CDC,HHS Issue H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Online Resource
November 17, 2009 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted information online concerning H1NI flu (popularly known as “swine flu”) to provide general information on the disease for different audiences.
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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently forwarded an email regarding other online flu resources. The text of that email follows.
You’ve probably been hearing a lot this year about the H1N1 flu. And you may have questions. You may have even had the flu, or know a friend or neighbor who has been sick. This email features some tools suggested by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help you prevent the flu, know what to do if you get sick, and find a place to get vaccinated.
People recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to receive the vaccine as soon possible include: health care workers; pregnant women; people ages 25 through 64 with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes; anyone from 6 months through 24 years of age; and people living with or caring for infants under 6 months old.
FLU.gov is a one-stop resource with the latest updates on the H1N1 flu. On this site, you can find information on How to Prevent and Treat the Flu, Flu Essentials and Why the H1N1 Vaccine is Safe and Recommended by Health Experts. To look up where to get vaccinated in your state, visit the Vaccine Locator. This information is updated regularly as more doses are shipped each week.
An additional resource is the CDC hotline, 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636), which offers services in English and Spanish, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Heard a rumor about flu? Visit Myths & Facts to run a fact check.
Parents and caregivers can click here to access the section of the website that is geared toward them.
Pediatric and child health care providers can find information (including an information sheet regarding access to the H1N1 vaccine, a brochure and template letters for parents and caregivers, as well as posters for the office setting) here.
A list of links for specific groups at high risk for flu (including individuals with diabetes, cardiac disease and other complications) can be found here.
Asked about swine flu and thalassemia, Ellis Neufeld, MD, the Chair of the CAF Medical Advisory Board, says that “thalassemia patients who don’t have concurrent lung or heart problems aren’t thought to be at particular extra risk from H1N1, but there are several logistical issues that are important for thalassemia patients.
“1. If anything, the vaccine is even MORE important in thalassemia patients who might be required to come to the hospital for transfusion or for fever and get exposed to flu AT the hospital.
“2. Point 1 is doubly important in splenectomized patients, because indeed they must come for evaluation if high fever and feeling lousy.
“3. We don’t expect any immune system problems in combating the flu from thalassemia or chelation.
“4. Fortunately, H1N1 pandemic flu doesn’t seem to be much worse in terms of severity or lethality than ordinary seasonal flu (except that children are disproportionately among patients who become severely ill). This is yet one more reason to immunize children as soon as the vaccine becomes available.
“5. We always recommend seasonal flu vaccine too.
Flumist, the nasal vaccine, is probably appropriate for many thalassemia patients of appropriate age.”
As always, CAF urges individuals to discuss any informaton found here, or any concerns about H1N1 flu, with their physicians.