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Number Of H1N1 Cases Down

December 1, 2009, 6:01 PM by Kelli Grant

Number Of H1N1 Cases Down
After weeks of nothing but dire warnings about H1N1 flu, there is finally some good news to report. The number of H1N1 cases across the country is down and the number of sick people in KELOLAND is also dropping. It's a sign the second wave of the outbreak has definitely peaked. Local clinics are hoping its a sign of a quiet December.

South Dakota's latest H1N1 report showed that flu activity has been lowered to "Regional" status, reporting just 15 new cases. It's proof that your doctor's office could be experiencing quite the slow down when it comes to H1N1 flu.

Just over a month ago people sick with the flu lined up to see their doctor. Masks were a common site and sick patients were separated from the well ones. Now it's a much different story.

"The most recent in October, we were very busy and seeing lots of cases," Sanford Clinic Pediatrician Dr. Elizabeth Bauer said.

Sanford Clinics are now seeing what they call normal patient numbers. One reason behind the drop - more people have already had the virus, creating a stronger immunity.

But it may not last long. Family gatherings over the Thanksgiving holiday have given the bug another chance to circulate.

"Our numbers are pretty similar to usual. We may see some increases you know. On the other hand kids are out of school while they're home with their family so they sort of are moving away from one potential contact pool into another so we may see some increase," Bauer said.

And because it could take up to two weeks to develop symptoms, it's not a good time to let your guard down.

"We are still encouraging seasonal flu shots, H1N1 vaccines because we expect we're going to see some overlap in our seasons that we see other viruses," Bauer said.

Several H1N1 vaccine clinics are scheduled across KELOLAND this week including two in Sioux Falls on Thursday.

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