Most hospitalizations seen in adults with chronic conditions; officials still urging vaccination
TUESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- The H1N1 influenza virus is still circulating throughout the United States, and there has even been an uptick in the number of cases in the southeast, health officials said during a March 29 press briefing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In Georgia, there were 40 flu-related hospitalizations last week, said Anne Schuchat, M.D., director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases in Atlanta. This was Georgia's third week in a row as the state with more hospitalizations from laboratory-confirmed H1N1 influenza than any other state. In addition, Schuchat said that regional H1N1 activity has been reported in South Carolina and Alabama, and that local activity has been reported in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, New Mexico and Hawaii, as well as Puerto Rico.
Most of the recent hospitalizations have involved adults with chronic health conditions. Health officials are urging people -- especially those with chronic conditions -- to get vaccinated for H1N1.
"Although disease rates are much lower on average around the country than last fall, H1N1 is still circulating and people continue to become ill and be hospitalized and to die from this virus," Schuchat said.