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(READ): Swine Flu May Cause 90,000 U.S. Deaths, Report Says…

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healthSource: Bloomberg

By Tom Randall

Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) — Swine flu may infect half the U.S. population this year, hospitalize 1.8 million patients and lead to as many as 90,000 deaths, more than twice the number killed in a typical seasonal flu, White House advisers said.

Thirty percent to 50 percent of the country’s population will be infected in the fall and winter, according to the “plausible scenario” outlined in today’s report by the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology. As many as 300,000 patients may be treated in hospital intensive care units, filling 50 percent to 100 percent of the available beds, and 30,000 to 90,000 people may die, the study said.

Seasonal flu usually infects “several hundred thousand” people and kills 36,000 patients, said Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The swine flu virus, also known as H1N1, causes more cases of severe illness requiring hospitalization among younger people than seasonal flu, while leaving people ages 65 and older relatively unscathed, said Mike Shaw, associate director of laboratory science at the CDC’s flu division.

“People who get infected with this strain happen to be the healthiest members of our society,” Shaw said today at a presentation at the CDC in Atlanta.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tom Randall in New York at trandall6@bloomberg.net;

Last Updated: August 24, 2009 15:00 EDT

Written by dnnnewshound

August 24, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Posted in Health

Tagged with , , ,

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