WISCONSINREPORT.COM (12/10/2009) - Nationally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports H1N1 influenza activity has declined, with 25 states now reporting widespread activity. CDC also reports that visits to doctors for influenza-like illness have declined. Flu-related hospital stays and deaths continue to decline nationally as well, but are still very high compared to what is expected for this time of year, and could pick up again.
Wisconsin Department of Health Services is following the national trend with a decline in H1N1 cases statewide.
However, H1N1 activity is expected to continue throughout the season and DHS recommends that all individuals on the CDC target list get vaccinated as another wave of H1N1 cases could occur later this season.
DHS continues to monitor the vaccine supply and will continue to expand the vaccine target groups as quickly as possible. The CDC stresses there will be adequate supplies of H1N1 vaccine available for everyone who wants it.
DHS recommends that Wisconsin’s public and private health care providers continue to vaccinate individuals People are encouraged to follow good hygiene precautions such as hand washing, covering their cough/sneeze with their sleeve or a tissue, and staying home when ill.
Call your health care provider first to determine if you should be seen by your local physician or if you should go to the ER/urgent care for treatment.
There is no indication the H1N1 virus has changed or is more severe than in the spring. Seasonal influenza cases are expected to occur.
Since September 1, 2009, there have been 821 hospitalizations due to H1N1 virus infection in Wisconsin.
Since the last situation report on December 2nd, there have been three additional H1N1-related deaths reported in Milwaukee (West Allis) and Sheboygan (2) counties. This brings the H1N1-related death total to 43 statewide since the spring.
DHS continues to monitor the vaccine supply and will continue to expand the vaccine groups as quickly as possible. The CDC continues to stress there will be adequate supplies of H1N1 vaccine available for everyone who wants it.
DHS recommends that Wisconsin’s public and private health care providers continue to vaccinate individuals within the CDC’s original target groups. This includes: (1) Persons who live with or provide care for infants age 6 months or younger (examples: parents, siblings); (2) Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel; (3) All people from 6 months through 24 years of age; and, (4) Persons 25-64 years of age with conditions associated with higher risk of complications from influenza.
Community vaccination clinics will resume as H1N1 vaccine becomes more readily available.
People may call 2-1-1 to find an H1N1 or seasonal influenza vaccine clinic nearest them. A “clinic finder” is also available online at http://pandemic.wisconsin.gov or www.wisconsinfluclinic.info.
At this time, Wisconsin has been allocated 1,556,100 doses. There is a lag time between the state receiving its H1N1 vaccine allocation and the shipment of doses to providers.