On December 30th, 2013, AlertsUSA issued the following
Flash message to subscriber mobile devices:
|CDC warns H1N1 Swine Flu now widespread in 10 states. 23 other states reporting regional outbreaks. Also warns children 6 mo thru 8 yo may need 2nd [vaccine] dose.|
AlertsUSA subscribers have been notified twice in the last two weeks via text messages to their mobile devices concerning the rapid surge in H1N1 swine flu cases nationwide. Late this week the CDC announced the number of states where H1N1 infections are widespread has grown to 25. A Notice to Clinicians has been issued regarding numerous reports of severe respiratory illness among young and middle-aged adults infected with the pH1N1 swine flu virus. The letter “p” is assigned by the World Health Organization to denote that this is the pandemic strain of the virus from the 2009 swine flu outbreak.
Hospitalizations resulting from pH1N1 infections are being reported nationwide, including many requiring intensive care unit admission. Fatalities are also increasing. Hospitals in the hardest hit regions are now restricting or limiting visitors (see this, this and this)..
For some perspective: In East Texas alone, 15 have died in Houston, 5 in Dallas and 2 pregnant women in Austin. Hundreds of other cases are reported, and these numbers are likely low as lab tests for the presence of flu are notorious for returning false negatives.
As previously reported by Threat Journal, unlike normal seasonal flu outbreaks, surveillance and reporting figures clearly show this year’s pH1N1 outbreak is targeting those under the age of 65. Pregnant women are also particularly susceptible.
We remind readers that this year’s H1N1 outbreak frequently results in severe respiratory problems including pneumonia. Health authorities are again imploring the public to increase their level of defense by getting the annual flu shot, as this year’s trivalent vaccine includes H1N1 as one of the three covered strains.
Despite the flu season already being well underway, it only takes about two weeks from the time of vaccination for antibodies to develop. As the flu season typically runs well into April, the is still ample time available to bolster your body’s defenses.
The CDC’s vaccine finder application is available the right-hand margin of this website. Simply enter in your zip code and you will be provided a list of all locations in your area providing the vaccine.
AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor the evolving flu situation in N. America and will immediately notify subscribers of changes in the threat environment as events warrant.