This is a great article. Public Health [officials] should be sending out a clear message ["Swine Flu Frustrations: Too Little Vaccine, Too Many Scare Tactics," usnews.com]. There is too much confusing information that keeps changing. I agree that without testing there is no way to know that it is H1N1. In Los Angeles County, we have been told there is only one lab that can actually confirm a case and that only results for people hospitalized are going to that lab. We can only hope that public health [officials] learn some good lessons from this so next time they are more prepared.
Comment by Kathleen Miller of CA
The scare tactics are extreme! I live in Arizona and although the CDC has me listed in a high-risk group, our state Department of Health Services does not include me. I am 60 years old, have been a type 1 diabetic for 55 years (now using an insulin infusion pump), and have many type 1 complications including heart disease, gastroparesis, and kidney disease. Since statistics are reported in a vacuum by not only the government but those reporting the news, we have a distorted idea of risk as well as the real age group for those who have died. And I understand the right to privacy, but I think we have a right to know the underlying (conditions) diseases that contributed to the H1N1 deaths. My doctor's office does not have the vaccine, there is no information on the Arizona Department of Health Services website about its availability, and since I'm not included in the high-risk group here, there is little chance I'll be able to get the vaccine. I am so tired of listening to the news stations repeatedly saying to "get your H1N1 vaccine" when they know it isn't available!
Comment by S.M. Beggs of AZ
I think this well-written and objective article articulates many of the concerns my family has been having. Four out of five of are sick with what doctors think is H1N1 this past week (fortunately mild symptoms so far). We had not obtained the vaccine or used antivirals due to supply limitations and incomplete and inconsistent information from government agencies, doctors, medical organizations, and the media. As a parent, I find this frustrating. Hopefully in the future these organizations will help us make more educated decisions by doing a better job tracking and disseminating all relevant and credible information they have in a more timely fashion. Thanks again!
Comment by John Tuma of VA
It seems that we find a new disease to panic about every year: bird flu, West Nile, now swine flu. If you do some research you will find there are no more complications from swine flu than regular flu. I have lived for 28 years without getting a flu shot, and I bet I live many more. There are serious diseases out there that you should be vaccinated for and swine flu is not one of them.
Comment by Bob of CA