"It's not too late to get vaccinated for the H1N1 flu," said Dr.
Damon T. Arnold, director of the Illinois Department of Public
Health. "Although flu activity has declined, the H1N1 flu virus
continues to circulate, and cases and deaths from H1N1 flu are still
being reported in Illinois. Influenza vaccination is the first and
most important step in protecting against the flu. Anyone who wants
protection from H1N1 flu should get vaccinated. The vaccination is
especially important for those with underlying health conditions."
In past pandemics, flu activity has occurred in waves, and it's
possible the United States could experience another upswing in H1N1
flu cases in the spring or fall 2010, or localized outbreaks. It's
been almost a year since the H1N1 flu first surfaced in the U.S.
Ongoing vaccination of people with certain health conditions is
particularly important because most cases of serious H1N1 illness
(e.g., hospitalizations) occurred in people with underlying medical
Health conditions that increase the risk of being hospitalized
from H1N1 include lung disease, like asthma or chronic pulmonary
disease; diabetes; heart disease; neurologic disease; or pregnancy.
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However, healthy people with no underlying conditions have also
suffered severe cases of H1N1 flu. Lisa Amoruso of Bridgeport was in
a coma for almost the entire month of November, clinging to life as
the H1N1 virus attacked her body. Starting Monday, the Illinois
Department of Public Health began airing radio and television ads
featuring Lisa talking about her experience with H1N1 and her
biggest regret -- deciding not to get vaccinated.
Those who have not received the H1N1 vaccination should to check
with their medical provider or local health department about getting
For more information about the H1N1 flu or to find the nearest
vaccination site, visit
www.ready.illinois.gov or call the Illinois Flu Hotline at
Illinois Department of Public Health
file received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]