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Once again, babies are sick, but this time in the YK Delta. Inflammation can lead to scarring of lungs; high fevers can stop children’s bone and tooth growth for a short while; other infections may take advantage of weaknesses.

[revised 1] and not just for babies–

Virus that struck Our Island Home no longer concern
Nantucket Independent, USA –
10, four of the home’s residents, aged 71 to 96, are believed to have succumbed to respiratory syncytial virus, a virus so common most children have been […] http://www.nantucketindependent.com/news/2008/0220/Other_news/007.html


Virus hits Western Alaska children hard, ALEX DeMARBAN, Tundra Drums
February 19, 2008 at 4:55PM AKST

State health officials are warning Alaskans to scrub hands frequently to help stem a nasty respiratory illness that’s walloping children in Western Alaska.

Health-care providers said they believe more than 82 children have contracted respiratory syncytial virus, known as RSV, in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta since Jan. 1. At least 47 children have been hospitalized, according to a written statement from the state Department of Health and Social Services.

More than one-fourth of RSV-infected infants and young children develop bronchial inflammation or pneumonia, according to physicians. Recoveries may take two weeks or more.

The Bethel-region hospital, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp., has flown some children to Anchorage hospitals because beds overflowed with sick youngsters […]

[revised 2]
At http://aprn.org/2008/02/20/y-k-virus-targets-infants/ you can hear that this year’s RSV is the worst since 1995 (presumably number of cases) and that RSV in our region is not seasonal but nearly a year-round infection. There hasn’t been any mention of the implication of lack of local hospital beds for pandemics or serious epidemics such as seasonal influenza.

It is difficult to change one’s habits but it can be done. See these posts and comments for further references and suggestions

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