Ann Arbor health officials warn of severe H1N1 flu similar to start of 2009 pandemic

Friday, January 3, 2014
By Paul Martin

By Amy Biolchini
January 03, 2014

The number of people hospitalized due to a severe form of H1N1 influenza, or swine flu, this winter is climbing in the Ann Arbor area, according to health officials.

At the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers in Ann Arbor, doctors state hundreds of patients with flu-like symptoms have sought care from emergency departments and clinics within the past several weeks.
More concerning to doctors are the young, mostly healthy patients on life support at U-M’s hospitals due to H1N1.

Most of the sickest patients were not vaccinated against the flu, said Dr. Lena Napolitano, associate chairwoman for critical care in the U-M Department of Surgery.

“It’s a bit of a shame that we have a vaccine available for use and unfortunately, some individuals …are not taking advantage of that,” Napolitano said. “There’s plenty of vaccine available and it provides good coverage (against the flu). That’s a shame because patients are getting very critically ill.”

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