Help! I can’t stop blogging about H1N1….

Over the next few days, H1N1 will be confirmed in all 50 states. Later today, the CDC will begin posting “probable” as well as “confirmed” cases (since 99% of “probable” cases are confirmed), and soon thereafter there will be too many cases for CDC to continue to count and report each case. This will allow them to go back to the mechanisms they use to track seasonal influenza activity. I like the shift away from identifying/tracking every case.

Next we’ll need stronger guidance about testing and treatment—both of which should be reserved for those with severe illness and for those at highest risk for the complications of influenza.

Also of interest: two lines of evidence (early in vitro data from CDC labs, and the age distribution of current H1N1 cases) suggest that those over 50-60 years of age may have partial protection against this H1N1. Not enough data yet to make definitive statements, but if these observations are borne out it will help explain some of the features we’ve seen so far (especially the low case fatality rate, given that “age over 65” represents the biggest category of those at risk for complications of influenza).


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