Flu infections in young children are often missed by doctors, a new study reports. The diagnosis was missed in four out of five preschoolers treated for flu symptoms at a doctor's office or emergency room, and in about three-quarters of those who were hospitalized.
During the four-year study, the researchers conducted their own lab tests on children who saw doctors for symptoms such as cough, runny nose and fever.
Only 28 percent of hospitalized flu cases and 17 percent of those who visited a doctor or emergency room were diagnosed with the flu. Other diagnoses included asthma, pneumonia and general viral illness.
The researchers, two of which received grant support and consulting fees from MedImmune Inc., the maker of a spray flu vaccine, said using a rapid flu test more often could detect more cases of flu and help prevent its spread. Further, one-third of the children could have taken a drug like Tamiflu to ease their symptoms.
The results were presented to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) panel, which recommended expanding 2006 flu shots for children between the ages of 2 and 5; flu shots are already recommended for children aged 6-23 months.
Contaminated Flu Vaccines?
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning letter to drug maker Sanofi Pasteur after the company reported that some batches of its flu vaccine, manufactured in Swiftwater, Pennsylvania, failed sterility tests.
The FDA inspected the plant and said none of the affected material was used in making vaccine. However, because the source of contamination could not be determined, there is no way to be sure the problem was corrected, thus prompting the warning letter.
Sanofi Pasteur is expected to manufacture 50 million doses, or about half, of flu vaccine for the United States in 2006.
Two interesting stories relating to flu this week. Sometimes you just have to read these studies and laugh out loud. The first study was concerned that more children were not diagnosed properly and were "deprived" of flu medicine.
The researchers got this one completely screwed up. Not being diagnosed was one of the best things that could have happened to those children. Conventional medicine has absolutely no useful drugs for this illness -- nada, zero, zilch.
The only thing they can offer them are potentially dangerous potions that will only increase the coffers of the drug companies.
No, the best things for these kids is to go home and follow the guidelines I list at the end of the page, which will aid them far better in recovering from this illness than any medicine ever can. Will they get a fever? I sure hope so as fever is a major blessing in disguise and one of the ways that children develop healthy immune systems.
This is also consistent with the hygiene hypothesis that is now being supported by an increasing number of good studies. Acquiring these viral infections early in life is not a bad thing. It actually helps build children's immune systems much stronger and helps them radically decrease their risk of developing heart disease, allergies and asthma as they grow older.
The other story seems to be a repeat of two years ago when there was a flu vaccine shortage that caused some of these crazy scenarios:
A number of states and the nation's capital threatened doctors and nurses with fines or even jail time if they gave flu vaccines to healthy people.
- In probably the most notorious spectacle of panic, one elderly
woman died after standing
in line for a flu shot at a grocery store in northern California for FIVE
HOURS! With nowhere to sit, the 79-year-old woman fell as she walked to
find shade, hitting her head on the pavement, and later died.
- The town of Bloomfield,
N.J. held a lottery to find out who would receive one of the city's estimated
300 flu vaccines.
- In some cases, physicians were even taking verbal threats
from patients. One particularly incensed patient blamed
a Nebraska doctor for not being able to get a flu shot, and hoped she'd
be happy "when I get sick and die because it will be your fault."
- In one case, patients weren't the only ones who were irate. Some
doses of vaccine were stolen from a pediatrician's office inAurora, <st1:state w:st="on">Colo.
- Subsequent price-gouging in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:state w:st="on">Kansas lifted the price of a 10-dose vial from $80 to $600.
It is interesting to note that this flu vaccine shortage prediction came on the heels of an announcement that there would no vaccine shortage this year. However, that was before the FDA issued a warning letter to the primary flu vaccine producer.
My guess, though, is that they will turn their story around as we head toward winter and the flu vaccine shortage will "magically" reappear. Sure makes one wonder if this is not a creation of evil marketing geniuses to create more demand for this dangerous and unnecessary vaccine.
This wouldn't be unreasonable as when you carefully analyze the CDC's previous comments on flu deaths it is highly deceptive and gives one the impression that the flu is far more dangerous than it really is.
My book on a related topic, The Great Bird Flu Hoax, will be out in late August or early September. I am actually just finishing final edits on it now. It is an amazing expose on this topic and is loaded with many powerful insights.
Till then no need to worry because the flu is not a summer illness. Only seems to strike in the months when most people don't have access to enough healthy sunshine. When it does come you can always apply my flu guidelines below.
Guidelines to Preventing the Flu
- Eat a healthy diet and avoid sugar
- Get enough rest
- Eat fresh garlic regularly
- Use an effective tool to help you address the stress in your life
- Wash your hands regularly
- Take fish oil/cod liver oil
- Exercise regularly