"So the question is, 'Is this over? Are we done with it.' The truth is that we don't know for sure."
Marcus Cheatham of the Ingham County Health Department said the H1N1 virus is in a lull right now but that doesn't mean it's gone for good.
"Because of travel during the holidays H1N1 could come back," said Cheatham. "About 75 to 85% of population has not had it and weren't vaccinated. So it's still a lot of people out there that this virus can get into."
Cheatham added, there is historical evidence that after this lull, one of three things could happen. The virus could crop back up, die out and the seasonal flu could sprout up or flu season could be over.
There are various mutations of the virus so it's difficult for the health department to say definitively if we're in the clear.
"H1N1 is a pandemic flu and it arises because of random mutations in the flu virus and it's a brand new form to which most people have no immunity," said Cheatham.
The Health Department of Ingham County is opening up the vaccine to the general public soon but there are some who are already eligible but have not taken advantage of the vaccine.
Emerlisa Hart of Lansing is the mother of a five month old who said she has not intention of getting her or her son vaccinated.
"I just think there's really no reason to get it. I never got sick from anything else -- there's really no need to get it."
But April Sorrow of Lansing said the vaccine is a necessity because of her four month old son.
"I got it because of him. I don't need him getting it and being in the hospital again, plus I don't want it myself."
The Ingham County Health Department advises everyone to consider getting the vaccine even though there is a lull.
As of Monday everyone is eligible for the vaccine but there are a few counties that are holding clinics before then.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Hill Career Academy
5815 Wise Road, Lansing
9 am - 12 pm
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Holt High School
5885 West Holt Road, Holt
4 pm - 7 pm
There is also a clinic at the Ingham County Health Department: Monday through Friday 9:30 am - 11:30 am and 1:00 pm - 4:30 except Thursday mornings.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Jackson County Health Department in Room 005
2 pm - 6 pm
Clinton, Gratiot and Montcalm counties are also opening up to all residents this week. To see their schedules click on this link, http://www.mmdhd.org/h1n1/h1n1vac.htm