Dr. Anthony Fauci Answers Flu Concerns with Facts: VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE
"It is a difficult message to impart," said Fauci. "So far this swine flu has been mild to moderate, but we need to be concerned about it. It is staying relatively mild, but it is extremely fast-spreading." He stated that H1N1 is now the dominant flu in circulation, and because of a lack of background immunity, particularly in younger people, it is expected to spread widely. Public health authorities are closely watching the experience of the Southern Hemisphere, where flu season is coming to an end; the good news is that the virus has not mutated.
Over the past week Fauci was interviewed widely in the national media about the H1N1 vaccine just approved by the US government. He said the vaccine was extremely effective in trials, conferring protection 8-10 days after vaccination. He reviewed what groups are considered priority recipients for the vaccine—pregnant women, persons with infants 6 months or younger, health care and emergency personnel, children 6 months-24 years, and 25-64-year-olds with underlying medical condition. The first supplies of the H1N1 vaccine are expected to be available in mid-October. He also urged everyone to get the seasonal flu shot as well.
An eloquent and engaging speaker, Fauci drew laughs when he explained teenagers may vary in expressing symptoms: "I have three daughters, and they all express [illness] differently – from '‘I’m fine' to 'I’m dying!'" He and his wife Christine Grady, who is an NCS trustee, are parents of NCS senior Ali Fauci '10 and alumnae Megan Fauci '07 and Jenny Fauci '04.
To see video of Dr. Fauci's presentation, click here.
To read the Cathedral schools advisory about the flu, click here.