Older Than 52? You May Have Swine Flu Immunity

May 21, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Finally, there is a health benefit to being middle aged and past your prime. The CDC is reporting that people born before 1957 were probably infected with the bird flu, which is a close cousin to the present swine flu, providing older folks with a protective immunity to the H1N1 virus that is now spreading around the globe.

This new finding may help explain the puzzling spread of the swine flu so far, to children and younger adults who don’t have a natural immunity to the potentially deadly virus.

Daniel Jernigan, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention influenza division, explained that a 1957 bird flu epidemic replaced the Spanish flu that had previously been circulating around the world. Exposure to the 1957 bird flu strain provided a natural resistance to the swine flu, which is a combination of bird,  pig and human flu strains.

Although not everyone over the age of 52 is lucky enough to have developed an immunity to the swine flu, a good number in fact have, making this finding significant in explaining the disparity in the younger ages of most of the infected individuals. The CDC found that not only were younger people infected at higher rates than older folks, more younger people ended up in the hospital from flu complications.

Jernigan’s findings showed that the median age of those being hospitalized is 19-years-old and the age range of most hospitalized patients runs from 19 to 49-years-old. At least 247 people have been hospitalized in the United States from the swine flu.

The swine flu continues to spread at a fast clip and is expected to worsen during the standard flu season in the fall. The United States now has 5,710 confirmed cases of the swine flu, with nine deaths. Despite the natural immunity held by many older people, a 55-year-old assistant principal from Queens, NY died of complications from the swine flu. Schools in Queens and surrounding New York areas are currently experiencing a high rate of swine flu infection.

Although the swine flu spreads at the same rate as regular seasonal flu, the difference is that many people don’t have an immunity to the virus. Seasonal flu epidemics cause nearly 250,000 to 500,000 deaths worldwide, every year.

Source


Comments

4 Responses to “Older Than 52? You May Have Swine Flu Immunity”

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  4. keril ayers on October 5th, 2009 7:30 pm

    I’m 58 and I hope I get thi=e H1N1 AND i= HOPE it kills me so I can be out of this stupid fked up world. You all can have it! I’ve had enough already! Oh yeah..take my frikking social security too that I worked half my life for…it’s yours…havge fun

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