H1N1: Not going away without a fight

As I walked from the ASM General Meeting to my hotel room a couple days ago, I noticed that our novel H1N1 was having a brief media resurgence—CNN and MSNBC were on in the hotel bar, broadcasting alarming new stories about what might happen if the WHO moved to “level 6” on the pandemic scale, and discussing more school closures in New York.

Meanwhile, the CDC is confirming something I blogged about earlier—those over 50 years of age appear to have some protection against this virus, presumably due to exposure to H1N1 strains circulating until the late 1950s. 

Finally, the weekly report on influenza and pneumonia mortality reveals…….nada.  The influenza and pneumonia mortality in 122 U.S. cities has still not reached epidemic threshold.  What does this mean?  For starters, it means that if this novel H1N1 introduction had happened 10-15 years ago, we probably wouldn’t have even detected it.


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