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

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 available).

  • 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.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors