Outbreaks of the swine flu have been reported in about a half-dozen summer camps in Missouri. The outbreaks do not surprise state health officials.
The H1N1 strain did not make its appearance in Missouri until the end of the regular flu season. Senior Epidemiologist Eddie Hedrick at the state health department says seasonal influenza usually ends in May. But the so-called "swine flu" was not a seasonal flu. "Usually during the summer months the flu goes away. With a brand new virus there are more people susceptible it’s more likely therefore to continue to circulate," he says.,
And Hedrick says camps are logical places for the flu to circulate.
He expects even more cases to develop when the regular flu season begins. But indications are that the cases will generally not be severe. But Hedrick cautions that any flu can be dangerous to certain populations., He says the sickest people so far are asthmatics or people with underlying conditions including diabetes, obesity, and pregnancy. The H1N1 flu might be mild, he says, but it’s not "something you can shake a stick at."