Tracking H1N1: Talk to Your DoctorDecember 16, 2009 - 3:52 PM | by: Jonathan Serrie
Federal health officials are urging doctors to talk to their patients about H1N1 influenza.
“Health care providers have the most influence on people,” said Rear Adm. Anne Schuchat, MD, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “A recommendation from a doctor or nurse has more clout than anything that we do in Atlanta or Washington. As health care providers, each of us has a responsibility to talk to our patients about the risks and benefits of vaccination and to let them know the real risks of disease.”
Schuchat said 14 states currently report widespread H1N1 activity. That’s down from 25 states at the beginning of December, and 48 states at the beginning of November.
However, federal health officials caution that increases in flu activity during and after the holiday season are always a possibility and that vaccination is the best way to avoid getting H1N1 or spreading it to others.