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In Some Cities, Spring Swine Flu May Be Easing Fall Outbreak
Date:10/8/2009

omas A. Farley, New York City's health commissioner during a flu conference last Friday led by Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary. "We're seeing essentially no disease transmitted in the city. We had 750,000 to one million sick people last spring. We were the hardest-hit city then. So we have a lot of immune people right now," the Times reported.

Only about 150 to 250 people a day have been going to emergency rooms in New York City complaining of flu-like symptoms. Attendance in the city's public schools was 91 percent on Wednesday. Compare that to last spring, when 60 city schools closed and some 18 percent of students were absent, according to the Times.

Dr. Anita Barry, director of the infectious disease bureau of the Boston Public Health Commission, told the Times, that although 11 percent of teens in her city got swine flu in the spring, public schools and college health services have reported very little flu this fall.

In addition, Seattle, Connecticut and Utah -- where there was also a lot of swine flu in the spring -- are seeing less now, Donald R. Olson, research director for the International Society for Disease Surveillance, told the Times.

Another expert said this phenomenon isn't unexpected.

"As a result of last spring's outbreak in certain areas of the country, one may see a pattern of uneven geographic distribution of cases in the U.S. this fall, depending on what occurred in specific geographic areas last spring. There may be few cases in some areas and a significant number of cases in others," said Dr. Pascal J. Imperato, dean of the School of Public Health at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center.

"The majority of cases, as was the case last spring, will probably be in children and young adults and will be clinically mild in nature," he added.

However, even in places where the swine flu appears to be less ex
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