Swine Flu Already Killed 10,000 Americans, 200,000 Hospitalized

December 11, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, held a media briefing on Thursday on the current status of the spread of swine flu. And the number of deaths attributed to the virus now stands at 10,000, with the vast number of those killed young adults. Since April, 7,500 young adults have lost their lives from H1N1. And 1,100 children have died from the swine flu.

Regular seasonal influenza kills about 36,000 Americans in a typical year, according to the CDC.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC cautioned people not to let their guard down amid reports that the spread of swine flu appears to be waning. “This is still a good window of opportunity to be vaccinated,” he said. “Vaccination remains the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family from H1N1 influenza,” said Friedman.

He noted that the swine flu affects a much younger population than typical seasonal flu and that more patients require hospitalization. Frieden said that between April and November 14, there had been nearly 50 million cases of swine flu in the United States, mostly in younger adults and children. That figure was more than double the CDC’s initial prediction in November of 22 million Americans becoming infected.

He said that more than 200,000 Americans had been hospitalized, which is about the same number of hospitalizations for seasonal flu in an entire year.

So far, about one in six people have become infected with the H1N1 virus.

“About 15 percent of the entire country has been infected with H1N1 influenza, or about one in six people,” said Frieden. “That still leaves most people not having been infected and still remaining susceptible to H1N1 influenza.”

Supplies of the swine flu vaccine have increased with about 85 million doses of the vaccine distributed to date, but the doses are still falling short of demand. However, many states now have a sufficient supply that they can start administering the vaccine to non-risk groups.

“We know that the more people who get vaccinated, the lower the likelihood will be of additional cases or a third wave,” Frieden said.

Source: Reuters


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