Friday, October 30, 2009

"Swine Flu Parties"?! Sounds Crazy, But At Least You'll Have Company

"Questions & Answers / 2009 H1N1 Flu ("Swine Flu") and You"
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (October 20, 2009)

"In The News
"What percentage of hospitalizations for 2009 H1N1 flu occur in different age groups in the United States?

"The percentage of hospitalizations for 2009 H1N1 flu in the United States varies by age group. From August 30, 2009 through October 10, 2009, states reported 4,958 laboratory-confirmed 2009 H1N1 hospitalizations to CDC. The percentage of 2009 H1N1 related hospitalizations that occurred among those 0 to 4 years old was 19%; among those 5 years to 18 years was 25%; among people 19 years to 24 years was 9%; among those 25 years to 49 years was 24%; among people 50 to 64 years was 15%; and among people 65 years and older was 7%. For a graphical representation of this data, please see the chart below...."

Most of the page is like that paragraph: informative, useful, but about as exciting as watching paint dry.

I might have posted about it anyway, since it does contain a useful set of Q and A, but what really got my attention was this:

"...What is CDC’s recommendation regarding 'swine flu parties'?
'Swine flu parties' are gatherings during which people have close contact with a person who has 2009 H1N1 flu in order to become infected with the virus. The intent of these parties is for a person to become infected with what for many people has been a mild disease, in the hope of having natural immunity 2009 H1N1 flu virus that might circulate later and cause more severe disease.

"CDC does not recommend 'swine flu parties' as a way to protect against 2009 H1N1 flu in the future. While the disease seen in the current 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak has been mild for many people, it has been severe and even fatal for others. There is no way to predict with certainty what the outcome will be for an individual or, equally important, for others to whom the intentionally infected person may spread the virus.

"CDC recommends that people with 2009 H1N1 flu avoid contact with others as much as possible. If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick...."

I think I get it:
  • Catch 2009 H1N1 influenza to work up an immunity to 2009 H1N1 influenza
  • Hope that
    • Yours is one of the non-fatal cases
    • You don't pass it along to your
      • Friends
      • Family
Of course, a person who goes to a "swine flu party" could hope that people he or she infects get a mild case, too. "Hope springs eternal," and all that. I think I'll stick with trying not to catch 2009 H1N1 influenza in the first place.

On the other hand, I may already have it: I had a fever of just over a hundred today, so that cold I've had might be this new flu. Or, something else.


List of posts relating to Swine flu 2009; and list of background resources:

1 comment:

Brigid said...

"Swine flu parties"

Inoculation for those too cheep/dense to get the vaccine. *headdesk*

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