New information from the flu ravaged Southern Hemisphere. The Peruvian Ministry of Health (MINSA) disclosed that 33 percent of people infected with H1N1 influenza pandemic are asymptomatic – they present with no symptoms of the disease.
37% Show Symptoms “Cold” Symptoms
MINSA’s director general of epidemiology, Jose Bolarte, said that of the cases of infection reported so far, 37 percent show some of the symptoms related to the common cold, such as nasal congestion, sore throat, headache, and even body aches. Nevertheless, there is no fever, or at least not the high fever characteristic of influenza (H1N1), which is higher than 39 deg C [102.2 deg F] and requires immediate medical care.
“The patients do not necessarily consult a health center or seek medical attention because they recover in 3 or 4 days with conventional medicines, a healthy diet, and plenty of liquids,” Bolarte said.
30% Show All Classic Flu Symptoms
He added that, according to statistics, another 30 percent of people infected with pandemic H1N1 can show all the symptoms of the disease. Therefore, prompt and adequate care by health services is required paying particular attention to the ‘risk groups,’ such as children younger than 5 years of age, the elderly, persons with depressed immune systems — such as those with tuberculosis or who are HIV positive –, persons with hypertension, diabetes, Down syndrome, bronchial asthma, and pregnant women, among others.
Low Death Rate <1%
In Peru less than one percent of the patients with influenza (H1N1) die and that, furthermore, to date the number of patients who respond well to treatment and are discharged exceeds 80 percent of the total cases.
The ProMed Moderator went on to comment – “These are valuable statistics. One hopes this survey will be extended to determine the level of immune responses in both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. If the 33 percent asymptomatic individuals have developed a protective immune response, about 2/3 of the population might not require vaccination.”
That could be some hopeful news?
ProMED Digest V2009 #356 – http://www.promedmail.org