A recent newsletter from the Vitamin D Council features an e-mail from Norris Glick, M.D., regarding vitamin D and H1N1.
In the e-mail, Glick discusses an H1N1 outbreak at his facility, the Central Wisconsin Center (CWC)—a long-term care facility for people with developmental disabilities. The following is an excerpt from the e-mail that was printed in the Vitamin D Council newsletter:
”Serum 25-OHD has been monitored in virtually all residents for several years and patients supplemented with vitamin D.
In June 2009, at the time of the well-publicized Wisconsin spike in H1N1 cases, two residents developed influenza-like illness (ILI) and had positive tests for H1N1; one was a long-term resident, the other was a child that had been transferred to us.
Meanwhile, 60 staff members developed ILI or were documented to have H1N1, and an additional 43 staff members called in sick with ILI.
So, it is rather remarkable that only two residents (of 275) developed ILI—one of which did not develop it here—while 103 staff members (of 800) had ILI. It appears that the spread of H1N1 was not from staff-to-resident but from resident-to-staff and between staff, implying that staff were susceptible and our residents protected.
The following is an excerpt from John Cannell’s response:
That is the first hard data that I am aware of concerning H1N1 and vitamin D. It appears vitamin D is incredibly protective against H1N1. Carlos Carmago at Mass General ran the numbers in an e-mail to me. Even if one excludes the 43 staff members who called in sick with influenza, 0.73 percent of residents were affected as compared to 7.5 percent of staff. This 10-fold difference is statistically significant. That is, the chance that this was a random occurrence is one less than one in a 1,000.
The Vitamin D Council urges everyone to contact their representatives in Washington and ask their senator or congressperson to contact the CDC and NIH to complain about CDC and NIH inaction on vitamin D and H1N1. Also, ask your senators and representative to demand congressional hearings on Vitamin D and H1N1, before it is too late.
Vitamin D Council: September 2009—Special Report: Vitamin D and H1N1 Swine Flu