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 haveto read these studies and laugh out loud. The first study was concerned thatmore children were not diagnosed properly and were "deprived" of flu medicine.
The researchers got this one completely screwed up. Not being diagnosedwas one of the best things that could have happened to those children. Conventionalmedicine has absolutely no useful drugs for this illness -- nada, zero,zilch.
The only thing they can offer them are potentially dangerous potions thatwill only increase the coffers of the drug companies.
No, the best things for these kids is to go home and followthe guidelines I list at the end of the page, which will aid them far betterin recovering from this illness than any medicine ever can. Will they get afever? I sure hope so as feveris a major blessing in disguise and one of the ways that children develophealthy immune systems.
This is also consistent with thehygiene hypothesis that is now being supported by an increasing number ofgood studies. Acquiring these viral infections early in life is not a bad thing.It actually helps build children's immune systems much stronger and helpsthem radically decrease their risk of developing heart disease, allergies andasthma as they grow older.
The other story seems to be a repeat of two years ago when there was a fluvaccine 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 600 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 cameon the heels of an announcementthat there would no vaccine shortage this year. However, that was beforethe 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 towardwinter and the fluvaccine shortage will "magically" reappear. Sure makesone wonder if this is not a creation of evil marketing geniuses to create moredemand for this dangerous and unnecessary vaccine.
This wouldn't be unreasonable as when you carefully analyze the CDC'sprevious comments on flu deaths it is highly deceptive and gives one theimpression that the flu is far more dangerous than it really is.
My book on a related topic, TheGreat Bird Flu Hoax, will be out in late August or early September. I amactually just finishing final edits on it now. It is an amazing expose on thistopic and is loaded with many powerful insights.
Till then no need to worry because the flu is not a summer illness. Onlyseems to strike in the months when most people don't have access to enough healthysunshine. 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