Navigation Links
Officials See Uptick in H1N1 Swine Flu Cases

New activity reported in southeastern U.S.; health officials still urge vaccinations

MONDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- The H1N1 swine flu virus is still circulating in the United States, and health officials have noted a troubling uptick in the number of cases in several southeastern states, particularly Georgia, in recent weeks, U.S. health experts said Monday.

"We are continuing to see people with serious illness from H1N1 pandemic virus, especially in some of the southeastern states," Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during an afternoon press conference. "Although disease rates are much lower on average around the country than last fall, H1N1 is still circulating and people continue to become ill and be hospitalized and to die from this virus."

Most concerning is the unexpected surge in flu activity in the Southeast. Georgia saw 40 hospitalizations last week alone, as well as increases during the three weeks before that, Schuchat said.

"Georgia has seen more laboratory-confirmed influenza-related hospitalizations than at any time since October and the data suggest that the increase in hospitalizations is caused by H1N1, not by other seasonal influenza viruses," she said.

In addition to Georgia, regional H1N1 flu activity has been reported in Alabama and South Carolina, while local activity is being reported in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and, further west, New Mexico and Hawaii. Puerto Rico is also reporting local outbreaks, she said.

Schuchat said she could not predict if other states would see a similar surge in H1N1 activity in the coming weeks, but she said she could not rule out a resurgence of the disease.

"It's too early to say we're not going to see increases in other areas," she said. "But we're worried that we'll see additional cases happening day in and day out in people who thought there was no more risk."

Most of the recent hospitalizations have involved adults with chronic health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe illness. Ninety percent of the 12,000 deaths in the United States have occurred in individuals under the age of 65, about five times the death rate seen in this age group with the seasonal flu. Most of those hospitalized had not been vaccinated, Schuchat said.

On the hopeful front, there's no evidence that the H1N1 strain has mutated since it first appeared last spring. And, so far, this flu has spread easily but has not been as virulent as most seasonal flu viruses, she said.

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin said that approximately 60 million Americans have been infected with the H1N1 virus and 256,000 people have been hospitalized. There have been close to 12,000 deaths from the virus which, while notable, is still far less than the 36,000 usually reported from the seasonal flu each year.

By contrast, seasonal flu activity this year has been virtually non-existent, Schuchat said. "We have not seen seasonal flu at all even into this week, late March," she said.

U.S. health authorities are urging people -- especially adults with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease -- to get vaccinated.

"The vaccination is the single most important protection against H1N1," Benjamin said at the news conference.

The nation now has 120 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine, so there should be no long lines for people opting to get vaccinated.

Next year's flu vaccine will include three strains of influenza virus, including H1N1, said Schuchat.

"We think it's important to reduce the risk next year by getting trivalent vaccine and getting the H1N1 vaccine now to protect you in the months ahead until the trivalent vaccine becomes available," she said.

More information

For more on H1N1 flu, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: March 29, 2010, teleconference with Anne Schuchat, M.D., director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Regina M. Benjamin, M.D., U.S. Surgeon General

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Online Tool Created to Contact Vatican Officials: Why Are American Bishops Allowed to Defy the Popes Words Concerning Child Killing and the Eucharist?
2. Latest Twist: Ousted Union Officials Show True Colors By Trying to Stop 29 Union Elections
3. As Swine Flu Ebbs, Officials Stress Importance of Vaccine
4. Swine Flu vaccination: voluntary system works
5. As Swine Flu Fades, Experts Ponder Next Season
6. Of swine, birds and men -- pandemic H1N1 flu
7. No Role Found for Birds in Swine Flu Pandemic
8. 55 Million Americans Sickened by Swine Flu So Far
9. Children more likely to catch swine flu, says new research
10. Swine Flu Not As Infectious Among Young Adults As First Feared
11. Health Care Reform, Swine Flu Top Health News for 2009
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture ... said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package ... Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (PRWEB) , ... June 25, ... ... to helping both athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented ... for the Oklahoma City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... surgery procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state ... procedures, but also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. ... and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. ... rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. If ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas ... , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 VolitionRx ... of Dr. Edward Futcher to the ... effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher was also appointed ... Governance Committees.  As a non-executive member of the ... and strategic counsel to VolitionRx in connection with ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that it ... software solution of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates ... to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic ... establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of choice ... clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred EDC ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Any dentist who has made an implant ... process. Many of them do not even offer this as ... high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE able to ... a high cost that the majority of today,s patients would ... Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and inventor ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: