Dr. Le-Bucklin’s Answer:
The new H1N1 virus (swine flu) is different from the regular (seasonal) flu in that it appears to affect younger people more severely. This fact is particularly important for families of young children or those expecting the birth of newborns this flu season.
Just today, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) reported that there have been 76 deaths in children attributable to H1N1 flu infection so far this year, with 19 of them reported during this past week. The seasonal flu typically kills about 46 to 88 children a year. At the current rate, H1N1 flu is likely to outpace the seasonal flu in its death rate among children.
It’s true that the majority of people infected with H1N1 flu will have a relatively mild course and will not require medical treatment. However, parents should know that H1N1 flu can be particularly serious in young children and this fact should be considered when deciding on flu vaccination.
Note: I was recently interviewed by Lani, the mother of triplets and co-founder of the Multiples and More Blog Network. This question was from our interview.