Experts believe bacteria living in the nose and throat get into lung tissue that has been inflamed by fighting the flu virus and cause pneumonia. They may then reach the blood or brain, causing even more dangerous infections. The most common sign, Dr. Schuchat said, is a sudden relapse in a flu patient who had been recovering.
Dr. Schuchat was both alerting doctors to watch for such infections and endorsing a vaccine that prevents them. The Pneumovax vaccine, which protects against 23 strains of the most common pneumonia bacteria, is routinely given to adults over 65. But any adult with asthma, emphysema, a smoking habit, diabetes, or lung, heart, kidney or liver disease should get it now, Dr. Schuchat said. Only a quarter of those younger adults have probably had it.
A/H1N1 deaths in U.S. still above epidemic threshold
2009-12-12 10:50:38 Print
HOUSTON, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Hospitalizations and deaths related to the A/H1N1 virus in the United States now continue to be higher than expected, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday.
"During week 48 (ending on Dec. 5), 7.8 percent of all deaths reported through the 122-Cities Mortality Reporting System were due to pneumonia and influenza (P&I). This percentage was above the epidemic threshold of 7.1 percent for week 48," the CDC said on its website.
Including week 48, the proportion of deaths attributed to P&I was above the epidemic threshold for the tenth consecutive week, the CDC added.
Jan. 10 kicks off National Influenza Vaccination Week. Monday targets health-care workers; Tuesday is for people with underlying health conditions; Wednesday is for children, pregnant women, and families. Thursday is for young adults. Bringing up the rear, on Friday, are seniors—the group at greatest risk of dying from H1N1.
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Pneumonia and Influenza (P&I) Mortality Surveillance
During week 51, 7.5% of all deaths reported through the 122-Cities Mortality Reporting System were due to P&I. This percentage was at the epidemic threshold of 7.5% for week 51.
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