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posted on November 18, 2009 16:09

Idaho 2009 H1N1 Weekly Update: November 18 

Influenza-like illnesses continue to be reported 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. During the past week, 26 additional lab-confirmed H1N1 infections have been reported, bringing to 768 the total number of confirmed cases since Sept. 1.
 
Hospitalizations: Since Sept. 1, a total of 357 hospitalized persons tested positive for influenza infection, with eight of those reported in the past week. The highest number of hospitalizations has been in children less than 10 years of age, who account for 27% of the total H1N1-related hospitalizations. This is highly unusual for influenza infections and supports the importance of immunization of young children to prevent severe H1N1 disease. 
 
Certain health conditions can lead to more severe outcomes and might require hospitalization in those who acquire influenza. Eighty-eight percent of reported patients with hospitalizations related to 2009 H1N1 had an underlying health condition. Common underlying conditions were cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease (including diabetes), asthma, immunosuppressive conditions, and pregnancy.
 
Although reports of illness have begun to decline in some areas, health officials continue to urge people in the target populations to receive the H1N1 vaccine. Flu seasons are unpredictable and generally last through spring. Flu-related illness will likely increase again. It’s not too late for people in the target populations to protect themselves by getting vaccinated. 
 
Deaths: H1N1 infections have contributed to the reported deaths of 15 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 November 17, Idaho has been allocated a total of 243,600 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. 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.)
 
For more information on H1N1, please visit www.panflu.idaho.gov.