With much attention turning to the West Nile virus as mosquitoes come alive this spring, public health officials are still keeping a close eye on the H1N1 flu. Deb Scholten, director of the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department in Wayne, says flu outbreaks typically come in waves.
So far, there hasn’t been a third wave, following the first waves that hit in May and September/October of last year. Scholten says public immunizations over the past year did a good job of slowing the momentum of H1N1.
About one-third of the population was immunized in northeast Nebraska and southeast South Dakota, which brought only minimal activity in the transmission of H1N1. She says there was a recent outbreak of N1N1 in Georgia that is being carefully monitored.
Scholten says the H1N1 virus has not yet washed out of the population. She says the virus has not mutated as yet, which is good news as otherwise, the vaccines would be less effective or not effective at all. Shoulten says they will continue to watch for signs of any resurgence of H1N1 into the fall months.
She notes, the Spanish flu, which hit in 1918 during the first World War, killed more people than the number of people who died in that war.
Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton