Ga. H1N1 'intense,' CDC Urges Vaccine

ATLANTA, March 29 (UPI) — Particularly in Georgia, where H1N1 is circulating intensively, it’s important for people to take advantage of the vaccine, federal health officials urge.

The Georgia Department of Community Health reports an increase in flu-related hospitalization and requested a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help in an investigation.

“Disease rates are much lower on average around the country than last fall, the H1N1 virus is still circulating and people continue to become ill, be hospitalized, and die from this virus,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters in a telephone news conference Monday.

“Recently, Georgia has seen more laboratory confirmed influenza hospitalizations each week than they’ve seen at any time since October — seeing an increase in cases again in Georgia is unusual and we want to spotlight that.”

Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina are reporting regional H1N1 activity, while local H1N1 is reported in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Hawaii and New Mexico, Schuchat says.

“All Americans can now get immunized so we’re encouraging people to take advantage of the increased supply to protect themselves and protect their loved ones — particularly ones with diabetes, heart disease, cancer, pregnancy, to take advantage of the vaccine,” Schuchat says.

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