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As autumn approaches, experts at both national and local levels await flu season in much the same way that a hurricane is watched for landfall: no one is sure of just where and how it’s going to hit. The Center for Disease Control is reporting higher-than-normal rates of influenza-like illness for August and forecasting “a particularly severe flu season.” At the same time, however, the agency has eased its guidelines for management of the H1N1 virus – colloquially known as “swine flu” – by placing key oversight responsibilities back into local hands. The American Academy of Family Physicians says that health officials are “battling complacency among the general public and even the press that threatens to derail preparatory efforts.” “There is a misperception that the virus is gone and the threat has disappeared,” reads article published last week. In July, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius uttered a similarly grim-sounding warning about the H1N1 flu: “So far it hasn’t been terrifically lethal, but we need to get prepared for what may happen later this fall – we need to be prepared for the worst case scenario.”