Swine Flu: One New York City Pediatrician's View (cont.)
Between April and June 2009, New York City reported 990 flu-related
admissions to hospitals and 54 deaths. Since August, the rest of the nation has
experienced increases in novel H1N1 cases similar to the increases NYC
experienced between April and May. Looking at the
CDC US Surveillance Map, there is widespread illness in the
USA; however a closer look at the current numbers reveals that since August, in
Region 2, (which includes New York), there is next to no activity when compared
to the rest of the country. In the NY Region there have been only 91 cases of
H1N1 and 72 seasonal flu cases. That compares to an average of 2000 cases of
H1N1 in all other regions.
The Latest on
H1N1 Swine Flu
Learn about H1N1 swine flu:
We are still preparing for huge surges in volume. Most New York City
hospitals have Pandemic Influenza Working Groups. In my own hospital we have
developed a multi-phased response to our expected increase in visits which to
date have not materialized.
- We meet weekly to discuss both how to respond to
influenza and how to prevent it in our staff and patients.
- We are currently
limiting visitation to our labor and delivery units as well as our neonatal ICU.
- We have educational and informational posters up all over our facilities,
recommending hand hygiene and flu-prevention measures.
- We are vaccinating both
our patients and our staff with both
seasonal flu vaccine and
H1N1 vaccine (when
- We are routinely isolating and testing patients for influenza in the
hospital (52 suspected, but 0 positive for influenza using
PCR, which is a
highly sensitive and specific test).
- We are prepared.