The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that a third of H1N1 deaths are attributed to co-infections with common pneumonia bacteria, prompting renewed focus on pneumonia vaccines.
As influenza seasons go, the upcoming winter period is projected to be a challenging one for the entire northern hemisphere. However, the act of getting ahead of this challenge is beginning to yield some valuable preparatory information.
A new H1N1 morbidity study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a striking correlation between swine flu deaths and bacterial co-infections.
The common bacteria (Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus) was found to be a dual infecting agent in 33 per cent of the CDC-sampled who were known to have died from H1N1 complications.
While the H1N1 swine flu virus is considered mild by influenza standards, it has been known to attack deeper respiratory cells than other flu viruses. The addition of a pneumonia co-infection offers a nasty setback to those already suffering from the H1N1 bug.
The new CDC research supports the pneumonia vaccine recommendation.
The full CDC study can be found here.