Wednesday, August 26, 2009

School Closings Won't Stop H1N1 Virus From Spreading

Sebelius: School Closings Won't Stop H1N1 Virus From Spreading - Political News -

Kathleen Sebelius seems to be saying learning trumps health concerns. There have been several studies published showing the spread of disease can be curtailed if people would stay home when they fell sick. However, the US Department of Health now this argument does not apply to the H1N1 virus and instead is recommending vaccinations instead. The same protocols could easily be called for in future outbreaks. The only problem is the vaccine for the H1N1 hasn't had enough time to be tested properly. The was first a UK study and now others that show the current H1N1 vaccination isn't ready. On one medical website focused on family practice, most general practitioners indicated they would not take the current vaccination.

There is still too much contradictory information to make an informed decision. I recall the panic concerning the Y2K problem. The H1N1 virus is real, however I do call into question the dire predictions of the US Dept of Health. Even if 90,000 come down with the flu, it is significantly less than the 1918 outbreak. We have better knowledge about health and nutrition today than 90 years ago. For example, we now understand why flu and cold outbreaks are seasonal. Dr. Hope-Simpson ( was the first to research the inverse relationship between flu outbreak and warmer weather. The incidence of flu outbreak was adversely affected by the presence of sunlight which helps the body produce vitamin D. Another study by Dr. Cannell ( indicates maintaining sufficient levels of vitamin D through supplementation can help reduce the effects of the flu or perhaps even prevent people from getting sick in the first place.

The above studies are compelling and make sense. More research should go into this cheap and apparently effective means of preventing flu and colds before we require people to get yet another vaccination.

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