Monday, 12 October 2009

U of M Study Gets to H1N1's Core

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) pre-released three H1N1-related studies today.
The largest study is that from a team of scientists led by the U of M's Dr. Anand Kumar. They monitored 168 critically ill H1N1 patients and found that, though the average patient age was 32, the fatality rate was 17% indicating that young people appear to be most at-risk to the H1N1 virus.
The U of M study appears to back up the smaller, related studies also published today:

Mexico Study:
58 critically ill patients; median age 44; fatality rate 41%.

Australia / N.Z. Study:
68 critically ill patients; median age 34; fatality rate 21%.

The research found that access to mechanical respirators is key as patients' respiratory systems appear to become quickly overwhelmed once they reach the point of serious illness.
Kumar says that the results are not cause to panic, as reported by HealthDay News:

"...the value of this paper is to alert and sharpen the thinking of the authorities in terms of making sure that we do have strategies in place to mitigate what's likely to happen.... As long as we prepare, it should be handled."

Critically Ill Patients With 2009 Influenza A(H1N1) Infection in Canada
JAMA Oct 12, 2009

- Young Canadians Most At-Risk
Toronto Star Oct 12, 2009

- Sickest swine flu patients require heroic measures
Reuters Oct 12, 2009

For daily H1N1 media updates with emphasis on Manitoba and Canada see Dumpling's sister blog H1N1 Daily Media.

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