Officials Say H1N1 ‘Swine Flu’ Uptick Probable

By EGP News Service

Vaccinations against the swine flu will be available by late October and health officials predict an upswing in cases as school sessions begin, it was announced last week.

Since the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu, first surfaced in Los Angeles county, 157 people have been hospitalized and 25 have died from it, said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the county’s director of public health.

The swine flu vaccine will require two shots over a three-week period, he said.

Fielding said schools would likely not be primary distribution locations.

Groups of people especially sensitive to the swine flu virus include pregnant women, those under the age of 24 and health care workers, Fielding said yesterday.

Fielding advised members of that group — which he said represented about half the population of the county— to get vaccinated.

Fielding said seniors are typically less susceptible to the swine flu virus, due to various immunities built up over the years, Fielding said.

The doctor said that, while it was not possible to predict how widespread the virus may become, “it is roughly no more severe at this point as seasonal flu (is) in terms of overall impact.”

Fielding also urged members of the public to stay home from work or school if they have flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue.

To avoid getting or spreading the bug, he suggested keeping clean hands, covering your mouth when you cough and avoiding close contact with those known to be infected.

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August 27, 2009  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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