H1N1 Shows Decline – Has it Peaked?November 20, 2009 - 1:21 PM | by: David Lewkowict
For the third week in a row, numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show a reduction in hospitalizations and deaths from H1N1. Dr. Anne Shuchat, Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) says, “the level of influenza activity we are seeing right now remains high even though we saw a little bit of a decrease this week. It is still higher than the peak activity in many years.”
Schuchat was leery of saying the H1N1 disease had “peaked” warning, “even when a peak has occurred half of the people who are going to become ill haven’t gotten ill yet.”
CDC spokesman Tom Skinner warns ”Flu is very unpredictable. While 2009 H1N1 activity is declining in a number of areas around the country, we are still seeing unprecedented levels — levels well above what we would expect for this time of year.”
While there has been a dip, and the trend may continue as we enter the holiday season, Skinner says Americans should not become complaisant. “Activity might go down during the holiday season as schools break and then re-surge when schools start back up after the first of year. In addition, we expect to see a surge of activity due to seasonal viruses as well.”
Each year season flu kills more than 36,000 people in the United States. Typically Seasonal does not reach its peak until January or February according to the CDC website.
Nearly 54.1 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine were available to the states, Shuchat reported. 11 million more than a week ago. Government officials still expressed concern and Schuchat appologized for the delays and the frustrations felt by people trying to get the vaccine. “I wish that things had been and that they will go smoother.”
Schuchat added she was glad to see vaccine becoming more available. “The H1N1 vaccine supply continues to increase. We are not where we want to be but we are in better shape today than we were a couple of weeks ago.”
It was reported that half of all vaccine administered has been to children.
The CDC reports 15 confirmed H1N1 pediatric deaths in the last reporting week. That is a reduction from the 25 reported last week. The total number of pediatric H1N1 deaths since March 2009 is 113.
The CDC has launched a new travel campaign in order to reduce the chances of spreading H1N1 and seasonal flu.
FOX News Poll
A FOX News poll conducted in October 2009 indicated only 44% of Americans were planning on getting the H1N1 vaccine.