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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Widespread flu cases jump N.J. to No. 2 on national list

Instead of investigating clear cut examples that vaccines don’t work as hoped, our government’s knee jerk reaction is to plug for more and more shots. NJ leads the vaccine lunacy. We become the first state in the country to mandate the flu shot to all kids 6 to 59 mos of age this flu season, largely because our youngest children are “vectors for disease.” In return for this insanity, our state paper reports this morning that we rank #2 in nationwide flu cases? Widespread flu cases jump N.J. to No. 2 on national list (see article below).

All 16 children who contracted pertussis during the recent Hunterdon County, NJ outbreak were vaccinated. The US recommends 6 DPT shots by age 11. What was the NJDHSS response to this abject example of vaccine failure? To blame it on the fact that there’s no licensed childhood vaccine between 7 to 9 years of age. Are there more pertussis vaccines in our children’s future?

The Kool Aid must taste good.


Widespread flu cases jump N.J. to No. 2 on national list

Flu season is slow out of the gate nationally this year, but New Jersey has jumped to the head of the field, becoming the second state to report widespread cases.
Virginia is the only other state to report a high volume of fevers, aches, pains and general malaise in every region, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although major spikes in school absenteeism have not been reported here, clinics, doctors' offices and emergency rooms are reporting an increase in patients complaining they simply feel lousy.

State surveillance shows Essex County had the most cases in the past two weeks, while rural counties reported the fewest. Long term care facilities and emergency wards report the number of cases is rising and higher than it was at the same time last year.

On the good news side, according to the CDC, the match between this year's flu vaccine and the strains reported -- primarily those known as A and AH1 -- appears to be a good match, unlike last year, when scientists wrongly predicted which of several strains of flu would descend on the New Jersey public.

On the bad news side, doctors fear the number of cases may be under-reported, because too many out-of-work victims don't have the insurance coverage or the money to seek medical attention.

"It's a tough call, but we urge people who really feel sick to get some medical attention," said Donald Perlman, an immunologist at Beth Israel Hospital and assistant clinical professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. "We need to remind people that 36,000 Americans died last year and 100,000 were hospitalized from complications from the flu."

New Jersey gained national attention last fall when it became the first state to require flu vaccines for all children under the age of 5 attending public day care centers or preschools. State officials said it is too early to determine if the requirement made a difference in contagion among the young, although some parents pulled their children out of school in protest.

Experts noted it is still not too late to get a flu shot, although it takes a few weeks for the vaccine to take effect. Flu season typically peaks between December and March.

Annually, according to federal statistics, at least 20,000 children are hospitalized with complications from the flu. The complications, including dehydration and pneumonia, are most likely to affect young children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.

None of the reports to date indicate that 2009 will be an unusually virulent flu season, but experts urged people to take precautions: get a flu shot; practice good preventative hygiene, such as washing your hands repeatedly throughout the day and avoiding close contact with people who are coughing or sneezing, and consider antiviral medication within 48 hours after flu-like symptoms appear.

The anti-viral medications caused some controversy this year when it was discovered some flu strains have already become antiviral-resistant. Experts suggested contacting your physician to discuss whether antiviral medication is appropriate in each case.

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