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Charleston Health Official Says H1N1 On The Rise

Reported: Jan. 1, 2014 12:44 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 1, 2014 1:00 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A Charleston health official says a strain of flu that put many people in the hospital five years ago is on the rise again.

Dr. Rahul Gupta of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department said the H1N1 virus is the predominant flu strain circulating now. Commonly known as the "swine flu," the strain particularly affects young and middle-aged people.

Gupta said viruses have a tendency to get established and come back in the next few years. That's one of the reasons the H1N1 strain is included in the flu vaccine this year.

The doctor told the Charleston Gazette flu activity is expected to rise in the next few weeks. He said now is the time to get a flu shot because it takes about two weeks to take effect.

The flu vaccination is still available at the health department and walk-ins are accepted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. This year, the health department is offering the new quadrivalent vaccine. This is the first season that a vaccine protecting against more than three flu strains will be available. The health department also has flu vaccine available for individuals who are allergic to eggs.

Additional information may be found here or by calling 304-348-8080.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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