Second Wave of H1N1 Flu Underway in NC

North Carolina has entered the second wave of the Pandemic A (H1N1) flu, according to state epidemiologist, Megan Davies, MD. Speaking during an H1N1 operational briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Davies said North Carolina and southeastern states are ahead of the rest of the nation in experiencing the latest wave of H1N1 flu virus. Over the past three weeks, physician offices participating in the state Sentinel Provider Network (SPN) saw a steep rise in the number of patients seen with H1N1, and it is expected to continue to rise over the next few weeks.

 State public health officials say they are developing a distribution plan for H1N1 vaccine.  Initial doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive in late September or early October.  Provider agreements for administering the vaccine are expected to be distributed starting next week.  

 Dr. Davies says the State Public Health Laboratory will continue to test samples from the SPN for surveillance purposes, but private clinicians are urged to contact their commercial laboratory for clinical testing.

 Initial doses of seasonal flu vaccine are now being distributed, and State Health Director Jeffrey Engel, MD, following CDC guidelines, is urging clinicians to begin administering those shots as soon as vaccines are available. Dr. Engel briefed the NCMS Board of Directors on the state’s response to H1N1 during a meeting at the NCMS offices on September 12, 2009.

The latest influenza surveillance report (#44, 9-19-09) shows last week’s rate of influenza-like illness at sentinel sites (6.4%) the highest recorded rate during this 2008-2009 reporting season. The 2009-2010 reporting season begins on September 28, 2009. See the report at http://www.epi.state.nc.us/epi/gcdc/flu.html.

 More information is available from the NC Department of Public Health, http://www.epi.state.nc.us/epi/gcdc/flu.html, and from the CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm and http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/.

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1 Comment

  • Dwight Williams MD

    I understand that underserved areas and health departments will be getting the vaccine soon, How would I appeal for getting the vaccine to our office. We have a four office system (sites in Greensboro,Asheboro,Durham and High Point) which reaches out to the uninsured and Latino communities. We have already began to see some severe presentations especially in the Latino patients. Thanks Dwight M. Williams MD