Flu-Like Illnesses Widespread; Vaccine Soon

September 30, 2009

Almost 20 percent of all emergency room visits in Alabama are patients suffering from flu-like symptoms, and health officials are reporting a high number of cases in Florida. The Escambia County (Fla.) Health Departments says that most forms of influenza currently being diagnosed in the county are H1N1 — commonly known as swine flu. Santa Rosa County has not been spared from the swine flu, with the county’s health department reporting Tuesday that a 52-year old man died from H1N1 earlier this month.

About 18 percent of emergency room patients and 9 percent of patients presenting in doctors’ offices in Alabama reported having flu-like symptoms, according to reports from physicians and hospitals participating in Centers for Disease Control surveillance programs. Eight Alabama residents who were positive for H1N1 influenza have died this year, and other potential deaths are being investigated.

H1N1 vaccine should be available in early or mid-October, according to health officials. In Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, it will eventually be available at area colleges, hospitals, participating doctor’s offices, health department offices and in public schools. Public school students will not be vaccinated without written permission from a parent; permission forms will be sent home with each child from their school.

The vaccine currently offered at locations such as grocery stores and drugstores is for the seasonal flu, not H1N1 or swine flu.

The Center for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that certain groups of the population receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine when it first becomes available. These target groups include pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age, health care and emergency medical services personnel, persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old, and people ages of 25 through 64 years of age who are at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.  Persons age 65 and older are believed to have a lower risk of getting the H1N1 virus, so vaccination for this age group is not recommended until more at-risk groups have been vaccinated.

For more information on the H1N1 flu, click here to visit the CDC web site.


5 Responses to “Flu-Like Illnesses Widespread; Vaccine Soon”

  1. Tammie on October 1st, 2009 10:36 pm

    I have some clients that are nurses and others in the medical field… they all say they are NOT taking the H1N1 vaccine. I guess I’ll take my chances as well.

  2. susie q on September 30th, 2009 7:45 pm

    yes, doer

  3. Beegee on September 30th, 2009 10:36 am

    Amen,The Doer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. joe bloe on September 30th, 2009 7:40 am

    I believe I’m more worried about the H5N1 (bird flu) virus, than I am about the H1N1 (swine flu) virus. Read about it on the CDC website mentioned above.

  5. THE DOER on September 30th, 2009 5:46 am

    Do not take the swine flu vaccine without first doing your own research. The vaccine contains mercury which has caused paralysis, Alzheimer’s and many other diseases and conditions. Read what medical professionals are saying about it!

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