About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Have we already had our flu season?

Flu shotDr. Karen Remley, state health commissioner, raised an interesting question last week during a phone interview. What if we’ve already had our flu season?

Cases of the seasonal flu would normally be on the increase now, but Remley says that the state lab is not seeing it in the samples it’s been testing. “We’re still just seeing H1N1,” she said.

Remley wonders if the wave of H1N1 cases that the state experienced in October, November and December has somehow supplanted the normal seasonal flu season. That would be good news, she said, since the seasonal flu takes a terrible toll on the very young and those over 65.

“Wouldn’t that be wonderful if we didn’t have seasonal flu?” she said. “Every week that goes by is another week that we haven’t seen that normal seasonal flu peak that you see in January, February and March.”

(The state Health Department tracks H1N1 cases. You can find several of its charts here.)