H1N1 Influenza Rates Drop in Many States

Another surge may happen later; enough vaccine available for most people to get vaccinated soon
By Andrea Mongler
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- H1N1 influenza rates are declining across the United States, but many experts say there will probably be another surge this winter, a federal health official announced Dec. 2.

Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said at a news conference that H1N1 is now widespread in only 32 states. That's down from 43 states the week before. In addition, more doses of vaccine are available, and most people should be able to get vaccinated this month.

Frieden further noted that half of the experts polled on the likelihood of another surge in flu rates said there will be one, and the other half said there will not. He said there is no way to know for sure whether rates will surge, but that people should take advantage of the lull in flu activity by getting vaccinated.

Despite the drop in the number of cases, "we are far from out of the woods," Frieden concluded.

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