases was: why waste resources testing for H1N1 flu when the government has already confirmed there’s an epidemic?”

Since an epidemic had already been declared, they stopped testing and counting actual cases (against the advice of some professionals) and began to diagnose H1N1 based on symptomatology and risk factors.  

But, when lab data was examined from tests done before the testing stopped, it turned out very few actually were sick from the H1N1, even those with the highest risks factors:

“We asked all 50 states for their statistics on state lab-confirmed H1N1 prior to the halt of individual testing and counting in July. The results reveal a pattern that surprised a number of health care professionals we consulted. The vast majority of cases were negative for H1N1 as well as seasonal flu, despite the fact that many states were specifically testing patients deemed to be most likely to have H1N1 flu, based on symptoms and risk factors, such as travel to Mexico.”

So now, if you think you’ve had the swine flu and are immune, you might not be.  Unless you got your diagnosis confirmed via lab testing, the CDC is recommending you get an H1N1 vaccine (if you can, given that they are in high demand and running late in production) because you might not actually be immune.

Episodes like this make me all the more concerned about a government run health care.

Posted in: Health Care