Why is there so much concern about H1N1?….. Should I be worried and should I get (myself and family) vaccinated?

Why is there so much concern about H1N1?….. Should I be worried and should I get (myself and family) vaccinated?

Flu viruses originate, persist and propagate
in birds. Flu viruses in birds rarely infect  humans directly but mutate
constantly and eventually are able to infect animals that  we come in contact
with, i.e. livestock. After more mutations in livestock the virus gains  ability
to infect humans and we get it from them. We in turn give it to  other humans.


There was a worldwide influenza
infection during WWI from 1918-1919 where  an estimated 100,000,000 people
died. Yes, that's millions of people. It was called the  'Spanish Flu'. 
Unlike regular seasonal flu, it hit young healthy people especially hard.
It  also came in 'waves' and there were 3 distinct outbreaks in the US.
After one year the  epidemic mysteriously stopped and scientists have never
discovered why it was so deadly or why it just stopped.

The virus has been recovered and we know
that descendants of Spanish Flu have  persisted in pigs for the last 90
years. DNA analysis of H1N1 flu shows it is made from 4  different genetic
versions of the original lethal Spanish flu. H1N1s disturbing propensity  to
kill the young and pregnant has lead to concern we're facing another
prolonged  worldwide infection.

There were 2 H1N1 epidemics last year and
another emerging (possibly). So far  50,000,000 Americans have had H1N1 and
10,000 have died, including 1,100 children  and 7,500 young adults. Though it's
percentage mortality is no where near the Spanish  Flu, it disproportionately
harms the young and healthy.


While I've seen a good number of
middle aged people with mild cases of H1N1, some  have been so ill they
missed 2-3 weeks of work and it took 2 months to recover.  Therefore, I
think everyone needs a H1N1 vaccination, not just the young or pregnant. 
I've had mine, as have my wife and children. 

Dr. John Launius - Lakepointe Urgent Care - Lewisville

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