New Strain May Mean Year-Round Flu Season: CDC
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2009 11:47 AM CDT
Researchers work with a sample of H1N1 flu virus at a lab in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province, Wednesday, June 17, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The US could experience an extended or even year-round flu season thanks to H1N1, the Centers for Disease Control said yesterday. Researchers theorize that a combination of unprepared immune systems and the unusually cool spring could be contributing to the steady stream of flu infections. “The fact that we are seeing ongoing transmission now indicates that we are seeing something different,” said one CDC doctor.

The so-called “swine flu” is now an official pandemic, though its symptoms are generally mild. The US has been the hardest-hit country, with more than 100,000 suspected cases, 44 deaths, and 1,600 hospitalizations. The CDC is predicting strong influenza activity throughout the summer, with some H1N1 activity continuing into the fall and winter.