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State health officials warn H1N1 flu not over

Posted February 26, 2010

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— North Carolina health officials said that seven H1N1-related deaths in the past month should serve as a warning that although the outbreak has peaked, it isn't over.

State Health Director Jeff Engel urged North Carolinians to get the H1N1 vaccine. In addition to the deaths, hundreds of people are hospitalized each week with flu-related complications, he said.

"The vaccine is safe and effective in preventing the flu," Engel said in a release Friday. "With plenty of vaccine on hand, there is no reason for anyone in North Carolina to fall victim to H1N1."

As of Feb. 20, nearly 1.7 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in North Carolina, officials said. That's about half of the 3.2 million doses that have been distributed to local health departments, doctors, schools and retail pharmacies.

Engel stressed that the Division of Public Health and local health departments are working to increase the number of vaccinations by taking free vaccine clinics to communities. He praised health providers' "creativity and stamina."

In Wake County, public health nurses are visiting child-care centers, and Cumberland County is holding clinics at churches on Sundays. Vaccinations are being offered during the CIAA basketball tournament in Charlotte, and universities are conducting an immunization campaign.

"Our goal is to make the vaccine as accessible as possible to anyone who wants it," Engel said.

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  • Orange RN Feb 26, 2010

    It is easy to dismiss this as hype if you have not been personally affected. But people many have illness with varying degrees of severity. There have been more hospitalizations and deaths in the under-65 age group associated with this H1N1 pandemic strain than compared with seasonal flu, certanly this year, but also looking back at other flu seasons.

    Although rare, anyone may experience severe infection and death associated with pandemic H1N1.

    Some people have clearly been shown to be higher risk for severe illness and death. These include people with common conditions such as asthma, pregnancy and diabetes. For a complete list of risk factors see:
    http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/risks.htm

    It has also been the most lethal flu season for kids (under age 18) since we started counting flu-associated child deaths in 2004.
    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weeklyarchives2009-2010/IPD07.htm

    Ignore it at your own risk. Flu is unpredictable.

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Feb 26, 2010

    "I wonder if you would continue to think that this is just government hype if you were the husband sitting by the bedside of your pregnant wife that just died of H1N1, which has happened multiple times in Wake County alone. Unless you know what you are talking about, don't be so critical. Do you even know what the definition of pandemic is? Apparently not....."
    oreally

    Nice snide remarks oreally. Yes I know what a pandemic is. Do you know that this "pandemic" has caused far fewer deaths than the regular seasonal flu? My daughter had a confirmed case of swine flu a few months back shortly after school started back. It really wasn't a big deal. Yes she felt terrible & had a fever. But do you know what? None of the four other family members in our household caught it from her even though she was parked on the family room couch most evenings.

    Now I know that there are certain high risk groups and they should consider being vaccinated, but overall, YES IT IS BEING HYPED!

  • CestLaVie Feb 26, 2010

    oreally: This IS government hype & very much Big Pharma hype.

    Personally, I didn't get this shot & I never get the flu shot because I keep my body nourished with the right things so that MY immune system is WELL FED. A healthy immune system fights the germs coming it's way, instead of just succumb. THIS is why healthcare costs are exponentially growing by leaps & bounds these decades. Fight these germs naturally, instead of with drugs, drugs, drugs, drugs, drugs, drugs, drugs, drugs, drugs! Get my point?? If you don't, you are part of the problem and NOT part of the solution.........something Congress hasn't grasped yet, but Big Pharma does NOT want you to grasp. It's profits at all costs for them; your health be darned.

  • wattsun Feb 26, 2010

    Hmmh Interesting...Georgia has glut of swine flu vaccine.

    Georgia has a glut of 2 1/2 million doses of swine flu vaccine, and some local health departments are working hard to use them before they expire.

    Only 978,092 doses of the vaccine have been administered -- less than a third of the total allocation to Georgia of 3 1/2 million doses, according to the state Department of Community Health.

    With only weeks left in a flu season that traditionally ends around late March, state and county health officials are faced with distributing a large amount of vaccine to a public that has largely lost interest in swine flu. Some local health officials say the vaccine, some of which was produced last spring, will start to expire at the end of March.

    "There's just not much interest in it right now," said Lisa Crossman, director of clinical and prevention services at Cobb and Douglas Public Health.

  • time4real Feb 26, 2010

    warn all you like, many of us haven't listened yet and we're not going to. i don't know a soul who even knows anyone who has had this.

  • brwnigrl Feb 26, 2010

    I agree with you oreally. Too many moms have died for people to take this as a joke...I've seen it first hand.

  • oreally Feb 26, 2010

    I wonder if you would continue to think that this is just government hype if you were the husband sitting by the bedside of your pregnant wife that just died of H1N1, which has happened multiple times in Wake County alone. Unless you know what you are talking about, don't be so critical. Do you even know what the definition of pandemic is? Apparently not.....

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Feb 26, 2010

    There's no doubt that this whole "pandemic" has been hyped up, first by the media, then by the government. They are really pushing these shots, that's for sure...probably because not many people are buying into the hype and they have a huge surplus now.

  • Thornedwolf Feb 26, 2010

    I know this is an important story for us to read I mean i think i contracted the H1N1 last week.......well wait no now i think on it it was just a hiccup.

  • noreplytome2 Feb 26, 2010

    I wonder what the next hypedemic will be.

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