This is the time of year that public health folks start watching the flu reports from the southern hemisphere. We’re watching for a couple of things – the circulating strains and how it’s spreading. The Australian Government Department of Health is reporting 6 times as many cases as they had at this time last season. It could be an early season for them or it could be that it will end up being a blockbuster flu season for them. The good news is that the circulating strains are all covered by the vaccine strains approved by the FDA last week –meaning that there aren’t any surprise strains going around (at least so far). The H1N1 pandemic strain is dominant in Australia right now.
About the Director
Cara M. Christ, M.D., M.S. became Director for the Arizona Department of Health Services in May 2015. Dr. Christ has served the agency for more than nine years. Among her many accomplishments at ADHS, Dr. Christ collaborated with health partners and stakeholders to develop strategic plans for infectious disease prevention and control including the Governor’s Council on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response. She was involved in leading statewide efforts during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, and worked with partners to find solutions to improve childhood vaccination programs. In 2012, Dr. Christ managed the development and implementation of 20 Articles of Arizona Administrative Code for Health Care Institutions allowing integration of physical and behavioral health services statewide. Dr. Christ obtained her master's degree in microbiology with an emphasis in molecular virology and public health. She earned her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Follow the Director on Twitter @DrCaraChrist.
Cara Christ says:
Dave Dayanan says: