CDC: Fatality Rate for H1N1 Slightly Higher Than Seasonal Flu

Posted on May 19, 2009

An article quotes Dr. Anne Schuchat of the CDC as saying the fatality rate for H1N1 swine flu appears to be slightly higher than that of seasonal flu. These contradicts what many health officials have been saying - that the H1N1 virus is no more severe than seasonal flu. Dr. Anne Schucat also says there are 200 people hospitalized with swine flu and more deaths are expected.

"We wonder whether this strain will continue during the summer and give us more of a summer influenza pattern," said Schuchat, interim deputy director for science and public health program. "Unfortunately, we don't know whether we're going to get a break this summer with this virus."

So far, the fatality rate for the novel virus appears to be slightly higher than for seasonal influenza, which contributes to an estimated 36,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, Schuchat said. More than 200 people have been hospitalized, mostly children and teens, which is also very different from seasonal infections.

Schuchat warned that the virus likely will continue to spread and to cause more hospitalizations and more deaths.

Hopefully, we will get a break this summer but even we do people have to not let down their guard this fall. The virus spreads easily because most people do not appear to have immunity to it and there is no vaccine.

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