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CDC Warns Of Flu Risk For Kids With Disabilities

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Children with intellectual disability, cerebral palsy and other neurologic disorders are at much greater risk of complications from the flu, federal health officials said Wednesday.

In a study looking at the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that a disproportionately high number of kids with neurologic disorders died as compared to other children. What’s more, of those conditions, the most frequently cited were intellectual disability, cerebral palsy and other neurodevelopmental disorders, researchers reported in the journal Pediatrics.

The 2009 flu season was significant because the number of children who perished during the pandemic that year was more than five times higher than the median for the previous five flu seasons.

For the study, researchers reviewed data submitted to the CDC by state and local health agencies on influenza-related deaths in children. They found that 68 percent of the kids who died had an underlying medical condition. And of that group, the majority — 64 percent — had a neurologic disorder, researchers said.

“We’ve known for some time that certain neurologic conditions can put children at high risk for serious complications from influenza,” said Lyn Finelli, chief of the surveillance and outbreak response team in the 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 many cases, children with a neurologic disorder who died from the flu also had a coexisting condition like a pulmonary disorder, metabolic disorder, heart disease or a chromosomal abnormality, which exacerbated their risk, researchers said.

Pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome were the most often reported complications among the children with disabilities who lost their lives.

Officials at the CDC say that kids with neurologic conditions have continued to be disproportionately impacted by the flu in the years since the H1N1 pandemic.

Data show that most of the children who died in 2009 were not vaccinated. The CDC is urging everyone over age 6 months to get an annual flu vaccine to mitigate risk for the illness.

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Comments (7 Responses)

  1. Ashley says:

    SCARY! Educate before you vaccinate! When your immune system is down its not good to inject a bunch of crap into your system :(

  2. Jennifer says:

    Wow, Ashley, you missed the entire point.

  3. Christine says:

    The POINT is the vaccines gave them neurological problems to begin with. It’s a horrible cycle where the pharmaceutical companies make BILLIONS!

  4. Michai says:

    This is good information to know. I hope it helps parents be proactive before flu season to build their children’s immunity through natural means and using complementary medicine when necessary. Getting a flu vaccine is not the only option to consider to prevent the flu. Know your options and inform yourself, and don’t let fear (false evidence appearing real) rule you.

  5. Buck Rogers says:

    The CDC considers mercury, formaldahyde, aluminum hydroxide, Tween 80, and Triton X 100 to be extremely toxic substaces dangerous to living organisms at ANY dose…..unless they are ALL combined in your childs vaccines. Don’t be STUPID, educate before you vaccinate.

  6. Nicole LeBlanc says:

    The whole point is To Get the FLU SHOT so that You wont get a Severe Case of FLU H1NI AND DIE !!!! Vaccines save lives!!!! THE FLU IS VERY DANGEROUS TO People with disabilties and the elderly!

  7. CJ says:

    “In many cases, children with a neurologic disorder who died from the flu also had a coexisting condition like a pulmonary disorder, metabolic disorder, heart disease or a chromosomal abnormality, which exacerbated their risk, researchers said.Pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome were the most often reported complications among the children with disabilities who lost their lives. Officials at the CDC say that kids with neurologic conditions have continued to be disproportionately impacted by the flu in the years since the H1N1 pandemic.”

    Yet when my son (who has an intellectual disability and a heart disease) got the H1N1 flu when it first hit, his doctor’s office told me to bring him to the hospital to be tested and treated. The hospital told me I shouldn’t have brought him there and to bring him to his doctor’s office. It was ridiculous. We ended up having him tested and treated at the hospital much to their displeasure.

    As for vaccines, I know it’s a controversial topic. People have to do what’s right for their families. Providing info through these comments on alternatives is useful, but it’s not all that useful to insinuate that those who choose to vaccinate are uneducated or stupid.

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