The H1N1 virus seems to have hit a lull, and thankfully so. However, it is a good idea for those who are taking trips for their spring break to have had their flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control have confirmed there are still cases being reported, and the possibility of a new wave of flu activity exists. In the United States, the virus is not widespread, and only four states had reported regional activity, which include Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina, as of March 5, 2010.
Most of the viruses identified so far continue to be 2009 H1N1 influenza A viruses. These viruses remain similar to the virus chosen for the 2009 H1N1 vaccine, and remain susceptible to the drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir, with rare exception. Some influenza B viruses are circulating at low levels, and these viruses remain similar to the influenza B virus component of the 2009-10 seasonal flu vaccine.
Several colleges have taken precautionary measures to monitor student health situations, as well as working with local public health authorities. It is important for schools to watch for another virus to begin following the return of students from their spring break. The most consistent advice for families planning to travel is to be certain everyone has had their flu shots, and to be aware of their surroundings. If they are in crowds or traveling by bus or plane, it is still a good idea to observe others, and avoid someone sneezing or coughing often. Having hand sanitizer handy is a great rule of thumb, and washing hands at every possible chance helps prevent the spread of germs.
We hope that everyone who has the opportunity to have a break this spring, a very happy time, and that they return well, rested, and ready to get back to school or work! Have fun, and stay safe!