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Swine flu threat back, doctor says

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Many people are suffering from “flu fatigue” after last year’s swine flu scare, but the H1N1 strain of flu is expected to surface again this year and it still poses a threat to children, a Baton Rouge pediatrician said Wednesday.

“Swine flu is still a concern and is expected to be the dominant strain of flu this year,” said Dr. Jay Collinsworth, vice president of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians.

“It caused severe illnesses in children last year,” he said of the 2009-2010 swine flu outbreak. “The death rate in children from H1N1 was four times the death rate we see during a normal flu season.”

Collinsworth made the comments at Dufrocq Elementary School where the East Baton Rouge Parish school system launched its school-based flu vaccination program.

Sue Catchings, chief executive officer of Health Centers in Schools, said this is the third year for the program and the goal is to vaccinate 13,000 children or 40 percent of the district’s students. About 9,500 children were vaccinated last year, she said.

The biggest challenge is educating parents, who have to sign consent forms in order for their children to be vaccinated, Catchings said.

“The message used to be vaccinate every adult,” Catchings said. “Now we’re trying to get parents used to the idea that the new message is vaccinate every child.”

She said research has shown that children, packed into school classrooms, spread the disease around a community.

The main concern is when children spread the disease to those who are most vulnerable, including children under 6 months old who can’t be vaccinated, the chronically ill and the elderly.

But some parents are still concerned about vaccines.

“There are people who believe there is some association between vaccinations and autism,” Catchings said. “But that has been debunked; there is no research that supports a connection between the two.”

Collinsworth said there are also many myths surrounding the flu vaccine, including the belief that people can “get the flu from the vaccination.”

Others are concerned that after the inundation of information over the swine flu, people are just tired of worrying about the disease.

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Written by demon53

November 11, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ron Simon, Isomsmith and Real Views, william broussard. william broussard said: Swine flu threat back, doctor says : […]

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