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End of H1N1 'Second Wave' in Sight in the U.S., According to Quest Diagnostics
Date:12/18/2009

MADISON, N.J., Dec. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Rates of 2009 H1N1 influenza virus testing in the U.S. have declined more than 75 percent since their peak in late October, suggesting that the "second wave" of virus infection that sickened tens of millions of Americans since it began four months ago may be coming to an end, according to a new report by Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX), the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services.

The Quest Diagnostics Health Trends(TM) Report "H1N1 Testing in America: End of the Second Wave?" also indicates that the virus is still the dominant influenza virus in the U.S. and that close to four in ten school-age children tested as recently as last week were infected with the pandemic virus.

"Our data are a welcome indication that H1N1 may not be the health threat during the holidays that it has been throughout the fall," said Jay M. Lieberman, M.D., medical director, infectious diseases, Quest Diagnostics. "Nonetheless, this is no time for people to be complacent about protecting themselves and their families from H1N1 infection. The 2009 H1N1 influenza virus continues to be far and away the most significant source of influenza in every region of the U.S., according to our data. Many millions of people remain susceptible to the virus, which continues to cause serious disease in some individuals.

"In addition, the prospect of a third wave of virus activity next year means it is far too soon to declare victory over H1N1," continued Dr. Lieberman.

Quest Diagnostics analyzed results of nearly 170,000 de-identified patient specimens it tested for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus in the U.S. between May 11, 2009, when the company introduced its first test for detecting the pandemic virus, and December 9, 2009. Quest Diagnostics is t
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SOURCE Quest Diagnostics
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