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H1N1 Flu Cases Rise To 2,618 In The U.S.

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Monday, May 11, 2009 12:41 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Protecting Your Family, Pandemic, Swine Flu, CDC, Public Health, Cruise Industry, Influenza


IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons / Symptoms of Swine Flu

There have been three reported deaths from the H1N1 flu (Novel influenza A) in the United States, with 2,618 confirmed cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web site.

The most recent death was a man in Washington over the weekend. The two other deaths were in Texas. According to health officials all three had underlying health issues.

The CDC has said they expect to see additional cases, deaths and hospitalizations from the new influenza virus, which acts like seasonal influenza. Seasonal flu sickens more than 30 million Americans annually, hospitalizes about 200,000 and contributes to about 36,000 deaths.

The following countries have reported a combined 4,694 cases of the H1N1 infection - Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China (Hong Kong), Costa Rica, Colombia, Denmark, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S.

Within the next year, the swine flu may affect at least one-third of the world’s 6 billion people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The virus is infecting people of all ages; however, younger people more than older adults appear to be most vulnerable, said Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the CDC, in a briefing with reporters last week.

The median age of confirmed cases with the virus is 15. Fifty-eight percent are under the age of 18 and five percent, so far, have required hospitalization.

WHO is not recommending travel restrictions but advises individuals who are ill to delay travel plans and returning travelers who fall ill should seek medical care. These recommendations are important and can help to limit the spread of many communicable diseases, including influenza.

“Only 10 percent of confirmed cases have any travel history from Mexico, which shows the virus is spreading within the U.S., independent of infections in Mexico,” Besser said.

The CDC is distributing diagnostic test kits to various states, enabling states to uniformly test for the virus. Besser said that should help to produce accurate validation of the virus. In addition to the states, the CDC is also distributing test kits to 78 countries.

Parents are urged to keep children with the H1N1 virus home from school for seven days. Beyond that time there is no need for isolation.

“I encourage schools to welcome back these children after seven days and to not be concerned if they’re contagious. Seven days is more than enough time for the virus to run its course,” Besser said.

WHO said it doesn’t yet see evidence of sustained person-to-person transmission of the new virus outside of North America. To declare a pandemic, it would need to see human-to-human transmission in another region of the world in addition to North America.


The death toll in Mexico -- where the virus appears to have originated -- from the H1N1 flu outbreak has spread to 56, the health ministry said on Monday, as results of tests on people who died in recent weeks came in.

There have been a total of 2,059 cases of swine flu.

Millions of Mexican elementary and junior high school students began returning to classes on Monday morning for the first time since April 23 when the government closed schools to prevent infection. #

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