Providers keep an eye on higher than usual seasonal flu activity

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Although fears of a resurgent H1N1 (swine flu) wave have preoccupied many planners and the media, providers are keeping a close eye on the build up to "regular" flu season. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published findings showing that while influenza activity had dropped in the last measurable period, it was still higher than normal for this time of year. More than 90% of the average 36,000 deaths annually attributed to complications from seasonal flu are in the 65-and-over age group.  Federal health officials worry that evidence showing seniors have not been as hard hit as younger age groups by H1N1 will lead to less diligence in getting residents--and caregivers--properly vaccinated.