More evidence that Vitamin D3 protects against H1N1, colds and flu.
We recently received a copy of an e-mail sent to Dr.Cannell, president of the Vitamin D council. It is from a physician who cares for institutionalized patients with developmental disabilities. These patients have their Vitamin D3 levels monitored regularly to ensure they are kept optimal. During a recent outbreak of H1N1 only two patients fell ill while 103 staff members (who don't have their levels monitored) developed an influenza-like illness.
Dear Dr. Cannell:
Your recent newsletters and video about Swine flu (H1N1) prompted me to convey our recent experience with an H1N1 outbreak at Central Wisconsin Center (CWC). Unfortunately, the state epidemiologist was not interested in studying it further so I pass it on to you since I think it is noteworthy.
CWC is a long-term care facility for people with developmental disabilities, home for approx. 275 people with approx. 800 staff. 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, a child, was transferred to us with what was later proven to be H1N1.
On the other hand, 60 staff members developed ILI or were documented to have H1N1: of 17 tested for ILI, eight were positive. An additional 43 staff members called in sick with ILI. (Approx. 11-12 staff developed ILI after working on the unit where the child was given care, several of whom had positive H1N1 tests.)
So, it is rather remarkable that only two residents of 275 developed ILI, one of which did not develop it here, while 103 of 800 staff members had ILI. It appears that the spread of H1N1 was not from staff-to-resident but from resident-to-staff (most obvious in the imported case) and between staff, implying that staff were susceptible and our residents protected.
Norris Glick, MD
Central Wisconsin Center
Dr Cannells' update rapidly produced a report from another physician who routinely supplements her patients with Vitamin D3:
Dear Dr. Cannell:
Thanks for your update about the hospital in Wisconsin. I have had similar anecdotal evidence from my medical practice here in Georgia. We are one of the 5 states with widespread H1N1 outbreaks.
I share an office with another family physician. I aggressively measure and replete vitamin D. He does not.
He is seeing one to 10 cases per week of influenza-like illness.
In my practice-- I have had zero cases. My patients are universally on 2000-5000 IU to maintain serum levels 50-80 ng/ml.
DO Campbell Family Medicine 3925 Johns Creek Court
Suwannee GA 30024
Also this month, the CDC released a report in the September 4 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on the 36 children who have died from H1N1 in the USA. Almost two-thirds of the children who died had epilepsy, cerebral palsy, or other neurodevelopmental conditions like mental retardation.
All of these neurological conditions are associated with childhood Vitamin D deficiency. Exacerbating the problem further, many of these children take anti-convulsant drugs, which lower Vitamin D3 levels.