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December Influenza Update

We saw a significant increase in lab-reported influenza cases during the last few weeks of December, with 608 cases of lab-confirmed influenza reported as of December 28, 2014. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic strain of influenza (pH1N1) continued to be the dominant circulating strain, with 82 of 83 specimens undergoing additional genetic testing coming back as the pH1N1 strain. A unique aspect of the pH1N1 strain is that it can disproportionately affect young and middle-aged adults compared with other strains of seasonal influenza. North Dakota has seen an increase in the number of influenza cases and hospitalizations reported for this age group so far this season. These cases serve as an important reminder that influenza can affect people of any age, and vaccination is recommended for all age groups

The NDDoH influenza site is updated weekly on Thursday with the latest influenza data. For more information about influenza, the surveillance program, local flu shot clinics, or to order free educational materials, visit the NDDoH influenza website at www.ndflu.com.

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