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March 3rd, 2010
Seasonal Flu Virus is Absent after H1N1

Despite this winter’s cold and snow, the familiar flu that typically hits during the season has been surprisingly absent.

The seasonal flu usually runs rampant at this time of the year, with outbreaks reaching their highest point as late as March. However, this year the flu has been “practically nonexistent” says Guillermo Cole, spokesman for the Allegheny County Department of Health. “It’s like a no-show flu.”

The largest outbreaks of the nearly-forgotten H1N1 swine flu virus occurred in the fall. Around 57 million people in the United States were infected with the influenza. A dramatic increase from the usual 25 million, reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

“When one virus is very active in the season, it seems to be the majority of what we see and other viruses are not as prevelant”

Little activity from the seasonal flu has been reported from hospitals. Only 97 cases of the seasonal flu through February 20 have been recorded, compared to 2,710 recorded during the same period last year. In some areas, there have been no cases of either H1N1 or the seasonal flu since December.

Experts have said that identifying the exact reasons for this decrease is impossible, but offered some contributing factors. First, it is common for influenza outbreaks to occur at unpredictable times and new viruses can peak at atypical times of the year. Second, people who have been infected with respiratory diseases have a lower chance of catching another one. Advancements in flu prevention and treatment have also been part of the reasons, including the use of vaccine injections and drugs such as Relenza.

“When one virus is very active in the season, it seems to be the majority of what we see and other viruses are not as prevalent,” says Dr. Marian Michaels, an infectious-disease expert at the Children’s Hospital. The attention that was given to the H1N1 swine flu may have been the main reason that the spread of the flu was controlled.

The low level of flu activity, however, does not eliminate the chance of flu outbreaks in the spring—which could include another occurrence of swine flu, experts warn. In any case, doctors are stocking up on prescription drugs such as Tamiflu, in order to keep on top of any outbreaks that may occur.

For more information about H1N1 swine flu or seasonal flu prevention and treatment, visit www.orderonlinedrugs.com


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