Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Swine flu could cause up to 90,000 U.S. deaths and infect 50% of population

On Monday, August 24, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology released a report on the H1N1 Swine Flu that indicates the United States could see an infection rate of 50% or more. The number of deaths from infections is expected to range from 30,000 to 90,000. It is expected that infection rates will soar as children return to school and, maybe even more importantly, college students geographically relocate as campuses start their fall semesters. The peak infection time could be in October. This is unfortunate as the current timetable for swine-flu vaccinations isn't expected until mid-October at the earliest. This mis-match in timing is expected to have a major impact on the spread and impact of the virus while reducing the overall benefit of the vaccine -- since many will not receive it before they are infected. The most vulnerable portion of the population is expected to be pregnant women, health care workers, parents and guardians of children under 6 months of age, and adults under 65 with an underlying health condition, such as asthma. The CDC released preparedness guidelines for schools and business several weeks ago at the website www.flu.gov. Since the H1N1 virus emerged in the Spring of 2009, WHO (World Health Organization) reports that lab-confirmed cases number over 182,166 and over 1800 people have died from it. Due to difficulty with health care reporting in many areas of the world, these numbers are considered to be an underestimation. The CDC reports 43,771 confirmed and probable cases in the United States with 7,983 hospitalizations and a total of 522 deaths as of July 24, 2009. The latest reports indicate that 98% of all influenze type A viruses reported to the CDC with H1N1 (swine flu) viruses.

CNN Report: Swine flu could cause up to 90,000 U.S. deaths

(Via United States Centers for Disease Control.)

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