H1N1 ‘Swine’ Flu ‘Rapidly Spreading’ Throughout Chicago Area, South-Central U.S.

This weekend, I heard the H1N1 “swine” flu is back. In a big way.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with H1N1, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website Flu.gov:

H1N1 is a flu virus. When it was first detected in 2009, it was called “swine flu” because the virus was similar to those found in pigs.

The H1N1 virus is currently a seasonal flu virus found in humans.

Okay, let’s dive in. I heard H1N1 mentioned for the first time this winter in the Chicago-area news the other day. From the website of Chicago CBS affiliate Channel 2 on Friday:

A strain of the swine flu is rapidly spreading throughout the Chicago area.

More than 20 of the H1N1 cases have been detected at Loyola University Medical Center in recent days, including five on Christmas Eve.

Now, CBS 2 has learned, another 41 cases have turned up at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Doctors say there have been eight cases in just the week before Christmas…

But it’s not just the Chicagoland area that’s experiencing a jump in H1N1 cases. From the health website WebMD last Thursday:

This year’s flu season may be off to a slow start nationwide, but infection rates are spiking in the south-central United States, where five deaths have already been reported in Texas.

And the predominant strain of flu so far has been H1N1 “swine” flu, which triggered the pandemic flu in 2009, federal health officials said Thursday.

“That may change, but right now most of the flu is H1N1,” said Dr. Michael Young, a medical officer with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s influenza division. “It’s the same H1N1 we have been seeing the past couple of years and that we really started to see in 2009 during the pandemic.”

States reporting increasing levels of flu activity include Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, he said…

Here’s something interesting that you may not know about H1N1. From the WebMD piece:

Young noted that H1N1 flu is different from other types of flu because it tends to strike younger adults harder than older adults…

“This year, because it’s an H1N1 season so far, we are seeing more infections in younger adults,” Young said…

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the following posted on their website regarding seasonal influenza:

Flu activity is increasing nationally and is high in some states. Additional increases are expected in the coming weeks. If you have not gotten your flu vaccination yet this season, you should get one now.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

“H1N1 Presence Grows In Chicago.” Channel 2. 27 Dec. 2013. (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/12/27/h1n1-presence-grows-in-chicago/). 29 Dec. 2013.

Reinberg, Steven. “H1N1 Flu Spreading in South-Central U.S.” HealthDay. 26 Dec. 2013. (http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20131226/h1n1-flu-spreading-in-south-central-us). 29 Dec. 2013.

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Sunday, December 29th, 2013 Health, Medicine

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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