Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mysterious New Jersey Swine Flu Cases

In my state, New Jersey, there have already been fourteen reported cases of swine flu. Four deaths happened to women this week, all to patients in their fifty, three with pre-existing "health conditions". We'd like to have more details, please. What were those "health conditions" exactly?

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, linked here gives a breakdown but only in numbers of flu cases and deaths in each county of New Jersey.

H1N1 Confirmed Cases, and Deaths :
Cases Deaths
Atlantic--------- 20
Bergen--------- 61, 1
Burlington----- 62
Camden--------- 32, 1
Cape May------- 3
Cumberland---- 14
Essex------------ 103, 1
Gloucester----- 10
Hudson--------- 81, 1
Hunterdon------ 17
Mercer----------- 43
Middlesex------ 113, 2
Monmouth----- 56, 1
Morris--------- 43
Ocean---------- 47, 2
Passaic-------- 58
Salem---------- 2
Somerset------ 35, 1
Sussex--------- 13, 1
Union---------- 60, 3
Warren--------- 22
NJ Total------- 895, 14
Probable Cases----- 455
updated as of 7/15/09, 3:00 pm

I fear the number of cases (895) is vague and inaccurate. For example, my own fifteen-year-old girl twice came down with strong flu as others close to her in school were diagnosed with swine flu. We suspect without knowing for sure that she had a mild case and that wouldn't be listed on this site of confirmed cases.

Optimistically, an article in The Wall Street Journal claims that schools will work intensively this fall to fight the flu.

The number of confirmed U.S. infections is now 40,617, with 263 deaths, the CDC said Friday. But the agency believes that more than one million people have been infected and weren't tested for the virus or didn't visit a doctor. WSJ

The Star Ledger newspaper is reporting that the state of New Jersey will receive USD$10 million in federal funding to prepare for the fall flu season.

While a vaccination will arrive too late to help the families of these flu victims, it can't come soon enough as the flu is hitting many, especially the young. A provisional one may be available earlier than the fully licensed one expected to be available at year's end. [Star Ledger] Luckily, those who've had a mild case might not get it again this fall. We can only hope.

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