The H1N1 flu outbreak in the state has slowed some, and Iowa Department of Public Health medical director Patricia Quinlisk says warmer weather could be behind the lull. Quinlisk says the flu is very affected by the weather and with the warmer temperatures and higher humidities, the flu is not spread as easily.
But Dr. Quinlisk says that does not mean H1N1 and the season flu are gone for good. “Typically after the holidays especially when it gets very cold and very dry and we have kids in school and all that, we see a surge of influenza. I expect that’s what will happen with seasonal flu and I’m concerned that we will see the same thing happen with H1N1,” Quinlisk says.
Quinlisk says that’s why it’s so important for Iowans to continue to get vaccinated. “We know right now that we have H1N1 circulating in our communities widely, and I believe that it may come back after the holidays and we may have another surge of high levels of H1N1 activity in Iowa,” Quinlisk says.
Twenty-four people in Iowa have died as a result of the H1N1 virus and more than 650 have been hospitalized. Quinlisk says the majority have had underlying medical conditions including cancer, asthma, and cerebral palsy.