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Category: Infectious Diseases
Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday that a recent flurry of confirmed H1N1 cases have been reported in several southeastern U.S. states, and that low vaccination rates may be the cause.
"We are continuing to see people with serious illness from the H1N1 pandemic virus," said Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "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."
In particular, the CDC has expressed concern regarding the state of Georgia, where 40 people were admitted to the hospital with severe flu symptoms just in the last week. Furthermore, Alabama, South Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia have all reported a significant increase in flu activity, USA Today reports.
In response to the recent outbreak, health authorities are advising everyone who has not yet been vaccinated to do so, even though flu season is coming to an end. There are currently more than 120 million doses of vaccine available at local clinics and doctor's office.
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