Bacteria co-infections common in swine flu deaths: CDC

Sep 30, 2009

Many people who have died from swine flu in the United States were also infected with other bacteria, including one which can cause pneumonia or meningitis, US health officials said Wednesday.

Scientists who analyzed the cases of 77 patients who had the new strain of H1N1 flu and died found evidence of bacterial co-infection in around a third of the cases.

Of the 22 patients found to have a bacterial co-infection, nearly half had Streptococcus pneumoniae, a common bacteria which can cause pneumonia and "likely contributed to their death," the said in its weekly Morbidity and Mortality report.

Seven of the patients had , and one had haemophilus influenzae, which can also cause pneumonia.

The rest showed a variety of co-infections.

The patients ranged in age from two months to 56 years, with a median age of 31 years.

CDC epidemiologist Matthew Moore recommended that, in the light of the findings, "those at high risk for the serious complications from influenza check with their provider when they get their about being vaccinated against pneumococcus."

The CDC recommends in any case that children under the age of five, "all persons between the age of two and 64 with high-risk conditions" and senior citizens older than 65 be vaccinated against Streptococcus , but says only a small proportion of patients actually get the shots.

No data were available on the vaccination status of the 22 patients who had H1N1 flu and a bacterial co-infection, the CDC said, but one patient was younger than five-years-old and 15 others "had underlying medical conditions" that were indications for pneumococcal vaccine.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: New treatment could 'protect against any strain of the flu'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Pneumococcal disease rates down significantly post-vaccine

Mar 18, 2008

Since the approval of a vaccine against pneumococcal bacteria for young children in 2000, rates of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) are down significantly in all age groups, while rates of IPD caused by non-vaccine strains ...

Flu vaccine may not protect seniors well

Aug 01, 2008

A Group Health study in the August 2 issue of The Lancet adds fuel to the growing controversy over how well the flu vaccine protects the elderly.

CDC study: Swine flu deaths higher in older kids

Sep 03, 2009

(AP) -- About one in 13 U.S. swine flu deaths have been children and most of the kids have been of school age, the federal government said Thursday in its first study of the new flu's youngest victims.

CDC Recommends All Kids be Vaccinated Against Flu

Sep 12, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- School and day care settings are the most "efficient ways to spread flu in the community," say researchers at Duke Children's Hospital which may explain why the CDC is now recommending that all children -- ...

Obesity a risk factor in swine flu?

Jul 10, 2009

(AP) -- Some swine flu cases in Michigan are raising questions about obesity's role in why some people with infections become seriously ill.

Recommended for you

Saudi Arabia reports pilgrim infected with MERS

1 hour ago

In the past 24 hours, Saudi Arabia has reported four new deaths from a Middle East virus related to SARS and 36 more cases of infection, including a Turkish pilgrim in Mecca.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Genetic code of the deadly tsetse fly unraveled

Mining the genome of the disease-transmitting tsetse fly, researchers have revealed the genetic adaptions that allow it to have such unique biology and transmit disease to both humans and animals.

Ocean microbes display remarkable genetic diversity

The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live i ...