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Advice from The Hospital for Sick Children: The H1N1 pandemic is not over, vaccination still essential

Spring 2009 saw the H1N1 pandemic spread across the world; starting in Mexico the virus spread quite rapidly then burned out before the second wave hit, giving the scientists and healthcare experts chance to prepare a vaccine for Swine Flu.  On AboutKidsHealth, The Hospital for Sick Children explains what has been learnt and gives advice to avoid the third wave of the H1N1 virus.

The Hospital for Sick Children has released a detailed review of the H1N1 virus, what happened and what lessons were learnt, one year on.  The full report can be found at: http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca

Studies have shown it has been difficult to determine how many people were infected with Swine Flu in the first two waves, as not everyone affected reported mild infections.  Whilst vaccination has been successful, it is important not to become complacent about the continuing threat of the virus.

The report is aimed at public health officials and is also to help the general public by educating them on what happened and how we have so far overcome the pandemic.

Dr Upton Allen, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto (SickKids), explains how the time line of the virus helped the planet steer away from the disease. 

The Hospital for Sick Children say vaccination still essential for the H1N1 virus

“It started as a mild infection during the spring, burned out during the summer while we prepared a vaccine and then implemented mass vaccinations programs for the second wave of infection by the fall.”

Monitoring the Swine Flu disease closely from the start by Mexico’s global disease surveillance system gave scientists excellent information about how the virus was mutating, meaning that healthcare officials could commence vaccination as soon as possible to reduce the number of people being infected.

Dr Allen warns the pandemic is not over yet, but claims vaccination is working and helping keep the number of people infected to a minimum.  Immunising the vector community thus reduces the risk of disease transmission according to The Hutterite Communities Studyi, says Dr Allen.

The advice from The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto (SickKids) is for anyone who hasn’t had a vaccination to get one, as Swine Flu is far from overii.

H1N1: What have we learned after two waves of Swine Flu? Can be read in full here: http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/News/H1N1-What-have-we-learned-after-two-waves-of-Swine-Flu.aspx?articleID=13985&categoryID=news-type.

 

About The Hospital for Sick Children

AboutKidsHealth is an initiative of The Hospital for Sick Children, also known as SickKids.
The Hospital for Sick Children is one of the largest paediatric teaching hospitals in the world and one of the world’s leading children’s health care centres.
The Hospital for Sick Children has a worldwide reputation for excellence in health care, research and teaching. SickKids is committed to improving the health and well-being of children and young people around the world.
The goal of http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca is to provide parents and healthcare providers with reliable, accurate and up-to-date information on all areas of child health.

http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca was launched in 2004 and offers an extensive library of information for families with children who have a medical condition such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), diabetes, brain tumours, heart conditions, pain or epilepsy, as well as explanations of asthma symptoms and other child health information.
There are also complete guides to Pregnancy & Babies and Premature Babies.

Contact AboutKidsHealth
AboutKidsHealth Family Resource Centre
Main Floor, Room M200
The Hospital for Sick Children
555 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
Canada
M5G 1X8

Published by NewsCertain

Editors Notes:
i The Hutterite Communities Study was an experimental test which used 49 remote faming communities to demonstrate whether herd immunity could be achieved by vaccinating only children.
iiThe Southern USA population still shows widespread activity due to low vaccination rates.



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