CDC Flu Wrap

The Centers for Disease Control has reported only nine cases of flu-related pediatric mortality across seven states during the week ending December 12. This the lowest number reported by the CDC so far this quarter.

California reported three flu-related deaths among children, the highest among the seven affected states.  North Carolina, Florida, Kentucky, California, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Texas have one case of pediatric death each.

The CDC confirmed that of the nine pediatric deaths, eight were H1N1 cases. The second wave of H1N1 continues to fade though as the number of states with widespread cases drops to 11 and cases of deaths among children progressively decline. Despite this, H1N1 remains a significant threat particularly in California, where $2.5 million-worth of gloves and masks is set to be distributed in public schools to combat the onslaught of  the pandemic flu.

According to the CDC, there have been 343 flu-related pediatric deaths thus far in 2009. There were 90 in 2008, 77 in 2007, 43 in 2006 and 45 in 2005.

In spite of the aggressive information campaign of the government regarding influenza, myths about the illness still abound and they are as hard to fight as the virus itself. Some of the flu myths are as follows:

1)      Antibiotics can fight the flu. The flu is a viral illness and Antiobiotics, by definition, only fights bacterial infections.

2)      Flu strikes only once during a season. There are several types of influenza, and each one can strike the same person during one flu season.

3)      Cold weather causes the flu. While cold weather might increase the risk of flu, a warmer climate does not in any way protect you from the virus.