144 Kids Die from H1N1 — Tamiflu Stockpile Released

Picture of a long line of Swine Flu vaccine on a assemlby line.

Now this headline is a shocker, intentionally so, because it sets up a perspective that I wish to examine.

If your child is among the 144, nothing else matters, particularly context. To everyone else, what’s most disturbing in the headline isn’t the number of deaths, per se, but the mystery.  The unpredictability.  After all, if the headline was “144 Kids Die from Auto Accidents So Far This Year”, you’d hardly notice.

Why?

Perhaps you know that about 2,000 children die in an auto accident each year.  Or, more likely, you’re familiar with driving and the risks thereof, and can assess how the statistic in this article’s headline could affect your life were the subject about auto accidents.

Not so regarding the H1N1 Swine Flu.

The Swine Flu is mysterious and potentially very, very injurious. (It’s a pandemic for Pete’s sake, now in 48 states!)  So it’s lurking somewhere (maybe everywhere), and a lot of smart experts are concerned, and the government wants you to get vaccinated, because you, and your child, could die.

Although this is true, just like with the analogy of the car accident, is it likely?

Of the 144 children who died from H1N1, it’s important to know that that two-thirds had some sort of underlying health problem, including cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy.  That said, healthy, even athletic, children died as well.

So, that then is the context for the headline to this post; now on to the news that instigated this post: As reported today by the New York Times, the U.S will release its stockpiles of Tamiflu for children because of the shortage of H1N1 flu vaccine.

As you might have already read on this site or elsewhere, the amount of H1N1 vaccine is substantially below the forecast made by manufactures and underscored by government officials last July.  We’re talking about 27 million doses compared to the 120 million projected to be available now.  The short term solution announced today is to make up the short-fall in the short-term with Tamiflu, an antiviral drug that slows the spread of the flu virus

Cipla, an Indian company that makes the only oseltamivir (the drug renamed “Tamiflu”), other than the drug company Roche, is said to be able to supply the U.S. with one million children’s doses in four to six weeks.

Officials and drug manufacturers are scrambling to help knock down H1NI, as they should.  What we need to do is carefully assess our risk exposure and act accordingly.

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Joe Garma
 

I help people live with more vitality and strength. I'm a big believer in sustainability, and am a bit nutty about optimizing my diet, supplements, hormones and exercise. To get exclusive Updates, tips and be on your way to a stronger, more youthful body, join my weekly Newsletter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Adrienne C-B - November 1, 2009

Great article, thanks for posting all this timely information. As a mom of young children I am reading your website and Dr. Mercola’s whenever I get sucked into the media-frenzy of H1N1 fear-mongering…it calms me down to read your blog!

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Joe Garma - November 1, 2009

You’re very welcome.

It is a tricky thing to be writing about this topic, as I certainly don’t know what’s right for each person re being vaccinated, so I simply try to present enough info for an informed decision to be made.

Yep.

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Eva Simonsson - November 3, 2009

Joe,
First of all, congratulations on a great blog! I couldn’t agree with you more on the whole media and health professional’s frenzy surrounding H1N1 – we had an H1N1 scare at Finn’s preschool – they shut the school down for three days until it was discovered that Kaiser had made a mistake interpreting the results of a test!!!
Eva

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Joe Garma - November 3, 2009

Yours is not an unusual story in the world of H1N1. So much misinformation, lack of information, nutty information and run-of-the-mill hysteria. Glad Finn is all right!

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