The Corpus Callosum

Not sure what to make of this, as the prediction appears to be based entirely upon the intuition of an experienced pediatric infectious disease specialist. It is reported on Medscape (open access, free registration required).

PAS 2009: H1N1 Flu Predicted to Wane and Reemerge in Fall

Martha Kerr

May 4, 2009 (Baltimore, Maryland) — Pediatric infectious diseases specialists and public health experts used the stage of the Pediatric Academic Societies’ annual meeting to update their colleagues on the latest statistics and projections on the H1N1 “swine flu” outbreak.

“I believe that we will see [H1N1 cases] die down over the next month or two, with a reemergence in the fall,” predicted James Cherry, MD, pediatric infectious diseases specialist at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine.

“I’ve lived through 4 shifts of influenza A,” Dr. Cherry told a heavily attended special symposium here. The current strain appears to be more similar to the 1957 strain, when deaths were largely attributed to coinfection with Staphylococcus aureus, than it does to the better recognized 1976 swine influenza outbreak, he said.

As I read that, I thought, ‘in 1957, we did not have methicillin-resistant staph aureus, but now we do. This could be trouble.’ Sure enough, the next part reads:

“I think we are going to see this strain reemerge in the fall, with MRSA [coinfection]. I believe MRSA will play a major role in morbidity and mortality,” Dr. Cherry warned.

“This is real. This is going to happen. We need vaccines. We should move ahead with vaccine development as fast as possible. Antivirals are not going to manage it,” he said.

Dr. Cherry became board-certified in Pediatrics in 1962, with added qualification in Pediatric Infectious Diseases in 1994. He’s a Professor of Pediatrics at UCLA, and a co-author of Feigin and Cherry’s Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. He speaks with authority, although I should add that what he is saying is really an authoritative guess.


  1. #1 Lassi Hippeläinen
    May 5, 2009

    The same guess has been published also here in Finland. But there was also some reasoning: schools are an important spreading channel. When they close for summer, flu gets stalled. But when the kids return to school…

  2. #2 salome
    May 15, 2009

    1976 swine flU outbreak was a “”bust””,their vaccine killed more than the disease did.
    Their bird flu didn’t materialize here either.

    so now we have a mix of the bird,swine and some strain of human making the rounds in April and May when typically the season’s ending.

    and of COURSE we must demand and enforce vaccination for the children
    as a requirement for entry in September,no excuses or you’ll be charged with negligence and truancy.
    get ready.

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