Another H1N1 wave? - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Another H1N1 wave?

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MADISON (WKOW) -- If you haven't gotten a flu shot yet, the government wants you to re-consider.

This is National Influenza Vaccination Week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging different sub-sets of the population to get vaccinated on different days.

  • Monday, Jan. 11 -- Health care workers/general public
  • Tuesday, Jan. 12 -- People with chronic illnesses and underlying health conditions
  • Wednesday, Jan. 13 -- Children, families, and pregnant women
  • Thursday, Jan. 14 -- Young adults
  • Friday, Jan. 15 - Seniors

Get ready for it: health care providers say there could be another wave of the swine flu.

H1N1 resembles the swine flu outbreak in the 1950's, which had three waves.

Health care providers are hoping it doesn't happen, but they say they want to be prepared if it does.

Months after the second major wave of H1N1, vaccination clinics at Dean Health Clinic, are still full.

Jim Klaus, one of the people receiving the H1N1 shot at Dean Clinic Monday morning, says he works at UW, and also, "I have a couple boys at home, and wouldn't want to bring H1N1 home, even though they've had the flu shot."

H1N1 hasn't disappeared yet.

Brenda Klahn, the Community Exposure Specialist at Dean Clinic in Madison, says, "We've seen two waves. We had one this summer, one in October. If there's a third wave that comes, we don't know what that's going to be like."

It's not too late to get vaccinated. The CDC estimates that one in six people have been infected with H1N1 already.

In Dane County, there are about 482,705 people. 1 in 6, would mean 80,450 people may have been infected with the virus. Public Health officials have confirmed only 1,047 cases. 72,000 people have been vaccinated in Dane County. That seemingly leaves 330,255 people yet to be vaccinated, but health officials warn those statistics aren't complete. They don't include drug store vaccinations, or anyone who's headed to another county to be vaccinated.

In Sauk County, the Public Health Department has administered 4,559 doses of the H1N1 vaccine. There are 60,000 residents in Sauk County, but officials warn they've never limited the vaccine to only residents of Sauk County.. so those statistics could be off as well. Out of 12,000 school aged children in Sauk County, 3,045 school aged children were vaccinated, which is about 25%.

As far as UW-Madison, 1,300 students have presented to Health Services with flu-like symptoms. They've administered 6,500 vaccines there. Officials say that doesn't include any students who headed home to get vaccinated, or to private clinics.

Klahn adds, "Both clinics and hospitals saw a big impact back in October. If the third wave comes and it's larger, it could be very substantial."

Add to that, university students heading back to school.

Sarah Van Orman, M.D., the Executive Director of University Health Services, says, "We know with everyone returning to campus, there's a possibility for an increase."

UW officials are preparing, but are hoping a possible third outbreak would be unique.

Van Orman says, "Some things are different from the Fall. There's a large number of students who already have had H1N1, so they're going to be immune. Also there's a large number of students who were vaccinated."

Right now they're simply planning, for the unknown.

Dane County is also setting up more <school based> H1N1 clinics for younger students. Those begin next week and would be voluntary.

It does take two weeks to become fully immune to the virus.

As far as those vaccines administered at drug stores, Walgreens is reporting they've administered more than a million doses of the H1N1 vaccine nationwide.

Online Reporter: Teresa Mackin

Email Teresa at

Follow Teresa on twitter @TMackin_wkow


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