CDC Says 1 in 3 Will Contract H1N1

First Responders Are In For A Battle

Strap yourselves in, it’s starting to get rough out there. In a story that may rival the coverage of Hurricane Katrina, the H1N1 flu pandemic is sweeping across the nation and across the media.  As of today, the CDC reports that 79 children have died in America this year due to H1N1. 

The CDC fears that the public may not fully appreciate the magnitude of the situation.  As the flu hit earlier this year, one quarter of patients afflicted ended up in the ICU, and 7% of those died.  Today, a CBS poll reports that 51% of respondents say they will pass on the vaccination.  Parents of the those most affected (under 24 years old) are in a quandary over what to do.

video courtesy CBS News

Don’t be too quick to blame the parents, as they are getting mixed messages on whether or not to vaccinate their children.  Some pediatricians are advising to hold off on the first round of vaccine because the study sample was too small (only 600) to deem its safety.

And parents are listening.  The  poll released today indicates nearly 40% of parents will choose not to vaccinate their children.  Early government agency screw-ups haven’t helped give credence to a message that could very well be true.  And the wrong decision –either way- puts the parents un a life-or-death trick bag,

The Children’s Hospital at Oklahoma University Medical Center in Oklahoma City is one example of the pandemic’s impact today:

video courtesy CBS News

Some of these infected patients are arriving at the ER by ambulance, so some first responders say the vaccine can’t come soon enough for them.  As we speak, Milwaukee Firefighters join thousands of first responders as the first to get vaccinated.

Video courtesy of WISN-TV Milwaukee

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland signed a proclamation Wednesday allowing emergency medical technicians in the state to administer flu vaccines in light of continuing concerns about the spread of H1N1 influenza.  EMT’s normally do not administer injections, but will be put into action into what Ohio calls a “state of emergency.”

As the axiom goes: “Knowledge is Power.”  So go now and seek the knowledge you need immediately to get you and your family through this crisis. 

FireDaily will continue to follow all aspects of the pandemic, and will keep a special eye focused on its effects within our first responder community.

-J

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John Mitchell

Firefighter/Paramedic and a Lieutenant in suburban Chicago

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