Sick But No Fever? It May Be Swine Flu!

Update September 23, 2009, as reported in today’s U.S. News & World Report:

According to Dr Richard Wenzel, a swine flu expert and former president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, at the beginning of the H1N1 (swine flu) outbreak in Mexico, only 30 percent of patients hospitalized with the infection had fever initially.  Fifteen (15%) percent of patients never developed a fever at all.  What usually sent them to the hospital was shortness of breath or chest pain. In Chile, about half of those with confirmed H1N1 had no fever; many just had a headache and runny nose. 

______________________________________    Original Post  __________________________________
31 August 2009
A few days ago, I wrote a blog entry which was intended to summarize "everything you need to know about Swine Flu (H1N1)," including links to primary sources.  (For link to that blog entry, click HERE). 
There’s good news and bad news.  The good news is that most cases of the H1N1 flu are mild.  The bad news is that, in a small percentage of people, the virus directly attacks the lung tissue. People with this variant of H1N1 will become severely ill and will need hospital based life support to survive. People particularly at risk include asthmatics and others whose respiratory systems are already compromised, minorities, pregnant women, people with high blood pressure, and the morbidly obese.
What I’m most alarmed about — and the reason for this blog entry — is my fear that current criteria for diagnosing H1N1 will miss significant numbers of infected and contagious people, thus contributing to rapid spread of the illness in the population.  Namely, unlike other types of flu, a person can have flu yet be walking around with no fever.  When fever is used as a primary screening measure, therefore, significant numbers of people will not be diagnosed and will therefore continue to spread germs in the general population. 
Public health authorities have known since April that a significant number of people infected with H1N1 have NO FEVER.  Yet, the USA Center for Disease Control has not revised its criteria for clinical evaluation.  My understanding is that it is being left to individual school districts to create their own policies.  At the present time, in my school district, screening for flu still includes fever as a criterion, even though the evidence shows this will result in a false negative assessment somewhere between 12% and 50% of the time!!   If this is correct, it means that significant numbers of H1N1 cases will not be diagnosed quickly.  
School children are one of the groups most at risk for this flu, since older members of the population seem to have some residual resistance due to swine flu epidemics in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  If children are not screened, diagnosed, and contagious students excluded, the virus could spread like wildfire.
Because of the potentially deadly side of H1N1, the consequences of leaving a contagious student in the the general school population can be very serious.
 

I URGE THAT SCHOOLS REVISE CRITERIA FOR SCHOOL EXCLUSION SO THAT

CRITERIA FOR EXCLUSION FIT THE SYMPTOMS OF THIS FLU!

 

references:

 

Many Swine Flu Cases Have No Fever

By LAWRENCE K. ALTMAN

Published: May 13, 2009 NY Times

TO READ ARTICLE, CLICK HERE

__________

Pandemic Flu Fever Failure Fuels

School Cluster Explosions
Recombinomics Commentary 17:06
August 21, 2009

TO READ ARTICLE, CLICK HERE
____________

Swine Flu: The Next Wave
Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2009

TO READ ARTICLE, CLICK HERE
_______________


Should Fever Be the Main Screening
Tool in School H1N1 Decision Making?


Discussion thread on Flutrackers internet forum

TO READ CLICK HERE

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1 Comment

Filed under Health and wellness

One response to “Sick But No Fever? It May Be Swine Flu!

  1. i love this. but i can not help to say that i maybe have H1N1.i have all the thing.stiil not sure.

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