Number of reported H1N1 cases down for fourth straight week
WASHINGTON. - U.S. health experts say it appears the number of cases for this wave of the H1N1 swine flu outbreak has peaked.
"We're going from a time where there was a lot of disease and not a lot of vaccine, to a time when the disease is decreasing," said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden with the Centers for Disease Control.
Still, the CDC says the virus still poses a threat with widespread cases in 32 states and deaths still being reported.
Since August at least 234 children have died from H1N1, along with nearly 1,000 adults.
CDC experts say it appears the virus peaked in mid-October, in part, because vaccine production increased along with the number of people getting vaccinated.
There are nearly 70 million doses of vaccine now available and the CDC is urging children, pregnant women and other Americans who fall into a priority group to get vaccinated if they have not already.
Experts say during the flu pandemic of 1957, an outbreak similar to H1N1, there was a surge of cases at the beginning of the school year and then a drop in late fall.
However, cases spiked again in January, February and March leading some to believe another wave of swine flu could be in our future.
The Spokane Regional Health District continues to urge vaccination as the best way to prevent H1N1 infection. Many area healthcare providers are now offering the vaccinations and the Health District also has several upcoming public clinics.
Public clinics in December will offer both versions of the H1N1 vaccine (injectable & nasal). Supply will be limited and you must schedule an appointment in advance. December clinics are as follows:
December 1, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Spokane Valley Partners
December 2, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. West Central Community Center
December 8, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. East Central Community Center
December 10, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Northeast Community Center
To make an appointment, you must fall into one of the Centers for Disease Control's priority groups.
People who live with or care for infants younger than six months old
Healthcare and emergency medical workers
Anyone from 6-months-old to 24-years-old
People from 25-years-old to 64-years-old with a chronic health condition
If you qualify and want the vaccination, call 324-1648 for an appointment.
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