African Americans almost twice as likely to require hospitalization
Recently published reports have detailed the disparity in the number of H1N1 cases requiring hospitalization in the Milwaukee area and throughout the state of Wisconsin. As it stands, minorities require hospitalization two to three more often than whites.
The Wisconsin Division of Public Health recognizes that if any segment of the population is not properly protected against this active pandemic, then the entire community is at a risk. That is why the Wisconsin Division of Public Health is partnering with the Cream City Medical Society during the month of February to provide education and outreach directed toward the African American community in the southeastern portion of Wisconsin. Residents can call 2-1-1 for locations dispensing the H1N1 vaccine.
“Unfortunately, to some in the African American community, a lack of trust in the medical community and the vaccine may prevent residents, especially those that may be considered high risk, from getting vaccinated,” said Dr. Alicia Walker, president of the Cream City Medical Society. “We are committed to promoting, not just the benefits of this vaccination to members of Metro Milwaukee area, but the safety of both the nasal and injectable forms of the vaccination. The fact of the matter is that ‘Black children younger than 18 years of age account for 16.6% of 210 reported influenza-associated deaths in 2009’ so if we can prevent just one death, we have succeeded.”
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a three-step approach to restrict the growth of this pandemic:
- Get vaccinated;
- Take everyday preventative actions, including covering coughs and sneezes, frequent hand washing and staying home when sick; and
- Use antiviral drugs correctly if your doctor recommends them.
According to Milwaukee pediatrician and Cream City member Dr. Jessica Wilson, “Of all the available tools for fighting H1N1, the most effective method of combating this pandemic is through the proper application of the vaccination. The vaccine is safe, it is effective, and those residents that receive this vaccine, help protect our entire community from the dangers that H1N1 presents.”
Following the CDC’s public health three-step model for battling the H1N1 virus, Public Health recommends that residents Protect (themselves and family), Provide (proper care for those that have taken ill) and Prevent (additional proliferation) by using best practices already established for containment.
Upcoming FREE H1N1 Clinics:
- February 11th 4:00-6:00 PM, Silver Spring Neighborhood Ctr. 5460 N. 54th Street
- February 13th 9:00-11:30 AM Risen Savior Lutheran Church, 9550 W. Brown Deer Rd.
- February 14th Greater Mt. Sinai Church of God in Christ, 5460 N. 60th Street
- Every Sunday during February, 1:15-2:15 PM
- Saturdays February 20th & 27th 10:00 AM-12:00 PM