Cases of swine flu picking up around stateThough influenza activity in the area may have lulled following peak activity in October, an area health official said cases of flu have become more frequent within the last few days.
By: By Beth Wischmeyer , Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
Though influenza activity in the area may have lulled following peak activity in October, an area health official said cases of flu have become more frequent within the last few days.
The peak of the H1N1 flu, otherwise known as swine flu, occurred in late October, said Sherry Adams, regional pandemic flu coordinator for Southwestern District Health Unit.
H1N1 is the predominant strain, she added.
Adams said the health unit has given out more than 10,000 H1N1 vaccines in the eight-county region, which includes Stark County, since the end of October.
Dana Andress, with West River Health Services in Hettinger, said they haven’t seen any patients with confirmed cases of H1N1 since October, and not many cases of seasonal flu.
Flu season, Adams said, is not over yet.
“People think we had that big boost in October, but flu most likely peaks in February, March, and with all the different things happening — Olympics, basketball, wrestling — we could start seeing regular flu or H1N1 surfacing a little bit more prevalently,” she said.
Flu season “officially” ends around May, she added.
“With a pandemic strain we could still see some H1N1 trickling here and there throughout the summer,” Adams said. “The thought is that we don’t know whether it will be around again full speed next fall.”
Adams said the health unit still has plenty of the vaccine available and said it’s still the best defense against the virus.
Beth Wischmeyer is a reporter for The Dickinson
Press which is owned by
Forum Communications Co.