H1N1 has been around for a few weeks and we’ve whipped through “how worried should we be” straight into “swine flu? thought that was done.”
CDC says that flu activity is decreasing in the U.S., but that levels are still higher than normal for this time of year. Note that not all diagnosed cases of flu are H1N1.
East Coast folks are still a bit above normal in number for late spring influenza infections.
The H1N1 strain is mild at this time, although there have been some deaths and hospitalizations. The constant worry continues to be next fall – what will the virus do?
Younger people are getting the worst of it right now. More than 60 percent of cases are in people between the ages of five and 24. Fifty-eight percent of hospitalizations have occurred in people between the ages of 10 and 49.
The pre-existing medical conditions (asthma, pregnancy and others) that put people at risk of complications from seasonal flu also are risk factors with H1N1.
Money has been put toward the development of a vaccine for H1N1 but it’s yet to be decided if and how much vaccine would be produced.
As we go into the Memorial Day weekend, the word is:
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your sleeve or a Kleenex, then wash your hands – again!