Swine Flu Seriousness Underscored

POSTED: Monday, October 12, 2009 - 4:48pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:25pm

New information on Swine Flu shows it could be much more serious than just coughing, body aches and a few days off school or work.

Nurses at Children's Hospital in Denver just received the Swine Flu vaccine...

"We are starting with our staff in the emergency room and the staff in the ICUs and up on the floors where our patients are actually housed with H1N1."

Government health experts are pushing the vaccine for health care workers and other vulnerable groups as new studies show just how dangerous Swine Flu can be, especially for children. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports in Canada that young adults became critically ill very quickly. Multiple organs failed and patients needed prolonged ventilation. A separate study from Australia found pumps like this, which pump oxygen into the blood, increased survival rates for flu patients with respiratory failture.

In Mexico, where the outbreak started last Spring, a third study reports a 40% fatality rate among young patients. That's why the U.S. is pushing this new vaccine.

"We know that this vaccine works, we know its safety profile."

But experts say no one, not even health care workers, should be forced to take it. Some doctors remain skeptical.

"If you can't persuade physicians to get this vaccine voluntarily, what kind of message does that send to the public?"

A public now in the middle of what is already an unusually active flu season.

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