Hat Tip again and again to Helblindi over at PFI.
Those Over 50 Have Higher Risk of H1N1 Death: Study
By: Mike Huckman, Reporter | 03 Nov 2009 | 05:26 PM ET
A new study says doctors should be especially vigilant about people who are over 50 with flu symptoms because they appear to have a higher risk of death from H1N1.
New York Public Information Campaign Warns of Swine Flu
The "Journal of the American Medical Association" reported deaths among 18 to 20 percent of seriously ill, hospitalized H1N1 flu patients over age 50 who were studied this year. That's the highest death rate among any age group in the California study, which was a look back at more than 1,000 hospitalized cases that occurred between April and August.
However, infants younger than a year old had the highest rate of hospitalization, especially those less than two months old. Because infants younger than six months can't get a flu vaccine, the JAMA report affirms the recommendation that people who are in close contact with new babies be in the priority group for the H1N1 vaccine.
In addition, the JAMA study says a disproportionate number of obese patients, when compared with seasonal flu statistics, were affected, and that the finding needs to be studied more. Researchers also say the fact that hospitalization and death occurred among all age groups and that 30 percent of the hospitalized cases were severely ill refutes the "common perception" that H1N1 is mild. The median age of hospitalized flu patients in the study was 27.
The CDC today said that H1N1 is continuing to spread, but there's no evidence that it is becoming more virulent. Officials said they are seeing "almost no seasonal flu." As of today, the CDC reports that more than 31 million doses of H1N1 vaccine are available, that the supply is steadily increasing, but not as quickly as the agency would like.