The H1N1 virus outbreak appears to be contained and conquered in Alabama, according to a report by WAFF.
Alabama State Health Department Spokesman Dr. Jim McVay told the news station that officials have gone three-plus weeks without seeing a confirmed H1N1 specimen brought into the lab.
"It’s run its course it appears," he told WAFF.
But the flu strain did not leave Alabama unscathed. The Alabama State Health Department tells WAFF that H1N1 contributed to 53 deaths in Alabama since it was first discovered in 2009.
Officials in Alabama are talking to vaccine makers and preparing for the upcoming flu season, WAFF reports. The news station says that this year’s flu vaccine will still have protection for H1N1 along with Seasonal Influenza, but those who get vaccinated will only need one shot this year.
The H1N1 virus is a respiratory disease that is contagious and spreads as a seasonal influenza virus does. Symptoms of the H1N1 flu are similar to seasonal flu – including fever, coughing, headaches and chills – but can also include vomiting and diarrhea.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta estimates that, nationwide, as many as 17,000 Americans were killed by the H1N1 virus.
The vast majority of those who died as a result of H1N1 infection were between the ages of 18 and 64, the CDC estimates.
About 36,000 people die nationwide from seasonal flu each year. Ninety percent of those deaths occur in people 65 years of age or older.