ForexTV NewsDesk | August 30 2012 8:34 EDT
ForexTV.com (New York) by Forex Staff
Kids who have neurological disorders—including cerebral palsy, intellectual disability and epilepsy—are more susceptible to death from flu-related complications, according to a joint report from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The CDC is sounding the alarm that such children must be vaccinated against the flu in order to decrease the likelihood of unnecessary deaths.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, looked at deaths associated with the 2009 H1N1 virus infection and found that 64% of all child deaths reported were among those with underlying neurological disorders.
“We’ve known for some time that certain neurologic conditions can put children at high risk for serious complications from influenza,” said Dr. Lyn Finelli, chief of the surveillance and outbreak response team in CDC’s Influenza Division. “However, the high percentage of pediatric deaths associated with neurologic disorders that occurred during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic was a somber reminder of the harm that flu can cause to children with neurologic and neurodevelopmental disorders.”
In most of the cases, the children had influenza-associated pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
“Partnering with the American Academy of Pediatrics, influenza advocacy groups and family led-organizations CAN help prevent influenza in children at highest risk,” said CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden.
The partnering organizations are working to coordinate communication activities with their constituents, which include parents and caregivers, primary care clinicians, developmental pediatricians and neurologists in hopes to increase awareness about flu prevention and treatment in children with neurologic disorders.
CDC recommends that everyone aged 6 months and older get an annual influenza vaccination, including people who are at high risk of developing serious complications. Flu vaccine is the best prevention method available. Antiviral drugs, which can treat flu illness, are a second line of defense against flu.
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