The Washington Post has a story today saying the H1N1 virus, AKA Swine Flu, is off to a memorable summer. Hospital emergency rooms and doctor’s offices report hundreds of cases across Maryland, Virginia and the District. It’s a particularly bad sign considering there are usually no or few flu cases here this time of year.
“It’s like snow in the summer,” Gaurov Dayal, chief medical officer at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, told the Post.
Put that news together with this AP story and we’ve got a pretty freaky scenario. In a nutshell: AP reports that the government is gearing up for a massive immunization effort but there are likely to be some serious and mysterious side effects. In 1976, the last time Swine Flu was on the rise, U.S. officials vaccinated 40 million people. At least 500 came down with “a paralyzing condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. It’s still unknown what caused the condition,” according to AP. This time, the government plans to roll out 600 million flu shots, enough to vaccinate everyone in the country twice.