The H1N1 swine flu amounts to a minor illness for some, while others end up hospitalized. The flu remains on the radar here in the Eastern Sierra with H1N1 vaccine in short supply.
Inyo Mono Health officer Dr. Rick Johnson reports that We continue to experience high levels of illness in our communities, as evidenced by increased visits to the emergency room or the doctors office, school absenteeism, and antiviral (Tamiflu) prescriptions. There have been several more hospitalizations, but fortunately no deaths at this time.
Of the two counties, Inyo has been hit harder in recent weeks. Dr. Johnson reports that there were several hospitalizations last week in Inyo County. Mono County has now seen hospitalizations due to the swine flu. Dr. Johnson reports one recent hospitalization in Mammoth, and a hospitalization of a Nevada resident who works in north Mono County, both were hospitalized and then discharged.
Manufactures continue to produce the vaccine and additional doses are expected to be available soon. At risk groups have been targeted for the first limited supplies, but Dr. Johnson expects that eventually enough vaccine will be available for anyone who wants to receive it. In the meantime, Dr. Johnson reports that as more vaccine arrives in the Eastern Sierra, health officials will expand target groups to include all children and young adults through the age of 24, healthcare workers, and adults with chronic medical conditions.
For questions you can always contact your local public health department. In Mono County 760-924-1830 and Inyo County 760-873-7868. Find more information on the Inyo and Mono County Health Department websites.