H1N1 cases down
Keep covering your coughs and washing your hands … but perhaps with less worry.
A new wave of H1N1 may not be as imminent as health officials had anticipated last year.
McKinley Health Center Director Dr. Robert Palinkas said the incidence of flu symptoms on campus mirrors that of the state, nation and world. The number of cases is declining.
“(Incidents) have taken a significant turn downward,” he said.
“Frankly, we’re not sure about the vagaries of this virus. It’s one of those odd circumstances … in the past, viruses like this have had multiple waves. We’re not absolutely sure we’re going to have another wave. We may have reached the point where it will have a hard time (spreading).”
Palinkas isn’t saying another outbreak is impossible, however. “We’re not ruling out the possibility of another significant outbreak, but we think the chances are pretty small at this point,” he said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting flu activity down significantly this month.
The CDC Web site reported last week that doctor visits as a result of flu symptoms, hospitalizations and other data indicators have declined from previous weeks and the trend is continuing downward.
Public health officials are still recommending that anyone who has not yet been vaccinated against 2009 H1N1 influenza or seasonal influenza, should still get vaccinated against them both. The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District is still offering H1N1 flu clinics to anyone wanting to be vaccinated.
As always, if any symptoms seem life-threatening, seek medical attention immediately.
“In general, if people are having shortness of breath, they’re unable to keep down liquids or they’re immune-compromised, they should be pretty quick to seek medical attention, either from a doctor or some other medical professional,” Palinkas said. “For most other healthy, youngish people, staying at home, getting fluids and taking (fever-lowering) medication is probably adequate.”