Sad news hit the wire this morning when it was announced that Trish Keenan of the UK Broadcast passed away from pneumonia caused by the swine flu.
Some sad news hit the wire this morning when it was announced that Trish Keenan of the UK experimental duo Broadcast passed away from pneumonia caused by the swine flu.
It wasn’t too long ago that the H1N1 virus took the United States by storm. After the initial outburst of the strain, health leaders worked furiously to develop a vaccine to combat the deadly flu. But as we see with this most recent report, the strain is still very deadly and has even claimed the lives of 112 individuals since October.
Keenan battled the H1N1 virus for two weeks in an intensive care unit in Australia, where the performer was touring. She was on a life support machine since Christmas. So the obvious question becomes: is the vaccine good enough? Internal Medicine News recently reported that a European study found that the vaccine has a 72% effectiveness rate. That would explain why some recent news stories are calling attention to those who have died from the swine flu despite having received the vaccination.
Even though the vaccine isn’t as effective as health leaders would like it to be, that doesn’t mean that patients should skip it. But that seems to be what’s happening in some locations, like Springfield, NJ. The Westfield Regional Health Department is actually reporting a surplus of the vaccination this year, compared to 2009 when “the department's first H1N1 vaccination clinic at Westfield High School, drew a large crowd that required crowd control barriers and police clad in riot gear.”
But before you dismiss the need for a flu shot, think about the consequences. It would be better to have a 72% chance of warding off a deadly virus than a much less significant chance without it. So, if you have access to the vaccination in your area, you should take advantage of the supply and err on the side of caution. While it doesn’t guarantee anything, it certainly assures that you have done all you can to protect yourself and your family.
More on Keenan:
Broadcast Singer Trish Keenan Dies [Rolling Stone]
R.I.P. Broadcast's Trish Keenan [Washington Post]
More on the H1N1 Virus:
Flu death toll rises [The Telegraph]
Swine Flu Vaccine Not Entirely Effective, Woman Dies [Daily Health Report]