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Pandemic preparedness for swine flu influenza in the United States.


In March and early April 2009, Mexico experienced outbreaks of influenza caused by the H1N1 virus, which has spread throughout the world. With the pandemic of H1N1 infections, we have discussed in this scientific article strategies that should limit the spread of the influenza A (H1N1) virus in our country. Specific vaccines against the influenza H1N1 virus are being manufactured, and a licensed vaccine is expected to be available in the United States by mid-October 2009. However, some health-care workers may be hesitant to take a vaccine because it contains a mercury preservative-thimerosal-which can be harmful to their health. When caring for patients with respiratory infections, the health-care worker should be wearing a facial respirator. In a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it was indicated that each health-care professional should be required to do a respiratory fit testing to identify the ideal model. Because it has been well documented that a vitamin D deficiency can precipitate the influenza virus, we strongly recommend that all health-care workers and patients be tested and treated for vitamin D deficiency to prevent exacerbation of a respiratory infection.

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