WebMD Medical News
Daniel J. DeNoon
Louise Chang, MD
Feb. 24, 2010 -- College campuses are seeing the first uptick in new H1N1
swine flu cases since November.
New H1N1 swine flu cases are up 52% since last week -- to 4.1 cases per
10,000 students from 2.7 per 10,000 last week, the American College Health
Association (ACHA) reports. Of the AHCA's 178 members, 59% report new cases of
"We may be seeing a bit of an uptick," AHCA Executive Director James C.
Turner, MD, said at today's meeting of the CDC's Advisory Committee on
Immunization Practices (ACIP).
Rates of new infections were highest on campuses in Oklahoma, Missouri,
Indiana, North Carolina, and Mississippi. In Missouri, the swine flu attack
rate was up 17-fold over the previous week.
Even so, CDC flu expert Anthony Fiore, MD, says there's no overall
indication that a new wave of H1N1 swine flu is under way. National
surveillance still shows the flu pandemic continuing to decline, although
there's a small uptick in some Southwestern states.
One reason for the decline is that about 30% of Americans have been
vaccinated against H1N1 swine flu. About 86 million Americans received some 97
million doses of H1N1 swine flu vaccine since vaccinations began in late
That's a lot of vaccinations, but there could have been more. The CDC's
James Singleton says that enough vaccine has been delivered to vaccinate 42% of
As many as 60% of children under age 9 got both of the recommended vaccine
doses. That's fortunate, because kids under age 4 had a very high rate of
severe disease. And for kids ages 5 to 17, the 2009-2010 H1N1 swine flu has
been the worst flu season since CDC surveillance began, according to data
presented by the CDC's Lyn Finelli, DrPH.
While the vaccine was created, produced, and delivered at record speed, it
did not arrive before new H1N1 swine flu infections peaked around Oct. 24,
2009. At that time, more people saw a doctor for flu symptoms than at any time
since seasonal flu record keeping began.
H1N1 swine flu hospitalizations and deaths peaked a few weeks later. But the
death rate was not exceptionally high as flu seasons go. That's because this
flu pandemic largely spared the elderly, among whom most flu deaths usually
SOURCES:CDC, meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Feb. 24,
2010.America College Health Association web site.James C. Turner, MD, executive director, American College Health
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