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Thursday, July 06, 2006

When Preschoolers Sneeze - The Elderly Die

Did you see the Associated Press article yesterday that reported doctors fail to correctly diagnose flu infections in four of every five preschoolers treated for symptoms at a doctor's office? FOUR OUT OF FIVE PRESCHOOLERS ARE MISDIAGNOSED according to the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The article echoed a study released in 2005 and referenced at the website of the Metropolitan Medical Response System of FEMA. The report's lead author, Dr. John Brownstein, who is a faculty member of the Children's Hospital Informatics Program at the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program was quoted as saying,

"The data make sense because preschools and daycares, with their close quarters, are hotbeds of infection... The data suggest that when kids are sneezing, the elderly begin to die."
Preschools are incubation tanks for influenza. Flu infections are missed in 4 out of 5 preschoolers that are seen by doctors. These kids leave the doctor's office and go right back to preschool where they cough, sneeze, and spew influenza virus all over their classmates and teachers who spread it to parents, siblings and anyone else they come in contact with -- including grandparents who are at risk and can die!

If that's not a good reason to avoid preschool when flu season starts this fall, I don't know what is.

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