Sunday, October 25, 2009

Update on tracking the H1N1 swine flu

The amount of mis-information on the H1N1 Swine Flu is monumental. It is extremely important to find accurate and up-to-date information free of political and governmental bias. In that regard, there are sources online that graphically provide that kind of information.

The most impressive and current Website is FluTracker. This map and the data behind it were compiled by Dr. Henry Niman, a biomedical researcher in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, using technology provided by Rhiza Labs and Google. The map is compiled using data from official sources, news reports and user-contributions and updated multiple times per day.

One thing you can see immediately is that the flu is a serious concern. As of October 25, 2009, my own state, Arizona had 2736 confirmed or probable cases of the flu with 21 deaths, so far. However, in Pennsylvania there have been 22,503 cases with 12 deaths and only 1 negative.

Now what can you do about it? Wash your hand frequently. Avoid crowds (yeah). It might be helpful to know the percentage of hospitalizations for the flu. Here is a recent assessment from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
The percentage of hospitalizations for 2009 H1N1 flu in the United States varies by age group. From August 30, 2009 through October 10, 2009, states reported 4,958 laboratory-confirmed 2009 H1N1 hospitalizations to CDC. The percentage of 2009 H1N1 related hospitalizations that occurred among those 0 to 4 years old was 19%; among those 5 years to 18 years was 25%; among people 19 years to 24 years was 9%; among those 25 years to 49 years was 24%; among people 50 to 64 years was 15%; and among people 65 years and older was 7%.
You can see that there is a distinct advantage to being old.

1 comment:

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