CDC, Surgeon General: Swine Flu Cases Up In The Southeast
Although H1N1 (swine flu) "has waned across much of the United States, the southeast is reporting an increase in cases of the H1N1 virus, U.S. health officials said on Monday," Reuters reports. The uptick in the number of H1N1 cases was reported in Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia (Allen, 3/29).
The Los Angeles Times: "[F]lu-related hospitalizations in Georgia have, since the beginning of February, been higher than they were in October at the height of the second wave of the flu, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases." A CDC team investigating the H1N1 outbreak earlier this month concluded nothing unusual about the H1N1 virus circulating in Georgia, according to the Times. "Researchers had previously hoped that the continued low activity of swine flu meant that a third wave was less likely than had previously been expected, but Schuchat called the new data from the Southeast a 'worrisome trend'" (Maugh, 3/30).
Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, who also participated in the conference call, "reiterated a common theme heard from CDC and other health officials since the H1N1 flu virus emerged nearly a year ago: 'Vaccination is the single best protection against H1N1,'" CNN reports. She said that approximately 120 million doses of H1N1 vaccine are available (Falco, 3/29).