H1N1 Flu Vaccine May Be Delayed

By Brien McElhatten

June 18, 2010 Updated Aug 7, 2009 at 10:40 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - A vaccine currently under development to ward off H1N1 infections may not be released in time for a predicted resurgence this fall.

The virus, most commonly referred to as "swine flu' has reached global pandemic levels since it surfaced in Mexico last spring. However, virologists say a second wave could begin circulating as early as the end of August.

A vaccine may not be available until mid to late October.

Human trials of several vaccine formulas are expected to begin soon, but it takes time to develop and distribute the drug.

"Until then, people need to do what we've been telling them to do forever," said Dr. Deborah McMahon, Fort Wayne-Allen County Health Commissioner. "Cover your cough, stay home if you're sick ."

Four Hoosiers have died as a result of the virus since April 2009, and more than 300 others have become ill.

Health officials say prevention is key, beginning with a few easy steps.

"It's so important now to not only wash your hands, but carrying that hand sanitizer with you, sending that to school with your students and with your kids, but that in their backpack with some hand sanitizers and tissues," said McMahon. "Teach your kids how to sneeze and cough into the cloth. All those types of things are going to be really important."

Experts say "social distancing" measures can help prevent the spread of the virus. They say those with fevers, body aches and general flu-like symptoms should stay home and consult their doctors.

Stay tuned to Indiana's NewsCenter for the latest H1-N1 news.

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here.

Visit the Fort Wayne Allen County Department of Health website here.

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