Utah officials attend national swine flu summit

Utah officials attend national swine flu summit

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Health officials from Utah were part of a large gathering in Washington, D.C. Thursday that focused on the H1N1 virus.

Utah Department of Health Spokesperson Tom Hudachko says the summit was a high-level meeting where they heard from President Barack Obama via video link. Those present also discussed the swine flu vaccine.

"The CDC is planning on having a vaccine produced by the middle of October. At that point we will have to start thinking about distribution plans, which age groups are targeted first and who should be getting the vaccinations first," Hudachko said.

Hudachko says representatives from every state shared what efforts seemed to work in trying to slow the spread of the virus. They're planning for what could be a much larger outbreak of the swine flu in the fall.

Utah has 14 reported deaths linked to the swine flu, which is far short of the deaths seen with the normal strains of flu.

Hudachko says in the past, the second wave of a pandemic is usually stronger than the first. "Obviously flu season is not in the summer where we are right now. So the fact that we are seeing flu continuing to circulate, although it does seem to be decreasing, has been a concern."

E-mail: rjeppesen@ksl.com

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