Of course just after my last post I would hear on the national news (and by forwarded email) of a young healthy teenager who tragically died from the H1N1 virus.  As disturbing and gut-wrenching such stories always are, it is also disturbing to me how the media portrays the event.

The story does include comments on how this is very rare, that most cases of these illnesses will be self-limiting and mild to moderate, but that is only briefly mentioned.  As presented, it will increase fear and demands for stock piling of anti-viral medicines like Tamiflu (that have minor effects on the illness at best) and demands for the vaccine from many who have lower risks.

Tens of thousands of deaths will happen each year from the regular strain of influenza, and many others from other infections.  It makes little sense to fixate on this one more than the others, or the 40 thousands deaths each year from car accidents or those who pass away from cardiovascular troubles from heart attacks to strokes.  While H1N1 deserves our attention, it’s important to stay focused on the big picture and overall risks and take care of things that we can influence with healthy lifestyle and common sense.

2 Responses to “H1N1”

  1. elle says:

    Is it necessary to make an appointment to get a regular flu shot or can I just drop in?

  2. I am sorry for the delay to your post. This blog stuff is relatively new for me. We have no seasonal flu vaccine now, but should soon. For established patients, a drop in can be done without appointments, Tues, Weds, Thurs, morning time (9:30 to 11:30) or in the afternoon (2 to 4).

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