According to the article “H1N1 has killed 2,837, but not more serious: WHO”, by Reuter’s journalist Stephanie Nebehay, the World Health Organization has reported updated information on the H1N1 virus based on data from South America, which is coming out of winter, and parts of Asia, which are experiencing an early flu season. So far, in terms of its deadliness, the H1N1 has not evolved into a very deadly strain. So far, so good.Most of us are going to come in contact with the bug, it’s unavoidable.
According to WHO, about a third of us will come down with something. People will die from this flu, as is true of all flus. The deaths so far fit the pattern of pandemic flus, not typical flus, that of the the “inverted death curve” as described in previous posts (find links below): regular flus tend to kill the very old and very young, but pandemics tend to attack older children and non elderly adults.
Going forward, “how deadly” is the unknown. This brings us to the question of vaccinations. There are mortality risks associated with catching H1N1 but there may be mortality risks associated with the vaccine as well. For example, in 1976 the flu killed one person but the vaccine killed 25 (from Guillain-Barré Syndrome – remember that name as you’ll probably be hearing it over the winter.) So, everyone will need to consider the risks/reward of vaccinating.
How deadly will this H1N1 be? How old are you? How healthy are you? How many will have died from the vaccine? We have yet to know the answers to these questions.
We will continue to provide updates regularly.
Click the links below to read Robert’s other Expert Perspective articles on this subject.
> Swine Flu:What Employers Really Need to Know
> Swine Flu Update 2
> Swine Flu Update 3
> Swine Flu Update 4
> Swine Flu Update 5
> Swine FLu Update 6
> Swine Flu: How can I prepare my Company for an H1N1 Pandemic
Contact Robert Cirkiel at firstname.lastname@example.org