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posted on December 30, 2009 16:06

 

Idaho 2009 H1N1 Weekly Update: December 30
 
Influenza activity has significantly decreased in the past few weeks, but public health officials are cautioning Idahoans not to become complacent.
 
“Flu is unpredictable, so it’s important that we don’t let our guard down,” says Dr. Christine Hahn, M.D., Idaho State Epidemiologist. “In many years, flu season peaks in January and February, and we could see another wave of illness. The best way to protect yourself and your family from becoming ill with the H1N1 virus or seasonal flu is to be vaccinated for both.”
 
Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter was one of 15 state governors who are spreading the message about the importance of receiving the H1N1 vaccine. Otter recently recorded a Public Service Announcement with the animated character Sid the Science Kid. The spot can be viewed at http://www.flu.gov/psa.
 
A national poll shows only 22 percent of adults targeted to receive the H1N1 flu vaccine have received it so far. With vaccine widely available, public health officials say now is the time for people with chronic health conditions to get vaccinated.
 
National data shows that asthma and other chronic lung diseases are the primary underlying conditions among people hospitalized with severe H1N1 infections. Many people might not realize that having asthma puts them at greater risk. It’s important for all adults with chronic health conditions to protect themselves by getting vaccinated as soon as possible.
 
Second dose for children: Parents are reminded that children six months through 9 years of age need two doses of vaccine about a month apart to be protected against illness. Infants less than 6 months of age cannot receive the vaccine. Help protect infants you are around by getting vaccinated now.
 
H1N1 Vaccine: H1N1 vaccine is available in many local pharmacies and by appointment in some local public health districts. Check your local public health district for information about upcoming vaccine availability. Health district web sites can be accessed at www.panflu.idaho.gov. As of December 30, Idaho has been allocated a total of 552,400 doses* of 2009 H1N1 vaccine. (*Vaccine allocation numbers can change daily; allotments by the CDC are made on a day-to-day basis.)
 
Confirmed cases and hospitalizations: Since Sept. 1, there have 824 laboratory-confirmed H1N1 cases reported in Idaho. A total of 380 influenza-related hospitalizations have been reported since Sept. 1.
 
Deaths: H1N1 infections have contributed to the reported deaths of 20 Idahoans. Reports of additional deaths are under investigation. For more information on H1N1, please visit www.panflu.idaho.gov.