Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Seasonal Flu Shots Kick Off At UWM

By H. Nelson Goodson
September 23, 2009

Milwaukee - Mayor Tom Barrett was at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to kick off the influenza awareness season. Barrett was among the 198 people who received the free seasonal flu shots. Students, faculty, UWM employees and residents around the campus began standing in line about a couple of hours early. The event with Barrett began at 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., but an estimated 110 people were turned away due to a shortage of doses.
City health officials only made available a couple of hundred of doses to the public free of charge. The seasonal influenza shot costs about 24 dollars at neighborhood drug stores and clinics.

Milwaukee Health Department officials had available only 1,100 doses this year, of which 900 have been earmarked under a federal program for children 18 and younger.
The seasonal influenza shot won't protect people from the H1N1 strain (Swine Flu), and the flu vaccine is expected to be ready next month. H1N1 accounts for 90 % of influenza cases in the country, according to city health officials.
This month, in Wisconsin at least six people were hospitalizations due to the H1N1 flu virus, but no deaths were reported by the state Department of Health Services.
Since April, Wisconsin has recorded eight deaths and 239 hospitalizations from the A (H1N1) virus. About 99% of the state's lab tested influenza cases were confirmed to be from the H1N1 virus. None of the cases tested and reported have been resistant to anti-viral medication, according to state health officials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that between September 6-12, 2009, widespread influenza activity was reported by 21 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia). Regional influenza activity was reported by Puerto Rico and nine states (California, Colorado, Maine, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin).

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