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posted on October 21, 2009 11:21

 

Idaho 2009 H1N1 Weekly Update: October 21
 
Reports of influenza-like illnesses are widespread throughout the state. This coincides with the national report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in which most states are reporting widespread activity.
 
Infections and Hospitalizations: Only a small portion of people infected with influenza are tested and receive laboratory confirmation. The Idaho Bureau of Laboratories is only testing people who are hospitalized or high-risk for flu complications, although private labs are submitting results for positive cases. Lab-confirmed reports are an indicator of flu activity, but portray only a fraction of total infections. Keeping that in mind, the overall number of laboratory-confirmed infections continues to increase, along with the number of people hospitalized for H1N1 infections.  During the past week, 120 additional laboratory confirmed infections have been reported. Hospitals reported 27 new admissions for influenza during the week.
 
Deaths: H1N1 infections have contributed to the reported deaths of seven Idahoans. Reports of additional deaths are under investigation to determine whether H1N1 is a factor. Health and Welfare will update www.panflu.idaho.gov with the number of reported lab-confirmed 2009 H1N1-associated deaths as those become available.
 
H1N1 Vaccine: As of October 20, Idaho has been allocated a total of 73,800 doses* of 2009 H1N1 vaccine. Initial shipments are being distributed directly to full-service hospitals, community health centers and local public health districts. Idaho’s allotment is being distributed statewide on a population basis, with new shipments arriving weekly. Local Public Health Districts around the state have been holding public clinics and clinics for school children. People should check with their local Public Health District’s website, or call their Health District for clinic information and site locations. (*Vaccine allocation numbers can change daily; allotments by the CDC are made on a day-to-day basis.)
 
Recommendations:
  • H1N1 vaccine continues to be in very limited supply. Some local Public Health Districts will be further restricting vaccine to the following subset of target populations recommended by CDC when vaccine is in short supply: pregnant women, persons who live with or provide care for infants aged <6 months, health-care and emergency medical services personnel who have direct contact with patients or infectious material, children aged 6 months--4 years, and children and adolescents aged 5--18 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications. Check with your local Public Health District to determine who will be eligible for vaccination at public clinics. Those not targeted for vaccination are urged to wait for wider vaccine availability.
  • It’s important to continue to prevent disease while people wait for the H1N1 vaccine. People with flu symptoms are urged to help protect other people by going home and staying home until fever subsides for at least 24 hours.
School closures are reported to the Idaho Department of Education. For information on school closures, contact Department of Education public information officer Melissa McGrath at 332-6818. For more information on H1N1, please visit www.panflu.idaho.gov.