H1N1 Influenza — a report from the trenches
The new flu, the so-called H1N1 strain, has certainly landed with a bang. My own experience with it thus far is that it doesn’t appear to be much worse for the individual child than “usual” seasonal flu — every year we have severe cases in the PICU — but the degree to which disease from this strain is compressed in time is remarkable. That is, it is causing a huge number of infections in a very brief time period. This probably is because the pool of susceptible people includes pretty much all of us because this strain is so new.
Still, we have had several cases already in the PICU and I expect to see more. Nationally, 11 children died last week from flu; there have been 95 such deaths since last April. The very best place to get updated news of the epidemic is from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Their influenza monitoring site is here.