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State health officials say second wave of H1N1 flu almost at peak

The second wave of the H1N1 flu in Wisconsin is almost at its peak.

That's what state health officials believe, anyway.

Spokesman Seth Boffeli says all five public health regions reported fewer cases this week.

But the total number is still climbing. Wisconsin has had just more than 3,300 confirmed swine flu cases since the end of August, plus another 1,400 probable cases.

Two-hundred eighty-eight Wisconsinites have been hospitalized for at least a day with the H1N1 virus since late August, and 20 people in the state have died from it this year.

Four of the deaths were reported in the last week.

Nationally, the government says 22 million Americans have gotten sick from the swine flu, and almost 4,000 have died, including 540 children.

Most cases still do not require a doctor visit.

But Anne Schuchat of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control expects the national figures to keep rising.

And in her words, "We have a long flu season ahead of us." About 42 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine are available, a few million less than what the CDC had projected.

Wisconsin officials have received more vaccine, but they're still recommending that it be given only to those most susceptible to getting sick.