Swine Flu Update

A month ago, many of us felt that the H1N1 virus, more commonly known as the Swine flu, was beginning to retreat. We were hearing less and less about it in the news but likely that was more the result of other, more current news topics taking precedence than it was because the flu was on the decline. The swine flu is still very much with us and promises to be here for the foreseeable future.

The World Health Organization (WHO) had the pandemic alert level raised to a phase 6 in mid June as most countries around the globe had been affected by that date. The United States actually had had more documented cases than any other country (37,246 cases and 211 deaths) outside of Mexico, where it is believed the flu originated. Several of the states in this country have been very hard hit. Texas has had a large number of cases (4,463), as has Illinois with 3,259 with California and New York showing a relatively similar outbreak; 2,461 and 2,582 respectively. The largest occurrence has been in Wisconsin with 6,031 cases and it’s anybody’s guess why it has taken such a toll on this particular state.

Health officials speculate that the flu will continue on through the summer months which is a unique attribute of this particular strain because typically summer is a time of the year when influenza doesn’t present itself very aggressively.

There is also the continued worry that it will intensify in the fall months and preparations are currently under way for enough doses of a combination of flu-fighting drugs which are to be administered to school age children throughout the country.

President Barack Obama stays apprised of the situation and has given the go ahead for production and distribution of the vaccines once they have been safety tested and made available.

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