Dr. Thomas Frieden

Pediatric H1N1 Deaths Increase; Last of Stockpiled Tamiflu Depleted

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today reported that there are now 114 laboratory-confirmed pediatric deaths from H1N1 influenza since the start of the 2009 flu season. That is 19 more pediatric deaths since CDC’s report last week, representing one of the largest single jumps since the tallying began. Two-thirds of the 114 fatalities confirmed also had underlying conditions such as asthma, heart disease, and lung disease, the agency said.

“There’s a certain rhythm with the spread of influenza within a community,” said CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden. “You see it first in children, then in older adults, then in the number of hospitalizations, and then, tragically, in deaths. We are expecting to see, sadly, increasing numbers in all categories.”

Frieden said cases of H1N1 flu are widespread in all 48 contiguous states, despite a noted decrease in cases of late in the southeast United States. Frieden reminded the nation that the flu season lasts until May 2010 and already there have been more H1N1-related hospitalizations in the under-65 population than in most entire flu seasons.

The director said that as of today, 26.6 million doses of H1N1 vaccines have been made available for U.S. states to order. That is an increase of 10.5 million doses since last week this time and an increase of 1.8 million doses just since yesterday. Despite those numbers, however, he said the availability of the medicine “is still not as widespread as we’d like.” He noted that many areas of the country are experiencing shortages of the vaccine, describing these areas as “spot shortages.”

On Oct. 1, the secretary ordered the release of 300,000 courses of liquid Tamiflu for children to be shipped out to states from the strategic national stockpile. Because the demand for the medicine has continued to exceed the supply, the remainder of the stockpile—234,000 additional doses—will be shipped in coming days. Frieden said that when that is sent, the federal stockpile of liquid Tamiflu will be depleted.

“We have ordered additional courses of [pediatric liquid Tamiflu], and we’re looking forward to delivery early next year if they stay on schedule,” Frieden said. Meanwhile, he added, more chain pharmacies are encouraged to practice compounding the medicine—converting the capsule forms of it into liquid doses. He said the government is open “to all possible considerations for” a generic form of the medicine if it were FDA approved.

Frieden noted that while H1N1 cases continue to rise, CDC has not found any genetic change or mutations in the virus to suggest it has become more deadly.

When asked if he had any special Halloween-related precautions for parents, Frieden said, “Have fun. Stay safe. And, yes, if you’re sick, stay home.”

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - June 2022

    June 2022


      Corporate Safety Culture Is Workplace Culture
      Keeping Workers Safe from Heat-Related Illnesses & Injuries
      Should Employers Consider Oral Fluid Drug Testing?
      Addressing Physical Differences
    View This Issue