Friday, December 11, 2009

Will we see a second wave of H1N1 this winter?

It may seem like the H1N1 pandemic has spread through your community. My wife had confirmed H1N1 last month. Many schools in our area closed because of the pandemic in November. Yet it's only mid-December and we know that the flu season can easily go beyond February. So, will we see a second wave of H1N1 later this winter? What about the early spring?

Experts are definitely concerned about that possibility and many are evaluating historical data, exploring computer models, and looking at other ways to predict what may happen this winter. The bottom line is that no one really knows what will happen. However, if we see a second wave, what will that look like now that many people have already been exposed and have (theoretically) developed immunity to H1N1. Will the virus mutate to the point that it will cause reinfection in those who have already been vaccinated?

There are still so many unanswered questions about H1N1. We must continue to practice proper hygiene and common sense so that we reduce the spread of viral infections this winter. That's going to be difficult since December is a busy month for stores, malls, etc. How often will you be going to a crowded place filled with potentially sick people?

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