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H1N1: One year later
This week marks one year since the H1N1 flu was first identified
By: Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, Director, CDC
It’s been one year since 2009 H1N1 influenza surfaced and CDC kicked into overdrive to isolate and identify the virus, send vaccine candidate strains for vaccine production, distribute tools to help doctors in the United States and around the world diagnose the virus, and help craft a national response strategy to protect the American public from this pandemic virus.
The response included the urgent development of safe vaccines, their distribution and rapid administration by thousands of health care providers, and a national communications strategy to inform and instruct the American people about how to best protect themselves. We pushed to the limits of our current technology in these areas and were very effective. That success would not have been possible without the vital assistance of our state, local, and community partners.
The efforts of thousands of CDC employees and other healthcare professionals have helped reduce the number of illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths from this virus.
As we enter spring and CDC, U.S. healthcare providers, and the American people gear up for the start of the 2010-2011 flu season, we must remain vigilant against a resurgence of 2009 H1N1.
At the same time, we must work toward enhanced disease surveillance, more timely vaccine availability, and stronger support for local health partners such as public clinics, schools, and other community institutions. We have much to do, but the past season has shown how effective our public health system can be when it is supported and mobilized.