Swine flu is back and widespread, according to a December 28 report in The Alexandria Town Talk. States reporting widespread seasonal flu instances have risen from four to ten, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
WKRG 5 News reports that H1N1 is the most predominant strain of flu this season. According to Dr. Darren Waters, “You see it hitting the younger, healthier people.” Five people have died in Texas from H1N1, and the CDC has seen widespread cases in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and also near St. Louis.
Waters cautions that there is no need for panic because unlike 2009, few have been exposed to it. “It's definitely not cause for panic, now we've got people who have gotten their flu shots which has the H1N1 vaccination in it. And we also have people who have been exposed to it, so there's not near the exposure that we had in 2009.”
He does advice people to get their flu shots, even if they are not 100% effective. “Is anything 100% effective? No. but it's definitely worth getting. Even if you do happen to get the flu, and you got the flu shot, a lot of times we see those people aren't quite as sick as those who didn't receive the flu shot.”
According to the Washington Post, in addition to the states listed above, the CDC recently reported widespread cases in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kansas, Wyoming and Alaska. Twenty-three more states have reported regional outbreaks.