FLU ROUNDUP: GF children’s H1N1 clinic Sunday, Crookston clinic todayPolk County Public Health will offer a H1N1 vaccination clinic from 2 to 6 p.m. today for pregnant women and children 6 months to 4 years old and household members & caregivers of infants less than 6 months of age. Healthy children from ages 2 to 4 are encouraged to ask for FluMist. The clinic will be held at the county health office, 721 S. Minnesota St., Crookston. For more information, call (218) 281-3385 or (800) 823-2858.
By: Herald Staff and Wire Report, Grand Forks Herald
Children’s H1N1 clinic Sunday at Alerus, Crookston clinic today
Grand Forks Public Health and Altru Health System announced Thursday they will hold an H1N1 immunization clinic Sunday in the Alerus Center for children ages 2 to 9. The clinic will run from 1 to 4 p.m. or until the vaccine runs out.
People are asked to enter through Door No. 5 on the east side of the Alerus.
The vaccine that will be administered is FluMist, which is a weakened live virus, so it is important that the children are healthy when they receive it and have no chronic health problems, including asthma.
For more information, call (866) 207-2880 from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Polk County clinic
Polk County Public Health will offer a H1N1 vaccination clinic from 2 to 6 p.m. today for pregnant women, children 6 months to 4 years old and household members & caregivers of infants less than 6 months of age. Healthy children from ages 2 to 4 are encouraged to ask for FluMist.
The clinic will be held at the county health office, 721 S. Minnesota St., Crookston.
For more information, call (218) 281-3385 or (800) 823-2858.
Minnesota pigs’ flu
Final tests confirm that six pigs from the Minnesota State Fair contracted swine flu, three more than initial research had indicated.
The U.S. Agriculture Department said Thursday follow-up tests confirmed the presence of the H1N1 virus, more commonly known as swine flu, in six samples taken as a part of a university research project at the Minnesota State Fair from Aug. 26 to Sept. 1.
USDA said it was still waiting on final tests for six more samples.
The tests confirm the first cases of pigs contracting swine flu in theU.S. — something agriculture officials had expected. Herd infections had already been reported in Canada, Australia, Argentina, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Norway.
Authorities have said they do not plan to take any special measures despite confirmation of H1N1. Farmers have been advised to watch their herds for flu symptoms, and a swine flu vaccination for pigs is being developed.
6 million cases?
As many as 5.7 million Americans were infected with swine flu during the first few months of the pandemic, according to estimates from federal health officials.
Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 1.8 million to 5.7 million Americans were infected from mid-April through July 23. The figures are the CDC’s most specific calculation to date.
They also estimated 9,000 to 21,000 hospitalizations occurred during that time. The estimates are in a CDC publication, Emerging Infectious Diseases, and were posted on the journal’s Web site this week.
To come up with the numbers, the scientists assumed that most people infected with swine had only mild illnesses and did not get medical care or get tested. For every confirmed case, they estimated probably 80 others occurred. And for every confirmed hospitalization, there were probably three others.
Rates of testing and hospitalization have dropped since the pandemic began, so the same calculation couldn’t be done for cases since late July.
The CDC also provided an update on a shortage of the children’s version of the drug Tamiflu, a first-line treatment for swine flu. The shortage first emerged last month. Since then, the federal government has released 300,000 pediatric Tamiflu doses to states from a national medicine stockpile.
The shortage occurred because the drug’s manufacturer, Switzerland-based Roche Holdings, decided to focus production on adult-strength capsules as it dealt with increasing demand for the medication.
Though there are scattered shortages of pediatric doses, adult-strength Tamiflu pills are in good supply, and pharmacies can turn them into a Tamiflu syrup for children, said Schuchat, who heads the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
With Dad a world leader and Nobel Prize winner, Malia and Sasha Obama surely could have been first in line when vaccinations began for swine flu.
They weren’t, the White House said.
But that hasn’t stopped complaints that President Barack Obama’s daughters got preferential treatment.
“You definitely think there’s some favoritism going on,” said Vernon Stanley, who stood for hours in the snow Tuesday to get his 6-year-old granddaughter vaccinated near Salt Lake City.
Snarky comments began popping up on blogs and other online sites after Tuesday’s announcement that the Obama girls got vaccinated by the White House doctor last week.
“We have two very compromised special needs children in our home” but can’t find any vaccine, Walter Ponfick of New Braunfels, Texas, said in comments posted on a Fox News blog. “Makes me think just the important population is able to be taken care of.”
Many doctors and public health experts have a different take.
For one thing, children are one of the high-risk groups the government says should get swine flu vaccine first. Even then, the Obama girls weren’t rushed to the head of the line. They got their vaccine at least two weeks after the first Americans received their shots and, according to Michelle Obama’s spokeswoman, only after vaccine became available to other Washington schoolchildren. And no vaccine shortages have been reported in Washington’s schools.
Announcing that the girls have been vaccinated “is a great example for all families,” said Dr. Judith Palfrey, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Fight in flu line
A fight broke out Thursday at a Reno, Nev., clinic giving shots for swine flu when someone reportedly tried to cut in line.
Washoe County Health District spokeswoman Judy Davis said she didn’t have any details of the incident, but it involved people in high-risk groups waiting for a chance to get the shot.
A witness told the Reno Gazette-Journal that a man took a swing at a woman, then jumped on her, and they fell to the ground.
They left after a security guard stepped in and broke up the fight.
Davis said 1,200 vaccines were available and 200 to 300 people were unable to get one.
Health officials urged people to be patient and courteous.
This report includes material from Herald staff reports and The Associated Press.