CDC held a press briefing on H1N1 last Friday, the first they have had in months.  The reason?  A troubling number of hospitalizations in Georgia over the past month.

For the past several weeks, the Georgia Department of Community Health has reported an increase in flu-related hospitalization.  On March 5, Georgia requested a team from CDC come to help them with a more in depth investigation and the CDC is working closely with state officials to analyze those cases, hospitalizations and deaths reported recently and compare them to previous flu activity reported in the summer and fall, 2009 H1N1 experience to sort out what might be contributing to the recent increase of flu activity in Georgia.

Recently, Georgia has seen more laboratory confirmed influenza hospitalizations each week than they’ve seen at any time since October.  There have been more than 40 hospitalizations over the past week. For the third week in a row, Georgia had more laboratory confirmed H1N1 hospitalizations than any other state in the country. There was no data released on race and gender of the patients. There is no evidence that the H1N1 virus has changed in Georgia.  Most of the hospitalizations that have occurred in adults with underlying conditions that put them at higher risk of serious disease.  Adults with chronic illnesses or advanced age are more likely to become severely ill if they acquire the H1N1 virus.

While Georgia appears to be on fire with the flu, the rest of the country is as cool as a cucumber as noted by last weeks Flu View report for week 12.

Regional influenza activity was reported by three states (Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina). Local influenza activity was reported by Puerto Rico and seven states (Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia). Ten states (Delaware, Idaho, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Utah) reported no influenza activity.
Ahdr12 Small
Weekly Confirmed Hospitalization and Death Report. From August 30, 2009 – March 27, 2010, there was 41,689 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations and 2,096 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated deaths were reported to CDC.
Doc Visits
Nationwide during week 12, 1.6% of patient visits reported through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet) were due to influenza-like illness (ILI). This percentage is below the national baseline of 2.3%.

Take time to get H1N1 vaccinated now!